Julie Germaine, 2x WBFF Pro Fitness Model Champion
It isn’t news that your diet is much more important than your training regime when it comes to fitness results. To begin to establish the right program for you, best to start with goal-setting. Often my clients express they want to build muscle while losing bodyfat. Unfortunately, the body does not effectively perform these tasks simultaneously. Only genetically gifted individuals can get good results in both areas, and even I am not one of them!
You see, in order to repair & strengthen muscle tissue for increased size and firmness, your body requires a caloric surplus, or more calories than your maintenance. Opposingly, to reduce stored bodyfat, decrease weight and tightened skin, you must run a calorie deficit, or eat less than you burn during daily activity.
This is why you hear athletes discuss bulking and cutting. Bulks are not as scary as they sound – the goal is not to fatten you up, rather to sculpt the physique you desire using healthy foods and heavy lifting. The results are best gauged in strength increase and by testing bodyfat percentage as the muscle can be hidden under a thicker layer of bodyfat during bulking diets. You would then follow a few months of bulking with a calorie-restrictive cutting program.
Most people do begin their fitness journey with a cutting diet, as reducing bodyfat is the priority.
Once you decide which is your first focus, you have to calculate how many calories you use during your day, and either add 200-400 calories more calories to build muscle or cut 200-400 calories for safe and effective weightloss. The helpful caloric intake calculator on this page will make this a piece of cake! For example, if you are a 25 year old woman who weighs 135 pounds, is moderately active and wants to build muscle, your caloric intake would be aprx 2500 calories (200-400 calories above her energy expenditure).