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I'm a bit confused - regd Fat Loss & Muscle Gain

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Old 09-30-2009, 01:08 PM   #1
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Question I'm a bit confused - regd Fat Loss & Muscle Gain

Per Tom Venuto:
"Getting a net loss in body fat and a net gain in muscle over a period of weeks or months is possible, but it is physiologically impossible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same precise moment in time. One goal requires a calorie surplus and the other a calorie deficit. You can't gain muscle while you're in a calorie deficit and you can't lose fat while you're in a calorie surplus, it's as simple as that."

Original Article here

Does this mean, I shouldn't work too much/focus on weight training right now since I have a lot of body fat to lose? I understand that I won't see definite muscle definition until my body fat% is within a certain range. But, I thought, muscle gain was one of the big plus for weight/fat loss. If I can't gain muscle now then should I focus more on cardio till I reach my goal and achieve fat loss?

I apologize if similar questions have been asked. I would really appreciate any help in clarifying and simplifying it for me. I'm just confused and frustrated at the moment. I've never had a consistent drop in scale/month despite me having lost about 50lbs (1.5 yr roughly). It's been a very frustrating journey so far as the scale numbers didn't move the way I wanted it to. I don't want to eat more calories if it is only going to slow my loss progress.

Couple weeks ago, I upped my calories to 1600 calories/day. I was doing 1400 calories/day before. I also make sure I meet my macros. I also workout 6 days/week - 3 days weight training and 3 days Treadmill or run outside.

Also, if I do have to focus 100% on fat loss, how do I begin to achieve that without focusing on muscle gain?

I just ordered New Rules of Lifting for women book.

Thank you
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:16 PM   #2
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Someone may be able to explain it better but I'll try.

Basically, when you are losing weight, you lose fat, muscle, excess tissues, water, etc. Weight training helps offset the muscle loss although some natural muscle loss will occur for the most part. If you want to physically gain muscle, you do have to be in an excess of what your body is burning to support itself or else it won't want to build muscle because muscle requires energy.

If you are in a calorie deficit, it will want to maintain the muscle you have if you are using the muscle and will go to your fat stores more than if you weren't working out. Otherwise your body would see your muscle not being needed and wanting to metabolize it as well.

Does that make sense? That is my view of it at least.

So keep lifting, its good for you
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:30 PM   #3
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I gained muscle and lost fat over a period of several months. Was it at the same precise moment in time? Heck if I know. But over time, I sure did.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:40 PM   #4
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Nelie, I think I do. Thanks

Basically, for now, I continue lifting as it will help retain whatever muscle I lose during my fat loss process. But, in order for me to really become muscular, I'll have to eat more once I'm within the body fat%. It's still a little mind boggling to think that way

But, if I am in excess of what I am burning to gain muscle...how do I prevent fat gain (as I'm assuming there'll be some weight gain due to increase in calories)? How can one tell the difference?

Midwife, I'm hoping I have some muscle gain too over time .
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:50 PM   #5
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pinto - it is a bit trial and error. You wouldn't increase your calories all at once if you were to do so. Also, monitoring your BF% is one way to ensure that you don't gain fat and are working on increasing your muscle mass.

Also, the thing I forgot about is it is one reason that it is recommended to eat after you work out because your body can use that to help rebuild itself including muscle.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nelie View Post
If you are in a calorie deficit, it will want to maintain the muscle you have if you are using the muscle and will go to your fat stores more than if you weren't working out. Otherwise your body would see your muscle not being needed and wanting to metabolize it as well.
Very well put, Nelie! It's never the wrong time to lift weights. Challenging your muscles will allow you to retain the muscle you have while you're losing weight. A lot of people underestimate how readily your body metabolizes muscle, especially as you approach a healthy weight. And given how incredibly hard it is to build muscle (most women who lift heavy and consistently can only add a few pounds of muscle in a year), it's going to be much easier for you to keep your muscle than try to rebuild what you've lost by the time you reach your goal weight. And believe it or not, if you're new to lifting (or if you keep your calorie deficit small), you can actually add muscle while losing weight since calorie partitioning is more favorable in newbies. This grace period only lasts a few months, so make it count!

Best of luck
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:36 PM   #7
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Ok..if you actually DO want ot build real muscle though, you are supposed to build the muscle FIRST (ie, bulk up) THEN chisel away at the Body Fat to reveal the muscles. If you lose the body fat first, then up your calories to build muscle, you are also going to add fat back on as well as build muscles...
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:32 PM   #8
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I know all the "experts" say you can't do it, but I've been doing it. I've definitely gained muscle mass and strength both, because my hamstrings used to be like slices of bacon, and I had no deltoids you could feel at all...both have definitely grown in size while I'm still in a calorie deficit and losing fat. Whether it's the noob effect, the crossfit effect, or whatever, it's definitely possible to gain muscle size and strength while in a calorie deficit. I've done it, and I'm pretty sure Mel, Meg and some others here have done it as well. Keep on lifting and doing your thing!
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:48 AM   #9
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Thank you so much ladies for your responses and clearing up the confusion for me . It helped a lot. I will continue to lift as I'm realizing the benefits of it. Both, physically and mentally. I still have a lot to lose and I definitely don't want to stop losing at my current weight.

I just got my new rules of lifting for women book last night. So excited. I am looking forward to starting the training program outlined in that book.
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:36 AM   #10
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Read the ENTIRE book. The first half is all about the physiology of fat/muscle.

If you are new to lifting, you really do have a golden window of about 6 months where you can gain muscle while losing body fat. The other thing to keep in mind, if you are not new to lifting and are carrying around a lot of muscle already, there is a lot of intramuscular and intravisceral fat there- not just the fat you can feel under your skin. You want to lose that. A lot of the muscle hardening that makes people think they are gaining muscle is the loss of the the squishy intramuscular fat. That's a good thing.


Do a bulk before a cut is for people who are already fairly lean. Don't worry about it at this point

Mel
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel View Post
Read the ENTIRE book. The first half is all about the physiology of fat/muscle.

If you are new to lifting, you really do have a golden window of about 6 months where you can gain muscle while losing body fat. The other thing to keep in mind, if you are not new to lifting and are carrying around a lot of muscle already, there is a lot of intramuscular and intravisceral fat there- not just the fat you can feel under your skin. You want to lose that. A lot of the muscle hardening that makes people think they are gaining muscle is the loss of the the squishy intramuscular fat. That's a good thing.

Do a bulk before a cut is for people who are already fairly lean. Don't worry about it at this point

Mel
Thanks Mel, for responding.
I would consider myself fairly new. I only started lifting couple months ago as I had to delay cuz of tendonitis. I still wear wrist and elbow brace just to prevent injury. Unfortunately, I'm not blessed with a muscular form .

How would I go about losing intramuscular and intravisceral fat (in terms of exercise)? If I follow the program in this book...will I be able to achieve that? Or do I have to do something else besides this program? I apologize for asking silly questions...I just want to make sure I'm on the right track with good knowledge .

Edit: I do follow a healthy, balanced diet.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:12 PM   #12
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I think you are absolutely on the right track Keep on lifting, doing cardio and eating clean. As you lose body fat, you will lose the intramuscular and intravisceral fat. There's nothing special that you have to do- just keep on doing

Mel
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:36 PM   #13
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I'm halfway through the book and the more I read online (!) the more confused I seem to be getting too. . .

This would be my ideal situation as outlined below!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel View Post
If you are new to lifting, you really do have a golden window of about 6 months where you can gain muscle while losing body fat.
My question is, do I need to be in a calorie deficit to achieve this? Like the OP I have fat to lose and don't want to stop that.

I feel that I am overthinking this, but the concept of lifting is very new to me . . . as Lou alludes to in the book - I always thought that thousands of reps with the Barbie weights was the way to go together with hours of running like a little hamster on the dreadmill . . .
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:38 AM   #14
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If you have a lot of fat to lose, yes, you need to be in a calorie deficit. Don't starve yourself, but eat clean and stay in a slight to moderate deficit.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:05 AM   #15
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Thanks Mel
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