Adding calories?!

  • Hey ladies and gents,

    I saw my boxing trainer yesterday and he basically laid out this: I am not eating enough calories to build muscle consistently. He said that I should consider adding roughly 300 to 400 calories back into my diet and focusing on lifting to build muscle and tone up and still lose. This terrifies me because I have spent years thinking "less is best." I'd be going from 1450 a day to 1850 a day and he said I could see a pound or two gain as we figure out the calories and I don't like the sound of that.

    Have any of you guys ever had to "add" calories to help with weight loss? I guess another part of me is scared that as I add calories I'll be susceptible to binging on junk even though it's supposed to be "healthy fats" that get added.

    (X-posted to 30 somethings, sorry if you see this twice!)
  • If you fear gaining, perhaps do it gradually, not all at once.

    I am trying to increase cals to gain muscle now that I am done losing, but I'm still losing. Its about finding the perfect number. I've increased from 1450 to 1600 I'm not there yet.
  • Quote: I am not eating enough calories to build muscle consistently.
    "Strength improvements of the kind you're talking about are neurological. It is only possible to gain muscle in a caloric deficit for a short period of time - typically 3-6 months and the amount of muscle a woman will gain is fairly minimal.

    The physiological processes of losing fat and gaining muscle are opposed to one another and do not happen simultaneously." - John P

    you will build whatever muscle CAN be built at a deficit no matter what level you are eating. after that initial gain you cannot gain muscle while eating a deficit... ANY deficit.
  • Are you done losing weight?

    To concentrate on building muscle, you do need a surplus of calories. This doesn't really help with weight loss though. If you look at a typical bodybuilder's schedule they have cut and bulk phases (I'm not implying that you're trying to become a bodybuilder, but this is a good example for how this works). They will spend a portion of their year bulking - lifting heavy, usually little to no cardio (ever wonder why the super muscle guy gets easily winded by a flight of stairs?), and eating a surplus of calories. They will add muscle but also add fat at the same time. Then whenever they are closer to "show season" they will go on a cut - they will reduce calories and do cardio to try to lose the fat. They will continue to lift hard to try to mitigate the loss of any muscle.

    Generally speaking, it's my understanding that while you're trying to lose weight the name of the game becomes to try to NOT lose muscle. You do this by strength training. (There are beginner gains where for a relatively short period of time a total strength training newbie can gain muscle while in a caloric deficit, but that levels off after a relatively short window of time)

    Once you're done with weight loss, you can switch to your own version of a bulk phase to concentrate on adding muscle. I'm very curious to see how this works out for myself. Once I get to goal, I don't know if I can physiologically switch to purposely eating surplus!

    Hope this helps
  • KindaSortaAthlete you gave a wonderful explanation! I am bad at that lol
  • Quote: KindaSortaAthlete you gave a wonderful explanation! I am bad at that lol
    I think we said the same thing! As soon as I hit post I saw that you had replied too - I always think its amusing when I (unknowingly) basically say the same thing as the person who posted ahead of me
  • It is amusing, but I think you said it better! I had to borrow from JohnP lol