Can You Build Muscle on a Calorie Deficit?
If you’re like most bodybuilders, the words “How can you build muscle on a calorie deficit?” are making you squirm. I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you but those claims are total BS! To put it simply, if you want to build large amounts of muscle mass, you’re going to need more calories than you are burning. Now, that’s not saying you can’t eat more than your intake.
I know you’re probably thinking, “What can I do if I don’t have to count calories?” There are a few simple things you can do that will dramatically effect your calorie intake and burn of calories. For example, let’s say you only eat fruit during the week. Forget about everything else. When you’re at the office, go to your computer, use the microwave, eat a bunch of ice cream, take a vacation, and figure in your normal diet.
By doing this, you’ve upped your daily calorie intake and burned off all the calories you’ve taken in during the week! You can keep doing this for as long as you’d like. And if you were to go on a calorie deficit, you would still have more calories than you are burning. Simple, right?
This is why people ask, “Can you build muscle on a calorie deficit?” The answer is simple: if you’re trying to get big muscles and you’re only eating a certain amount of calories, you’re not burning any off. You may notice that this is counter intuitive because you normally think that you need to consume a lot of calories in order to burn them off. But when you consume fewer calories than you burn, you won’t gain weight… period!
So can you build muscle on a calorie deficit? Yes! As long as you’re taking in more calories than you burn per day, you’ll have a positive effect on your size. You should always aim to eat no more than 1200 calories per day, though this number varies depending on your personal situation.
If you eat less than you burn, you will gain weight. But since your goal is to lose fat, the best thing to do is to eat more calories than you burn. You can easily reach your daily calorie intake by adjusting your daily calorie intake up or down from your nutritionist’s recommended amount. Just make sure that you don’t eat any more than your body requires, or else you’ll gain unwanted weight!
Here’s an example… If you’re trying to get lean and toned, you should be eating a little bit more than your basal metabolic rate. If you’re trying to lose weight, you should be eating less than your resting metabolic rate. How do you know which? By tracking your food intake with a special digital scale that records everything you eat for two hours per day. This way, you can tell exactly how much weight you’re losing by tracking your food intake. Once you know your average calorie burn, adjust your diet accordingly.
So can you build muscle on a calorie deficit? Of course! It’s just another way to say that you need to burn more calories than you intake. The first step of course is to change your attitude about food. If you think that you can consume whatever you want and that calories won’t matter, you’re wrong. Calories do matter!
If you’ve ever eaten junk food or donuts, I’m sure you can relate. These foods are high in calories but surprisingly low in nutrition. If you were to calculate the amount of calories required to maintain normal body weight, you’d probably find it hard to believe. Your metabolism needs fuel and food to function. And when you eat less than your normal calorie intake, your body goes into starvation mode and your metabolism slows down… resulting in fat gain.
When you eat more than your normal calories, your metabolism will speed up. You’ll be burning fat like a furnace. And the great thing is that your weight loss will continue once you reach your desired weight! So even if you’ve gained weight, it’s not all bad as long as you’re putting all the new body mass back on with muscle! And the only way to do that is to burn more calories than you take in.
So, can you build muscle on a calorie deficit? Of course you can. As long as you follow a proper diet plan that provides plenty of protein and low fat carbs, you’ll see results. But you also need to learn how to burn calories efficiently so you can keep losing weight and get leaner, without gaining fat.