Any Skinny fat people frustrated w/their progress?

nitesky83
nitesky83 Posts: 49 Member
edited July 2016 in Fitness and Exercise
I have been working out since February, and then started working out 6x/wk since April. I do HIIT 6 days/wk and Strength training 2-3x/wk. I also really watch what I eat. Is it crazy of me to think I should have better results by now? For some reason I thought I'd have abs by now.
I want muscle definition, not a skinny lean look. Any suggestions for programs to try?
I am 5'2. I weigh 114. I started at 120. I don't care for losing more weight. I typically eat 1600calories
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Replies

  • tashygolean730
    tashygolean730 Posts: 92 Member
    You can't build new muscle in a caloric deficit. You may want to look into bulking for several months to a year while continuing to strength train to build up your muscles. Then cut your calories again to burn off the fat that you will accumulate along with the muscle growth.
  • singletrackmtbr
    singletrackmtbr Posts: 644 Member
    edited July 2016
    So many questions!

    Are you tracking your body fat percentage? Your height and weight are only part of the equation. Are you getting enough protein? If you want to recomp you may need more than you're getting. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you taking rest days to allow for recovery, a critical component of building muscle? Finally, there is no any mention of your workout intensity and effort. Only you can speak to this. Doing it more often won't matter if you don't give it everything you've got on high intensity days.

    I would say relax and take a breath. You're making a lifestyle change. Be proud of your work and accomplishments up to this point. Stress is known to increase cortisol levels, which can increase fat around the midsection. It's great to have goals but if you enjoy the journey the goals will eventually come.

    BTW from your photos I would say you've made much more progress than you believe.
  • VintageFeline
    VintageFeline Posts: 6,771 Member
    When you say you strength train, what exactly are you doing? If you don't want to lose any more you should switch to maintenance calories at a minimum and recomp.
  • nitesky83
    nitesky83 Posts: 49 Member
    So many questions!

    Are you tracking your body fat percentage? Your height and weight are only part of the equation. Are you getting enough protein? If you want to recomp you may need more than you're getting. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you taking rest days to allow for recovery, a critical component of building muscle? Finally, there is no any mention of your workout intensity and effort. Only you can speak to this. Doing it more often won't matter if you don't give it everything you've got on high intensity days.

    I would say relax and take a breath. You're making a lifestyle change. Be proud of your work and accomplishments up to this point. Stress is known to increase cortisol levels, which can increase fat around the midsection. It's great to have goals but if you enjoy the journey the goals will eventually come.

    BTW from your photos I would say you've made much more progress than you believe.

    Thanks for your response. I definitely give my workouts my all. I have been using Insanity for my HIIT. Protein is around the 90g range. I sleep 7-8 hrs. I rest for 1 day.And I have not checked my body fat %.
    I do free weights, but definitely a novice. Stress is definitely an issue for me.

    I'll try to keep going, see what happens. Thank u.
  • singletrackmtbr
    singletrackmtbr Posts: 644 Member
    nitesky83 wrote: »
    So many questions!

    Are you tracking your body fat percentage? Your height and weight are only part of the equation. Are you getting enough protein? If you want to recomp you may need more than you're getting. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you taking rest days to allow for recovery, a critical component of building muscle? Finally, there is no any mention of your workout intensity and effort. Only you can speak to this. Doing it more often won't matter if you don't give it everything you've got on high intensity days.

    I would say relax and take a breath. You're making a lifestyle change. Be proud of your work and accomplishments up to this point. Stress is known to increase cortisol levels, which can increase fat around the midsection. It's great to have goals but if you enjoy the journey the goals will eventually come.

    BTW from your photos I would say you've made much more progress than you believe.

    Thanks for your response. I definitely give my workouts my all. I have been using Insanity for my HIIT. Protein is around the 90g range. I sleep 7-8 hrs. I rest for 1 day.And I have not checked my body fat %.
    I do free weights, but definitely a novice. Stress is definitely an issue for me.

    I'll try to keep going, see what happens. Thank u.

