Losing Fat Gaining Muscle
Question: How do I figure the calories I need to gain muscle and lose fat?
Answer: Ah, wouldn't it be great if there were an easy answer to this question? I'm going to take this as a two-part question, since it's VERY difficult to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously.
The answer is the same on both sides, meaning either add 250-500 calories per day to gain muscle or subtract 250-500 calories per day to lose fat.
Any more (or less) than this, and you're going to be trying too hard.
So, if you currently maintain your weight by consuming 2,500 calories, then eat 2,750 to 3,000 calories to gain muscle. Vary the intake; don't keep it the same every day. The body is VERY resistant to change, so keep it guessing.
MORE is NOT better! Don't think that if 5000 calories is good, then 1,000 calories is twice as good. It doesn't work that way. You'll wind up putting on too much fat and you'll feel sluggish throughout the day.
It works the same on the fat-loss side. Instead of adding 250-500 calories, subtract them!
The only distinction between adding and subtracting calories is the following: When trying to build muscle, your added calories should be mostly in the form of protein and when trying to lose fat, your calories should be cut from fat.
Don't go to a no-fat diet, however. Ironically, you need fat in your diet to lose body fat. So never take your fat intake down to zero.