How To Fix Skinny Fat (brutal truths but effective)

| by Truth Seeker |

Most people are SKINNY-FAT.

I know because I’ve been there.

In this post, I will reveal a method that will eliminate this issue.

First, let’s present some hard-to-hear truths:

1. Most people are skinny-fat

Skinny-fat is exactly what it sounds like – skinny (low muscle mass and tone) + undeniable fat deposits around the waist (sometimes man boobs too).

Some people are more skinny than fat (think Matt Damon) while others are more fat than skinny (think DiCaprio), but in all cases, skinny-fat is the final outcome.

I would say that this is the body type that most modern men have, at least where I reside.

90% of the men I see have undeniable guts/pot bellies/massive spare tires around their waists. This applies to most gym-goers too.

The owner of my gym didn’t lose an inch off his gut throughout my training season there even though he lifts and has an entire facility at his disposal.

2. High Metabolism Ectomorphs are a mega-rarity 

Everyone talks about that mythical ectomorph that can eat 5k calories and keep his shredded abs. Sorry. That dude practically does not exist. After all, the body is an energy-efficient machine, or else survival will become even harder.

Many people think that they eat 5k calories and “never gain weight” but when they actually calculate their consumption it amounts to 2 packs of cigarettes + 3 waffles or about 1000kcal.

The vast majority of ectomorphs are SKINNY-FAT.

If you are just skinny, without fat, you will have a visible set of abs as well as defined (not big) muscles.

The vast majority of ectomorphs are skinny but with a spare tire around their waists.

Putting them on a dirty bulk is a recipe for a disaster as far as body composition is concerned.

3. The fat won’t go away until you make it.

People want to hear lies rather than truths. But those lies only postpone the deep realization needed to progress further.

Here’s the truth:

If you have a notable amount of fat around your waist and man boobs, the only way to fix the issue is to lose the fat.

Or in other words, if you decide to go on a bulk while in that state, things will go from bad to worse. You will only add extra lard to the same places. Some muscle will be gained, but it won’t be enough to outweigh the fat deposits.

Forget about re-compositionning. You cannot lose a notable amount of fat while gaining muscle too naturally.

The only exception would be body parts that are lagging HARD. For example, if you have never trained your chest in your life and it’s flatter than an IKEA table, you will add some muscle there even when you are in a caloric deficit as long as you train the fibers.

4. Forget About Barbell Strength

This is not the time to obsess over how much you bench, dead, squat. If you can’t let go of your barbell addiction, you will never fix your body composition.

Recently I watched a training video of mine made 10+ years ago. In it I deadlift 200kg for 2 reps.

I looked like garbage. Clearly skinny-fat holding a ton of lard and water around the waist. Bloated face too.

Eventually, I ended up losing 25kg after that video to get leaner.

Destroying Skinny Fat: A Simple Program


Simple and to a smaller extent complex carbohydrates are the poison behind skinny-fat bodies.

Every single humanoid walking around with a massive gut and hanging tits that appear almost ready to lactate is a victim of carbs, specifically fast sugar.

Carbs have a ton of negatives, namely:

  • Raise insulin levels (insulin spikes make it very hard for the body to mobilize fat stores.)
  • Empty calories. When you eat a waffle you get 200 calories of nothing but sugar. When you eat 3 eggs, you get the same amount of calories with a lot of protein, vitamins, healthy fats…etc.
  • Estrogen-lovers. Carbs lower your testosterone.
  • Fast carbs come without protein. The vast majority of carb meals come without protein. (There are many exceptions, of course.)
  • Protein in carb food (plants) has low bio-availability (it’s difficult to absorb it)

Most skinny fat individuals consume too many carbs with little protein and healthy fats. The results are constant insulin spikes and deficiency of muscle-building nutrients (protein).

As a result, the body has no choice but to reflect its fuel source.

Cutting the evil carbs and increasing the protein intake is the most important part of reversing a skinny-fat physique.

I repeat – cutting carbs and increasing protein and fat intake is the most important factor.

Nutrition > Training

You don’t get man boobs because you don’t do push-ups or whatever. You get man boobs because you eat a lot of unhealthy carbohydrates and too little protein.

If you get on a good diet and don’t lift, you won’t get a big chest, but you won’t have man boobs either.

