T Nation

Deficit or Surplus First?

I’m just returning to lifting (consistently anyways) after an almost 3 year hiatus. I have about 14-15 lbs I want to lose but I’ve also lost a large amount of muscle mass since I haven’t been lifting for a long time.

If I’m pretty much at the beginner stage again and want to lose weight but gain muscle, should I start in a deficit or a surplus?

I would just get into the habit of eating all your meals, protein at each meal, fats, veggies/fruit and carbs if you are not carbphobic without uncontrolled snacking plus getting good hard training sessions in.

If you start getting fat, cut the food back a bit, if you are withering away, add food.

Re-evaluating after 6 weeks. Otherwise, if you are not happy adding weight to your current frame, don’t do that.


I would just focus on no radical deficit, there will be probably some body recomposition effect after that long layoff, but also more important, you would have a good base for muscle building and more insulin sensitivity with that fat trimmed.
And, not less important, you will get in the groove with lifts and the feeling for good exercise execution which is paramount.

What are your current daily macros?

Currently I’m eating about 2470 calories and maintaining on that. I’m able to eat that much because I’m breastfeeding haha :woman_shrugging:
Macros are 347 carbs, 68 fat, 116 protein.

Wow that is a lot of carbs! I thought I was relatively high at 300g :laughing:

Personally, I feel like maintenance could be really good for awhile, but maybe shift some calories around to get more protein. Being in beginner state, should almost be a given you’ll recomp a bit to start. Consider cutting carbs when you feel you stagnate and want to drop some fat faster. If you don’t hit any walls though, maintenance recomp mecca forever! haha

It’s only that high right now because I’m really bad at getting protein in so I’m starting at the bare minimum :joy::woman_shrugging: