Nutrition

I Reached My Goal Weight, But Want to Continue Losing Fat and Gaining Muscle. Should I Stop Cutting Calories?

We asked an expert to get the answer.

Woman Drinking Protein Shake
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I’ve reached my goal weight, but I want to continue losing fat and building muscle. At what point do I need to stop cutting calories and simply eat at a maintenance level?

“Congrats on reaching your goal weight! My advice is to keep playing with your macros to make sure you stay at this range,” says Linda M. Stephens, a nutritionist, trainer, and IFBB figure pro.

If your primary goal is to maintain your current weight, try carb cycling, adds Stephens. “Try to follow a low-carb diet [around 50 to 150 grams a day] for two to three days, except on a heavy training day. Having about 30 to 40% of your macros come from healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, nut butter, and nuts can help you stay satis ed.” Then return to a higher-carb diet for the next four to five days.

If your main goal is to now increase lean muscle, you’re better o  keeping your macros at about 40 to 60% carbs, 25 to 35% protein, and 15 to 25% fat, says Stephens. “You’ll need this higher level of carbs to help build muscle.” Just remember, she adds, “everybody is different, so you may need to experiment with ratios to find what’s suits your body and activity level.”

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