Decoding the Dilemma: Should I Bulk if I'm Skinny Fat?

By FitLifeYou - July 6, 2023
Decoding the Dilemma: Should I Bulk if I'm Skinny Fat?

Should Skinny-Fat Guys Bulk Or Cut First?

Are you caught in the eternal struggle of being both skinny and fat? Fear not, my fellow "skinny fat" friends, for I bring you the ultimate guide to your bulking conundrum! So, should you bulk up if you're skinny fat? The short answer is yes. But before you toss your kale smoothie aside in despair, let me enlighten you with the whys and hows of this muscle-building journey. From shedding light on the skinny fat dilemma to providing expert advice, this article will be your trusty companion on the road to a fitter, healthier you. Ready? Let's bulk up and banish the skinny fat blues once and for all!

When it comes to the question of whether skinny fat guys should bulk or cut first, there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer. It ultimately depends on your personal goals and preferences. 

However, there are a few factors you should consider before making a decision. Firstly, let's address what it means to be "skinny fat." or to have normal weight obesity.  This term is often used to describe individuals who appear thin but have a higher body fat percentage and lack muscle definition. 

It's a situation that many people find themselves in, and it can be frustrating when you're unsure of the best approach to transform your physique. If you're wondering if you should bulk if you're skinny fat, the answer may not be as straightforward as you'd hope. 

Bulking typically involves consuming more calories than your body needs in order to gain muscle mass. While this can be effective for individuals who are already relatively lean with some muscle mass, it may not be the best approach for someone who is skinny fat. 

On the other hand, cutting involves reducing calorie intake in order to lose body fat and reveal muscle definition. This can help improve your overall physique by shedding excess fat. 

To make an informed decision about whether to bulk or cut first, it's essential to assess your current body composition and determine your priorities. If gaining muscle mass is more important to you than losing excess body fat, then starting with a bulking phase might be suitable for you. 

However, keep in mind that this approach may initially increase your overall body fat percentage before noticeable muscle gains occur. If getting rid of excess body fat and achieving a leaner look is your primary goal, then starting with a cutting phase might be more beneficial. 

This will allow you to shed unwanted pounds and reveal any underlying muscles that may already exist. Ultimately, it's crucial to listen to your own preferences and goals when deciding whether to bulk or cut first as a skinny fat individual. 

There is no right or wrong answer, and it often takes some experimentation to find the approach that works best for your body and lifestyle. Remember, consistency and patience will be key no matter which path you choose. 

How To Decide Whether To Bulk Or Cut

When it comes to deciding whether to bulk or cut, there are a few factors that you should consider. First and foremost, take a look at your body composition. If you are predominantly skinny with just a small amount of fat, then bulking might be the way to go. 

By building muscle through a calorie surplus and strength training, you can fill out your frame and achieve a more defined look. On the other hand, if you have a higher percentage of body fat compared to muscle mass, cutting might be the better option. 

Cutting involves being in a calorie deficit while incorporating cardiovascular exercises and resistance training to shed excess fat. This will help reveal the muscle definition underneath and give you a leaner appearance. 

Another crucial aspect to consider is your personal goals. What kind of physique are you aiming for? 

If your goal is to have more muscle mass overall, then bulking would be the logical choice. However, if your priority is getting rid of excess body fat and achieving a leaner physique first, then cutting would be more suitable. 

Additionally, take into account your lifestyle and preferences when making this decision. Bulking requires consuming more calories than usual, which means potentially adjusting your diet and eating habits accordingly. 

If you enjoy eating larger portions and don't mind putting in the effort required for bulking (including potentially gaining some extra fat along with muscle), then it may be a viable option for you. Conversely, cutting involves being in a calorie deficit which can sometimes result in feeling hungry or having less energy during workouts. 

If this doesn't align well with your lifestyle or preferences at the moment, it might be better to focus on building up some strength through bulking before transitioning into cutting. Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to deciding whether to bulk or cut if you're skinny fat. 

