First Time Building Muscle. Now Need to Lose Some Fat

We have a whole training log section which could be used for exactly that. It just helps with accountability when you know you have someone watching over you.


Wow. Really grateful for this heartfelt and detailed response. It actually brought tears to my eyes, that someone actually gets it and can be so encouraging, I am not exaggerating. This is exactly what I needed. You gave some very specific yet adaptable and useful suggestions. Unreal. So the following is just going to be me unloading some thoughts based on your response in no particular order:

What I used to do:
Exercise was ALWAYS some sort of cardio. Eating was ALWAYS some sort of restriction - fasting, OMAD, etc. with zero focus on protein. I could manipulate either exercise or restriction and lose weight. If I was not losing weight I would just restrict more. Every single workout I ever did was fasted. In fact, I would go most days until 1 or 2pm with no food and black coffee. I think fasting can be a good thing for reasons beyond this discussion (self discipline, not feeling like you need to eat all the time and I know many people can benefit from both the discipline and the idea that if you don’t eat, you won’t wither away). For me, it is now exactly the opposite, I NOW need to learn how to eat like a normal person - through the day - sounds crazy but it is true.

Two years ago I discovered the weight room. My only regret is not starting sooner but I am beyond grateful for my path that lead me there. The last year has been extremely difficult for me personally and the gym was my salvation.

I could talk about lifting, weights, programming, PRs, etc all day but most people around you don’t want to hear about it, lol, and I understand. I only recently started tracking my workouts with reps, weights etc and in a few short weeks tracking my workouts has already been a game changer.

To give you at least some idea of how far I have come, when I first started weight training, I was hanging on to cardio so hard since that was all I knew: I would run/jog 5 miles before every weight session, including legs. Now, I walk when I feel like it, on most training days after training or later in the day. I did my first, albeit a little sloppy, unassisted neutral grip pull up about two months ago and I almost started crying.

Re: food/fuel: weight lifting has started to teach me that food is fuel and it can support my training. I weighed 160 at the end of June 2021 and was shocked at how much I was able to eat and actually dropped to 157 by the end of October 2021, then toward the end of November, my new found realization of eating so much finally got the best of me and I started to gain more and more weight (and to be fair some muscle). I was 170 before I new it, then 180 and now 185.

The coolest thing about weight lifting has been seeing myself weigh more but my clothes fit the same or my body fat % staying the same at a higher weight, it is like some kind of sorcery. However, now, I feel puffy and fat and my clothes don’t fit anymore. I keep reading and reading and researching - trying to figure out some of the techniques guys who have been training since high school use. Every time I try to get into a deficit, my hard wired technique of more food restriction takes over and within a week or two I am restricting so much that I rebound.

I love all your recommendations and will repeatedly refer to this response.

When you say “create a log here” - is there another forum to do that on?

Thank you again.

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I’m not ignoring you, I’ve just been on the road and just getting back in the house. I’ll respond more shortly.

For the logs, though, there’s a sub forum here:

@Andrewgen_Receptors Can you please let me know how to respond to a specific sentence in a post? Seriously, this entire thread was my first ever self created post.

Don’t put too much emphasis on this part. Unless you’re eating like a 5-year old while also sub 15% BF (for males, this is usually sub 10%, but we don’t have boobs so…) you’re not losing muscle.

This is good to know. Seems based on what I have been reading the last several months I have created a fear of losing muscle. Makes sense that we don’t want to lose what we worked so hard for but somehow thinking this has maybe prevented me from moving forward and now I just feel fluffy. Is it accurate to say as long as I hit my protein goal and keep training, muscle loss should be minimized in a deficit?

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No worries, highlight the word, line, sentence, etc. that you want to respond to and select “Quote” like so:

it should auto populate some text in your comment box.

Pretty much, yeah. Still, don’t crash diet and don’t try to lose too much too fast - aim for around 1lb per week, anything more will start wearing on you and your hormones.

Some information that may help lead you to success (female specific):

And for general reading (not specific to ladies):

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Maybe you should check out the new thread. It’s an OMAD type diet.

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There is actually some really strong science to support this method (whether Velocity Diet, or equivalent OMAD type). Was having a discussion about this with @Tim_Patterson.

All things considered, it sounds expensive at first - but if you’re reducing meal intake down to OMAD, your grocery bill reduction very well may compensate for the difference. I may end up going this route at some point - I just need to work myself up to it :sweat_smile:

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Several members have had great success running it. Now, that there is online coaching

That just makes it even better!


Ok, I’m caught up!

We’re all with you, or, at least, have been there. We get you!

The velocity diet may be a great option… a little further down the road. My $0.02 would really be let’s get some of those lifestyle habits in place and have some success without extremes. Then you can appropriately use the velocity diet as a tool when you want to attack a ton of fat loss in a short time. You already are experienced with fasting, so I don’t think you’d struggle at all. I just worry maybe it’s not answering what we need to answer right now.

