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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown
Nutritionist

Janet Aylott
Nutritionist

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Q.

How will fat affect me putting on lean muscle tissue?

Hi Kelly, I am finding this site really helpful for assessing my calorie intake. However, I want to gain weight, primarily lean mass and would like your advice on how I can do this. I am 11st 10 and have put my target weight as 11st 10 (although my actual target is 12st 10). This gives me a suggested intake of 2600cals per day (to maintain at 11st 10). I am then adding around 500cals to this calorie intake in order to increase my weight to my target of 12st 10. I train 5 times a week with a mixture of weights and cardio. Am I doing the right thing or do I need more extra calories than this? Also, what would be my ideal intake of fat(g) per day in order to lower my body fat yet still gain the desired weight? Any help and advice would be really really appreciated. Many thanks Mark

A.

Our expert says...

Hi Mark,

If you are wanting to gain lean mass then you need to ensure that you have a higher proportion of weight training to cardio training in your workouts. This will ensure you adequately overload the muscles to promote lean muscle tissue development. It will also ensure you don’t burn too many calories that may lead to a negative energy equation and weight loss as opposed to lean muscle gain. Try focusing a little bit more on your weight training (which can be done in circuit formation or whatever you prefer) then long periods of endurance training for the next 6-8weeks.

With reference to the ideal fat intake, I strongly suggest you don’t get over-focused on amounts of fat and just ensure that you increase your protein intake (i.e. white meat, vegetables, fish) together with good sources of fat (avocado, fish, nuts and seeds). To reduce body fat you need to essentially minimise saturated fat sources from your diet, so no biscuits, chocolate, pastries, crisps, take aways. Fat should essentially make up to around 20-30% of your total daily macronutrient contribution (i.e. of fat, carbohydrate and protein) but basically just be disciplined with your intake.

The key is not to limit fat intake (as good fat is necessary for health and burning body fat) but stay in the right calorie range and train hard so your body utilises the existing body fat stores. This provides much better results than trying to prevent fat intake.

Hope this helps,

Kelly

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