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Built Muscle, Lost Fat. Now What?

Since I started training I focused on building muscle. I have been training for almost two months now. I have gained 2 1/2 lbs of muscle and lowered my body fat a decent amount. I don’t have far to go with the body fat percentage I would like to be at. There’s no magic number actually. I’ll know when I look in the mirror.

So once my fat gets to where I want it to be what do I do? I don’t want to lose too much fat so at that point should I up my carbs, my calories or something else? I’m eating clean 2000 calories, 40% protein, 30% carbs, 30% fat. I’m 125 lb female. Please don’t move to the women’s forum. I seem to get more feedback here. Thanks.

Amanda, as you get older, it will be harder to stay the same. Keep on your same program with strength training and proper diet for the rest of your life. If you reach a point that you want to stay at, you will automatically adjust because you will have more cheat days. Just tighten in up a little when you start creaping away from where you want.

Once your in control of your diet, you can adjust your fat levels the way you want but as you get older, you will appreciate the ability to cut even more. Continue strength training. You really can’t get too strong or too muscular. Think of it as reserves for when you need it. There is a link between muscle mass in middle age and longevity. Quality of life is increased even more with more muscle mass. It’s insurance for when you get old. Plus you’ll be hot.

Stu

Thanks for the input Stu. I don’t think I was clear in what I was asking. My focus is to still build muscle mass but I don’t want to continue to lose fat. Most people are not concerned with keeping fat but it seems I lose it easily and I like to keep some so I still look curvy.

Amanda, earlier you asked about changing your routine and in another post you talked about a boxer you wanted to look like. Where do you stand now with your training? In this post it sounds like you want to cut back, in the others you sound more ambitious.

Stu

[quote]AmandaSC wrote:
Thanks for the input Stu. I don’t think I was clear in what I was asking. My focus is to still build muscle mass but I don’t want to continue to lose fat. Most people are not concerned with keeping fat but it seems I lose it easily and I like to keep some so I still look curvy.
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Building muscle will enhance your curves and personally, a little muscle definition on a girl is very sexy. I mention getting older because you are now 30. You have never really experienced what a lot of people have to go through to lose fat. I was the same way at your age.

It’s really easy to get complacent until one day you look in the mirror and wonder where it all came from. Keeping control of the fat now will make it easier as you get older.

Stu

Yes I wanted to change my routine to a more aggressive one in hopes of adding mass quicker. Cutting back is not what I want to do at all. I want to build as much muscle mass as I possibly can. I like the boxer girl’s upper body because she’s so much thicker than I am and I aspire to build mine up to look like that.

So building muscle is my main goal and always has been. I did have some fat to lose when I started and I was surprised how quickly it started coming off. So for now I am geting closer to my goal since I have made gains and surprisingly lost some fat as well.

When I trained in my 20’s I also did a bit of cardio and even though I ate like a pig I felt I looked too thin due to losing too much fat early on. So now I would like to keep my fat levels on the higher side until I get enough muscle mass on my frame.

It’s funny you say that it gets harder to lose fat when you’re older. Well I’m a bit older than 30 and the reason I am so motivated now is because my body was a mess a few months ago. I had fat, and still do, in places that I never had it before.

The combination of getting older, having kids one after another, not exercising and then eating horribly and going through periods of starvation (stress induced) wreaked havoc on my body. I was left thin with little muscle and lots of flab. I am truly surprised how my body is bouncing back. I feel 20 again actually so I’m never going stop my new lifestyle.

Well, dear. You are in a good place! You are blessed with a good metabolism to be able to comfortably drop fat as a woman on 2000 calories. If you’ve reached the body fat you want, now just want to add more muscle, and are happy with your training, the thing to do of course is to add more calories to your diet. Start slowly.

What’s you diet look like now? Macros. Food choices. But you may still want to spice up your training and try something different for variety. Maybe EDT. Just do something very different from what you’ve been doing.

I’m eating 40% protein, 30% carbs, 30% fat consistently. My protein is in the form of eggs, chicken, beef, shrimp, fish and sometimes beef jerky. I usually drink one pwo shake that I make with whey isolate and a banana. Occasionally I will have two shakes per day when I’m in a hurry. I eat veggies with some meals (salad, broccoli, sweet potato, peppers, tomatoes) and grain based carbs in the morning and afternoon (whole wheat toast, low carb tortilla wrap, oatmeal). I get my fats from olive oil, some cheese, salad dressing, fish oil and from the meat and eggs. I only drink water. I have cheat snacks maybe twice per week. I take 4000 mg fish oil (2400 omega 3s). I eat six meals per day at least.

I did just change my training program. When I started I was doing each body part once per week. The trainer at my gym gave me a new routine with more exercises and less reps per exercise. Now I hit each body part every five to six days.

