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Thread: Why not build muscle and lose fat at same time?

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    Gonnabebig Member JuniorMint6669's Avatar
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    Why not build muscle and lose fat at same time?

    Please dont flame me... im just asking a question... not claiming that its possible.

    I hear constantly that its not possible to do both, unless you are new to weightlifting, but I was hoping someone could explain the "why" to me.

    In a caloric deficit you lose weight. In a caloric excess you gain weight- I got it. But I still have trouble with the "calories in/out at the end of the day" determining this.

    I mentioned in another post, shouldnt it be "calories in/out at the end of a given period of time" whether it be 1 day, 2 days, 1 week, 6 months. If over 6 months time, you were in a caloric deficit overall, you will have lost weight, even if you werent in a caloric deficit every day, correct?

    Now what does it matter? Im just wondering why it couldnt be broken down even further- into hours. If I am in a caloric excess for the 12-24 hours surrounding my weight training, and in a caloric deficit the rest of the time, why cant I be building muscle and losing weight at the same time?

    ----again---- please dont be mean and hateful and flame me when the answer is very obvious, because I just dont see it

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    WannaBeNotFat technogeeky's Avatar
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    I don't really know - but this is what I'm trying to do.

    I think it maybe simple as the concept: "To gain muscle mass, you need to eat a lot. To lose mass, you need to eat little."
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    Re: Why not build muscle and lose fat at same time?

    a calorie deficit or surplus for one day is nothing

    over hours would be totally irrelevant

    for a bb who is not advanced this gain & lose at the same time is much more possible

    you are more likely to gain muscle after a few weeks of being in a calorie surplus

    you will lose bodyfat during a few weeks of calorie deficit

    it's all a matter of goals

    you will reach the end goal of being big and cut faster by setting a specific goal and alternating bulking or cutting

    it is entirely possible to eat maintenance cals and add muscle while dropping fat

    for someone over 20% bodyfat it shouldn't be a problem at all

    IMO someone over 20 should be cutting though

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    Define Your Soul SoulOfKoRea's Avatar
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    it's possible, it just takes a lot more patience, time, and more activity.
    My profile picture is about 5 years old, I'll get around to taking some progress pics eventually.

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    Gonnabebig Member JuniorMint6669's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Why not build muscle and lose fat at same time?

    Originally posted by Holto

    you are more likely to gain muscle after a few weeks of being in a calorie surplus

    you will lose bodyfat during a few weeks of calorie deficit

    This is the part that I do not understand clearly. Im just going to throw out some numbers to hopefully better explain what I mean:

    During a 24 hour period of time, I have a maintainance of 3000 calories.
    If for the first 12 hours I eat 1000 calories, I will be in a deficit of 500 calories (~1/7 of a pound) for the assumed 12 hours.
    If for the second 12 hours I eat 2000 calories, I will be in a surplus for these 12 hours.
    For the day, I will be eating at mainainance overall.

    Why wouldnt I lose 500 calories worth of fat during the first 12 hours, why must I wait a few weeks to lose the fat?

    BTW, this is actually what Im doing, not by design, but because I am really hungry post workout, and the rest of the time, Im really not that hungry. From 9pm-9am, I consume ~1800 calories. From 9am-9pm I consume ~900 calories. I have established my maintainance as ~3000-3200. Originally, I ate 6, ~450 calories meals throughout the day, but I found myself sluggish and hungry. Since timing my diet around my excercise times, I seem to have higher energy levels and suppressed appetite through my periods of relative non-activity.

    Now again, Im not saying that this is the way to go, because Ive only been doing it for a few days and have only noticed results minimally. I was wondering if anyone does something similar, or could validate my theory, which holto pretty much said was wrong Oh well, yes, this is how bored I am- all I can do with my free time is dream about a better way to get ripped.

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    Steak and Eggs pusher's Avatar
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    Look at it this way. You are technically bulking for 12 hours and cutting for 12 hours, instead of lets say 2 months bulk, 2 month cut. The difference is that, as Holto said, in 12 hours you will not gain a pound of muscle or lose a pound of fat. Your body just doesn't work that way.

    There are a lot of factors involved with your body whether it is building muscle or losing fat, ie metabolic rate, nutrient uptake, creating an anabolic environment, hypertrophy stimulus, fat oxidation, body composition etc, etc. Some of these factors, like calorie surplus/deficit, are inversely related with respect to your goals.

    The main point is that it is not easy to make your body either gain muscle, or lose fat, and it is practically impossible to do both at the same time, and notice anything significant. If your theory where true, than you could also say that over 1 minute you are gaining muscle and the next minute you are losing fat, thus over a two minute period, you gained muscle and lost fat simultaneously... so you can see that it doesn't make sense.

