Eating for Muscle Gain?

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I've lost 29 pounds since logging on MFP about 140 days ago. In the last month I've started working with weights, while continuing to eat according to MFP (1 pd a week) without eating back exercise cals (cal number obtained, in the last 2 weeks, from a Polar FT7 HRM). I know that to put on muscle I need to eat more cals but I don't know how to determine what that number should be. Is it just making sure to eat back the cals I burn? FWIW, I am 5'8" and roughly 207 eating 1550 cals a day.

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  • waldo56
    waldo56 Posts: 1,861 Member
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    If you want to eat to gain muscle you have to eat a calorie surplus, which means setting MFP to gain weight (at this point most are using custom goals).

    It should go without saying that you absolutely have to eat exercise calories. The idea that you shouldn't is more of noob thing than anything, since that only works when you're fat. Either use MFP as designed and eat 'em back or set goals based off TDEE and don't log exercise, both methods are "eating your exercise calories".
  • CoachSamB
    CoachSamB Posts: 40 Member
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    Good word.
    If you want to eat to gain muscle you have to eat a calorie surplus, which means setting MFP to gain weight (at this point most are using custom goals).

    It should go without saying that you absolutely have to eat exercise calories. The idea that you shouldn't is more of noob thing than anything, since that only works when you're fat. Either use MFP as designed and eat 'em back or set goals based off TDEE and don't log exercise, both methods are "eating your exercise calories".
  • helpfit101
    helpfit101 Posts: 347 Member
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    You should eat the calories you can eat every day including exercise calories. And adjust your goals (custom) to have a slight negative weight loss.

    Maybe -0.5lbs per week. That means you will actually gain 0.5lbs per week. I over-ate for muscle gain and gained like 3 kg's in two weeks. I obviously did it wrong :) A lot of that was fat. So be careful don't overeat too much. Just make sure you are slowly very slowly gaining a little.
  • sdionnemoore
    sdionnemoore Posts: 45 Member
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    Thank you. Since I am technically still trying to lose, I have often wondered if I'd be better off getting down to within sight of my goal weight before trying to eat to gain muscle. Since lifting, and since losing these last five pounds and beginning strength training, I find myself more hungry. The cals keep going down with every 5 pounds weigh-in, so I wondered if now was the time to start eating back calls bc of the weights.
  • grantdumas7
    grantdumas7 Posts: 802 Member
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    Thank you. Since I am technically still trying to lose, I have often wondered if I'd be better off getting down to within sight of my goal weight before trying to eat to gain muscle. Since lifting, and since losing these last five pounds and beginning strength training, I find myself more hungry. The cals keep going down with every 5 pounds weigh-in, so I wondered if now was the time to start eating back calls bc of the weights.
    A goal b/f is better than a goal weight. Concentrate on loosing fat before trying to gain muscle since the former requires a calorie deficit and the later a calorie surplus.
  • DPernet
    DPernet Posts: 481 Member
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    Thank you. Since I am technically still trying to lose, I have often wondered if I'd be better off getting down to within sight of my goal weight before trying to eat to gain muscle. Since lifting, and since losing these last five pounds and beginning strength training, I find myself more hungry. The cals keep going down with every 5 pounds weigh-in, so I wondered if now was the time to start eating back calls bc of the weights.

    You can either lose weight or gain muscle. You can't do both at the same time. To gain muscle, you need to gain weight.

    Carry on with the weights. This will help minimise how much muscle you lose while you're losing weight
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,867 Member
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    Thank you. Since I am technically still trying to lose, I have often wondered if I'd be better off getting down to within sight of my goal weight before trying to eat to gain muscle. Since lifting, and since losing these last five pounds and beginning strength training, I find myself more hungry. The cals keep going down with every 5 pounds weigh-in, so I wondered if now was the time to start eating back calls bc of the weights.

    If you're using the MFP method, you're supposed to be eating back exercise calories anyway. I lost all of my weight eating back my exercise calories (most of them...about 70% to account for estimation error). If you use TDEE method, you're still eating them back technically...it's just that they're already accounted for in your activity level estimation.