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I need some advice

sguzma21sguzma21 Member Posts: 10 Member Member Posts: 10 Member
I'm 18 years old, female, 5'1, 130 lb, about 25-27% body fat (rough estimate). In the past 6 months, I have been working on developing muscle and strength with bodyweight and free weight exercises. I have gained about 15 pounds of muscle and fat. I am a LOT stronger and more muscular than when I started, but because I haven't stayed away from sweets and processed food, there's too much fat on my body to see definition without having to flex.
Right now my goal is to get down to about 20% bodyfat. I'm considering doing a mini cut for a month to try to lose fat quickly, but I know that to prevent muscle loss I will have to track my calories and macros, and I can't figure them out. I have tried calculating what my calories and macros should be to get into a reasonable deficit, but the different websites all say very different things. I did get about 1300 calories as my maintenance calories, but it just seems so low! When I track my calories I get around 1,200-1,400 a day, and I'm super surprised at how little food I'm eating. I do get cravings later in the day which I heard was a sign of under eating, but It just doesn't add up to me, plus I've always had a sweet tooth and it could just be that. I feel like I eat a lot! Maybe I should start weighing my food instead of eyeballing to track. I don't get how I could gain muscle if I were eating that low.
Anyway, My question is whether I should do a mini cut for a month, or switch to a mesocycle where I do a surplus on training days and go into a deficit on off days. I heard it would be less likely for me to lose muscle this way.
Also, should I bother counting calories or should I just intuitively eat? I got to about 22% bodyfat in my sophomore year by intuitively eating and cutting out processed foods with regular exercise.
I think I'm possibly making everything too complicated, but please let me know what you think I should do. I just want to get really fit.

Replies

  • sguzma21sguzma21 Member Posts: 10 Member Member Posts: 10 Member
    @sardelsa Thank you, I guess I didn't really consider that everyone gains fat along with the muscle.

    I'll make sure that I keep my calories at a sustainable level. I'm actually writing a workout plan with progressive overload, good to know that I'm doing the right thing there! It's such a relief to hear that I don't have to cycle calories, I think I would get tired of it very quickly. I've always thought that following a more intuitive and less structured plan would be best for me in the long run for sustainability & less stress.

    I think I'll weigh my food & count calories just in the beginning so I can eventually estimate how much I should eat just by eyeballing it. I've heard of the 80/20 rule, I think that I should follow that so I can find a balance between healthy eating and the food that makes me happy :)
    Thank you so much for your response, It was super helpful! (Especially coming from someone with my body goal! :))
  • iguttigutt Member Posts: 77 Member Member Posts: 77 Member
    I started doing a no sweets besides my cheat day which is once a week and that’s nice too but it might take you a bit to get used to it
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 8,437 Member Member Posts: 8,437 Member
    sguzma21 wrote: »
    My question is whether I should do a mini cut for a month, or switch to a mesocycle where I do a surplus on training days and go into a deficit on off days. I heard it would be less likely for me to lose muscle this way.
    Also, should I bother counting calories or should I just intuitively eat?

    I believe that you already have the answers to your questions if you just ask yourself what would you more than likely adhere to the best.

    Mini cuts can be fine for those who can adhere.

    There isn't a noticeable difference in cycling calories for most goals. I feel most people would be better off just eating balanced meals with a consistent calorie/macro intake.

    If you are less trained, your MPS window is bigger than a person that is more advanced trained. So I'm not a fan of less calories/protien on days off as that is just more work and less efficiency. In other words I'm not a fan of less trained individuals attempting to major in the minors.

    Ask yourself what way will you adhere to your short and long term goal the best and see how you respond. Keep it simply and if you are programming yourself pay attention to how you respond and how you don't. Not everybody is the same.



    edited July 20
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