The Hare or The Tortoise?
Which one are you? The hare? Or the tortoise? Do you launch out of the blocks without thought thinking only of the next few metres, Or do you set yourself up for long term success & consider the full length of the race? It's something to think about. If your level of conditioning is important to you, then focus on eating as little as you can to gain & as much as you can to lose. Think about that statement…….In fact, read it again.
When you're looking to improve your body composition, whether it’s gaining muscle or losing fat, the slower you do so, the better & more sustainable your results will be. Anybody can lose weight by starving themselves or gain weight by eating everything in sight - the key is to look at the quality of the mass you're losing or gaining.
When trying to build muscle, it's important to do so slowly. Building muscle is a tedious process at the best of times & if you're female, the odds are really stacked against you. Trying to speed the process up by eating a larger calorie surplus is likely only going to increase your chances of gaining excess fat. You can only build so much muscle, despite the size of the surplus you're in. Building muscle requires overfeeding - essentially you need extra calories so your body can perform an extra function (building muscle). Give it too much food & you'll cover all your bases - including storing heaps of extra body fat.
"It's important to note that the rate of fat gain can easily exceed the production of increased strength & muscle mass. Eating in a massive caloric surplus won't make you gain strength or muscle rapidly. Unfortunately, as always, the constraint is time.
Conversely, when looking to lose fat, it's important we get the fat loss job done on as many calories as possible. As mentioned - building muscle is tedious & slow; don't make it even harder for yourself by attempting to diet too quickly & risk burning any more muscle mass than you need to. Get the fat loss job done on as many calories as possible. Anything around half a kilogram per week is pretty spot on, but if you have the opportunity to go slower than that, I would recommend it.
Looking after your metabolism in the long run will ultimately mean longer term dietary success with less chance of vicious rebounding. Take care of your body & it will take care of you. Plus - who doesn't want to be eating as many calories as possible whilst losing weight or gaining muscle without gaining excess fat? I'm not saying it's always going to be possible, but give yourself every chance of doing so by planning to progress in a slow & sustainable manner. Essentially, the moral of the story is that the tortoise is going to win, every time. Make slow gains. Make appreciable gains - whether they are of the muscle building or fat loss variety. Slow & steady wins the race, or in this case, makes the most optimal gains.
SO HERE IS THE MOTIVATIONAL SERMON! Stop putting in a sub-par performance. TRACK your nutrition. Be ACCOUNTABLE for what you're feeding your body. Bulk & cut SLOWLY so that you can minimise fat gain & reduce muscle loss for the respective scenarios. It's not rocket science. It's not overly difficult. Sometimes it can be challenging to put it into practice, but at the end of the day, it isn't that hard to give yourself every chance of succeeding. BE THE TORTOISE.