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  1. #1
    Registered User smurfine's Avatar
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    Calorie deficit or maintenance?

    I am a 41-year old woman (completely new to this forum), 168 cm and 59 kilos. I have worked out 3-4 times a week for many years, but nothing serious. Mainly 1-2 cardio workouts and 1-2 strengt workouts every week. I’ve switched between Stronglift and RYP, just to maintain my muscles.

    My diet plan has not been very good. I was 2-3 kilos heavier some years ago, and wanted to lose weight, so I started a 1200 calories low carb diet. In the weekends I ate too much chocolate and candy. I followed this «diet» for years, before I found a nutrition plan online based on correct macros to all meals. Now I eat 18% fat, 30% protein and 52% carbs every day, and in every meal. I started this diet plan in october. Since I wanted to get rid of some body fat I have eaten 1500 calories every day, 300 more calories each day than before.

    I’ve continued Stronglift and RYP, and now I’ve just started on a new program that a friend has composed to me. It's actually a muscle gain program with 4x10 sets. Right now I have 3 strength workouts and 1 cardio every week.

    Since I still am on calorie deficit, I can’t gain muscles, so the focus is to keep my muscle mass, rather than gain more muscles.

    I took this inbody test today. My fat percent i 26%, so I still have fat I want to lose. And I only have 23.8 kilos muscles (lower normal range). The problem is that I’m very hungry every day, so I’m thinking about increasing my calories to 2000 (maintenance). But is it still possible to gain muscles on maintenance? And what about the fat? Will I look even fatter if I gain muscles and keep my fat mass as it is now? I guess the fat mass will not decrease at the same time as i gain muscles?

    It’s soon summertime and I don’t want to increase my fat mass. Considering my situation, what would you recommend?
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  2. #2
    Registered User HanleyTucks's Avatar
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    Pick one programme and stick to it, keep progressing on it. 2-3 times a week.

    At 59kg and 1.68m you are BMI 20.9, so on the lower end of the range doctors normally consider desireable for health (18.5-25), so you should not be looking to lose weight.

    If you up your calories and lift consistently you will find that your bodyweight creeps up as you get stronger, you'll gain some muscle - and you won't lose fat, but the same fat will be spread over more muscle, so you'll have a different look.

    We can't prescribe exact calories because people and their activity levels vary, there's a difference between a 59kg woman who squats 20kg and a 59kg woman who squats 120kg, or that same woman who does a desk job compared to one who works delivering mail on foot. But it'll be closer to 2,000kCal than 1,500kCal.

    So usually we suggest "steer as you go." Up it a bit, wait a couple of weeks and see how you go.

    If:-
    1. you are feeling good (health is always most important)
    2. you are getting stronger and fitter
    3. if you want your body to change it is changing the way you want it to, or if you want it to stay the same it's doing so
    then your diet is perfect.

    If one or more of those three things is not true, then adjust as appropriate.
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