Or in other words, the following applies:

High carbs + low protein +/- low/high fat – training = Skinny-fat

High carbs + low protein +/- low/high fat + training = Somewhat trained skinny-fat

High protein + low carbs +/- high fat – training = Skinny

High protein + low carbs +/- high fat + training = Decent

But carbs are not evil, screams the dreamer.

Of course, the carbs that you get from vegetables, fruits, and honey are not nearly as harmful as the “technological” carbs that are everywhere around us.

Refined sugar is “naked” sugar and causes instant energy spikes and subsequent drops.

That said, high-caloric fruits (e.g., bananas) hurt the skinny-fat transformation too when consumed in large quantities.


To build muscle, you need protein. You already know that so there’s no need to complicate things.


The third enemy are the so-called trans fats – the type that causes cellulite in women.  You find them in chips and other semi-technological food.

They have to go to.

Hormonal Profile: A Calorie Is Not A Calorie

Skinny-fat people tend to have testosterone levels in the lower range and estrogen levels in the higher range.

This happens for the following reasons:

“Pointless” carbs a.k.a. sugar are nothing but empty energy. The body can do two things with them: a) use the energy b) store them as fat for later.

The absence of healthy fats and protein lowers your testosterone naturally. The extra fat that you gain contributes to estrogen increase.

For that reason, it’s not accurate to say that a calorie is a calorie because it is not:

1000kcal from sugar and 1000kcal from fat and protein offer the same amount of energy, but the first wrecks your hormonal profile and boosts your insulin while the other improves your hormonal profile and creates more stable insulin levels.

If you decide to do an extreme cut and only eat 1000kcal for example and get all of them from ice cream, you will lose weight, but you will also lose muscle and lower your testosterone while developing unhealthy eating habits.

If those 1000kcal come from protein and fat, you will save more muscle, lose fat faster thanks to the lower insulin levels and preserve or boost your testosterone.

What exercises should I do?

Technically. it doesn’t matter as long as you’re doing some sort of resistance training that’s challenging.

However, most people will be better off with bodyweight training for the following reason:

The bigger you are, the easier it is to lift heavier external objects. When you start cutting, you will inevitably get weaker, and the weight on the bar will decrease.

This is not a problem as long as you don’t get mental about it which most people will.

Meanwhile, bodyweight exercises encourage leanness. The extra fat that you carry has zero benefits when you’re doing pull-ups. When you lose weight, pull-ups become easier, not harder. This gives you positive feedback and encourages you to keep going.

That said, any resistance method will work.

Harder On The Muscle, Easy on the CNS

This is not the time to perform low rep routines that under-stimulate the muscles and overclock the central nervous system.

Focus on a high-rep range (6+ reps). Do exercises that give you a nice pump and try to add reps and eventually weight.

Train a muscle group once every 3-4 days. E.g., Chest on Monday and then on Friday.

Don’t do methods that burn your CNS (e.g., forced negatives, assisted sets…etc.) When you know that you won’t be able to perform the next rep with good form, stop the set.

Should I do cardio?

It’s ok if you’re more fat than skinny but definitely do not overdo it. It’s much easier to burn fat by eating correctly than it is by doing cardio.

I recommend walking because it’s easy to implement and does not make you as hungry as intense running for example.

Rippetoe says that I am skinny and should bulk up?

If you want to improve your body composition, do not take dietary advice from Rippetoe or anyone brainwashed by him.



People get skinny-fat for 4 reasons:

  • Too many carbs
  • Not enough healthy fats
  • Not enough protein
  • No resistance training that sufficiently stimulates the musculature

To reverse the process, you have to do the opposite:

  • Fewer carbs (preferably up to 50 grams a day, at least during the cutting phase)
  • More fat
  • More protein

A caloric deficit is also necessary. The fatter you are, the more aggressive it can be. However, just replacing the foods and getting 200kcal less than your maintenance a day, you will produce results.

If you don’t want to do a lot of calculations, you can do intermittent fasting too, although it’s not necessary.

  • Produce a higher hypertrophy stimulus by following a volume routine with a greater frequency. Stay away from 1RM, 3RM, and 5RM attempts. Those destroy your CNS. Train a muscle group directly every 3-4 days.

