Build muscle and lose fat at the same time is an extremely difficult task, and if we call a spade a spade, then for most people this mission is impossible. Therefore, in the presence of excess weight, we will go this way:
Either way, you should exercise to wear and tear and stick to your meal plan.
At the beginning of the journey for overweight people, we recommend concentrating on reducing the proportion of fat mass. A competent approach will create excellent conditions for the development of skeletal muscles, help to lose weight and improve health. If you are slightly overweight, start with:
- UOO minus 500 calories
Your task is to lose 0.7-1 kg per week. This pace is considered optimal for maintaining, and possibly a small set of muscle mass while losing weight.
With a more rapid weight loss, the likelihood is that you will lose muscle tissue along with fat. In this case, add 200-300 calories to your daily diet and closely monitor the dynamics over the next few weeks.
Conversely, if the weight is declining extremely slowly or does not stand still, cut the calorie content of your daily diet by another 300 calories and, again, follow the dynamics over the next few weeks.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
The daily protein requirement is a topic of endless and very heated discussion. Ask an expert how much protein you need for optimal muscle growth, and you will hear one of the following answers:
- 150 grams per day. And you don’t need more than 150 grams under any circumstances.
- 2 grams/kilogram of weight. For every kilogram of body weight, 2 grams of protein are relied on.
- 30/50/20. Protein covers 30% of the caloric content of the diet.
Which approach is correct? Consider each option under a microscope.
150 grams per day. 150 grams of protein per day is a sensible idea, the only problem is that the upper limit is set at 150 grams, and this makes classic hardgainers overfill the diet with carbohydrates.
For example, to gain weight, you need 4,000 calories a day. Then, with the current limit of 150 grams of protein, you will have to eat something in the region of 600 grams of carbohydrates daily. It is clear that limiting protein intake to 150 grams per day in people with an accelerated metabolism will lead to an imbalance in the diet.
Two grams per kilogram of mass. This method of counting is extremely popular, however, it is not without its drawbacks. Let me demonstrate this with examples.
- Bodybuilder A. Body weight 60 kg with a height of 170 cm.
- Bodybuilder B. Body weight 75 kg with a height of 170 cm.
- Bodybuilder C. Body weight 125 kg with a height of 170 cm.
Using the proposed calculation methodology, we find that “bodybuilder A” – the leanest member of the group, should eat the minimum amount of protein – about 120 grams per day. Meanwhile, this athlete should get the most protein: his weight is below normal, and he has a huge potential for muscle growth, which will be realized as total body weight normalizes.
Bodybuilder B is supposed to eat about 150 grams of protein a day, which seems reasonable. One problem – if “bodybuilder B” is a beginner, he has tremendous potential, a unique opportunity to gain mass at an accelerated pace, and for this you need to get something about 180-200 grams of protein per day, otherwise, you can miss part of the harvest.
Finally, according to the proposed formula, “bodybuilder C” should receive about 250-260 grams of protein daily. Without further ado, it is clear that “bodybuilder C” is already overweight, and we force him to absorb protein in horse doses!
30/50/20 – proteins / carbohydrates / fats. Using the proposed proportions of protein, fat and carbohydrates, we risk stepping on the same rake as in the case of the “2 grams per kilogram” methodology. But before we go directly to the calculations, let me clarify the essence of this ratio.
- You get 30-30% of your daily calories from protein. Each gram of protein is equivalent to 4 calories.
- 50 – 50% of the daily calorie intake you get from carbohydrates. Each gram of carbohydrates is equivalent to 4 calories.
- You get 20 – 20% of your daily calories from fat. Each gram is equivalent to 9 calories.
The 30/50/20 rule works well, but it loses its relevance at extremely low and extremely high energy requirements. Here are two good examples:
- 1800 calories. In this example, the bodybuilder has a slow metabolism or is in a drying phase. In keeping with the 30% principle, we should limit it to 135 grams of protein per day. Too little, especially for a person seeking to maintain muscle mass while on a low-calorie diet.
- 4000 calories. A version of the program for gaining mass, which is suitable for a young bodybuilder or the happy owner of an accelerated metabolism. Adhering to this principle, he will eat at least 300 grams of protein (not to mention 500 grams of carbohydrates) daily. Judging by the volumes, this will be a real nightmare for the digestive tract! It would be much more reasonable to slightly shift the emphasis towards fat – this approach will allow you to gain the required amount of calories without overloading the stomach with giant portions of proteins and carbohydrates.
So how much protein do YOU need?
On your journey through the realm of bodybuilding, you will come across many formulas and guidelines for determining the daily protein requirement. We suggest this approach: instead of counting “grams per kilogram”, remember a simple rule:
Eat 30-40 grams of protein every 2.5-3 hours.
By adhering to this principle, you will be able to vary your daily protein intake in the range of 150 to 240 grams. As a rule, 180-200 grams is enough for any straight bodybuilder, of course, if he is not thin as a pencil, with an increase of more than two meters.
And please don’t panic at the mention of 240 grams of protein. Only hardgainers with an accelerated metabolism will reach the maximum values of the range. Rest assured, most of us won’t need these 240 grams.