T Nation

Calorie Intake

Hello, I’m new and I’m changing my life starting 4 weeks ago. I too was a College FB, Lacrosse and always in shape and lifted. I then started MTB about 8 years ago and gave up on the gym. I then went back to school about 3 years ago to obtain a new degree, and thats were it all went down hill.

I put on 50 pounds, ride only once a week (due to a new son that we have, that’s not the down hill part) and just pretty much have given up on being healthy, untill about a month ago. I love MTB and I use to love the body I had and I WANT IT BACK.

So I’m now Lifting 3 times a week and riding a least once a week for at least an hour each time. I have a keg for a belly and my BF% is probaly in the mid to high 20’s. I’m lifting 3x5, 3x8, and 2x15 for M,W,F with good gains in lift weight. I’m already starting to see small improvements in mass from lifting 3 weeks.

My question is if I’m only lifting 3x a week and the little cardio that I can fit in, should my calorie intake be in the high range for muscle development, low range for fat lose, or somewhere in between

I’m 6’ and 267lb

Thanks for any tips someone can give

Not sure where you want to end up. I would suggest that your diet be low in carbs on non cadio days, with a high protein intake. Increase carbs on cardio days to prevent the lose of muscle mass diring cardio. Doing one hour of cardio is great, but without carbs you’ll eat up your lean mass.

Given your current BF% I would suggest that you initially start by trying to lose a few pounds, then worry about gaining muscle later. This would require a negative energy balance - burn more Calories than you eat.

In your current situation, as someone who is new to training again, you will increase your lean muscle mass anyway.

So, in the beginning, keep it simple. Lift progessively and hard, make improvement whenever you can, whether it be lifting more weight, more reps, more mileage on you MTB, or whatever. Just make your performances improve somehow.

Nutritionwise, again start simple.

  1. Eat regularly, every 2-3 hours
  2. Protein with each meal
  3. Proritise fibre (vegetables, fruits, some wholegrains)
  4. Eat healthy fats (olives + olive oil, nuts, fish oil supplements, etc)
  5. Stay organised - prep stuff and carry your food with you
  6. Hydrate frequently, but make sure there are no ‘hidden’ calories

At your stage there no need to worry about counting calories, proteins, cycling nutrients or anything like that. Solidify some heatly habits, monitor your bodyweight consistently and reliably and make adjustments when and if you have to.

But more importantly than any of this, begin to enjoy regular exercise, nutritious foods and an active and healthier lifestyle.