Eating For Muscles

Hi. I am 49 yr old male, overweight.

I am doing strength training and watching my calorie intake. My weight is slowly coming down. A friend of mine told me that if I want to have large muscles, I have to eat protienous stuff.

I have scarecrow hands (compared to other males). I would like to have some muscles. They look nice. Question is - do I need to eat protiens or any such thing, or will cutting calories and doing strength training suffice?


  • bradphil87
    bradphil87 Posts: 617 Member
    Both getting enough protein and lifting are very important in maintaining your muscle mass while losing weight.
  • HeidiMightyRawr
    HeidiMightyRawr Posts: 3,343 Member
    The best way to gain muscle is to eat in a calorie surplus, along with sufficient protein and a decent strength training program. Good protein levels are important as it helps to repair your muscles after training, a good amount is usually seen as 1g per lb of bodyweight, or at least 1g per lb lean body mass.

    However, as you mention you are overweight and (I assume) wanting to lose weight, it would probably be best for you to stay in a calorie deficit. Keep this minimal (no huge daily deficit), get your protein goals in, and train hard! When you are new to lifting and/or very overweight, you can make small muscle gains in the beginning, no need for a surplus. But these will be minimal, and even if you don't gain any, the good news is that you will better maintain what you already have. Losing weight usually includes losing a bit of muscle, but the protein/training should help stop this :)
  • paxbfl
    paxbfl Posts: 391 Member
    It is possible to gain muscle as you're losing fat but I think you need to prioritize which is more important to you. You sound like me (I'm a 45-year-old guy looking to lose 40 pounds total). I'm gaining muscle through lifting but my priority is on fat-burn so I always make sure I do cardio to burn calories and stay in a calorie deficit for the day. I do try to make sure I get plenty of protein every day - I'm always over the recommended amounts on myfitnesspal.

    I've lost 16 pounds so far... the weird thing for me is that I notice myself getting smaller - my arms, chest, etc are getting smaller, harder and more toned. My strength is increasing, so I don't believe this is a symptom that I'm losing muscle... I think it's just a side effect of losing all the fat.

    I look at it this way... once I lose all the fat, I can really prioritize building muscle - keep calorie totals a little higher, keep eating protein and focus more on lifting vs cardio.

    Good luck!