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There are many questions already on this website which are more about spot reduction. I am aware that you cannot just lose belly fat without losing overall body fat. My question is I am more of a lean guy. I am about 179 cm tall and weigh 164 pounds. I am definitely not fat, but I cant be labelled skinny either. However I do have a food and noticeable amount of fat on my belly, mostly on the front and hardly anything on the sides. Now I have been working out to gain muscle mass. I do a mix of cardio and weight training comprising mostly of compounds exercises 5 days a week. I follow a diet as follows

  • Breakfast: 1 cup oats/cornflakes with 250 ml milk, 2 medium bananas, 5 eggs(2 whole, 3 whites)
  • Morning Snack: 2 slices watermelon, 50gm of peanuts
  • Lunch: 8oz chicken(part of whole chicken), 150gm of mixed veggies(broccolli, beets, carrot, beans, peas), 4 slices brown bread
  • Evening Snack: 2 oranges small, 1 teaspoon peanut butter
  • Dinner: 8oz Chicken(part of whole chicken), 1 cup brown rice, 150gm of mixed veggies(broccolli, beets, carrot, beans, peas), 2 egg whites
  • Before Bed: 250ml milk, few nuts

I have been gaining weight with this diet(since I am on a calorific surplus) since my target is to gain more muscle mass. If I continue the same am I going to be losing belly fat or do I have to follow a different diet schedule after gaining muscle mass to lose belly fat? Thanks in advance.

  • Keep your bulking down to about 3 lbs per month (1.25 kg per month). That should help you not gain body fat, but still support muscle growth. By my estimations, you should be able to ~190 lbs lean mass, so if you set a cap for yourself at 220-225 lbs you'll be in a good spot with that much lean mass. – Berin Loritsch Mar 25 '15 at 14:56
  • In your previous question, I said (and still recommend) dumping a lot of those empty carbs. Cornflakes, milk, and 4 slices of bread (daily) don't belong in the diet of someone trying to maintain lean gains. fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/23872/… – Eric Mar 25 '15 at 16:28
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This depends on how long you have been on that program really, and how long you have been exercising and dieting in general. That looks like a decent diet, and with a high-intensity form of exercise (lifting weights) 5 days a week your body composition (how much muscle and fat you carry) should improve quite quickly even on a "bulk".

Maybe up the intensity even more with the weights and keep going with the program for a few more weeks. It's important to realise that gaining muscle while burning fat simultaneously is a slow and difficult process - so perhaps you can focus on this program to "bulk" and then "cut" afterwards for a certain time period.

Just to add my own $0.02, I personally would only have the oats for breakfast and cut out the fruits, because corn has an extremely high glycemic index, around 74-82 depending on the cereal (simply put, glycemic index dictates how much a food stimulates an insulin response). I'm also a bit uncomfortable with fructose - it's an even sweeter form of sugar. Although the vitamin C content of some fruits somewhat justifies keeping them in your diet if you'd prefer that.

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One way of checking wether your belly is big because of subcutaneous fat or something internal is to check how thick a pinch of skin is, the fat you grab when grabbing a fold of skin is subcutaneous, and you can not affect where on the skin that will be stored. If the fold is thin, but you still have a large belly, you either have visceral fat, or the stuff inside your intestines makes it look big.

It is true that you can't spot reduce subcutaneous fat, but you can make life choices that have an impact on wether fat is stored as subcutaneous fat or visceral (belly) fat. High intensity exercise such as running, can make you burn more visceral fat in particular (1)

On the other hand, gaining weight will make it much harder to remove fat of any type.

I would recommend a cut/bulk cycle, either start with a bulk or with a cut, and then to the other one.

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17637702

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  • I guess my fat is subcutaneous. And the only place I have fat on my body is the belly. I am slightly toned elsewhere and I cannot hold my skin between fingers anywhere else on my body. This is mostly a beer and alcohol belly. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks – Maxim Dsouza Mar 25 '15 at 8:26
  • Beer/alcohol/sugar bellies are typically not subcutaneous but visceral fat. – Mårten Mar 25 '15 at 12:12

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