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Should I bulk or cut?

Should I  cut or bulk? This is a question every beginner asks themselves when they start resistance training. Here is an answer to that question based on multiple factors that vary on what your body type is and how your body chooses to store fat.

How calories work in regards to building muscle

Before we talk about what bulking and cutting is, let’s discuss how calories work.  Everyone consumes a certain number of calories per day, which is referred to as daily calorie intake. From which your body utilizes a certain number of calories to keep functioning and the rest is utilized by your body for your muscles or stored as fat, depending on your caloric needs. If you are someone who is doing resistance training, for example, your body is likely to use those excess calories for building muscle and the left over after that is then stored as fat. There is no way your body will just cut off fat altogether and forcing your body into starvation for 2 weeks to lose, however many pounds/Kg is just a recipe for disaster and binge eating later.

Should you Bulk or cut if your skinny?

If you’re someone who already has a hard time putting on weight, the best approach for you would be different than someone who is either at a healthy weight or overweight. Bulking is an option but should not be overdone despite being skinny. Only consuming protein from clean food sources like chicken, lean meats, and the like mostly. If you’re bulking up by consuming junk calories from fast food and calorically dense foods with little to no nutrition in them. Your bulk will end up keeping your skinny fat or make you skinny fat with little to no muscles. It might also lead to you putting on more fat along with muscle which will just get covered by fat.It

Do a clean bulk and in a specific calorie range. An example would be if your daily calorie intake is, let’s say 2000 kcals, you should not add more than 500kcals and that 500 kcals is a lot as well, but being skinny will allow you to eat that much provided your calories are not junk and within the 500 range.

Sure, you can eat more, but resistance training is like a marathon, not a race and trying to make this process faster is just going to either injure you in the gym or gain unwanted weight if you eat more just for the sake of fast muscle gains. Being skinny gives you an eating advantage, but that can turn into a disadvantage or worse, an addiction if your bulk is from consuming fast food and the like. Increase your caloric intake but keep it on the lower end of the extra 500 calories.

What to do if your overweight?

Being overweight, your approach is going to be  different from someone who is skinny. Bulking is totally out of the question as putting on more weight is just going to hinder your weight loss. Your muscles will get covered with more fat, not to mention the plethora of health issues that might result from getting obese.

Cutting paired with weight lifting would be the most optimal approach to take, so that as you lose weight and gain muscle you will be able to visibly see the changes that your body goes through, which will further serve as motivation and keep you focused. Your body does not need the extra calories that bulking is mainly done for. The fat that is already on your body can be used as energy to build muscle. This makes it easier for you to build muscle as compared to someone who is on the skinnier side.

Cutting for you would be the optimal solution, but your cut cannot be drastic. If you restrict more than you can handle, you will end up binge eating all that weight back or more. Let’s say you eat 3000 calories per day to be at the weight you are at. Your caloric deficit should be close to 500 kcals as well, but not higher.

What a realistic cut looks like if your overweight

If you can cut off up to 500 calories, which  is 14,000 calories per month. To burn one kg of fat, you need a deficit of  7,700 calories. So, in one month, losing 2 kg’s (4.4 pounds) is a possible goal. Add to it your muscles from resistance training, burning additional calories and cardio if your up for it. You can easily burn 2.5 (5.1 pounds) to 3 kg’s (6.6 pounds) of fat per month. Anything more than this will just make your hunger hormone (ghrelin) make you want to binge eat. Sure, if 500 seems too much for you. Start with a 250 to 300 calorie deficit and build up to 500 or keep it at 300. It is your choice. There shouldn’t be a time limit when on a sustainable diet.


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