    Sounds like you're doing everything right. I would say get a BF measurement so you can see where you are (I trend this just like I do weights). It would have been nice to get one for your initial photo so you could see that you haven't just lost weight, but have done a pretty nice recomp.

    6-pack abs are very elusive, and shouldn't be your PRIMARY goal IMO. If you stay the course you'll get there eventually.

    BTW, at the risk of derailing this thread, I believe (and have experienced firsthand) that you can build muscle and maintain a SMALL deficit. I dropped 16# since March and hit my goal. About 3 weeks ago I switched from 1# a week to .5# per week loss, trying to stay within 100 calories either way of the goal. It's done wonders for me. I've stayed within a 3 pound weight range (I weigh daily) and I've continued to decrease my BF%.

    Good luck!
  • nitesky83
    nitesky83 Posts: 49 Member
    nitesky83 wrote: »
    So many questions!

    Are you tracking your body fat percentage? Your height and weight are only part of the equation. Are you getting enough protein? If you want to recomp you may need more than you're getting. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you taking rest days to allow for recovery, a critical component of building muscle? Finally, there is no any mention of your workout intensity and effort. Only you can speak to this. Doing it more often won't matter if you don't give it everything you've got on high intensity days.

    I would say relax and take a breath. You're making a lifestyle change. Be proud of your work and accomplishments up to this point. Stress is known to increase cortisol levels, which can increase fat around the midsection. It's great to have goals but if you enjoy the journey the goals will eventually come.

    BTW from your photos I would say you've made much more progress than you believe.

    Thanks for your response. I definitely give my workouts my all. I have been using Insanity for my HIIT. Protein is around the 90g range. I sleep 7-8 hrs. I rest for 1 day.And I have not checked my body fat %.
    I do free weights, but definitely a novice. Stress is definitely an issue for me.

    I'll try to keep going, see what happens. Thank u.

    Sounds like you're doing everything right. I would say get a BF measurement so you can see where you are (I trend this just like I do weights). It would have been nice to get one for your initial photo so you could see that you haven't just lost weight, but have done a pretty nice recomp.

    6-pack abs are very elusive, and shouldn't be your PRIMARY goal IMO. If you stay the course you'll get there eventually.

    BTW, at the risk of derailing this thread, I believe (and have experienced firsthand) that you can build muscle and maintain a SMALL deficit. I dropped 16# since March and hit my goal. About 3 weeks ago I switched from 1# a week to .5# per week loss, trying to stay within 100 calories either way of the goal. It's done wonders for me. I've stayed within a 3 pound weight range (I weigh daily) and I've continued to decrease my BF%.

    Good luck!

    Thanks for all your input. Very helpful :)
  • HamsterManV2
    HamsterManV2 Posts: 449 Member
    edited July 2016
    Keep cutting weight. Judging from your picture, you still have a way to go. Losing weight should remain your primary concern - once you get to a certain point, all your hard earned muscles will start to show.

    Ignore the poster who said to go on a bulk to gain muscle - you won't see any of it if you bulk. You still make strength and muscle gains on a deficit, especially if you have a higher body fat %, you just make gains at a slower rate.

    Look at this chart:
    127648d1349916171-body-fat-percentage-pics-men-women-body-fat-percentage-women.jpg

    You look like you went from 40-45% to 30-35%. Cut weight until you look like the 20-25% (AT LEAST) before you consider going on a bulk.

    Remember, diet is KING. Working out 6 days a week won't matter if all your muscles is hidden under too high a bodyfat. If you feel yourself burning out, reduce work out days to 4 and maintain the caloric deficit (10% to 20% of your TDEE)!
  • nitesky83
    nitesky83 Posts: 49 Member
    Keep cutting weight. Judging from your picture, you still have a way to go. Losing weight should remain your primary concern - once you get to a certain point, all your hard earned muscles will start to show.

    Ignore the poster who said to go on a bulk to gain muscle - you won't see any of it if you bulk. You still make strength and muscle gains on a deficit, especially if you have a higher body fat %, you just make gains at a slower rate.

