Calorie Counter

You are currently viewing the message boards in:

Scared of becoming skinny-fat

asianambitionasianambition Posts: 566Member Member Posts: 566Member Member
I've been running Stronglifts 5x5 + accessory work for about 5 months now and still am not seeing much results.

I gained about 9 pounds in those months (went from 140 lbs to 149 lbs), but I'm worried that it's all body fat.

Pictures of me below (I made a mistake by not taking pictures in November/December when I started lifting):



My mom says that I'm getting fat, and it's really worrying me. Why am I not gaining muscle? I spent a few weeks in January tracking my calories, but I stopped because I was spending so much time counting and obsessing over every little detail.

My plan is to resume tracking. For a while, I thought that I could make progress just by stuffing myself like crazy. "After all, I was skinny," I told myself. However, I gained 1.4 lbs this past week and it made me think, "Maybe I'm going overboard."

Right now my stats are: 25-years old, 5'9, 149 lbs. My skinfold caliper keeps giving me different results depending on the part of the skinfold that I measure, so I don't know my exact body fat, but you can probably estimate it just from the photos.

According to I should be eating 2500 calories a day if I want to bulk.

So I put my goal of 2500 calories into MFP and set my macro percentages to 45% carbs, 30% fat, and 25% protein, which came up to: 281 carbs, 83 fat, and 156 protein.

Am I on the right track?
edited March 16


  • ChieflrgChieflrg Posts: 8,189Member Member Posts: 8,189Member Member
    If you were untrained before starting SL, then depending on how to respond to training you probably would experience hypertrophy initially. To what degree is individualized.

    SL is a linear progressive program designed to build a base of strength for someone novel to lifting for a period of 3-5 months. I see you added accessory lifts which might not be ideal for that program in particular for your goal of hypertrophy.

    A suggestion is running a template that is designed more towards your goal(s). One that incorporates both strength and hypertrophy would be optimal.

    There is no telling if your estimated caloric intake is optimal for your goal until you actually log and see a average trend.

    What we would like to see for you is a average trend about .5 lb gain for a few weeks. If you don't gain or stop gaining for a few weeks, add a couple hundred calories and continue on and monitor the trend to adjust if needed.

    Macros targets are in the ball park.

  • PAV8888PAV8888 Posts: 6,715Member Member Posts: 6,715Member Member
    Given how much more @Chieflrg knows about training I hesitate to interject and would be fine with him correcting me if I am making incorrect suggestion.

    Until you really nail down your strength training routing I would hesitate to over-eat just for the sake of overeating! Your strength will increase primarily because of the work you're putting in at the gym. Giving yourself sufficient energy in the form of food acts in support of the work you're putting in at the gym. Eating more is not enough, on its own, to ensure that you're bulking your muscles instead of your fat reserves!

    As someone just starting to train I don't know that there will be a huge difference in your muscle growth results whether you're bulking 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, or 1lb a week. But there may well exist a large difference in the speed with which you will accumulate unwanted fat reserves, if you over-do your bulk.

    If I were aiming for 0.5lbs a week, which seems to be an extremely sensible aim, I would probably rather fall short and bulk 0.25 in terms of my trend as opposed to being over-eager and bulking 0.75. Please note that I am talking about weight trend change; not scale weight change.

    And yes, I would suggest switching to a weight trend app or website to be able to better evaluate your weight level.
  • slbbwslbbw Posts: 320Member Member Posts: 320Member Member
    If tracking calories feels too restrictive continuing with the program and eating when hungry may work for you now since you were starting slim and mass is the goal. The trick here is a small surplus. If calorie tracking is working keep at it, but you may enjoy the process at a .5lbs per week gaining range.
  • extra_mediumextra_medium Posts: 1,509Member Member Posts: 1,509Member Member
    Skinny-fat usually refers to starting out overweight and losing too much muscle mass as you shed pounds so you end up at a decent weight, but a bad fat/muscle ratio.

    But track your calories, it's the whole point of the app/site. It becomes automatic after a while, and once you get used to it and into a routine that works for you, you don't need to obsess about every little detail. And keep in mind when you "bulk" you will add fat along with muscle, that's why most cycle between bulking and cutting.
    edited March 17
  • giancarlov1191giancarlov1191 Posts: 315Member, Premium Member Posts: 315Member, Premium Member
    The others have you covered, I just wanted to add that you should try not to worry about what your mother says. Many parents/friends/etc react the same way because they don't really understand what we're doing.
Sign In or Register to comment.