I'm not sure if this is the best place for this post, so I apologize if there is somewhere more appropriate.
Basically, I'm a 30 yo guy, 6 feet, 160lbs... active, healthy lifestyle...
I've always been thin and struggled with it for years (maybe that sounds crazy to some people but nobody wants to be the scrawny guy growing up).
I tried numerous times to "bulk up" and got little to no results. I'm at the point where I accept my body type and I'm not trying to gain lots and lots of mass. I basically want to gain just a little muscle and lose some body fat. Even though I am skinny, I do have a layer of fat esp on my chest and stomach. It's not a lot mind you, but I feel frustrated by it because if I am going to be really thin, I'd at least like the benefit of low body fat as well.
Like I said, I have a healthy lifestyle. I exercise (resistance, cardio, yoga) about 5-6 days a week. I'm very aware of what I am eating and have a pretty healthy diet. I eat very little meat (for a variety of reasons), mostly only seafood.
Ok, enough rambling... I just wanted to fill in some blanks before I ask my questions.
I read up a lot on diet and exercise but I feel a little overwhelmed by what somebody in my situation should do. I'm trying to get a little more muscle and maintain what I have, but at the same time I want to keep my body fat down.
I'm not really sure why somebody who is thin and doesn't eat much saturated fat is having trouble losing that chest/stomach fat. I'm thinking that I eat too many carbs, but I've heard so much conflicting info about how much and what types of carbs to eat. I'm thinking a 40% protein, 30% carb and 30% fat diet might be in the right direction.
I don't expect anyone to read through this and tailor make a diet for me or anything, but if anyone can point me in the right direction (maybe someone in a similar situation that has had some better results)... I'd greatly appreciate it.
Generally, good carbs are high fiber whole food carbs, like vegetables, whole fruits, beans / lentils, and whole grains, as these are more nutritious and digest more slowly. Fast digesting carbs are useful during and immediately after long (2+ hours) hard exercise sessions to avoid bonking due to running out of glucose / glycogen, but are best avoided at other times.
Good fats are generally the unsaturated kinds. Including fatty fish in your diet can help you with omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, which many people are low on. Avoid trans-fats from hydrogenated oils.
Obviously, you need sufficient protein to build muscle. But protein alone won't do that; you'll need exercise. Resistance exercise (e.g. weight training and body weight exercises) is most effective at this. Of course, if you keep trying to get stronger, you will continue to stimulate muscle growth, compared to if you keep doing the same weight for the same number of repetitions. Be sure to work your large muscles like your back (e.g. pullups, rows), chest (e.g. pushups, dips), and legs (e.g. squats).
I guess what I am most frustrated with is that I do exercise several times a week doing cardio and resistance training, as well as follow a "healthy" diet and still have these "pockets" of a little extra fat on my chest/stomach. My overall body fat % is around 12-13. I know guys that are much heavier with a higher % body fat but it isn't as apparent on them.
I try to eat enough to maintain my weight and maybe increase it just a little (if I'm not tracking what I eat, I can lose weight very easily, almost to the point of being too thin - but even then I still have the chest/stomach fat).
Right now I'm eating about 2500 calories/day. For somebody in my situation (trying to gain a little/maintain muscle but lower body fat) how many carbs/protein/fats should I be eating per day?
My diet is low in saturated fats but that doesn't seem to help my problem. I eat mostly whole grain carbs, but maybe I'm consuming too many? Even with a diet that is low fat, could too many carbs cause the body to hold onto fat?
Could my body just be holding onto my fat in these "problem areas"?
I just feel like for my weight (165) and body fat %, I shouldn't have this excess stomach, chest fat.
Has anyone else dealt with something like this? Or any ideas of books, websites that could offer me more information. Like I said I'm pretty well informed about diet and exercise but I feel like I'm spinning in circles.
Your percentage of body fat is 12 - 13%. I found one internet source that states 15 - 18% is normal for men. That being the case, it's difficult to give you advice on how to lower your body fat. I think you can be healthy with 12 - 13% but I'm not sure if it's wise to go much lower.
How about just removing some fat from one particular location? As far as I know, there's no way to do that without using some sort of surgical proceedure.
well i use to be like u in a way ,am 28 5'8 slim smoker....there is no point of eating less food thinking that well solve your problem ,no you need to eat food because you are slim already do some exercises and problem solved ,i used to have tummy and saggy bottom..i thought i might need to stop eating lots of food,but later found out that is the solution..! i began to exercise with some weight ,yet again that did not work!so i start to exercise with out weights ,and get my heart rate running,next i used some light weights then i realised my body start get more firmer and harder and all the flaps that i used to have in my tummy are gone...i hope it well work for u as well