Why am I skinny, but have a big belly?

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username4239442
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#1
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Hi, I'm a 16 year old male. I joined going to the gym a couple of months ago. I attend the gym usually every 2-4 days, spending between 1 and 2 hours there each time. I'd focus on cardio one day, and then on muscle exercises on the other. I started as a really skinny and lanky kid, and I'm still not exactly what you would refer to as a bodybuilder, in fact I'm still quite skinny. I'm about 177cm tall and weigh roughly 60kg, so as you could probably tell, there isn't much bulk on me. In terms of diet, I haven't and can't really change much, as I have to eat whatever my mum gives me. I have made an attempt to consume less sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks, but it's not like I consumed a lot of it anyway, so there was not much to improve there. But my gym (both cardio and muscle building) exercises have been paying off. I'm no longer out of breath after running about five yards, I feel like I can train harder for longer, I'm better at coping in really hot weather, my heart doesn't have to beat as fast as it did, I feel a lot stronger and faster than I was, I barely ever get back pain when sitting for long, and I look more "toned" than I used to, even if I'm still quite skinny. The results are coming along nicely, but there's a problem. For some reason, I have a really big belly, even though my limbs and every other part of my body is really thin. I don't know why it's like that. I have tried doing more cardio to burn more fat, I've tried to do more abs workouts and I tried eating less, none of which had worked. It's really weird and frustrating to say the least. I finally start looking good, and feeling good about myself, and it's ruined by this pregnant-looking belly, that doesn't seem to go away. It's been really frustrating and demotivating, so I'd appreciate any help or advice you can give. Thank you.
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Bang Outta Order
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why are you doing cardio and eating less when you have spaghetti arms....
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Kyri
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Some people might say if you want to lose your belly it's about eating less food and being in a calorie deficit. This is true, but if you only weigh 60kg with spaghetti arms you have hardly any muscle on you. Your body shape is what we call "skinny fat". Even if you do aggressively cut calories and lose your belly that way you won't get a nice a looking six pack. You'll just look anorexic and I doubt that's what you want. I speak from experience here as I did this when I started a long time ago and it was a waste of time. At this stage you're better off just focusing on building muscle for a year or so, which means eating enough (good foods) to grow, and only do 15 - 20 minutes of cardio at a time to keep your heart healthy. Too much cardio is counterproductive to muscle building. After you've built some muscle, if you want to cut your fat then, you'll look much better than if you do it now, but you'll probably already look much better anyway even without cutting any fat just because you have more muscle.
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JaseyB
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How long have you been going to the gym for ? And what kind of things are you eating ? You can always talk to your mum and ask her to adjust your portion sizes - ie it could be that you are eating too many carbs or too many white products like white bread / potatoes - a main meal should never have too many of these things it's ok to have some of them but they should not be used as a base for the meal. Ie a plate full of white rice - instead the rice should only fill about a quarter of your plate. Same with potatoes.
Another thing people tend to overlook is sauces - the ones you buy are typically full of sugar - wether that be ketchup or something like dolmio /ragu etc. It's better to make your own.

It could also be that you just haven't been going to the gym for long enough to lose all the belly fat/flab yet if you are like me that will be the last place the fat/flab leaves and it takes time.
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Angry cucumber
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Skinny fat

You are skinny and have a low % of muscle. Bulk, make gains and it'll all go away
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swirlybits
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Agree on the posts above. Moreover, drinking green tea helps a lot!
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Reality Check
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(Original post by swirlybits)
Moreover, drinking green tea helps a lot!
Why?
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TheYearNiner
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Stretch your hamstrings and strengthen your abs and lower back and glutes. And gain weight because a 6 pack doesn't mean anything if youre skinny
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Heroic_
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Wole Oyeyele - These suggestions are rubbish.

Ab exercises don't specifically remove fat from your stomach, NO EXERCISE DOES. You lose fat by expending more calories than you consume. This means that you either do more exercise or eat less calories. There is no way to specifically remove fat from your left leg but not the right leg for example, unless you have surgery. Fat can accumulate all over the body, some people have more in different locations which gives birth to 'body shapes' and saying people look like ''pears' or 'apples', which would explain your slim arms but big belly.

There could be plenty of reasons you are not seeing your stomach drop;
1) Are you being true with yourself, are you eating less calories or doing more exercise CONSISTENTLY? Exercise does not burn as many calories as you think
2) Do you eat junk food? You could be seeing visceral fats (organ fat) which would require a healthier diet and more exercise to get rid of
3) Do you have any underlying medical conditions such as IBS or allergic reactions to food which inflame and bloat your stomach.


For future reference, a 6 pack is only visible under low body fat percentages. Search for body fat comparison images to see examples of this, i think 8-10% is what is required for men to see their abs.

Hope i helped.
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Rory :)
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It's genetics, you're eating more calories than you burn and your body is essentially storing those excess calories in your belly. Some peoples go to their arms and legs some just to their belly.

If you work out now you should gain quite nicely on your arms and then go for a cut by February and you could have a great body ready for next summer.
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