Stuck in Skinny Fat?

After some advice folks. I’ve been spinning the wheels now for 3 years and have never really got anywhere.

I’m 38, 5’11, started off very heavy at 230lbs, in 6 months I cut down to 160lbs, I didn’t really know what I was doing on my cut and ended up skinny fat. I’ve floated around 160-170lbs since.

I’m around 20% bf. I fall somewhere between and ecto and an endo, I gain fat easily but for the life of me can’t gain muscle. I’ve a lot of loose skin on my stomach and pecs which makes things look worse but I’ve got arms like a snowman and sticks for legs. I’ve a complete lack of muscle mass.

I’ve tried cutting some more but the weight loss goes very slow now even when only eating 1500 cals, I can maintain at 1800-2100, if I go over that I gain weight, I know as I went on a short bulk for 2 months, going by my measurements the only thing that got bigger was my stomach which seems to be the main fat store.

I lift 6 days per week doing PPL, and do all the basic things like 1g per lb body weight. My lifts have been stalled for over a year now and I end up injuring myself trying to push myself so for the past 6 months I’ve been focusing on lighter weights with more reps and 4 second eccentrics which has kept me injury free and really allowed to dial in my form.

So where do I go from here?

Focus on getting stronger and having great workouts while eating around maintenance. I’ve done dumb cuts as well, I think most fat guys have. Eat as much as you can while keeping weight stable and over time you can “bump up” your maintenance and be ready for a not stupid cut.


Some photos.

How consistently are you hitting 2100kcals? What is that 2100kcal made up of?

And can you post your ppl program and how you determine to increase weight on that program?

2100 is right at my top end so I rarely hit it. If I’m honest it’s usually under 2000. I will hit 170g of protein and the rest is carbs and fat, I don’t really worry about them.

It’s just a standard
ppl ran twice. Off top of head

Shoulder press
Incline bp
Flat db press
Tricep pushback
Skull crushers
Lat raise

Bicep curls
Incline curls
One arm rows

Stiff leg dl
Split squats

Compounds 6-8 rest 8-12, when I hit top of range I add 2.5kg to bb and 5kg to pair of dbs

So in the pics you posted, you’re 5’11" and 170lbs?

Regarding your physique, and this is just from looking at your pics, while you could stand to lose some fat, and the loose skin is something you’re dealing with, I think just need more muscle. What are your workouts, in detail? If you’re 5’11" and weight 170lbs, and gain fat above 2,100 calories, and training, then you’ve gotta be eating more than you think.

How do you track your cals and macros? Do you weigh everything out to the gram or eyeball?

Again, post more details about training and nutrition.

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You look heavier than 170lbs.

So you track 170g of protein and “don’t worry about the carbs or fat”? Yeah no. There in no way you are eating under 2000 calories.


This. For me, protein is the only thing I have trouble eating. The rest I can overeat without blinking.

I am also interested in your consistency. How often are you missing days? Skipping an exercise or not finishing all the sets? Do you keep a training log?

Guys I’ve been doing this a long time, in fact today I have 970 day streak on MFP. I would not have lost all that weight initially by inaccurate tracking. I don’t eyeball although I probably could as I’ve been tracking so long. I am not a newbie to this guys hence why I asked the initial question as I’m baffled.

Below is MFP from yesterday and me before I started my diet which was in Jan 16. Someone mentioned I look heavier than 170lbs. Yep I’m aware of that and can’t figure that one out, it’s something I’ve always suffered from, I have been 150lbs when I was 19 and had same issue. I think it’s a fat distribution issue, I have stick legs arms zero butt all my weight does to me stomach and chest.

Someone mentioned about my workouts. As I stated above I’m doing ppl at the min and have been doing that for this past 12 months now.

I initially started out 3 years ago with a coach doing a 3 day split. I made gains for about 3 months and stalled, we did things like deload switched exercises but I would continue to stall, this went on for the best part of the year, I could tell I was wasting my time and I think I got the feeling I was making the coach look bad so we parted ways without much of a fight from him and I went solo.

After that I came across bigger leaner stronger, I did the year of that but again no progress made and that’s when I went to PPL

All my workouts are tracked on JEFIT. My lifts are DL 170kg, squat 160, OHP 50, BP 65, they’ve been at that so long I forget.

This isn’t the first time I’ve asked this question, I’ve asked it in various places in the hope one day I find the answer, it typically goes not tracking correctly, nutrition. Then when all else fails it’s something medical, yes I have low T but no low enough to warrant meds and I’m near 40 so it’s to be expected.

The fact of the matter is I’ve given 3 years of my life to this, I have been didicated and done everything by the book and got no where, I still look like I never picked up a barbell in my life. I’ve seen guys make more gains in 3-4 months than I have in 3 years with less dedication than I’ve gave.

Was 36g of fat and 1700kcals what you hit that day?

I’d also like to see a video of your first and last working sets of the first exercise on one of your training sessions, if that’s doable.

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Do you eat any vegetables? Not seeing that in the screenshot

No I generally don’t eat veg. Maybe on a Sunday some carrots but that’s it so I supplement with Berocca, zma and vitamin B which covers all bases.

As for fat yes if that’s what it says. My macros work out at 40 40 20 usually

I humbly disagree that you are covered. I don’t think that covers your micronutrient needs or your fiber intake.


I’m not a lover hence why I don’t eat them that often. I generally eat the same food every day which saves a lot of thinking. I’ll rotate between chicken and turkey for dinner and potatoes and brown rice.

Sat night I’ll have a takeaway as a treat

What? How is that an excuse not to eat vegetables?

Add a bag or two of vegetables each day then.

How are you sure this doesn’t blow up your caloric intake?

You need fat for hormone function and 40g for a male is scrapping the bottom of the barrel in terms of needs. You need vegetables for general health.

Eat veggies with each meal, have some red meat.

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I don’t like them so don’t eat them.

As for takeaway i eat a bit less on sat during the day. No easy way to track a take away but it takes something like 3000 cals to gain 1 pound. Sure on a Sunday I’m up a lb or so but on Monday back down.

All this doesn’t really help my skinny fat or lack of response in the gym.

Are you a child? Food is a tool to reach your body composition goals, and that includes veggies.

Also, @strongmangoals is on point, 40g fat is too low, 1g per kg of bodyweight while losing weight will support your hormone function. 0.8g while in a caloric surplus.

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If you are trying to lose weight, why would you give yourself a treat before you are done/satisfied? A cheat sometimes, sure, but takeout every single week does not seem aligned with your goals.