How can I go from skinny fat to lean/muscular? : veganfitness

Hey everyone, I’ve been a lurker of this sub for a little bit and had this question. So I’ve been vegetarian my entire life because of religious reasons, and cut off dairy for a year because of stomach issues. I was always chubby and as I grew older I had a growth spurt (I’m 6’ 2”), which resulted in me not really losing fat but spreading disproportionately across my body despite playing sports and trying to stay active. I have lanky arms and legs and fat on my stomach, love handles, chest and lower back. I think I’m around 20% body fat and want to get it down to 15%.

I got my first taste in lifting in the fall of 2019 where I would only use machines/smith machines and pretty light weights and once the pandemic hit it basically stopped. I lived a sedentary lifestyle from March 2020-December 2020 mostly at home with minimal exercise and an okay diet, which left me pretty weak. I got a gym membership in February of this year and have been going consistently from March till now. After scouring several other fitness forums I tried a clean bulk but I don’t think it really worked in getting rid of the skinny fat look so I want to try a caloric deficit or cutting to reduce my body fat.

Not too sure where to go from here because the Internet is full of different answers but was curious as to whether anyone had such a successful transformation following a fully vegan diet. I’m only 18 years old and so far my compound lifts have increased in weight but I don’t really see any change physically and don’t feel much stronger than before either. Sorry for the long essay but any help would be appreciated.

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