    Look at this chart:
    127648d1349916171-body-fat-percentage-pics-men-women-body-fat-percentage-women.jpg

    You look like you went from 40-45% to 30-35%. Cut weight until you look like the 20-25% (AT LEAST) before you consider going on a bulk.

    Remember, diet is KING. Working out 6 days a week won't matter if all your muscles is hidden under too high a bodyfat. If you feel yourself burning out, reduce work out days to 4 and maintain the caloric deficit (10% to 20% of your TDEE)!

    Thanks, I'm concerned how crazy skinny I will get, I feel super skinny at 113/114lbs, wear a size 0-1. Finding it hard to believe my fat was 40-45% at 120lbs previously, wore a size 2. I do however believe I still have fat to lose on my stomach. Thanks for the input.
  • mom23mangos
    mom23mangos Posts: 3,070 Member
    Sounds like you store your fat in your stomach. In order to get abs showing, you may have to go low enough that you look too skinny elsewhere. I store my fat in my thighs. My upper body would be skeletal if I dropped enough BF to get them where I want them.

    However, I think you could probably drop a little more depending on your bone structure. I'm 5'2" and my starting weight was 111 ( less than yours now). However, I wore a size 5 at that weight.

    Here's what a 12lb drop looked like.

    ayd1yqgxsqg4.jpeg
  • nitesky83
    nitesky83 Posts: 49 Member
    Sounds like you store your fat in your stomach. In order to get abs showing, you may have to go low enough that you look too skinny elsewhere. I store my fat in my thighs. My upper body would be skeletal if I dropped enough BF to get them where I want them.

    However, I think you could probably drop a little more depending on your bone structure. I'm 5'2" and my starting weight was 111 ( less than yours now). However, I wore a size 5 at that weight.

    Here's what a 12lb drop looked like.

    ayd1yqgxsqg4.jpeg

    First off, you look amazing. I am going to try to get down in weight and go from there! Thanks!
  • mom23mangos
    mom23mangos Posts: 3,070 Member
    Thanks! And I should specify that was a 12lb drop with lifting and HIIT.
  • singletrackmtbr
    singletrackmtbr Posts: 644 Member
    Sounds like you store your fat in your stomach. In order to get abs showing, you may have to go low enough that you look too skinny elsewhere. I store my fat in my thighs. My upper body would be skeletal if I dropped enough BF to get them where I want them.

    However, I think you could probably drop a little more depending on your bone structure. I'm 5'2" and my starting weight was 111 ( less than yours now). However, I wore a size 5 at that weight.

    Here's what a 12lb drop looked like.

    ayd1yqgxsqg4.jpeg

    Awesome work!
  • baciodolce18
    baciodolce18 Posts: 113 Member
    From the photo you posted it definitely looks like you made progress! Body recomping takes time. It's a slower process so you sort of have to trust that it's working. Which it looks like it is.

    Are you on a specific weight program? It's usually advised for beginners to be on a program to get the most benefits. I would maybe consider Strong Curves, but there a whole bunch of beginner programs. There's a link floating around somewhere that lists all the different popular programs to choose from.
  • Tracieisfitastic
    Tracieisfitastic Posts: 104 Member
    Being skinny fat sucks. I hate when people tell me "you're fine." Or "where are you trying to lose weight at?" I know my body.
  • Dula73
    Dula73 Posts: 29 Member
    @mom23mangos great transformation!

    How much of a deficit were you eating at over that period?

    OP I definitely see progress, but understand your frustration. I've been lifting at maintenance for seven months and it is super slow progress. I had a quick decrease in body fat to start with, but since then it's been frustratingly slow. I don't class myself as skinny fat any more, and wavering over doing a slow bulk over the winter.

