Hi guys, long story short: been lifting for a few years now after having a stomach surgery, lost a lot of weight - very fast - not on purpose (had severe GERD). I wanted to gain back some ‘healthy’ weight. My starting point was 128lbs at 6ft tall. Now I’m at 161lbs, 16% ish bodyfat, 28y/o and I’m not happy with my current situation. There’s some fat covering my abs and I have a little bit of love handles going on. You can see I have some muscle, but not a lot (for instance my arms are 13.5 inches - they’re also my worst bodypart). The absolute amount of fat I carry will be low I presume, but my bodycomposition is off, b/c I also do not have a lot of muscle.
I want to commit to a serious change but I’m a bit lost. I don’t know whether or not to be in a caloric deficit first, to eat at maintenance or to be in a caloric surplus. I read a lot of conflicting advice such as:
- Either cut first because it will be better to gain muscle afterwards - but that would put me at about 1900 calories a day and there’s not really anything to reveal…
- Eat at maintenance and you’ll simultaneously lose fat and gain muscle as long as you have a decent program and apply progressive overload - basically recomp
- Eat in a small surplus because I don’t have enough muscle nor fat for the previous two
On protein I’m a bit lost aswel. I read that 0.7 grams per pound is enough, other sources say that if you seriously want to gain muscle (and maybe even lose fat at the same time) 1+ gram is needed.
I know my maintenance calories are somewhere between 2300-2400 from tracking the consistently over a few weeks. I have a decent amount of weight (at least enough for me to progress for a while) in the form of adjustable dumbbells at home.