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  1. MB

    What a great article.
    I do always a full body workout 3 times / week.
    Is that good too?

  2. Eduardo

    Thank you very much for the article. My actual training is a brief routine two times at week with a 5 -8 reps.
    Tuesday: Squat, weighted dips, dumbbell curls
    Friday: Deadlift, overhead press, close grip lat pulldowns.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      The primary cause of skinny fat is nutrition. Resistance training cannot make you skinny fat. Marathon type of training can, though.

  3. tx2000

    Hi. How do you get Matt Damon mixed up in all that? Why do you place him near Di Caprio?
    Using your own formula, which is “High protein + low carbs +/- high fat – training = Skinny”, Damon doesn’t apply. He has significant experience in training.

  4. Sergio tuska

    Do you recommend frequency two? Let’s see, I admire you a lot, reading your books was a before and after, but sometimes you recommend few series and increase loads and basic exercises, but it doesn’t work for thin-boned guys like me, when they reach heavier loads, they cause pain in the wrists, shoulders, lumbar ect and others you recommend pumping exercises with minimal load is a question that I always have and I have been training for 7 years even though life is showing me that accumulating volume in series works better for me but I would like to know your opinion please regards

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Stay away from heavy weights. Don’t do reps under 6 unless you powerlift.

    2. Ronaldo

      I have had a similar problem. What worked for me is progressing as much as possible in loads, but while staying in moderate rep ranges and using very strict form, slowing the weight down, pausing, etc.. For me it’s equally effective for bulding muscle and strength but with a lot less pain and injury risk than lifting as heavy as possible.

      1. Truth Seeker Post author

        Yes, when your goal is to hit a muscle, the bodybuilding “nonsense” works better than simply moving the weight from A to B.

    3. Stephen

      50g carbs a day? You’re advocating pretty much a ketogenic diet then? Good luck training hard enough for hypertrophy on 50g of carbs. I’ve cut to about 12% bodyfat natty on a high carb diet before with fully separated abs and I’m a endomorph. Granted 90% of those were complex carbs, so I mainly agree with you about simple sugars, but this claim that low carb diets are better is bollocks IMO.

      1. Truth Seeker Post author

        It’s totally possible to run/train/do whatever as hard as you want on a keto diet. Not saying that everyone should do it. No need to force anyone to eat that way. But once your body has adapted, energy is not an issue at all. In fact, energy feels incredibly stable the entire day. You can train 7 days a week, if that’s what you want.

        I also do the keto diet because it helps with teeth and gums and stomach issues.

  5. Ronaldo

    What would be your recomendation regarding to carbs for someone who wants to get leaner while doing sports such boxing and jiu-jitsu alongside the strength training?

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      The first step is to cut the nastiest carbs.

  6. Brick

    My protein intake is not so high like 1 gram/kg of bodyweight.
    However, carb and fat is a lot which still help me build somewhat lean and muscular
    physique but in natural range. 175 cm./ 64 kg.
    Even in my cutting, my carb is still higher.
    Do you think it is not ok?

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      It’s ok. The body needs only 25% of its calories to be in the form of protein. 75% of food’s purpose is simply to provide energy.

  7. Evile

    I eat a lot of carb with less protein while weight training.
    I don’t understand why carb is evil because insulin is not evil.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Carbs always transform into sugar and raise insulin levels. Insulin is not evil, but constantly elevated insulin is. Fat and protein raise insulin levels too, but to a smaller degree. Hence why carbs result in energy peaks and falls whereas energy from fat is stable and constant.

      IMO the human body is not meant to consume the amount of carbs that we eat today.

      If fast carbs are eliminated from the diet of the modern human, diabetes and obesity disappear right away.

      1. Iron Berserk

        Hey Truth Seeker,

        The Greek and Roman civilizations ate carbs but only ate one to two meals day. They believed it was gluttonous to eat more than that. Makes you wonder if the three meals day is necessary. People in the medieval times ate one to two small meals with one big meal. They had small to moderate amount of carbs. A major problem is that we consume too many carbs, we do not participate in activities that require glucose use, and the 3 meals with 1-3 snacks in between during our current society.