    Also I recommend taking progress photos from all angles. From front on I don't see much change but side on I see much more progress, which keeps me pushing on!
  • TrailNurse
    TrailNurse Posts: 359 Member
    You need to eat at maintenance and lift heavy to do a slow recomp.
  • cnbbnc
    cnbbnc Posts: 1,267 Member
    nitesky83 wrote: »
    Keep cutting weight. Judging from your picture, you still have a way to go. Losing weight should remain your primary concern - once you get to a certain point, all your hard earned muscles will start to show.

    Ignore the poster who said to go on a bulk to gain muscle - you won't see any of it if you bulk. You still make strength and muscle gains on a deficit, especially if you have a higher body fat %, you just make gains at a slower rate.

    Look at this chart:
    127648d1349916171-body-fat-percentage-pics-men-women-body-fat-percentage-women.jpg

    You look like you went from 40-45% to 30-35%. Cut weight until you look like the 20-25% (AT LEAST) before you consider going on a bulk.

    Remember, diet is KING. Working out 6 days a week won't matter if all your muscles is hidden under too high a bodyfat. If you feel yourself burning out, reduce work out days to 4 and maintain the caloric deficit (10% to 20% of your TDEE)!

    Thanks, I'm concerned how crazy skinny I will get, I feel super skinny at 113/114lbs, wear a size 0-1. Finding it hard to believe my fat was 40-45% at 120lbs previously, wore a size 2. I do however believe I still have fat to lose on my stomach. Thanks for the input.

    You've made great progress op! I hope you don't go getting discouraged because you've come a long way and should be proud! I agree that you will have to drop more weight to get the fat off your belly.... I threw a couple pics on here for another comparison of what losing just a bit more weight can do. Im 5'4 and had set 125 as my goal weight (the first pic is what that looked like). I decided I wasn't happy with that, so I dropped 10 more pounds (second pic is 115).

    52xu7m77o8dx.jpeg

    I do feel like I'm a bit too bony now....especially on top, but that's what I had to do in order to see any abs at all. I pushed to get the extra fat off because I want to do a bulk, but you might choose not to go that far. At any rate, you're probably going to have to drop your weight lower than you thought. The good news however is that once you start lowering that body fat like you are now, the weight you continue to lose will make more dramatic differences than say...someone who is considerably overweight. 5 or 10lbs can really change things.

  • mom23mangos
    mom23mangos Posts: 3,070 Member
    Dula73 wrote: »
    @mom23mangos great transformation!

    How much of a deficit were you eating at over that period?

    I was eating at a fairly small deficit. I dropped about half the weight in the first two weeks. Mostly water, but I wasn't eating enough. I was going by protein the size of my palm and carb the size of my fist. Got on MFP and realized I was grossly under eating. Bumped calories and lost the rest at a pretty slow .25-.5lbs/week.
  • nitesky83
    nitesky83 Posts: 49 Member
    From the photo you posted it definitely looks like you made progress! Body recomping takes time. It's a slower process so you sort of have to trust that it's working. Which it looks like it is.

    Are you on a specific weight program? It's usually advised for beginners to be on a program to get the most benefits. I would maybe consider Strong Curves, but there a whole bunch of beginner programs. There's a link floating around somewhere that lists all the different popular programs to choose from.

    No weight loss program, just eating right and working out with insanity and started weight training consistently 2 weeks ago. So far dropped 1lb this week alone (yay). That's pretty significant given that I lost 7lbs in 3 months. So in total I've lost 8lbs since around April or may. Setting a new goal of getting down to 105lbs. Thanks ladies!!!!
  • AshleyMFitness16
    AshleyMFitness16 Posts: 545 Member
    Sounds like you store your fat in your stomach. In order to get abs showing, you may have to go low enough that you look too skinny elsewhere. I store my fat in my thighs. My upper body would be skeletal if I dropped enough BF to get them where I want them.

    However, I think you could probably drop a little more depending on your bone structure. I'm 5'2" and my starting weight was 111 ( less than yours now). However, I wore a size 5 at that weight.

    Here's what a 12lb drop looked like.

    ayd1yqgxsqg4.jpeg

    @mom23mangos you look awesome! Mind sharing what you did?