The Biggest Fat Loss Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


Download my bodyweight training program for skinny-fat guys (63-page PDF)


biggest fat loss mistakesIn 2011/2012 I went from a fat 235 lbs to a lean 177 lbs.

I made a lot of mistakes on my 18 month fat loss journey, but I still managed to get rid of that chub and get lean for the first time in my life.

Today, I weigh close to 190 lbs and I’m leaner than I was at 177 lbs just 16 months ago with veins starting to appear all over my upper body and hips.

I’m not going to lie, it took me a lot of sweat and effort to build a body I’m proud of, but so far the journey has definitely paid off.

Can you do it too? Yes, I’m sure you can, and you can probably do it faster than me, because I’m sharing the mistakes I did on my journey with you.

However, the post today is not going to be about my mistakes.

It’s going to be about the biggest fat loss mistakes that I’ve spotted while reading through the past months emails and comments I’ve received from you readers.

Some of the mistakes I’ve done myself, while others aren’t.

#1 Low Calorie Dieting

I hear about  skinny-fat guys eating something crazy like 1200 calories a day.

Eating like that will result in fat loss (if you can stick to it), but it will also mess up your body’s internal workings:

  • The weight regulating hormone, Leptin, will decrease temporarily which results in an increase in appetite
  • The stress hormone, Cortisol, will increase which results in you craving unhealthy foods more
  • The increase in cortisol reduces your Testosterone levels so you start feeling irritable, have no libido, can’t concentrate and you lose your hard earned muscle

And that’s why most low calorie dieters don’t achieve their  fitness goals. They stick to the low calorie diet for a few weeks, lose 10 lbs, then go on a huge binge because of the increase in appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods, and finally regain all the weight back within a few days.

But here’s the good news:

Most skinny-fat guys have about 25-40 lbs of fat to lose, so there’s no reason to do such an extreme diet.

If you lose 6 lbs a month, it will take you 4-7 months to lose it.

4-7 months may sound like a long time, but if you do it right the first time you will be able to stay lean once you lose it.

I lost 60 lbs of fat in about 18 months and I’ve stayed lean since then because most of the lifestyles changes I made during my fat loss, are changes I can stick to my whole life if I need to.

You can’t stick to low-calorie diets your whole life, so do it right the first time.

#2 Not Refeeding Your Body

Returning to the negative effects of a caloric deficit on your body, you can minimize them by doing regular refeeds.

About 2 times a week, I will go to a shawarma place close to my gym, and eat a shawarma durum after my workout.

By doing a regular refeed, I get my body in a temporary caloric surplus which keeps my hormones in good ranges and thereby reduces my hunger and enables me to train harder.

With that said, I’m not recommending full refeed “days” where you eat several crappy meals. That’s just too much.

I’m talking about 2 meals a week.

Every Sunday, put 2 days in your calendar where you eat a refeed meal after your workout.

Stick to this for a while, and experiment with different times for eating them and evaluate what works best for you.

#3 Introducing Intense Cardio Too Early

I use high intensity cardio at times where:

  • I want to go from 12% bodyfat to 10% and get in summer shape
  • I’m doing a short bulking cycle and I want to minimize the fat gains

This year, I started doing high intensity cardio 2 times a week after my strength training for 2 weeks at a time. I noticed  that the cardio helped me burn off that last bit of fat I had on my love handles and make me more vascular.

I’ve also used it during a bulking cycle to keep fat gains to a minimum, and it worked incredibly well since my waist and hip measurements stayed the same while my shoulders and chest grew.

cardio

I’m not super strict about the way I do cardio, because I don’t have to be. I just get on the elliptical for 15-30 minutes after my workout, and make sure that I leave the gym drenched in sweat. My heart-rate stays at about 85%.

If I used cardio to get lean back when I was a skinny-fat, it wouldn’t be as effective once I got lean, because my body would be used to it, so I would have to do way more cardio to get the desired effect.

