Ok so I am really confused. I am happy with my weight, but I want to lose a few inches/build a little more muscle. To build muscle don't I have to eat above maintanance? But won't that pack on fat along with muscle?
According to a fancy online calculator, my BMR is 1360 and total daily energy expended is ~2109 cal. I usually work out every other day. I do resistance training, HIIT (tabatas), and walk. I eat more carbs on training days and more fat on rest days. I am 5'3, female, steady at 115.
So basically I just want to know- if I want to tone up and build muscle but keep burning fat, how much energy do I need to consume??? I am happy with my weight and general size, but I really want to improve body comp. I train hard (and rest easy) but I haven't been building muscle nearly as well as I feel like I should be and it's getting frustrating- I am realizing I think it's because I haven't been eating enough. I've been eating around 1200 cal for several months and my body just isn't changing much. Help!
asked byBrenna (531)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on May 04, 2012
at 05:50 AM
You can have it both ways. Eat enough to grow muscle and eat less to loose fat.
It is all about eating more the days you train, and eating at a deficit on the days you rest. Averaged ove the whole week you are eating at maitenence.
There are some good articles on how best to do this at leangains.com.
But i have found the eastiest way to do this is to have an easy to make meal that i add in, or leave out depending on trainng.
Whatever you decide, bodyrecomp will happen steadily in the background as long as your food is good, and you train smart.
on May 04, 2012
at 12:12 PM
I second the leangains suggestion. I have a very similar height/weight and it's working great for me. I was 5'4" and 108 when I started a few months ago and I'm 5'4" and 117 right now - and all that gain was muscle. My stomach is still flat but my biceps and thigh muscles are noticeably bigger. It's slower weight gain than what you'll get with the usual bulking strategy of "EAT EVERYTHING IN SIGHT" but it really does work for avoiding fat gain.
1200 worries me though because it just doesn't sound like enough. I did that for several months - and when I went home for a weekend my mother freaked out because I looked like a skeleton. A constantly exhausted, constantly cold skeleton verging on becoming hypermetabolic. Maybe your body is different, but please be careful. Right now I eat ~1700 on rest days and ~2,000 on training days, and I should probably eat more. As long as you're eating good foods and not crap, it won't make you automatically start gaining a bunch of fat.
on May 04, 2012
at 05:47 AM
If you are eating 1200 calories and have BMR of 1360 with that much activity, no you won't be building muscles. Try eating 2500~ calories with much protein and strenght training. You are pretty much starving yourself atm. Yes you will get some fat with the muscle, but you can cut that later.