T Nation

Diet to Lose Fat and Build Muscle?

So i recently read an article on here on how to lose fat but still build muscle… id like to try this method and as a natty it makes total sense to me as how it can work. Anyway im wondering what to do with my macros for said type of training… should i remain in a deficit, or go for maintenance? I wouldnt think a surplus would be right?? Im going to implement this starting tomorrow and tweak it as i go… thanks for any info. Btw im new here… first post

What article?

1 Like

This is the article. Ive also read similar articles from other sources like bb.com. the basic concept seems to be intaking most of your carbs around lifting and mostly low carb other times of the day. Im just not sure if you should still be in a deficit or not? Cant see building muscle working in a deficit…

@cody9202 I had the same question. We might have to just wing it and find out for ourselves. I would guess to start at maintenance calories over the week. Slight surplus on lifting days, slight deficit on non-lifting days. Have you heard of the time restricted plus plan? I forgot about it until now but that could also be useful to us.https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/time-restricted-plus-diet

Building muscle and losing fat are conflicting interests. You’d be better focussing on one at a time rather than trying to do both simultaneously.

Don’t chase the unattainable dream. Get lean first… Then build muscle while staying lean. Do this until you’re in your coffin. Once I accepted that I’ve been making the best progress ever and I’m never more than a month away from my summer body.

1 Like

Wanting to be anabolic and catabolic simultaneously is, as @adrencg said, an unattainable dream. Assuming you have exhausted all the gains associated with being a novice athlete, you’re going to have to pick your battles. Grow or shred, doing both is an unnecessarily difficult, and likely impossible, pursuit. Best of luck.

Dr. Mike Israteal convinced me of this about two weeks ago. I tried to circumvent the reality for awhile but I can’t get around it anymore. @adrencg does it make sense to get lean first when I’m not that big?

Tough to say without a pic or at least some basic stats. But I would still say just get the fat trimmed down to see what you’re working with muscle-wise. Try your best to find your BMR through some of the online calculators and do an average of the results. I know mine exactly because I did a vo2 max test and part of the test was getting my metabolic rate measured through a breathing device. If you have access to that then that’s great, but I don’t think it’s totally necessary. Just get in to the ballpark number.

To lose fat, just eat at your BMR and work out every day with weights and/or cardio to create the deficit. One rest days, knock a couple hundred calories off.

Read up on calorie cycling. It’s my favorite tool for getting lean recently as it helps with adherence greatly when you’re susceptible to deviations from the good foods.

When you can see your lower ab veins (I think it’s the internal iliac veins) then you’re lean. At least that’s my standard. It’s my measure of body fat because as I get leaner, they become more visible at a higher point(near the navel).

Some people will say you don’t need to get this lean, and they’re probably right. I just like to be as rid of body fat as possible before focusing on muscle building. Don’t obsess over it and wear yourself out trying to get shredded to the bone, unless you’re finding it’s easy to get there.

please keep in mind I’m not a pro trainer. Just a guy who has experimented and found out what works for me. It could work for you, but you may need to explore/adjust. This isn’t something that takes only a few months.

From my teachings, I’ve learned there are two general ways of simultaneously losing weight and gaining muscle:

1.) "Noob Gains (not the proper terminology) - Someone who never works out and is out of shape. Due to their body adapting to the newly found exercise, they can do both for a bit.

2.) Zig Zag Method - Eating lower calories on rest days, higher calories on workout days. It seems, to me, a bit much. I’d personally rather have a goal micro in mind (bulk or cut) and focus on one of those, then switch as needed. You’ll reach that goal of that cycle much more rapidly with having a more consistent mindset.