That’s also the reason for why I don’t recommend traditional cardio to guys that are skinny-fat. Bodyweight exercises, healthy eating +80% of the time and good sleep are enough to get lean.

I got lean without using any treadmills or ellipticals, so I’m sure you can too. When you reach  that point where you have about 12% bodyfat, and all you need to lose is that last bit of love handles, then you can consider using cardio.

Think long-term and save cardio as a weapon in your arsenal for when you really need it.

#4 “Intermittent Fasting Doesn’t Make Me Lose Fat”

Hi Oskar, I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for 2 months and I haven’t lost fat.

You haven’t lost fat because you ate more calories than you expended.

Fasting for 16 hours a day, doesn’t mean you can eat a caloric surplus and still burn fat. If you think that intermittent fasting enables you to eat a family pizza every night and still lose fat, then you’re dead wrong.

See intermittent fasting for what it is: a great tool to learn how to control your appetite and get rid of  the mindset of eating a meal every 2-3 hours.

The tool itself won’t make you lose fat.

For some people it works like magic, since they have a hard time eating a surplus during those 8 hours, while for others it doesn’t work that well.

I don’t do it anymore because I function better when I eat breakfast, but I’m glad I did it; it taught me how to control my appetite and stop obsessing about meals.

If you use intermittent fasting and you aren’t losing fat, then write down what you eat and drink everyday for the next week on a piece of paper, and evaluate what you can cut out or reduce. It’s simple as that.

#5 Quitting Just Before The Finish Line

I’ve been cutting for 2 months and I’ve lost 10 lbs and inches around my waist but I look no different.

Let me explain why:

Most skinny-fat guys are in the 20-25% bodyfat range. When you start cutting, you usually lose about 2-3% of bodyfat a month. So, to get to a lean bodyfat percentage (10-12%), you would have to cut for 4-7 months if you’re doing it right.

However, the sad news is that there isn’t a huge difference between being 14% and 17% or 20% and 25%.

Also, there’s a good chance that you have a tendency to store most of your bodyfat in the love handles, glutes and hips first, so those are the places that will get lean LAST.

Because of this, most skinny-fat guys give up within a month or two of cutting.

finish line

I was a victim of this for a long time. I would cut down from about 210 lbs to 200 lbs, but there would be no difference, so I thought that cutting further is pointless.

However, the first time I stuck to my cut and got below 200 lbs, I noticed a HUGE difference in my appearance. My waist tightened up and my hips got narrower, creating that V-shaped look on my upper body.

As a skinny-fat guy you are undermuscled with a small bone structure, so you have to lose more weight than you think to get lean.

After my first real cut, I was surprised to be just 177 lbs at 6″3, even though I trained for almost 3 years.

If you push further after those initial few months of cutting, then you will be surprised about how your body changes towards the end of your cut.

#6 Failing to Prepare Your Meals

Preparation is key in my aspects of life, including fat loss.

After a long day of studying and working out all I want to do is order a pizza and lie in bed watching TV shows.

The last thing I want to do is to spend 1 hour on cooking and cleaning my kitchen, but I get it done because I know that’s what it takes to maintain my physique.

I enter my kitchen and prepare my dinner and possibly make food for several days if I know I’m busy on the upcoming night(s).

This makes it easy to stay lean and lose fat and I don’t even feel like I’m dieting.

When I open the fridge, I have meat and rice ready in tupperware. I just microvawe it and within a few minutes my meal is done.

Furthermore, I don’t keep junkfood or candy in my appartment.

If there’s no candy or junkfood available and my meals are all prepared, there’s no temptation to eat all that crap.

#7 Lack of Sleep

You probably know that kind of day where you go to sleep late, then wake up early to get ready in the morning, and eat your breakfast, but 2-3 hours after you’re hungry again.

Then you eat an early lunch, and by lunch time you’re hungry again. After lunch you snack throughout the afternoon and eat dinner.

This is the way a lot of overweight people eat. Instead of eating 2-3 solid meals a day while feeling great, they make a lot of quick meals throughout the day which have very low nutritional value.

