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I'm a man in my twenties. I have been doing gym since 4 years now and after recently changing my diet to low carb high protein diet, I started losing fat. Now this fat loss came with a realization that my body is in an hourglass shape with the hourglass bottom wider than the top.

In short, my legs at the hip area are wider than my lats at rest. It looks weird to me. What should I do? Reduce my legs or increase my back? If the former, how? If the latter, how can I make sure I don't get even bulkier in legs without losing significant strenght?

This issue has been bothering me a bit too much and I can't look in the mirror and not judge my own body shape every single time. Please advice.

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Ask your doctor about Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).

Considering cessation of health promoting habits because you don’t like how those habits have made your body look strongly suggests you may have Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Resistance training has numerous health benefits and you should continue to resistance train for the rest of your life. BDD is a real disorder and treatments are available. Please consult with your doctor about treatment options.

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I agree with Thomas; first talk to a doctor aboud body dysmorphia. It's very common to develop BDD when you start obsessing about your body shape.

That said, do not look at the mirror for checking your body, it's best to take a photo (full body, try to take it from chest level, not pointing much up or down). It helps judging more objectively.

Then find out what is the reason your legs are wider where they are: perhaps you store more body fat there? Perhaps your muscles are big?

If fat storage is the reason and you're not lean (below 20% body fat) then you could consider losing some more fat and assess it again. There might not be much you can do because fat storage location on the body is genetic, and you cannot spot reduce.

If you're already lean and what you have is really over developed leg or glute muscles, what you can do is change your training program to focus on upper body (but don't eliminate lower body training completely; you should just train it at maintenance volume - you can start by cutting the amount of sets for legs in half, for example, but it's probably even less than that).

Lastly, you could find a professional coach that would help you figure out if you really have a proportion imbalance and how to change your training to fix it (avoid instagram influencers at all costs).

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  • I don't really think I have BDD because I don't usually care about this as long as I am not in front of a mirror. It only comes into my mind when I am watching my reflection. I am not bothered by this all of the time but I do think about it everytime I hit the gym. Or when I see myself in the mirror somewhere. I never stop doing something just because of this. I just aim to have a more aesthetic body and for the v-taper, I need either slimer legs or bulkier back for now. Just didn't know how exactly to do that. I am not below 20% so maybe I'll try that first along with talking to a coach. Dec 20, 2023 at 16:41
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I have gone through a similar experience, and here are some things I found which may help you:

  1. Every person becomes "fat" in a different way. That is, the actual places where the fact gets deposited is completely different. This is also why most fashion is only accesible to slim people; too much variation in body shape as weight increases. It could just be that you have more fat in those areas, and if you went on a cut you'd look normal.

  2. You could start selectively working other muscles. For example, here is a cartoon I found which shows how the body looks different with the lats are more developed:

enter image description here

(Looks sorta stupid but I couldn't find a better picture to explain my point)

  1. You haven't mentioned this, but what are you squat and deadlifts? Just because a body part "looks big" doesn't mean it is actually overdeveloped with muscle. Could just be a huge amount of fat being deposited there.
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  • That’s… pretty much what i said in my answer… it’s better to write answers iff there’s new information or just upvote existing answers you think best solve the problem asked.
    – Luciano
    Dec 21, 2023 at 18:23
  • My Weight is 77 Kg. Squat PR is currently 130 Kg, and Deadlift is 110 Kg. I haven't really checked my Fat % exactly but if I had to guess based on online images, I'd say 21-22% Dec 22, 2023 at 17:41
  • Normally people's deadlift are slightly above squat. If you din't know, deadlift also develops lat muscles. Maybe this is the cause of your issue.
    – Babu
    Dec 22, 2023 at 21:44

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