It's important to assess your unique situation by considering factors such as body composition, goals, and lifestyle. Consulting with a fitness professional or nutritionist can also provide valuable guidance and personalized advice to help you make an informed decision on the path that suits you best. 

The Bottom Line For “Skinny Fat” Guys

When it comes to the bottom line for "skinny fat" (normal weight obesity) guys, the decision to bulk or cut can be a tough one. It ultimately depends on your personal preferences and goals. 

If you're unhappy with your current physique and want to build more muscle mass, then bulking might be the way to go. By consuming a calorie surplus and focusing on strength training, you can gradually increase your muscle size and improve your overall body composition. 

However, if your main concern is reducing body fat and achieving a leaner appearance, cutting may be the better option for you. This involves creating a calorie deficit through a combination of diet and exercise. 

By incorporating cardio workouts and following a structured meal plan that emphasizes nutrient-dense foods, you can shed excess fat while preserving as much muscle mass as possible. It's important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether skinny fat individuals should bulk or cut first. 

Each person has unique goals and circumstances that need to be taken into account. If you have significant amounts of excess body fat, starting with a cutting phase may help you feel more comfortable in your own skin before transitioning into a bulking phase. 

On the other hand, if you're already relatively lean but lack muscle mass, focusing on a clean bulk could help you achieve that desired muscular look. Ultimately, it's crucial to listen to your body's signals and pay attention to how different approaches make you feel both physically and mentally. 

Experimenting with different strategies can also help determine what works best for your individual needs. Remember, consistency is key in any fitness journey - whether you choose to bulk or cut first as a skinny fat guy, staying dedicated and committed will yield results over time. 


The decision of whether to bulk or cut when you're skinny fat should be based on a thorough understanding of your body and goals. It's important to assess both your current physique and your desired outcome. If you have a significant amount of excess body fat, it may be beneficial to start with a cutting phase in order to shed the unwanted pounds and reveal the underlying muscle definition. 

This can be achieved through a combination of calorie deficit, cardiovascular exercise, and resistance training. On the other hand, if your primary concern is building muscle mass and strength, then opting for a bulking phase might be more suitable for you. 

By consuming a slight calorie surplus and engaging in heavy compound exercises, you can promote muscle growth while minimizing fat gain. However, it's crucial to monitor your progress closely during this phase to ensure that you're not gaining excessive amounts of fat. 

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question "should I bulk if I'm skinny fat?" The decision should be based on self-reflection and awareness of your own body composition and goals. Remember that everyone's journey is unique, so trust yourself and listen to what feels right for you. 

With dedication, consistency, and patience, you can transform your physique from skinny fat into lean and muscular. Embrace the process with confidence knowing that by making informed decisions about bulking or cutting at the right time for you, success is within reach. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I bulk if I'm skinny fat?

Yes, bulking can be beneficial for individuals who are skinny fat as it helps increase muscle mass and overall body composition. However, it's important to focus on clean bulking with a balanced diet and regular exercise to minimize fat gain.

What is skinny fat?

Skinny fat refers to a body composition where a person appears thin or has a low body weight but still has a high percentage of body fat. This can result in a lack of muscle tone and definition.

Will bulking make me gain more fat?

Bulking can lead to some fat gain, but by following a controlled and clean bulking approach, you can minimize excessive fat accumulation. Focus on consuming a slight caloric surplus and prioritize strength training to promote muscle growth.

Should I focus on losing fat instead of bulking?

If you're skinny fat, it's generally recommended to prioritize building muscle through bulking before considering a fat loss phase. Gaining muscle mass can improve your body composition and make it easier to achieve a leaner physique later on.

How can I avoid excessive fat gain during a bulk?

To avoid excessive fat gain during a bulk, focus on consuming a slight caloric surplus (around 250-500 extra calories per day) and aim for a balanced macronutrient intake. Combine your bulking phase with regular strength training to ensure that most of the weight gained is muscle rather than fat.