The reason for this starts with sleep, because sleep regulates your hormones.

Tired ManRemember what I told you about cortisol, testosterone and leptin earlier? Sleep regulates all those hormones, so when you don’t sleep enough, they go to whack.

If you take a game where you can select “easy” and “hard” as difficulty levels, then the lack of sleep increases the difficulty of fat loss from easy to hard.

If you need an alarm clock  to wake you up, then you aren’t sleeping enough. It’s unrealistic for most people to sleep perfectly every night and wake up without an alarm clock, but you can still take actions to improve your sleep:

Cut out bullshit like TV, computer games and facebook at night, go to bed as early as possible on week days and sleep in on weekends.

I can guarantee you that if you do this, it will be A LOT easier to be in a caloric deficit while feeling good. I know, because I used to stay up late every night back when I was in high school, then waking up early to get ready for school and snacking throughout the day.

Conclusion: The Biggest Fat Loss Mistakes

Finally, I would like to make a point about the mindset that is needed to transform your skinny-fat body and stay lean for years to come:

You need to be strategic about the actions you take.

If you start at 25% bodyfat, and you desperately start eating a low calorie diet, do high intensity cardio 5 times a week and never eat refeed meals then what will you do once you lean down to 12-15% bodyfat?

You will be at the point where you want to lose that last amount of fat to get ready for summer, but you will already have tapped out all your options to lose more fat.

I hope you learned a thing or two from this article. If you have any questions, then feel free to comment below.

__________________________________________________

Image Credit (Cardio): UNE Photos
Image Credit (Finish Line): jayneandd
Image Credit (Tired Man): Mic445



Download my bodyweight training program for skinny-fat guys (63-page PDF)



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Comments

  1. BTW 5 meals is more like 3 meals with snacks, something like:
    Breakfast: Coffee (in milk), wholebread, cheese
    Snack: 2 eggs, fruit
    Lunch: Plate of pasta/rice, meat/chicken breast/fish
    Snack: Oatmeal
    Dinner: Plate of pasta/rice, salad, meat/chicken breast/fish

  2. Hi Oskar. I’m 21, 1.73 and 60kg. I have always been skinny fat. More in the super skinny side, but with a little belly and Trained since 13 years old and nothing seemed to work. I started doing bodyweight with some basic excersises like bench press and squat. 3 times a week for about 3 months, and finally i’m seeing some results in my arms. The problem is that i’m getting fat also. I’m eating about 5 meals a day, i remember one time i counted calories and was about 2200 in a training day. Less in rest days. I have always had a big apetite, but it is now that i’m eating more carbohidrates that i’m getting more weight. It is not so normal like love handles, it is a little belly, but mostly my face, my cheeks start to get bigger.

    I read that you say we shouldn’t do cardio, and for what i read here you recommend eat less than i’m doing. but i really want to start an aerobic sport twice or three times a week, do you think it would compensate well?

  3. Hi Oskar,

    I have a skinny-fat body, my height is 178 cm and my weight is 77 kg, the fat is stored in my belly and my hips! should I start with building muscles or should I get rid of the stored fat first? and is it useful to do like 50 mins cardio like walking?

    thank you

    • Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Personal Trainer says:

      Hey Ahmad,

      You should always lose fat first.

      You lose fat through diet (cardio is not necessary at all although low impact cardio such as walking is fine).

  4. BiraJ Aryal says:

    Hello Oskar, I found your article just today but I’ve already spent 2 hrs here and I’m hoping good results from this. I really need your help. I am 18 and weigh 209 pounds with height 5.8 ft. I was a thin boy once and I’ve become heavy for the last 4-5 years. I dont drink( or havent started yet). What should be my total calorie intake per day? And can I folllow the same diet plan everyday.

  5. Hey Oskar thank you so much for all this information and congrats on all your awesome success! I’m just starting off with your ideas here and I can already do 10 chin ups and 50+ push ups. I’m already close to being under weight but still have fat to loss; 6’1 and 172ibs. How do you think I should go about this?

