T Nation

Making Muscle Gains on Calorie Deficit?

I’ve lost 30 pounds in the last 3 months and I don’t want to gain any weight for a while. I used to weigh 250 with around 23 percent body fat and now im down to 220 with 18-19% body fat. Im going to cut down to 205 then bulk back up to 225 but with much more muscle than fat. Is it possible to make muscle gains while on a calorie deficit?

[quote]hurrdurrgomad wrote:
Is it possible to make muscle gains(build new muscle) while on a calorie deficit?[/quote]

No.

[quote]hurrdurrgomad wrote:
Is it possible to make strength gains while on a calorie deficit?[/quote]

Yes

[quote]hurrdurrgomad wrote:
Is it possible for my muscles to appear larger due to reduced body fat and increased residual muscle tension, while on a calorie deficit?[/quote]

Yes

[quote]hurrdurrgomad wrote:
I’ve lost 30 pounds in the last 3 months and I don’t want to gain any weight for a while. I used to weigh 250 with around 23 percent body fat and now im down to 220 with 18-19% body fat. Im going to cut down to 205 then bulk back up to 225 but with much more muscle than fat. Is it possible to make muscle gains while on a calorie deficit?[/quote]

One can lose fat and build muscle at the same time.

Technically one can eat less calories if overweight because there is enough energy stored as fat.

Rather than energy what one needs in the diet are the proper nutrients that support muscle growth - protein being just one of them.

Since you want to burn fat and build muscle you should probably go with a low carb type diet to keep insulin in check.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

[quote]hurrdurrgomad wrote:
I’ve lost 30 pounds in the last 3 months and I don’t want to gain any weight for a while. I used to weigh 250 with around 23 percent body fat and now im down to 220 with 18-19% body fat. Im going to cut down to 205 then bulk back up to 225 but with much more muscle than fat. Is it possible to make muscle gains while on a calorie deficit?[/quote]

One can lose fat and build muscle at the same time.

Technically one can eat less calories if overweight because there is enough energy stored as fat.

Rather than energy what one needs in the diet are the proper nutrients that support muscle growth - protein being just one of them.

Since you want to burn fat and build muscle you should probably go with a low carb type diet to keep insulin in check.[/quote]

Would you recommend reducing daily intake of fat as well in conjunction with the lowering of the carbs? (I’m assuming something like a 40/30/30 macro split (Protein/Carbs/Fats)

At your body weight/fat ratio, I’d say it’s possible and probable, provided your diet is in check. I agree with keeping it low-carb.

[quote]wswnsc wrote:

Would you recommend reducing daily intake of fat as well in conjunction with the lowering of the carbs? (I’m assuming something like a 40/30/30 macro split (Protein/Carbs/Fats) [/quote]

Well, you typically reduce things across the board (except maybe protein). But dietary fat can be very useful here. 40p/30c/30f seems more maintenance-y. I’d probably go for something like 40p/20c/40f if we’re looking to keep things low-carb, hopefully regain some insulin sensitivity, and keep everything working properly with enough energetic calories to accommodate workouts, restoration, etc.

[quote]animus wrote:

[quote]wswnsc wrote:

Would you recommend reducing daily intake of fat as well in conjunction with the lowering of the carbs? (I’m assuming something like a 40/30/30 macro split (Protein/Carbs/Fats) [/quote]

Well, you typically reduce things across the board (except maybe protein). But dietary fat can be very useful here. 40p/30c/30f seems more maintenance-y. I’d probably go for something like 40p/20c/40f if we’re looking to keep things low-carb, hopefully regain some insulin sensitivity, and keep everything working properly with enough energetic calories to accommodate workouts, restoration, etc.[/quote]

How does insulin sensitivity play into this? Something to do with gylogen?

[quote]hurrdurrgomad wrote:
I’ve lost 30 pounds in the last 3 months[/quote]
How?

What were you eating and what kind of exercise were you doing?

Dude, just yesterday you were saying your goal was to weigh 240 and compete in strongman, and that you were training primarily for strength. No mention of wanting to drop weight. Also, forget about measuring bodyfat percentage. They’re almost always inaccurate and unreliable.

In any case - and this is something the other folks is this thread should pay attention to - you’re 15 years old. You’ve got a big frame, sure, but you’re in a position where you can see some good physique changes simply by eating basic good food (plenty of quality protein, healthy fats, and sufficient carbs) more often than you eat crap, while sleeping well every night and training hard a few days a week, continued month after month after month.