        1. Truth Seeker Post author

          2 meals is definitely enough for most people. 3 is the maximum. Of course, it depends on the portion too. Technically, you can eat 12 meals if they consist of something like 2 eggs.

        2. Skinny

          Excellent point!

          Whe young, women magazines recommended like 5 meals per day . So u know that’s false..

          In a high training regimen I could allow 3 meals, but have found 1-2 meals per day to be great .. plus perhaps a snack or 2.. by which I mean some peanuts or nibbling on a melon… If u want to lose fat I recommend 1 meal plus a snack . This is another word for intermittent fasting, only not eating a lot and no “windows”..

          I recommend it to be in the afternoon..

          This is easier than to eat 2 meals per day…

  8. Skinny

    Priority is to be skinny, not strong..

    Many a time skinny scores, and strongman masturbates..

    Training is very hard when hungry

  9. Ani

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge truth seeker. I would like to ask you, what do you think about isometrics to get strenght? Do they work, or they are not practical since it’s not easy to measure your progress? Is progressive overload better in that regard? Which one produces the better results?

    Should I train my abs with progrssive overload?
    Thank you

  10. Steve

    Can you give an example of a routine?

  11. Chess Player

    I enjoyed reading this article relating to fitness/health. I think 17%bf and anything below is a good estimate of someone that’s considered lean and not skinny fat anymore. What is your opinion?

  12. MB

    What ratio in nutrients would you advice?
    What about:
    proteïn: 40 %
    carbs: 30 %
    fats: 30 %

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      The most important is to remove the fastest carbs. Otherwise, I do 60-70% fat, 20% protein, 10-20% carbs. I am not saying yours is wrong. Protein is large quantities is overrated imo. Most of food’s purpose is energy.

      1. MB

        I only eat healthy food. Not processed.
        Wow 60-70 % fat. That’s a lot. Doesn’t so much fat makes you… fat?

        1. Truth Seeker Post author

          The first thing that makes you fat is the number of calories, then the actual sources of the calories.

          For example, 1000 extra calories from carbs will make you fatter than 1000 extra calories from meat.

          In practice, it’s really difficult to overeat on a keto diet unless you like eating butter. Carbs, on the other hand, make it easier to slam a ton of calories because they’re tasty, addicting and keep you hungry.

          The vast majority of average men are fat because of alcohol and fast carbs.

        2. Simple simon

          “protein in large quantities is overrated”

          The claim/belief that you need to consume huge amounts of protein to build muscle tissue is purely a scam of the fitness industry to sell protein products.

          1. Iron Berserk

            Good point. Protein of large quantities would be applicable for individuals with burns or in the process of wound healing from a significant wound.

  13. AleXandeR

    What is your opinion about Spider System Nutrition approach.

  14. MB

    It’s difficult to keep fat-percentage high while keeping carbs low.
    Unless you eat lots and lots of chicken and nuts.
    I don’t see another way.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Eggs, cheese, meat with fat on it, butter…

  15. Diego

    For a low cal diet with more protein.
    Would something like “a ton of spinach with a ton of meat” do the trick?

  16. shredaholic

    Hi Truth Seeker,
    How much protein in grams do you recommend as a daily requirement?

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      2 grams per 1kg is a solid base when bulking and it’s highly questionable whether a natural will ever need more. But overall calories are more important as the body uses food primarily for energy. For example, if I eat 200 grams of protein only and nothing else, while you eat 100 grams of protein and get a lot of calories from fat…etc., you will be bigger than me even though you’re getting less protein.

      Also, animal protein is more easily absorbed by the body. 100 grams of protein from eggs and meat are better than 100 grams from peanuts, legumes, peas or other plants.

  17. enam

    This article is a disaster of misunderstanding in regards to how the human body reacts to carbs, how insulin works and the reality of people who don’t train or lift weight.

    What I read here is basically the same low carb BS that their promoters are claiming, just ignoring that in many part of the world people are thriving on diets with carbs like rice or other grains, they’re not fat and they don’t experience many of the metabolic disorders we tend to see in the so called first world.

    I remember a long time ago reading you on iron gangsta suggesting that to ”get shredded” one should be willing to eat 800 kcal a day, looks like your knowledge in nutrition didn’t move from that time.

    If you want to have a conversation about why I disagree my door is open.

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