  6. Hey Oscar.
    Thanks for the helpful tips. I’ve been struggling with being skinny fat for a few years and in that time had developed eating disorders and have overcome them. My question is; How do I know if my calorie consumption is correct? I’m not losing any weight right now and I currently take in about 2,000-2,200 quality calories a day. I have a pretty good strength program I’m following and also have a very physical job where I’m on my feet all day moving heavy objects. Do you think I Am eating enough or to little? BTW I’m about 5′ 7″ and 144lbs.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      There are a lot of calculators online where you can estimate your maintenance caloric intake. Once you got an estimate, subtract 500 for fatloss and track progress. If you don’t lose weight, subtract 200 more until you start losing. If you aren’t losing weight and you want to lose it, you’re eating too much since weight loss occurs in a caloric deficit.

      Edit: Measure your waist too. Sometimes you can lose fat while gaining muscle thus staying at the same weight. If your waist decreases while your weight stays the same that’s actually good.

  7. Tim Alger says:

    Hey oskar i recently decided to cut from 144 and try to get from 17% BF to 10-12% and recently have hit a plateau at around 137 and can’t seem to bust it I’m sitting at 14%BF and its been 3 weeks and nothing has changed thing is i need to get lean in 2 weeks before hockey season starts so what do you think i should do to drop the last 4-6 pounds i have 3 weeks before tryouts and wanted to cut for 2 more and then start gaining some water weight and some light 1-2 pounds back before

  8. Kevin Jenkins says:

    What’s bizarre to me is how little I see anyone talking about the thyroid and gut in relation to being skinnyfat.

    If you’re skinnyfat, it could be because you have undiagnosed hypothyroidism. That then begs the question -what causes hypothyroidism? Leaky gut syndrome. What causes leaky gut syndrome? Excess alcohol, gluten (and grains in general), veganism, and alcohol abuse. Skinnyfats generally aren’t digesting their food too well.

    Why does this matter? Because skinnyfats turn to sites such as this one and proceed try different things people swear will generate fat loss. Yeah, cutting out sugar, wheat, and liquid calories is a step in the right direction. So is lifting some heavy weights. But for someone who’s been severely skinnyfat for a long time, there’s probably a lot going wrong internally.

    It’s not that your advice, or the advice of someone like Victor Pride, is wrong. It’s that you have to fix these kinds of issues first before you proceed to rework your physique and lose fat.

    Actually, I take that back about Victor. The advice he gave to one of his readers was absolutely terrible (which was to take synthetic T4 for their hypothyroidism). That’s a pretty good way to ensure you wind up with some form of dementia later in life, since that approach doesn’t deal at all with the autoimmune aspect.

    Anyway, this is something that a holistic doctor -especially someone who specializes in Nutritional Response Testing- could seriously help with. More guys need to be getting blood tests before they start killing themselves in the gym.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hi Kevin,

      You’re right, a skinny-fat guy might have something going on internally, and I’ll most likely write more about that at a later point, but the truth is that MANY guys reading this website are getting results by following the advice, and that’s what counts in the end.

      Speaking for myself, I’ve had my whole body examined by an endocrinologist: genetic testing, +100 blood samples done, different scans of my brain and other parts, and everything was good.. Except for my testosterone which was quite low for my age.

      And honestly, doing all those tests didn’t help me at all. They just made me depressed, because I was always thinking that I’m making poor progress because there’s something wrong with me.

      • Kevin Jenkins says:

        Well, I don’t think just knowing you have a bunch of problems helps -the obvious key is finding solutions.

        That’s precisely why I mentioned Nutritional Response Testing. It gets to the root of the problem (there are other methods though, which operate on the same principle -“Autonomic Response Testing”, “Clinical Kinesiology”, “The Yeun Method”). Western medicine is only good for acute and trauma care; for chronic conditions it is terrible. Some times, it’s actually the cause of chronic health problems. My grandfather had drug-induced Parkinson’s.

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          I agree Kevin.