    BUT, by creating an environment in your body conductive to either goal, you can promote either LBM gain or fat loss. The longer you create the environment, the more likely you will get the results you want. You could maybe gain a pound of LBM in 2 weeks on a bulk, but could likely gain 20 over one year.

    IMO, the reason some people may experience both fat loss and muscle gain as newbies, is that they are starting from a relatively sedentary state where their bodies aren't physically 'happy', and thus more responsive to stimulus. Think about how much easier it is to go from say 30% bf to 20%, but not very easy to go from 10% to 5%. Similarly, an overweight person weighing 400 pounds can probably shed significantly more body fat by walking 10 minutes a day, then a physically fit person half their size.
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    Re: Re: Re: Why not build muscle and lose fat at same time?

    Originally posted by JuniorMint6669
    During a 24 hour period of time, I have a maintainance of 3000 calories.
    If for the first 12 hours I eat 1000 calories, I will be in a deficit of 500 calories (~1/7 of a pound) for the assumed 12 hours.

    *** this is assuming you burn half you total cals in the first half of your day

    If for the second 12 hours I eat 2000 calories, I will be in a surplus for these 12 hours.

    ***you may be in a surpulus for the day but your body remembers you running out of cals earlier and is less likely to add tissue that requires cals (muscle) when there is not adequate supply (calorie surplus)

    Why wouldnt I lose 500 calories worth of fat during the first 12 hours, why must I wait a few weeks to lose the fat?

    *** if you were in a calorie deficit for a few days you would burn some fat
    glycogen plays a huge role

    in the time after your workout when you are eating *extra* cals you are filling glycogen

    in the time when you create a calorie deficit your just releasing glycogen to make up the difference (500 cals)

    think of it in terms of what you are signaling your body to do

    after a few weeks of eating extra cals your body will feel safer adding muscle knowing that additional muscle requires additonal cals when at rest

    conversely after a few days of being in a calorie *deficit* your body must use fat for fuel
    Last edited by Holto; 07-12-2003 at 03:08 PM.

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    Gonnabebig Member JuniorMint6669's Avatar
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    Good points pusher, the reason I bring this up is because of what ive read on HST. It states that the most anabolic period of time is 24-48 hours post workout (i believe, please correct me if im wrong). But assuming my 12-24 hour period of time isnt sufficient enough time, lemme ask another question:

    Is there a point in eating in times of inactivity? Let me give an example of my day:

    7:00 wake up
    7:00 ~400 calories
    8:30-5:00 school
    9:30 ~100 calories
    12:00 ~300 calories
    5:00 ~400 calories
    6:00-9:00 work
    7:00 ~100 calories
    9:00 ~300 calories (preworkout carbs/protein)
    9:30-10:30 workout
    10:30 ~300 calories (postworkout carbs/protein)
    11:30 ~500 calories
    12:30 ~300 calories
    1:00 sleep

    Im on a cut, so ignoring my previous comments about losing fat/gaining muscle at the same time, is it generally a good idea to focus my calorie intake around the times of my training? As seen here, I take in most of my calories post workout, as well as 300 preworkout. From 9:00-12:30 I take in 1400 calories. That is ~52% of my calories in ~15% of a day. Is this good/bad/irrelevant regarding fat loss, muscle recovery?

    At the very least, its helping keep my appetite at bay post workout, but I was wondering if there was something more to it.

    Ok I realize this is turning into a diet topic rather than a training topic, so if a mod feels its neccessary to move it, please feel free to do so.

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    Gonnabebig Member JuniorMint6669's Avatar
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    Holto: I didnt get to read your post before I reposted, so this post is for you

    Doesnt fat oxidation occur in real time, rather than over a period of a few days? For example, in the HIIT sticky it notes that the rest intervals allow more oxygen to get in your system, to allow fat to be burned at a greater rate than say moderate intensity cardio where you are huffing and puffing the entire time. To me, this sounds like fat is being burned while you are excercising, your body isnt waiting a few days to recognize the caloric deficit. and I wanna apologize in advance if im coming off sounding like a newbie/know it all, because when I re-read my post, thats what it looks like to me but im just curious

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    Originally posted by JuniorMint6669

    Doesnt fat oxidation occur in real time, rather than over a period of a few days?
    True, there's no set time frame after which it happens. If there's no energy available from blood or liver sugar then fat oxidation will certainly happen regardless of your energy balance in the recent past.

