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What to do about "skinnyfat"?

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  • What to do about "skinnyfat"?

    Hi Jordan,

    First, thanks for all the information you provide, both here and on the SS forums. It's tremendous. However, even after reading through it, I can't quite figure out out what your general dietary recommendations are for someone who is both underweight and has a high body fat percentage.

    In your TBAB article, you say bodyfat is probably too high if it exceeds 20%, and on the forums you mention you'd like people to be (very, very roughly) in the ballpark of 15%.

    I'm coming back to lifting after a year-ish layoff and lots of weight loss, and am 5'10", 155 pounds, and male. However, my bodyfat seem to be in the low 20s, judging from DEXA-verified reference pictures I've found online. I have no muscle definition, a little paunch, noticeable fat on my lower back and arms, and so on. No doubt this has a lot to do with being undermuscled and this sort of estimation is wildly inaccurate, but in any case I would bet you money that I'm no lower than 19-20%.

    Small and skinny people need to gain weight, and large and fat people need to lose it, but what should a small and fat person be doing? I fear if I gain weight I'll end up even sloppier, so recently I've been eating at a slight deficit and keeping protein high.

    What would your recommendation be regarding gaining, losing, or maintaining weight if I care more about body composition than absolute strength gains? Further, would you recommend adding some conditioning?


  • #2
    You need to start training, gain weight gradually over time (because you're underweight), and stop calling yourself skinny fat. You're just untrained. Luckily, we can take care of this.
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