          The problem, however, is that many doctors won’t even take you seriously when you want to test those kind of things. When I went to get my testosterone checked because of low sex drive, poor recovery in the gym etc., my doctor told me something along the lines of: “I can see your testosterone is fine. You look like a normal athletic young man.” (at that time I was still skinny-fat and the tests showed that my t-level was below 300 ng/dl at age 19). Later on I was examined by 2 female endocrinologists, and they had the exact same attitude as my doctor. They just wanted me out of the office as soon as possible.

          • Kevin Jenkins says:

            Yeah, forget your run-of-the-mill M.D. They’ll give you a blood test, but unless it’s comprehensive and targeting specific glandular issues, it may not reveal much. Furthermore, the results are interpreted differently depending on who you ask. Your TSH and T4 may come back “normal” on a blood test, but as you said, to the doctor you looked like a “normal athletic young man”, and the way these blood tests define “within range”, “normal” sure as hell ain’t optimal. A TSH of 5.0 or more is considered “normal”, but that’s actually quite dangerous and a serious sign of autoimmune disorder. The typical M.D. would never tell you that though, and even if it was cause for alarm, you’d just be given a synthetic hormone to mask the symptoms, or else told you need to have the gland removed surgically (which is insane given the cause for autoimmunity is diet-based).

            But if you know where to look, there’s a lot of alternative medicine out there that is proving to be quite effective. Chiropractors aren’t exclusively in the business of offering spinal adjustments; nutritional programs are available which can test for hidden food allergies, and there are programs that detoxify the body (on the cellular level -not just the bowel). Just look for a chiropractor or wellness clinic near you that offers some sort of autonomic response testing type program. Products from companies such as Standard Process, Integrative Therapeutics, BioPure Healing Products, Biotics Research Supplements, Apex Energetics, etc. A lot of chiropractors and wellness clinics that do autonomic response testing will offer these supplements and products, and I can say from experience that they’re very, very effective. Life changing, even.

            I just think the importance of this can’t be emphasized enough. You have a situation where severely skinny-fat type guys want to get in shape, and so they turn to the internet for information on how to do that. They find sites like this, Victor’s site, Mark Sisson, and others. To a guy who’s merely half-way smart, it becomes pretty obvious relatively quickly that the way to go about losing fat is to eat a high fat, moderate protein, moderate carbohydrate diet. Organic foods when possible, etc. However, this can go seriously wrong for someone who doesn’t understand that the damage they did to their body (which caused them to be skinnyfat in the first place) hasn’t been resolved. Because they don’t hear from the fitness bloggers about leaky gut syndrome, they may start wolfing down eggs, butter, organic beef, and broccoli like there’s no tomorrow. What could be wrong with that?

            Well, a lot. Organic beef is just that -organic. It doesn’t = grassfed, necessarily. Also, if you’re eating steaks, that can be real hard to digest, and digestion is key for skinnyfat people. Perhaps more importantly, eggs are a well known cross-reactor with gluten, and someone who has leaky gut is going to be gluten sensitive on some level (again, skinnyfat types almost always have leaky gut). Butter is great, but only if you can digest it well. Hardly any mentioning is made of ghee, which is butter…only better. Broccoli, cauliflower, and cruciferous vegetables are delicious and full of nutrients, but for people with leaky gut, they may not went to eat them that much, as they can inhibit iodine uptake due to the presence of goitrogens, which causes a suppression of the thyroid gland.

            Point being, this stuff has to be fine tuned. If you just dive into hardcore dieting without figuring what your body needs, you can wind up screwed in ways that go waaay beyond not looking too hot. Untreated hypothyroidism can lead to comas, paralysis, dementia, elevated cholesterol levels (and associated symptoms), you name it. Early signs to watch for would be thinning hair and a lower libido (again, how many of skinnyfat guys bitch about that, only to be told by the fitness bloggers to get on synthetic testosterone? What if it’s untreated hypothyroidism causing a dopamine deficiency -and not low testosterone- that’s the problem? How do you know? Autonomic response testing…). Telling people “ketogenic diets may not be for you” doesn’t help either; it’s clear that’s the key to fat loss, but if you find your hair thinning and your memory failing while doing it, it could be you need to do the GAPS diet first. It could be you have an allergy to eggs. It could be you’re not cooking your broccoli long enough. This stuff is more important than people realize.