    The main problem with trying to build muscle and lose fat at the same time is that there's a very significant chance that you end up not doing either of them and you'll certainly compromise both comparing to what you could achieve if you dedicated exclusively to one of those goals.

    I've had moderate success with 24 hours slighty hypercaloric periods after workouts and 24 hours hypocaloric periods untill my next workout recently. I was able to put on a little mass while slighty reducing bodyfat but it wasn't time efficient at all.

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    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Muscular growth requires a rather intense calorie surplus. Protein turnover and supercompensation isn't easy on the metabolic rate.

    Fat loss requires an energy deficit of some sort to occur (now, this deficit doesn't necessarily have to be caloric, mind you).

    So yeah, both can occur at once, but as you can infer, its not easy nor is it fast.

    That's the primary idea behind HIIT cardio, weight training, and high-density anaerobic work in general. It promotes nutrient flux into the muscles, and away and out of fat cells.

    Basically, you can eat at or even slightly above maintenance, and the effects of your activity still manages to promote an anabolic response in muscle, and a lipolytic effect on the body as a whole.

    At least, that's the ideal scenario.

    Stuff like thermogenics (esp. ephedrine, caffeine, and ECGC [see green tea]), thyroid regulators, and n-3 EFA's (your EPA/DHA, due to the effects on uncoupling proteins) are going to have positive effects on this process as well, and thusly should be included in any attempts to partition nutrients.

    Anaerobic activity, though, really seems to be the key to it. By diverting calories *specifically* away from fat cells, HIIT and similar protocols create a local calorie deficit in the fat cells, but seem to leave the muscle cells alone.

    I must stress again that this is a slow process; its an accumulation of precise dieting and consitent training over time. Also, HIIT isn't for beginners or people without a significant cardiovascular base. I'd advise anyone in those categories to build up a decent base for a few months doing standard cardio for 20-30 minutes before even attempting HIIT.

    But there's your tools, anyway.
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    Skinny not scronny Stabber's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Why not build muscle and lose fat at same time?

    Originally posted by Holto


    glycogen plays a huge role

    in the time after your workout when you are eating *extra* cals you are filling glycogen

    in the time when you create a calorie deficit your just releasing glycogen to make up the difference (500 cals)

    think of it in terms of what you are signaling your body to do

    after a few weeks of eating extra cals your body will feel safer adding muscle knowing that additional muscle requires additonal cals when at rest

    conversely after a few days of being in a calorie *deficit* your body must use fat for fuel
    Holto, do you think dextrose is appropriate post workout if you're on a cut?
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    Originally posted by JuniorMint6669
    Doesnt fat oxidation occur in real time, rather than over a period of a few days?
    yes, it would, when it does

    but for it to occur at all glycogen levels must be low enough for it to be necessary

    to lower glycogen levels to this extent takes more than 1 day in a calorie deficit

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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why not build muscle and lose fat at same time?

    Originally posted by Stabber


    Holto, do you think dextrose is appropriate post workout if you're on a cut?
    I use more when I'm cutting actually

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    Gonnabebig Member JuniorMint6669's Avatar
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    The more I think about it, the less I think I care about fat loss and muscle gain.

    I am very curious about the effect of timing our food intake. I am not expecting a miracle, but I think most of us would agree that when we eat has some effect on the results we get. After all, how many of us take pre and post workout drinks? Many people do AM cardio on an empty stomach. Others swear that eating breakfast will have a large impact on our metabolism for the rest of the day. Some would suggest eating slow digesting protein + fat before bed, to lessen the fast while we sleep.

    Yet I still hear that our results are a result of in vs. out at the end of the day. If none of this stuff mattered, why would we do it? Now im guessing someone will answer... "it matters, but not so much that you have to get all excited about it." Now what if we did everything possible, get a little benefit from this, and a little benefit from that, shouldnt that add up to something that we could see as results?

    Of course I have nothing (research, or even personal evidence[yet]) to prove or even support what Im thinking. Maybe its best if I just shut up and keep doing what Im doing, then report back to you guys when Ive got something to show for it

    Of course, any further input is appreciated.

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    Get Some! KoSh's Avatar
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    You know I believe he is correct...

    Five weeks ago I was at 188 pounds...

    For the past 5 or so weeks, I have been eating at least 3,000 calories a day and I have gotten stronger and my muscles have gotten larger...

    However I am now weighing 175 pounds, I've been lifting for 3 years. This is the first time I've seen this happen... I am doing absolutely nothing with my diet...

    Prior to the weight loss, on bench for regular reps I was finishing up at 185, now my last set is at 195 for 5-6...

    I have gotten stronger...

