Cut, Bulk, or Recomp: How to Choose the Right Path for You

skinny fat transformation

Being skinny fat (having a thin build but still carrying excess body fat) can be incredibly frustrating. It’s also not easy to figure out how to fix it, especially with the amount of misinformation being spread online and on social media.

If you’re seeking a skinny fat transformation but aren’t sure how to change, you’ve come to the right place.

You have a few different options to consider when it comes to changing your physique. Read on to learn whether or not bulking, cutting, or a total body composition is right for you.

What’s Wrong with Being Skinny Fat?

First things first, let’s go over some of the reasons why it might be in your favor to work on changing your body composition and moving away from being skinny fat.

In addition to not looking as fit as you might want, there are actually some health risks that come with having a high body fat percentage, even if you’re not overweight.

Some of the most well-known risks associated with being skinny fat include:

  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Muscle deterioration
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Increased risk of depression
  • Increased risk of poor digestive health

As you can see, seeking a skinny fat transformation is about way more than just looking a certain way. It’s about living an all-around healthier lifestyle.


Now that you know more about the importance of moving away from being skinny fat, it’s time to go over the specific steps you can take to change that.

First is bulking, which refers to eating in a caloric surplus (more calories than you burn) with the intent of putting on muscle mass.

Pros and Cons of Bulking

When you bulk, you will put on some extra fat (that’s what happens when you’re in a caloric surplus). But, you will also be putting on additional muscle mass. Having extra muscle is great for people who want to shed body fat because it increases their metabolism.

When you stop eating in a surplus, your body will be able to burn calories more efficiently as a result of the muscle you’ve put on.

That being said, seeing the number on the scale increase while you’re going through a bulk can be difficult for some people, even if they know that some of that increase is muscle.

It can be helpful to work with a coach or trainer when you’re bulking to help you keep things in perspective and make sure you’re bulking in a way that will yield maximum results.

Tips for Bulking

Bulking isn’t just about stuffing your face with cheeseburgers and ice cream. It’s not permission to have a dietary free-for-all.

You’ll still need to pay attention to your macronutrient ratios and make sure you’re consuming a sufficient amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Protein intake will be especially important since you need it to build muscle.

Eating whole, real foods and limiting sugar and processed meals as much as possible will also help you avoid gaining too much body fat while you work on putting on muscle.


Another option is to cut, or eat in a caloric deficit. Many people will cut after they’ve bulked to help shed excess body fat and make the muscle they’ve been developing more noticeable.

You may also want to consider cutting first, though.

Pros and Cons of Cutting

If you cut before trying to gain muscle mass, you may find that you’re more insulin sensitive. This can help stave off fat storage and allow you to make better use of carbohydrates when you enter a bulking phase.

On the other hand, cutting can also be psychologically difficult, especially if you’ve already lost quite a bit of weight. You may have a hard time sticking to a calorie deficit and could develop an unhealthy relationship with food.

This is why many people choose to bulk first. It allows them to increase the number of calories they can consume so that they don’t feel as deprived when they move into a cut.

Tips for Cutting

If you do decide that cut first, it’s important to avoid cutting your calories too low from the start. When you do this, you might see results initially, but it will be harder for you to sustain your lifestyle long-term.

It’s also important to make sure you’re getting your calories primary from real, whole foods, just like you would during a bulk. This will allow you to get plenty of important micronutrients.

You’ll also be able to eat more since whole foods are often lower in calories than their highly processed counterparts.

Body Recomposition

Body recomposition is generally for people who are fairly lean but still have a slightly higher body fat percentage than they would like.

When they work on body recomposition, most people eat alternate between eating at maintenance calories on days when they workout and eating in a small caloric deficit on days when they don’t.

Pros and Cons of Body Recomposition

Body recomposition is generally considered to be the best option for people who want to lose fat without sacrificing as much muscle mass. It also doesn’t take as long as bulking or cutting, usually because people who are doing it aren’t looking for dramatic changes.

Body recomposition diets and workouts are also easier for people to stick to, and they are less taxing on the body.

Some people won’t see significant results from a body recomposition, though, especially if they started with a very high body fat percentage. A lot of patience is required, and some people find that it can be hard to keep track of maintenance and deficit calories.

Tips for Body Recomposition

If you decide that body recomposition is the route you want to take, working with a coach or trainer can help you figure out the right calorie amounts to alternate between.

Again, make sure you’re eating whole, real foods as much as possible. It’s also important to make sure you’re sticking to the right number of calories so that you don’t end up accidentally losing too much weight or putting on extra body fat.

Are You Ready to Make a Skinny Fat Transformation?

Whether you’ve decided to bulk, cut, or undergo a body recomposition, we’ve got the tools to help you along the way to your skinny fat transformation.

Check out the diet and nutrition articles on the site today for recipes, tips, meal plans, and more.

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