            • Oskar Faarkrog says:

              Thanks for the detailed comment!

              Chiropractors aren’t exclusively in the business of offering spinal adjustments; nutritional programs are available which can test for hidden food allergies, and there are programs that detoxify the body (on the cellular level -not just the bowel). Just look for a chiropractor or wellness clinic near you that offers some sort of autonomic response testing type program.

              Interesting, I may look into this, since I always had an irritable bowel, which limits me from consuming soo many foods and beverages.

              Because they don’t hear from the fitness bloggers about leaky gut syndrome, they may start wolfing down eggs, butter, organic beef, and broccoli like there’s no tomorrow.

              There’s a reason for that: I’m not a doctor and I don’t plan to be one. My advice doesn’t replace that of a doctor.

              With that said, I agree with your main message: a large amount of skinny-fat guys may have some underlying condition, which makes them skinny-fat in the first place. But, all I can do is share my experience and help as many people as possible.

  9. scratanut says:

    Hi,

    I would like to ask whether it is good to incorporate peanut butter as a source of fat in my diet. I am under skinny-fat transformation, worked my way from 23% down to 16% at the moment(as per simple online calculators). Is it good to wait till I am fully done with cutting phase(10-12%) or I can start having calorie dense foods like peanut butter from now straightaway?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      It depends on whether you can control it or not. Natural peanut butter (+99% peanuts) is one of my favorite foods and I eat it all year. However, it is very calorie dense, so if you eat too much you will have a hard time losing fat. I suggest you try it out for a week or so, and see how it works out for you.

  10. Hi Oscar been following your guide for a while now and its helped me lose a good bit of weight and put on a small bit of muscle and I love doing the three workouts a day its easy to fit into my schedule and doesnt take much time and I’ve been sticking to it for over a month now. Just wondering would you mind if I sent you pictures of my current condition, in a position whether I cant figure out if I should cut until I get rid of the fat I have left and then bulk or start bulking/cutting cycles. Thanks again for your articles they’re brilliant!

  11. Great post man, I concur!

    In #2 what I do to minimise the negative effects of a caloric deficit when cutting is that I cycle my calorie intake inside the week and from week to week.

    Like for example:

    Weekly cycle:
    S- High Cal (High witch is just slightly over maintenance level)
    M- Low Cal
    T- Low Cal
    W- Low Cal
    T – Med Cal
    F- Low Cal
    S- High Cal

    Monthly cycle:
    Week1 – Low
    Week2 – Low
    Week3 – Med
    Week4 – High

    It help to keep your metabolism in good shape over a long cutting phase it work very well has long has you meet your caloric deficit goal.

    Very nice blog!

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Thank you Chuck,

      You seem to follow a very similar approach to me. Short bulking and cutting cycles is the way to go to build muscle while staying lean.

  12. Hi Oskar,

    I’m not sure if I should get lean or start bulking now?

    To start with, I’m only 130lbs (5’10) and although I don’t know my exact bodyfat percentage, I can definitely pinch quite a bit of skin around my waist (which you don’t see in truly skinny person). The “fat” around my waist are definitely visible in the mirror though every other part of my body is very skinny (flat chest, skinny arms etc.)

    For a couple months I started eating heavily (3500-4000 calories per day) and although I did gain some muscles, I also ended up gaining quite a bit of fat around my waist as well. Since then I’ve been trying to cut before bulking again.

    The thing is even under caloric deficit (which you are advising against) my bodyweight stays around the same (125-130lbs) for months (with 3x bodyweight training per week), and I can’t seem to shed that last bit of fat around my waist (it’s not much but quite visible on a skinny person like me).