    However, I have to wonder if basketball is the reason for this. I have been playing alot of basketball lately, maybe 2 hours a day... Sprinting up and down court to stop fast breaks, get back on D, etc...
    "Donít fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnít matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. Iíve got scars and blood and vomit."
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    Skinny not scronny Stabber's Avatar
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    Originally posted by KoSh


    However, I have to wonder if basketball is the reason for this. I have been playing alot of basketball lately, maybe 2 hours a day... Sprinting up and down court to stop fast breaks, get back on D, etc...
    So you've always been intaking 3000 calories? I would say the cardio is what made you drop from 188 to 175
    Last edited by Stabber; 07-13-2003 at 08:37 AM.
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    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Holto
    yes, it would, when it does

    but for it to occur at all glycogen levels must be low enough for it to be necessary

    to lower glycogen levels to this extent takes more than 1 day in a calorie deficit
    Glycogen levels do not have to be low for fat oxidation to occur.

    If anything, the opposite is true.
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    Steak and Eggs pusher's Avatar
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    I think it is important to time your intake of food because it can help you utilize your bodies' response to stimulus in your favour, ie:

    Stimulus: Weight training session,

    Example response: - Insulin sensitivity

    Your response: Provide body building nutrients in an attempt to capitalize on the increased insulin sensitivity.

    Although it is not vital to your health that you have a post workout protein shake, it can be helpful to do so.

    Also, eating creates a certain response in your body, just like starvation does. So eating acts like a stimulus, and you timing when you eat, can help you manipulate your bodies' response to your benefit, ie eating every 3 hours to provide a constant supply of nutrients, and a steady insulin response throughout the day.

    If you aim to consume 200 g of protein a day, you can eat all 200 in one sitting or spread out throughout the day, which approach can help you create a positive N balance? Spread out of course.

    The point is that although you can get away without considering what time you eat in the day, you can get more favourable results if you take advantage of being able to manipulate the time element in your diet.
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    Originally posted by pusher


    Also, eating creates a certain response in your body, just like starvation does. So eating acts like a stimulus, and you timing when you eat, can help you manipulate your bodies' response to your benefit, ie eating every 3 hours to provide a constant supply of nutrients, and a steady insulin response throughout the day.

    If you aim to consume 200 g of protein a day, you can eat all 200 in one sitting or spread out throughout the day, which approach can help you create a positive N balance? Spread out of course.

    Curiously, some recent research showed a diminushing effect in nitrogen balance from frequent feding schedules as opposed to more infrequent meals, like 3 X day. I'm not so sure if eating many small meals actually is any better than 3 or 4 big meals per day anymore.
    Last edited by restless; 07-13-2003 at 01:14 PM.

  21. #21
    . Delphi's Avatar
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    Those were hourly feeds, which few people do. It's not clear how 3 feeds compare to 5 or 6 feeds a day.

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    Originally posted by Delphi
    Those were hourly feeds, which few people do. It's not clear how 3 feeds compare to 5 or 6 feeds a day.
    True, maybe there's a point where you hit a point of diminushing results if you further increase frequency. I don't know.

    I've been having much better appetite control with 4 large meals and results wise I can't tell any difference.

  23. #23
    Gonnabebig Member JuniorMint6669's Avatar
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    Hmmm... instead of timing our food intake to accomplish the difficult tasks(lose fat and build muscle), what about timeing our food intake to prevent the easy tasks (gaining fat and losing muscle)?

    Does anyone have any info about how soon after we have an excess of calories we will store them as fat, also how long this process takes. I know everyone must be thinking GOD, just give it up JrMint but im just a very inquisitive person like that

    My thinking here is... eating consistant meals throughout the day, say, 6- 500 calorie meals, we will be in a surplus at some point(s) during the day, and storing unneccessary fat. Of course, if we are in a deficit later in the day, we *may* use this fat for energy, but we *may* also become catabolic or we may just use glycogen stores, correct? So perhaps we should be providing our body with even more food pre and post w/o, in the morning, right before bed, and less food midday (or evening, or whenever you are just chilling on the couch watching TV).

    Any thoughts?

  24. #24
    WannaBeNotFat technogeeky's Avatar
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    If I'm new to weightlifting, I can make significant gains in muscle mass while still losing significants amount of fat, right?
    Age: 20 [21]
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    Height: 6'5

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    Originally posted by PowerManDL


    Glycogen levels do not have to be low for fat oxidation to occur.

    If anything, the opposite is true.
    interesting

    are you referring to exercise

    I'm referring to being in enough of a calorie deficit that your body will metabolize a significant amount of fat at rest

    from what I understand your body prefers to use glycogen

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