Tip: Stop Dieting If You're Skinny-Fat

Yes, choose better foods, but focus on muscle gain. Use a specialized supplement to selectively increase insulin sensitivity. Here's how.

Many men today are under the impression that if they just lose 10 or 20 pounds, they'd uncover a sculpted body worthy of a fitness magazine cover. What they discover afterward is that there wasn't really anything under that layer of fat worthy of showing off.

It's understandable. You lift weights, but you're kinda on the soft 'n fluffy side. And having visible abs might increase your chances of seeing a woman who's not on the internet naked. So you go on a fat loss diet. The result? Scrawniness. A weakened metabolism. The inability to eat three carbs at a sitting without gaining fat.

First, let's remember that those "small" men's physique competitors in the upper ranks mostly weigh somewhere around 200 pounds, shredded. And most are taller than their stocky brethren in the bodybuilding category. So if you're a soft 170 pounds you're not going to be happy being a leaner 150. Muscle matters, not just low body fat. Make sure you have some before adopting a "cutting" plan.

The Supplement Solution

Many people recommend that these guys bulk up before dieting down. And sure, they do need to gain muscle. But skinny-fat guys often have the same underlying issues as fat guys – dysfunctional nutrient uptake mechanisms and poor nutrient partitioning ability.

Basically, when they eat to gain size, they gain mostly fat. And when they diet to lose the fat, they look frail. Food seems to be preferentially stored as body fat, not used to build muscle. The solution here isn't to diet for fat loss or bulk up. The solution is to fix those underlying issues.

Yes, get rid of the obvious junk foods that are problematic for everyone, but don't "diet." Instead, fix those metabolically active but broken fat cells with cyanidin-3 glucoside (Indigo-3G®) to selectively increase insulin sensitivity in the muscle. In short, that means your body will more easily release and burn fat while at the same time maximizing muscle nutrient uptake. Basically, food gets "put to work" rather than stored, and you can now build muscle and lose fat without extreme diets.

Chris Shugart is T Nation's Chief Content Officer and the creator of the Velocity Diet. As part of his investigative journalism for T Nation, Chris was featured on HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumble." Follow on Instagram