    What would your recommendation be? Should I keep on cutting (presumably by introducing intense cardio?) and risk losing even more muscles before considering bulking again? Thanks!

  13. Hey Oscar, been lurking around here for the last few months and i can’t tell you how much I appreciate a former skinny-fatty sharing some wisdom. I have a few questions and i thought you would be a good guy to ask. right now i’m coming off of a 5 month cut where i have gone from 5’9 160lbs in November to 140lbs now. My body sort of looks like yours from your January 2012 photo; maybe a little less toned. i’m following convict conditioning at this point, 3 days a week, and i feel like i’m getting stronger but not much muscle development.

    How the hell did you make that leap from early 2012 to November 2012 in a caloric deficit? i mean that year your progress just really took off…. it’s mind blowing to me. i would love to make progress like that in a year, especially in a deficit. Whats the secret man!? is it just as simple as getting stronger and muscle will follow? even in a deficit?

    It seems like you did a recomposition there, which is what i’m aiming for right now since both bulking or cutting at this point seems terrifying. whats your opinion on the leangains recomp approach at my body weight? have you ever considered it? will i just be spinning my wheels recomping?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hey Paul,

      Congrats on the fat loss, keep it up!

      That year, I made one big change in my training: I stopped following the 3 days a week approach, and started training more often, and did a sport on the side. Also, I just ate when I was hungry, and focused on eating 2-3 solid meals a day. In other words, at that point I had pretty much “given up” on the whole bodybuilding thing, and I just focused on building a “normal physique” rather than bulking up and getting big. That year I did build some muscle, but it was a very small amount. The difference was mainly from getting lean.

      I believe that recomping is a waste of time for you. My advice is: get lean first, then do short bulking and cutting cycles to build muscle while staying lean.

  14. You’re an inspiration Oskar. Can I just ask how you got rid of your love handles though? Because it’s an incredibly stubborn area. Was it just through being in a caloric deficit? Or was some intense cardio involved somewhere? Also what body fat level should you be before worrying about burning off your love handles?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Thanks James, I never got rid of them 100%, but basically I got down about 12% bodyfat, then added high intensity cardio 2 times a week, while watching my eating for a few weeks.

  15. michael says:

    great article as always! :D
    your first 3 tips are really crucial who wants to go on a all-out cut.the biggest mistake you can do is starting too low where you cant decrease calories anymore.you will have to do a crash diet just for losing weight at normal rate
    ı am looking forward your thoughts and tips about gaining phase too
    keep it up bro :D

  16. Nicely written Oskar!

    I think that the only think left to add is the mindset. If you believe deep down in your core that you’re going to be stuck in the skinny-fat hell forever, then you’re more likely to keep making mistakes (e.g. eating crappy foods and not training enough) that made you fat and weak in the first place.

    I know it’s easier said then done, but why not make a change in the way you think :) Fake it till’ you become it.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Thanks Dejan!

      You’re right about mindset. The article was actually called 8 fat loss mistakes, where the 8th was mindset, but I had written so much on mindset that it just looked weird compared to the other points, so I saved it for future articles.

  17. Hey Oskar, I have been cutting from 180lb and I have gotten down to 155lb but I’m still skinny fat and I’m wondering if I should keep on cutting at a deficit of 1800cal? I’m 6’0 and 18 years old by the way, I really don’t mind getting lean before I can begin my process of building muscle, am I going down the right path?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hey Yusuf, congrats on the fat loss!

      155 lbs at 6’0 sounds lean, but if you’re in doubt send me a pic through the contact form and I’ll take a look and make sure you go down the right path (won’t use the pic without your permission).

  18. scratanut says:

    Another great post!

    Been following your ‘basic bodyweight workout everyday’ along with ‘2 square meals a day without snacking’ advices. They have worked out very well so far. I see much of the fat disappear while gaining a bit of muscle mass simultaneously. Thanks for the advice.

