Sick of Being Skinny Fat? Here's My Top 5 Skinny Fat Diet Tips...
The dreaded ‘skinny fat’ style physique is the starting point for many men in the bodybuilding world.
It was mine too.
But what actually is skinny fat?
How come someone look skinny in clothes, yet have a physique that looks ‘fat’ underneath?
The classic guy with a skinny fat physique has a very low amount of muscle mass while also holding an above average amount of body fat (generally upwards from around 16% body fat).
I used to be skinny fat, almost every fitness model or bodybuilder that started out with an ectomorph body type started with a skinny fat base, yet many don’t even bother trying to transform their physique and curse their genetics.
At higher body fat a guy with stacks of muscle will look FAR leaner than a guy holding a minimal amount of muscle at the same (or higher!) body fat level. Why? Muscle tone.
How do people become skinny fat?
A lack of exercise, too much exercise and ridiculous dieting protocols (caloric restriction) can all contribute to forming a skinny fat physique.
I Ditched The Skinny Fat Look (And YOU Can Too!)
1 - Place Yourself In A Caloric Surplus
The #1 mistake I see guys starting out with a skinny fat physique making is eating next to nothing in an attempt to cut down, losing the small amount of muscle they have in the process.
They're doing things in the wrong order.
The key is to bulk up and build muscle first, as a newcomer it's easier to stack on muscle mass when you're able to harness the power of 'newbie gains' in the first year or so.
In order to build mass you must place your body into a caloric surplus, this means you must consume a greater number of calories on a 24 hour basis than your body requires to maintain its current weight.
Check out my guide on calculating your calories here.
2 - Don't Fear Carbohydrates
Yes, you need protein in order to build muscle mass but in order to not only have the energy to continue to progress in the gym to build muscle mass, but also to ensure your body is in a caloric surplus you must not adopt the 'carbohydrates are evil and must be avoided' mentality.
Carbohydrates bind to water molecules and as such will make you slightly bloated when consumed in quantity but transforming your skinny fat physique must be performed in phases.
First we must build mass, this requires carbohydrates!
3 - Work On A 24 Hour Basis (Forget Nutrient Timing!)
There are many supplements and dieting protocols aimed at newcomers and specifically skinny fat individuals...
Do not subscribe to any of the BS that people attempt to sell you.
You do not need to drink a protein shake immediately after your workout.
You do not need to eat a meal every 3 hours to keep your metabolism going.
You do not need to consume casein protein before bed to 'drip feed' your muscles while you sleep.
All that matters is that you hit your caloric surplus on a 24 hour basis.
This may be 2,800 calories, this may be 3,500 calories... our caloric needs are all different.
Get in your meals and ensure you're hitting your calories every 24 hour period and continue to focus your energy on training... not whether you're an hour late for your fifth meal of the day.
4 - Understand The Phases
Unfortunately building muscle mass while simultaneously shredding down into single digit body fat isn't possible.
The explanation for this is, once again... a matter of calories!
To lose fat and get shredded your body must be operating in a caloric deficit - this means you must supply your body with less calories each day than it requires to maintain it's condition.
As we discussed before, stacking on slabs of muscle requires the polar opposite - a caloric surplus.
If you're in a surplus you'll gain weight, if you're in a deficit you'll lose weight, as opportunity cost tells us we can do one or the other, not both at the same time!
Phase 1 - consume a surplus of calories while lifting heavy to pack on muscle mass and take advantage of 'newbie gains'.
Phase 2 - place your body in a caloric deficit to shred fat and reveal the muscle mass you built during your bulking phase.
5- Make Liquid Nutrition Your Best Friend
Throwing back meal after meal of steak and potatoes or chicken and brown rice leaves you feeling bloated and unproductive… I speak from experience.
Your digestive system is working in overdrive to process the 5 solid meals you ate that day to put your body in a caloric surplus.
Putting your body in a caloric surplus while hitting your macronutrient goals each and every day is HARD when relying on whole food.
Liquid nutrition makes bulking easy!
When you’re in a bulking phase your blender should become your best friend.
2 scoops of whey protein powder
1 cup of oats
1/2 cup of blueberries
1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
1 drizzle of honey…
You’ve just made yourself a 900~ calorie shake that tastes amazing.