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Highpockets 06-22-2012 05:28 PM

HELP! Confused about calorie intake
 
Ok, I am an analyst by nature and profession but I cannot find a clear answer to my question.

I am currently losing weight (not pounds but waste size and flab).
I am working out 4 days a week (weights and elliptical).
I can see the gains i'm making in muscle and ability.

Here's my quandry. I track my calories closely, but if I eat the desired calories to make me lose weight (less) then am I starving my muslces of what they need to grow (protein)? I don't mind a little fat, always gonna have it, but I also can't pound the food like I used to when young (i'm 48).

Where's the balance? What should I shoot for calorie/protein/carbs wise to gain muscle but not gain fat back?

Any pointers or points to other writings would be much appreciated!

God Bless

kaaijer 06-25-2012 08:21 PM

Its all about timing. The timing of consuming calories is more important than the actual amount of calories! I'm tempted to type a wall-o-text about this topic but let me try to keep things short. Here's some general guidelines for gaining muscle while minimizing fat gains or even loosing fat:

-Eat your biggest meal AFTER your work-out.
-Workout in a (nearly) fasted state, save those calories for AFTER your workout (see my first point)
-Give your body some time to dig into your fat reserves by staying in a fasted state for over 12 hours. Search for 'intermittent fasting', has worked for me and many others.
-Go to bed on an empty stomach, it will improve your sleeping cycle and improve GH release, thus having a positive impact on body composition.

The biggest myth still circulating is: "I have to eat every X hours or I will lose muscle". Some people are so obsessed with constantly pumping calories into their system, trying to maintain their anabolic state. The result: zero fat loss.

Commander 06-26-2012 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Highpockets (Post 923972)
I am currently losing weight (not pounds but waste size and flab).
I am working out 4 days a week (weights and elliptical).
I can see the gains i'm making in muscle and ability.

^
This, above.

Doesn't match with this, below.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Highpockets (Post 923972)
Here's my quandry. I track my calories closely, but if I eat the desired calories to make me lose weight (less) then am I starving my muslces of what they need to grow (protein)? I don't mind a little fat, always gonna have it, but I also can't pound the food like I used to when young (i'm 48).

You are losing weight and can see muscle gain. What is the problem again?

However, are you hoping for too much, most people are not going to gaining large portions of muscle while dieting. Typically, the goal is just to maintain muscle mass while in a fat loss phase and caloric deficit.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Highpockets (Post 923972)
Where's the balance? What should I shoot for calorie/protein/carbs wise to gain muscle but not gain fat back?

If you are hoping to switch to a mass gains phase with minimal fat gain, than gradually increase carbs post workout until you find the sweet spot. The key is to do it gradually, this isn't a sprint, it is a marathon.


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