For a teenage lifter, restricting calories to any significant extent will do more harm than good. The easiest way to get into shape, lean out a bit, and build muscle and strength will be to consistently be a little more active (not necessarily lifting or on a treadmill everyday, simply moving around more) while eating well.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]hurrdurrgomad wrote:
I’ve lost 30 pounds in the last 3 months[/quote]
How?

What were you eating and what kind of exercise were you doing?

Dude, just yesterday you were saying your goal was to weigh 240 and compete in strongman, and that you were training primarily for strength. No mention of wanting to drop weight. Also, forget about measuring bodyfat percentage. They’re almost always inaccurate and unreliable.

In any case - and this is something the other folks is this thread should pay attention to - you’re 15 years old. You’ve got a big frame, sure, but you’re in a position where you can see some good physique changes simply by eating basic good food (plenty of quality protein, healthy fats, and sufficient carbs) more often than you eat crap, while sleeping well every night and training hard a few days a week, continued month after month after month.

For a teenage lifter, restricting calories to any significant extent will do more harm than good. The easiest way to get into shape, lean out a bit, and build muscle and strength will be to consistently be a little more active (not necessarily lifting or on a treadmill everyday, simply moving around more) while eating well.[/quote]

Thanks, yes I changed my goals. 240 is to bulky for me. Maybe 230-225.

[quote]wswnsc wrote:
Would you recommend reducing daily intake of fat as well in conjunction with the lowering of the carbs? (I’m assuming something like a 40/30/30 macro split (Protein/Carbs/Fats) [/quote]

Eating lower fat-higher protein in the beginning is workable but it gets more difficult as one’s body becomes more fat-adapted. Not to mention cutting calories is a lot easier on a mostly fat diet.

Also, what you’ve described is not considered “low-carb” by most people who follow such a diet - it’s right at the boundary for a 2000 calorie diet where the carbohydrate equivalent would be 150 grams. The point of a low-carb diet is to keep insulin in check so the body is not storing fat but rather burning it.

[quote]hurrdurrgomad wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Dude, just yesterday you were saying your goal was to weigh 240 and compete in strongman, and that you were training primarily for strength. No mention of wanting to drop weight.
…you’re 15 years old.[/quote]
Thanks, yes I changed my goals.[/quote]
Oh to be 15 years old again and have the attention span of a gnat…

OP, if your a teen and gathering information like a sponge just read articles. If you keep posting 1 questions per thread you will learn almost nothing in a day as opposed to reading the articles on this website. At your age it is about trial and error while you experiment with your body(pun intended). Try something for over 3 months then decide if you want to continue or change based on your results. What works for one member of T-Nation might not work for everyone.

OP…i’m a high school teacher/coach. I teach a Food Science class, former Dietitian. The best advice I could give is to forget about Macros right now and focus on what kind of food you eat. If your intake is processed foods mainly like most teens focus on whole unprocessed foods first. Get rid of the chips, snacks, cokes, etc. This alone will lead you to leaning out due to the absence of shit in your body.

Once you have accomplished this, pick a focus. Like “I will eat X number of servings of vegetables a day.” Make that one focus a priority while maintaining the rest of your diet.

Once that is habit pick a new focus. Like hitting a certain amount of protein.

As for fat, if you are eating unprocessed whole foods your fat intake should be fine.

Focus on correcting lifetime bad eating habits first. And pick one goal to work on.

[quote]calebsmitty wrote:
OP…i’m a high school teacher/coach. I teach a Food Science class, former Dietitian. The best advice I could give is to forget about Macros right now and focus on what kind of food you eat. If your intake is processed foods mainly like most teens focus on whole unprocessed foods first. Get rid of the chips, snacks, cokes, etc. This alone will lead you to leaning out due to the absence of shit in your body.

Once you have accomplished this, pick a focus. Like “I will eat X number of servings of vegetables a day.” Make that one focus a priority while maintaining the rest of your diet.

Once that is habit pick a new focus. Like hitting a certain amount of protein.

As for fat, if you are eating unprocessed whole foods your fat intake should be fine.

Focus on correcting lifetime bad eating habits first. And pick one goal to work on. [/quote]

well said. Of course no teenager will listen to this advice, hell you have 30 yr olds on here that would do well with this advice.

Yeah, i know. Hell I have trouble taking my own advice. I was lazy last night and ate at Jack in the Box and my body is rebelling.