    While I see I am getting leaner, I somehow am unable to increase the rep count in each set I do.
    Like for example. It took me over 3 months of rows, assisted and negative pull ups to get to one perfect pull up. And then within a month of hard training I was able to do 6-7 chin ups/5pull ups in each set. This was over a month ago. Till now I am stuck with same rep counts in each set, unable to go any further. I even tried doing it as much as possible throughout the day whenever I was around the pull-up bar. But when I push to the limit I max out at only 7 and no more. I wonder why my progression slowed down..

    On the other hand I found a website by the name 7 weeks to 50 pull ups. I am considering following the program once to see if it works out. But looking at the plans I see there is drastic increase in rep count over a week sometimes. I wanted to know your views on it. Thanks!

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Thank you!

      You made some good progress, but the routine seems to have stopped working, so definitely try something new.

      The new routine you’re looking at sounds unrealistic if it’s saying you will get to 50 consecutive pull ups in just 7 weeks, but post it here and I’ll take a look at it.

  19. Amazing post oskar
    Straight up to the point, and very realistic.
    I like reading these post as i can do a reality check with whats wwrong with my life.
    I have horrrible sleep patter like today (dint sleep whole night buzy doing assignments)
    And yup just to keep up that whole night..i had kept crunching many almonds…some chiken sadwitches..buscuits and coffe and soo on. I couldnt stop my self.
    Im progressing…since i try to train 3 to 5 times a week. But at this rate my love handles gives the illution that they are getting wide even tho im having some upper 4 packs.
    I am on intermediate fasting too..but today did not sound even a bit like it..
    I see your gains and keep saying to my self one day…keep inspiring..today is such a demotivated day fr me but seeing ur blogs its allowing me to see my mistake…makes me somehow feel better tho..
    Thanks
    Gain more

    Ps: just wanted to knw..do u completly ingnore cardio till only the remains are love handles? And great shoulders by the way

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Glad I could inspire you. Yes, I only do cardio when I have some love handle/hip fat left and I’ve done it once during a bulk. And thanks for the compliment, I’ve always struggled building my shoulders.

  20. Great article Oskar,

    Strange, there seems to be no mention of the importance of vegetable consumption?;)

    – N

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Thanks Nicklas! Haha vegetables, still can’t stand them. Eating some red onion with my meat though, I guess that counts.

  21. Great post as usual. You’re looking cut. How big are your arms?

  22. Looking nice with the shoulders, Oscar!

    Btw, I’m happy to see your Alexa rank has gone down a lot! 275k now, was like 400 k last time I saw it. Sweet!

  23. Hi Oskar,
    I think intermittent fasting, in my case, simply doesnt’ work.
    I lose muscle mass or, better, i cannot add any.

    I don’t know if some grams of BCAA during the morning instead of breakfast, could solve this problem.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hey Marco, I have a similar experience with IF. It worked to lose fat, but I have a hard time getting in enough calories during bulking cycles. I never tried BCAA so can’t say.

      • There’s way too many factors affecting muscle mass.

        Lets assume that you are an experienced lifter.

        You would still only gain 5 pounds of “muscle” per year – if you’re lucky and you worked your soul and ass off.

        Judge muscle gain by your strength. If you’re strength is going up, then you’re fine.

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          You’re right Sebastian, there are a lot of factors, but I tend to have my best gains when I have my best workouts and my best workouts don’t happen when I’m fasting 16 hours everyday.

  24. Great Post Oscar My biggest weakness is Craft Beer. The day after I have 4-6 pale ales I have a Ravenous appetite. Alternatives (a la the Martin Berkan Alcohol protocol) like whiskey and vodka get me drunk too quickly and are super expensive in Ireland. Red wine is nice with a meal but tends to give thumping headaches.
    What should I do?
    Should I just give up Alcohol altogether?
    I’m yo yoing around 70kg for the last 8 months now.
    My goal is to get to 65kg
    Many thanks

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      How often do you drink and do you usually eat a lot on the days you drink?

      • Hi Oscar, I drink 2-3 nights a week. I dont eat that much the days I drink beer ( the beer is filling) but day after I could eat a horse! Thanks

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