I'm 43 years old, 5'-9" and 145lbs. I'm currently eating a bit light, lifting light, running and some additional cardio to trim down some unwanted body and chest fat.

When I'm done, my goal is to gain some weight in muscle. I plan on cutting out cardio and upping my lift program. From what I read, I need to take in a lot more calories than usual, perhaps 3500/day. What I'm concerned with are all those calories going back to fat.

What do I need to do to make sure that I'm adding enough calories to build muscle, but not so much I'm adding on to fat?

1 Answer 1


Your best approach is to use a calorie intake/metabolic rate calculator like


There many out there but I trust this one. Though even with good calculators this is still just an estimate. Often time I "thought" I was cutting based on projections from iifym but with my slightly higher metabolism I had to cut more than what was recommended.

It took me a couple years to really hone in on the right numbers when it came to bulking and cutting. It may not take you as long but certainly there will be some trial and error involved. Just be patient and don't change things every couple of days when you don't see results. Stick to it for a couple week or a month then re-evaluate and adjust.

You build muscle when you bulk, you lose fat when you cut. It's really not sustainable to build muscle and cut fat simultaneously. Be clear about your goals. I'd recommend cutting to where you want to be bodyfat wise, then start a bulk.

There's a lot of great answers on this site already that cover in more detail. Good luck! Also if you're new to fitness articles and blogs be prepared to hear a lot of conflicting and contradictory advice. Don't listen to anybody at the gym ;-)

Mike Matthews is a good author if you're just getting started. He has a good online and social media presence.

  • 1
    Actually you gain both fat and muscle when bulking and lose both fat and muscle when cutting. The goal is just to maximize the gains of whatever you want to gain when bulking and minimize the loss of whatever you don't want to lose when cutting.
    – ruslaniv
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 13:12
  • Good point. I was speaking in generalities I suppose. Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 16:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.