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  1. #1
    Registered User themorganator4's Avatar
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    eating at a slight deficit to lose fat and build muscle

    Ok so I have done a bit of research and found that you can build muscle and lose fat at the same time providing your diet is spot on (right macros, esp protein) and the deficit is small (around 2-300kcal) and your BF is no less than 10-11% (I'm 15-16%)

    the only issue with this is how to know when I need to eat more? obviously as I gain muscle my TDEE will increase and I need more calories, meaning that I will end up moving out of muscle hypertrophy and into maintenance (and possibly loss) as my deficit increases, of course, my BF% will (hopefully) be falling so I cannot use that as a reliable measure of caloric deficit and as I will be gaining muscle, I can't use weight either (unless it starts dropping)


    I was thinking of using the following formula:

    If weight drops or remains the same and strength stays the same (i.e plateau for 2 weeks on compound lifts) or decreases = eat more

    If weight drops but strength increases (unlikely) = maintain.

    in regards to a Plateau I was considering that even an increase in 1 rep over 2 weeks still counts as an increase (as I expect muscle gain to be slow due to not eating in excess)

    Happy for any criticism
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    It doesn't seem unreasonable.

    Be prepared for there to be noise in your readings. Your weight will change randomly due to water weight. This can even last weeks at a time.

    Your strength can reach peaks and then drop off again. It doesn't necessarily mean you lost muscle. Strength is only a loose proxy for muscle mass.

    These things can scupper a precisely regimented plan so prepare to be a little flexible is all I'm saying.
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    Registered User themorganator4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    It doesn't seem unreasonable.

    Be prepared for there to be noise in your readings. Your weight will change randomly due to water weight. This can even last weeks at a time.

    Your strength can reach peaks and then drop off again. It doesn't necessarily mean you lost muscle. Strength is only a loose proxy for muscle mass.

    These things can scupper a precisely regimented plan so prepare to be a little flexible is all I'm saying.
    I suppose ultimately it is the mirror which is the true factor here. I will be measuring my waist as any decrease in this measurement means fat loss.

    I will bear in mind that Muscle gain is a long process so if I have a few weeks of no strength gains, then keep going. If it becomes more of an issue after a few months then I should probably address things.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Be aware that even waist measurements are not perfect. Your skin hydration and gut content changes randomly which will affect things.

    Weight and measurements are best thought of as used for spotting longer term trends. Draw a smooth line of of best fit through the day to day noise
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    Registered User themorganator4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Be aware that even waist measurements are not perfect. Your skin hydration and gut content changes randomly which will affect things.

    Weight and measurements are best thought of as used for spotting longer term trends. Draw a smooth line of of best fit through the day to day noise
    yes I use a monthly moving average for my measurements etc.

    thanks
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    Originally Posted by themorganator4 View Post
    I suppose ultimately it is the mirror which is the true factor here. I will be measuring my waist as any decrease in this measurement means fat loss.

    I will bear in mind that Muscle gain is a long process so if I have a few weeks of no strength gains, then keep going. If it becomes more of an issue after a few months then I should probably address things.
    Yep mirror will give you an answer you're looking for and also the strength level. If you increase protein intake, you'll start noticing improvement in strength (for some it happens early and for some it takes time)
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    Originally Posted by themorganator4 View Post
    Ok so I have done a bit of research and found that you can build muscle and lose fat at the same time providing your diet is spot on (right macros, esp protein) and the deficit is small (around 2-300kcal) and your BF is no less than 10-11% (I'm 15-16%)

    the only issue with this is how to know when I need to eat more? obviously as I gain muscle my TDEE will increase and I need more calories, meaning that I will end up moving out of muscle hypertrophy and into maintenance (and possibly loss) as my deficit increases, of course, my BF% will (hopefully) be falling so I cannot use that as a reliable measure of caloric deficit and as I will be gaining muscle, I can't use weight either (unless it starts dropping)


    I was thinking of using the following formula:

    If weight drops or remains the same and strength stays the same (i.e plateau for 2 weeks on compound lifts) or decreases = eat more

    If weight drops but strength increases (unlikely) = maintain.

    in regards to a Plateau I was considering that even an increase in 1 rep over 2 weeks still counts as an increase (as I expect muscle gain to be slow due to not eating in excess)

    Happy for any criticism
    First off, adding muscle increases your TDEE only very slightly, not enough to make a deference. The problem with a very small deficit is tracking and counting correctly to be within a very tight margin of success consistently over time is nearly impossible. You want to check your waist measurement at the navel to gauge fatloss\gain. 5-7 lbs is about an inch either way. Strength gains can very easily be CNS adaption Depending on your height\weight stats you may be better off with a bigger deficit and concentrating more on fatloss and muscle maintenance
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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