[quote]AmandaSC wrote:
I’m eating 40% protein, 30% carbs, 30% fat consistently. My protein is in the form of eggs, chicken, beef, shrimp, fish and sometimes beef jerky. I usually drink one pwo shake that I make with whey isolate and a banana. Occasionally I will have two shakes per day when I’m in a hurry. I eat veggies with some meals (salad, broccoli, sweet potato, peppers, tomatoes) and grain based carbs in the morning and afternoon (whole wheat toast, low carb tortilla wrap, oatmeal). I get my fats from olive oil, some cheese, salad dressing, fish oil and from the meat and eggs. I only drink water. I have cheat snacks maybe twice per week. I take 4000 mg fish oil (2400 omega 3s). I eat six meals per day at least.
I did just change my training program. When I started I was doing each body part once per week. The trainer at my gym gave me a new routine with more exercises and less reps per exercise. Now I hit each body part every five to six days.

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Diet looks quite good. I’d start by adding a few hundred calories. Try 300 If you feel you are good on your amount of carbs, add it in the form of fat. See how your body reacts and see if that shifts you into maintenance mode or you are still slowly losing fat. If you are maintaining, you can then add more to put on muscle. If you are still losing, oviously add more too. Splits are great. But you might want to try something different now. Have you ever thought of fullbody. Waterbury’s TBT would be a great starting program that is taxing and challening.

Okay I reread my first post and I didn’t really ask the question correctly. I tend to ramble. Here’s the question. Once I reach my fat loss goals how should I add to my diet to continue to build muscle.

Your basic nutrition shouldn’t change. Eat protein, vegetables and fats as you do now.

You can add starchy veg and grains to add more calories. If you notice fat going up, cut back on these. It’s balancing calories at this point. You need to be in a calorie surplus to build muscle, a calorie deficit to lose fat. You can cycle these additional carbs to gain muscle while keeping fat low.

Overall, you will probably need about 40-50% carbs to gain muscle.

Stu

The only big change I make to my diet when i switch from fat loss to maintenance, or to “bulking” is the addition of carbs.

Mostly fruits, more carb heavy veggies (carrots and the like), and I add a scoop of Surge prior to weight training as well as my regular PWO shake (or I just add some plain maltodextrin to my PWO shake).

This way I increase my calories significantly and carbs, but i put them in the right place.

Hope that helps.

The other guys are on target. I think it’s a toss-up between adding more carbs and more fat. I think it depends on how many carbs you had in your diet [sounds like you had a reasonable amount] and how you handle them. I would increase your breakfast carbs and the carbs in your first solid post-workout meal [with things like fruit and quinoa and maybe some oats] and otherwise bump up the fat to get the extra calories you need. See how your body reacts. You may want to make further carb increases depending on resutls.

[quote]stuward wrote:
Your basic nutrition shouldn’t change. Eat protein, vegetables and fats as you do now.

You can add starchy veg and grains to add more calories. If you notice fat going up, cut back on these. It’s balancing calories at this point. You need to be in a calorie surplus to build muscle, a calorie deficit to lose fat. You can cycle these additional carbs to gain muscle while keeping fat low.

Overall, you will probably need about 40-50% carbs to gain muscle.

Stu

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Well right now I’m getting 30% carbs. So are you saying that it’s not enough to increase muscle?

I’m new to training so you might want to take what I have to say with a grain of salt, but it seems that if you want to gain more muscle you would up your protein.

I know this sounds simple, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

[quote]AmandaSC wrote:
stuward wrote:
Your basic nutrition shouldn’t change. Eat protein, vegetables and fats as you do now.

You can add starchy veg and grains to add more calories. If you notice fat going up, cut back on these. It’s balancing calories at this point. You need to be in a calorie surplus to build muscle, a calorie deficit to lose fat. You can cycle these additional carbs to gain muscle while keeping fat low.

Overall, you will probably need about 40-50% carbs to gain muscle.

Stu

Well right now I’m getting 30% carbs. So are you saying that it’s not enough to increase muscle?

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No, it very well may be. Everyone is different. I would start by bumping up the carbs a bit in your breakfast and post-workout meal. If you need additional calories, bump up the fat. And see how your gains are coming along before increasing carbs more.

[quote]BrunoVaughn wrote:
I’m new to training so you might want to take what I have to say with a grain of salt, but it seems that if you want to gain more muscle you would up your protein.

I know this sounds simple, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.[/quote]

It depends on how much she is eating already. The body can only use so much protein. Particularly as a woman [and natural lifter] much more than 1.5g per lb bodyweight would be a waste. 1.75 g per lb bodyweight MAX.

You say you’re eating clean, but do you throw in a free meal once a week or so? If you don’t, doing that may give you that extra boost you need, and will help you stay eating clean long term.

By the way, hon, you’re beautiful.

[quote]SouthernGypsy wrote:
You say you’re eating clean, but do you throw in a free meal once a week or so? If you don’t, doing that may give you that extra boost you need, and will help you stay eating clean long term.

By the way, hon, you’re beautiful.[/quote]

Thanks for the compliment. That made my night ; )
Yes I do have cheats. Usually a snack once or twice per week, like four cookies. This weekend it was a couple of margaritas.

Okay Stu I am adding more carbs to my diet. I’m going to start by adding 200 calories of carbs to what I normally eat and see what happens. I also haven’t gained since I gained that 2 1/2 lbs. I have been the same weight for about three weeks now. Hopefully this will help with the gains too.