Is eating at a maintenance while lifting ok for a beginner?

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Big misconception regarding calories and muscle, calorie surplus = you gain WEIGHT. You don’t need to be bulking to gain muscle, eat your maintenance, eat 1.2-1.5g/kg BW of protein and its all you need. If you stall you might need to deload and then up the weight again, or change your routine. It won’t have anything to do with your diet, especially if your eating maint and correct amounts of fats/protein and enough carbs to give you energy. Just make sure you really are eating maint. EDIT: if you want to lose fat, eat at a deficit, not much.. All you need is maybe 5/10% of your maint try 5 and wait and see, maybe a month, before going lower. You don’t want to starve yourself, you still need energy, and if you have a huge deficit you lead to a greater chance of binging on food. But make a deficit from carbs, not from fat or protein, fats regulate your hormones, protein is the building block for muscles. Oh, drink lots and lots and lots of water.


If you’re still new to weights you can still build muscle while losing some fat on a caloric deficit. I believe it’s because your muscles receive micro-trauma and stimulus like never before. A very common mistake many lifters make is thinking that their diet is the number-one determining factor of their progress or the rate at which they build muscle. They religiously count calories on a surplus/maintenance/deficit but half ass their workouts thinking that as long as their calories are in check, they would achieve their goals just by being at the gym and moving some weight. -Stick to a good program with good frequency and intensity, and aim to progress on compound lifts -Start with a minor caloric deficit with at least 0.8g protein per lb bodyweight daily + decent carb choices and some fat -Get enough rest Do these and you should be good. Clearly everyone is different, so trial and error is key to finding out how your body responds, and by starting out with a deficit, you greatly reduce risk of putting on unnecessary fat EDIT: This doesn’t mean you should be on a deficit/maintenance til the end of time. Everyone is different. When you hit a fairly long plateau with the weights, I personally believe you should alter the workout first (many ways to do this like rest times and deloads). Altering calorie intake should be the last resort if you’re really looking to gain as much muscle with as little fat as possible. When you hit a plateau, think “What can I do differently at the gym to bust this plateau?” before you think “How many calories should I add to my daily intake to bust this plateau?”


Not to be ugly with you, but I kinda hate questions like this, though I blame the /r/fitness community more than you. It basically does not matter. You are a beginner. You could eat glue and dirt exclusively and as long as you lift you’ll see results. Min maxing fitness is never important as we all see results at different rates and from different routines differently. You’ll see 95% of the progress you’d ever be able to achieve by just tending towards healthy foods and eating protein while working out consistently. People have been getting fit for eons without counting every calorie and macro obsessively. Don’t overthink it. Obviously if you are planning on competing or something then that last 5% becomes important, but for the rest of us it’s not worth the mental sacrifice.


as a man who’s also in the same boat i did a ton of research. Short answer is yes. Long answer is: when do you want results? I for one want to be fit within a 10 month period so i put a weight in mind i want to reach in 10 months and eat accordingly. Right now i am the same weight i was 2 months ago but i’m getting stronger meaning i’m gaining muscle and losing fat if i’m staying at the same weight. Body recomposition is the best thing to do as a beginner , you can progress while looking better and better instead of bulk/ cut cycles. Now i looked at the research and i’ll tell you that bulking is more beneficial for muscle growth even as a beginner but then you have to cut and its gonna be harder losing more fat you’ll eventually be gaining as you bulk. ​ So decide what you want. Do you want to be 175 in a few months ? Or do you want to be a leaner 165? Do you care about the way you look or do you prefer getting stronger? you’ll look better quicker with maintenance and you’ll get stronger quicker with bulking.