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    Registered User Dannyh195's Avatar
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    Building muscle in calorie deficit?

    Hi, I’m new to this so don’t really know how it works. I have quite abit of weight to lose. Currently set up on a calorie counting app that has set me a 1,000 calorie a day deficit but from what I’ve read it’s not good for muscle building. My question is, how can I begin to build muscle while continuing to lose some fat, even if it’s a slower rate? Is it possible? Don’t want to get huge, just want to feel better in my own skin and improve my image of myself. Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    What is your height and weight?

    You can build muscle in a deficit, especially if overfat and a novice to training... but a calorie deficit of 1000 is probably too high for that to happen much. You may have to take it slower - but as I say, we need your stats to give better guidance.

    There is no special trick to it, you just use an effective program like one of those in the Workout Programs forum sticky threads (e.g. Fierce 5), keep protein high (1.6g per kg of target weight) and run a moderate calorie deficit - time and patience are the only magic ingredients here.
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    Registered User Dannyh195's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    What is your height and weight?

    You can build muscle in a deficit, especially if overfat and a novice to training... but a calorie deficit of 1000 is probably too high for that to happen much. You may have to take it slower - but as I say, we need your stats to give better guidance.

    There is no special trick to it, you just use an effective program like one of those in the Workout Programs forum sticky threads (e.g. Fierce 5), keep protein high (1.6g per kg of target weight) and run a moderate calorie deficit - time and patience are the only magic ingredients here.
    Hi, currently 5ft 7, and weigh about 18st 10lbs, about 41 on the BMI scale but people say I don’t look this weight which is good I suppose!
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    OK, so you probably can recomp quite well and you probably can keep the calorie deficit quite high. So if you can sustain -1000 cals then try it. You can always slow it down if you start stuggling to make progress with lifting.
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    Registered User Dannyh195's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    OK, so you probably can recomp quite well and you probably can keep the calorie deficit quite high. So if you can sustain -1000 cals then try it. You can always slow it down if you start stuggling to make progress with lifting.
    Will do, cheers for the advice👍
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    No problem - a couple of things. As you lose weight, you might look smaller because fat will come off your arms and chest as well as elsewhere. As long as you are getting stronger, this doesn't mean you are losing muscle.

    When calculating protein needs, use target bodyweight not current bodyweight (otherwise it will say you need way more than you really need). So perhaps use 13st (80kg) as your target.
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    Originally Posted by Dannyh195 View Post
    Hi, I’m new to this so don’t really know how it works. I have quite abit of weight to lose. Currently set up on a calorie counting app that has set me a 1,000 calorie a day deficit but from what I’ve read it’s not good for muscle building. My question is, how can I begin to build muscle while continuing to lose some fat, even if it’s a slower rate? Is it possible? Don’t want to get huge, just want to feel better in my own skin and improve my image of myself. Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    I would use a smaller deficit, like 500.

    Edit: But yes, you should still be able to build some muscle with 1,000 calorie deficit. But 500 would probably make it easier to build muscle. And probably easier to sustain a 500 calorie deficit compared to 1,000
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  8. #8
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    With the amount of fat you have to use I’d use an aggressive deficit of 1,000 and prioritize Fatloss over muscle gain otherwise you’ll be dieting for a very long time. Plus shooting for a deficit of say, 500 you’ll most likely end up with a lot smaller, if any, deficit when you figure in your inaccurate weekly calorie amount which is common.

    Building muscle even in a surplus may not happen if training is subpar and even less likely in a deficit so best to shoot for maintaining muscle at this point and leaning out.

    A true deficit of 1,000 calories a day will slowly become less of a deficit as you lose weight if you keep the calories the same so once you lose 50 lbs you’ll be at the 500 cal deficit number or thereabouts provided your counting and tracking is fairly accurate.
    Last edited by Tommy W.; 09-02-2021 at 07:22 AM.
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