String bean arms, narrow shoulders and wrists like cheerios.

That just sounds like a skinny guy to me. Wait. Now add into the mix a swollen stomach, a lack of confidence, and self doubt that could be seen through the foggiest of winter mornings.

Now you have “The Skinny-Fat“. Being skinny-fat is not an achievement; in fact, it can be a tough life, never knowing where you stand—are you skinny, or are you fat?

No, you’re not crazy. This plagues the skinny-fat time and time again. Most of them want to be lean, and they want to be mean; to have abs and arms to match one another. They can have it—they just need a guide that demonstrates tips that are simple and easy to follow.

Most people venturing into the world of lifestyle and fitness end up over-thinking everything. 
They read every article, every plan, and they create information overload for themselves and the people surrounding them. 

I hate to admit it, but not everyone wants to know your thoughts, experiences and the benefits of IF (Intermitted Fasting).

The truth is, when you experience information overload, you also convince yourself there is not enough time in the day. Most people feel as though they don’t have the time to follow a workout or nutrition plan, never mind following both while living the good life. This doesn’t sound like fun to me, and luckily reality doesn’t need to be like that.

Well here I have it, something to help you: A Skinny-Fat’s Minimalist Guide to living the good life both in, and outside of the gym.

I gave up on giving people a list of 20 habits a while ago. Personally, I spend less time in the gym, less time stressing, and more time living a life bigger than “The Expendables”.

Since there is so much to learn, even the basic elements are usually lost, so I’m going to set the story straight and help you live a fat-free approach to transforming your body. We’ll go from looking at exactly what you want to achieve, to helping it become a reality.

1. Achieving Big Starts at “Why, And What”.

Before we start you need to ask yourself; “Why do I want to do this?” Is it to prove something to someone else? Is it to test yourself? 

Is it because you want more confidence? Is it to get the number of that model you have your eye on?

Everyone has different reasons for change, and everyone has different drives, behaviours and particular goals. What are your goals?

Decide upon one particular, set goal. Make sure to include measurements and dates, then go out and succeed.

2. Prepare

Preparation is key in everything. Let me say that again, it’s key in everything. 

The most successful minds in the world worked and prepared for their success. Things didn’t come to them, they planned and crafted their days, and you need to do the same.

Plan and prepare the steps you are going to take.

Most people fail their transformation due to this one simple thing: They say they don’t have time to follow a diet plan, and they don‘t prepare quality food to take with them, so after all the time spent pursuing their goal they fall back into their old ways; their old broken habits.

Batch cook your food on either Sunday or Monday, and again on Thursday.

You have the time for everything!

Cooking has became a lost art, but it can re-frame your life, and engages all your senses. If you learn to enjoy, it you’ll have a better body and greater enjoyment in life. You have the time to eat, cook, and enjoy the whole process; you just need to prepare for it.

3. The Simple Approach to Carb-Cycling

Eating low-carb all the time sucks. You can become grumpy, stressed and hard to be around when sticking to a low-carb diet, but by stocking up on nutrient-dense foods on your low-carb day (to keep you full), you’ll be a happier person with more energy than the Flash.

You’ll notice more of a pump in the gym, and by having less glycogen (read: fullness) you’ll be more pleased aesthetically when the carbs hit your body. Your veins will be more noticeable and your muscles will be more pumped.

Some other benefits are through the manipulation of leptin, which means that your chances of dropping fat are greatly increased.

So. How do we carb cycle? Well here is a simple rule:

A. Take in carbs when you work out.
B. Remove them when you don’t.

4. Become a Compound King

Focus on compound moves such as deadlifts, incline bench presses, military presses, etc. These allow you to move the maximum amount of weight and use the maximum amount of muscle recruitment which will lead to more muscle being built and more fat being burnt.

Most people who start out focus on barbell curls and the bench press. Don’t do that! Focus on the other moves and pay attention to all of them, All the compounds are beautiful—treat them as such.

5. Relax

The time you spend outside of the gym ultimately delivers a lot of the results.

Skinny-fat people stress. They stress a lot.

From the skinny-fat clients I’ve worked with, I’ve found that they worry about everything: Bills, relationships, time, and of course, their bodies. Simplify your life and you’ll be surprised at how your stress can fade away.

Follow some simple tips (The ones in this article) and trust them.

It’s the only way you’ll get ahead, stress-free.

6. Dine Out

When I say dine out in no way do I mean eat junk food. Socialise. Enjoy your new success and realise that you can live your life and still change your body and mind in the process. Don’t push yourself into a corner. This goes back to my previous point. Remember to relax.

I highly recommend going for a meal on a high-carb day with the people who will be supporting you through this change. Show them some appreciation—they’re helping you.

WARNING: Do not use this as an excuse to drink alcohol. You can’t afford to do that at this stage, sorry.

o to Recap:

1. Set yourself an actionable goal – To lose fat or to build muscle. I recommend the former first.

2. Prepare the steps you are going to take, prepare your meals, your ideas and write down your workouts. Preparation is key!

3. Learn to cycle your carbohydrates around your goals and training, which will stop you from gaining fat when trying to build muscle.

4. Focus on compounds -  compounds burn more calories, boost testosterone, and growth hormones.

5. Stressing can cause a lot of problems, both to your aesthetics and health. Learn to de-stress.

6. Celebrate your achievements and dine out with people who are pushing you forward in your journey. They are there for you every step of the way.

I hope this has shown you some steps you can take to transform your body and life, both in and outside of the gym. You don’t have to be skinny-fat for your whole life; you just need to plan, and to take those first few steps.

Minimize the amount of information you take in, follow some simple rules and learn to trust in a path, the results will sure follow. You can do it! After you do, give me a call and we can high-five. Possibly. I know they are outdated, but until there’s a better substitute, we’ll have to continue to use them.

Have you found yourself complicating things in the gym and life? Do you forget to simplify things? Let me know in the comments.

RELATED: How To Lose Belly Fat

Featured photo credit: Weights/Fitness via Shutterstock

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