We’re all in your corner whatever you do! Just tag us in your new log.


She said she usually did OMAD when dieting. It’s 28 days. That may be just enough time to break some bad habits and start over with a healthier approach to nutrition.

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That’s fair. It wouldn’t be my choice, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad one.

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Gotta say @TrainForPain has me pegged and his assessment is spot on. I’m actually pretty shocked. I am trying to learn how to eat normal food for the long term. I agree that Velocity could be a very useful tool in the future and was happy for @ChickenLittle to suggest it. But honestly I’m a “recovering restrictor” - if that makes sense. It’s amazing for a female to finally realize she doesn’t need to starve herself to cut fat.

Other thing I’ve recently learned is that this may be a repeated cycle, i.e. lose some fat now and increase calories again. I hope to be posting in the future asking for advice on how to get out of a deficit to start building again. I cannot over emphasize that weight loss to me has always been a destination not a cycle related to training. I imagine both of you have been around this block numerous times and it’s almost instinctual for you both. I hope to get there soon…


I think you’re right that it’s always cyclic. So the bigger picture never really changed, it’s just the execution. For me, my ranges have just become smaller (and, unfortunately, on the lower end!). So now, to gain weight, I’m really just loosening up slightly vs the old world of eat everything in sight.

You also kind of learn which end of the spectrum your natural tendency is. It’s much “easier” for me to gain weight - I like to eat and my job is sedentary. So I have to err on the side of caution.

@ChickenLittle has a tougher time holding weight, and is constantly working outside in the Texas heat - her focus is always on getting more calories in.

I think that’s the benefit of establishing your baseline; it gives you something to tweak vs overhaul.

Everyone in this thread is a smart cookie; just different strokes for different folks and all that.


@DTX how’s it going?

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Just getting caught up here, and while it might be strange for a dude (though not sure about that, honestly), this was me, too.

You’ve received solid advice here, and I don’t have anything new to add, but I’m excited to see your progress!

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Hi! Not at all strange. I LOVE advice from dudes (and ladies). Experience trumps all. What I love about these forums and (most) of the weightlifting community is this desire to help others.
@TrainForPain also checked in with me this morning so I tagged him to this reply.

The past few days, I have been processing @TrainForPain advice and trying to eat more like an adult and less like an a**hole (not sure how much cursing is allowed on these forums). Yesterday I ate: coffee, two teaspoons sugar, one date, pouch of tuna, TB of lite mayo, 2 peaches, lamb stew (homemade, no starches), small bowl of cereal with milk and two slices of pizza. Ordinarily, I would say the pizza was a complete fail but I found it to be a success: I ate two slices and was perfectly happy (it wasn’t zero and it wasn’t 6 slices followed by a pint of ice cream). I am really trying to work on my psychological habits behind eating…

That said… and I hope you are still reading this… I have had three people in the last week who have not seen me in a while comment how I looked bigger but not fat per se. Two of them have no lifting experience so they could not put their finger on it. The third person has lifted and she commented she could tell. Also, last week, I wore a blouse and needed help taking it off - ordinarily it is usually flowing on me. So I am not sure what to do. Yes, building muscle is great and needed and I have loved every minute of it, but this is not where I want to be aesthetically. I have contemplated everything, including stopping lifting (I can assure you it will not happen but it did cross my mind). I believe I need to scale back to less training days and try to maintain my strength, increase cardio a touch and drop calories while maintaining protein. Any words of wisdom always appreciated.

Also, I have a potentially dumb question…Is hypertrophy the same exact thing as building muscle. As in, can you use the word hypertrophy interchangeably with building muscle? Or is hypertrophy a type of muscle building?

Thanks as always.


Great job!

Way to go, but let’s keep it PG… (I’m kidding)

No way. Stay the course. I completely understand where you’re coming from, but I promise diet drives everything. You like lifting, you’re killing it, you’re getting stronger and building muscle. You can’t do better. Let’s just keep tightening that diet up and give it time to work. I really recommend taking pictures so you can compare like every 3 weeks; you won’t see daily changes. We don’t need to drastically overhaul our training, though, and I don’t think you’ll enjoy it if you do (based on earlier posts).


We’re in your corner! Check in when the doubts creep in

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Thanks for the reply.

So I had a question on training technique. Should I ask that here, or start another post?

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Your world - whatever works for you. The benefit to another post is you’ll get new voices. Based on title, you’re more likely to thing in folks that are specifically interested in what you’re asking.

I think some of the articles Andrew posted go over this as well, but muscle will help you burn more calories. So every bit of muscle you have worked for will help you take the fat off.

Have you tried meal prepping yet? This did wonders for me for stopping the fluff gain. I can’t waste food, so I inevitably eat whatever healthy thing I made instead of going out.

Also, I know this has been mentioned, but do you have a log here yet? It has been awesome to see more ladies showing up and I would enjoy following your log! You can use it for food accountability, if that is helpful.