Help Please - Need to gain muscle from depression induced weight loss

Mjolnir21

Don Juan
Joined
Mar 16, 2022
Messages
16
Reaction score
12
Age
22
Hey guys

To skin backstory read the last line.

I went through a rough financial patch and began smoking cigarettes (they are cheap here - but I now have a handle on it), I then lost a lot of weight, I'm not sure how much, but I went down from a size 38 waist to a size 34. I'm 6'2. currently, I have skinny arms, a belly, and loose skin here and there. My legs are in good condition as I do martial arts, so they were always defined well, of course, more muscle is appreciated.

I used to go to the gym, so I know what workouts to do and the importance of sleep and water. But I've always been trying to lose weight so I've only ever researched about weight loss.

What foods should I focus on to gain muscle without gaining back the fat from before?
 

Pierce Manhammer

Moderator
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
4,952
Reaction score
6,004
Location
PRC
Meat and vegetables always work. Eat big salads with home made vinaigrette dressings. Personally I try to keep my carb intake under 200g a day because if I drop it below 100 I get GERD.

Make sure you're not overtraining and getting enough rest/sleep. Most obsessed guys overtrain. I did for years and while I remained lean and ripped I never put on the mass I wanted. Once I began to work out every other day instead of 7 days a week I shot up 20lbs of mostly lean mass in under 6 months.
 

BackInTheGame78

Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
13,497
Reaction score
14,447
You need to put your stats in a calculator like this one


And be very honest with your answers to how active you are, etc so you get accurate numbers and then add 300-500 calories to your BMR number it gives you.

Focus on quality carbs. Oatmeal, beans, sweet potatoes, basmati rice, fruits(apples, pears, berries, watermelon, grapes, peaches, etc) and veggies(broccoli, kale, green beans, etc).

Protein is important but most people eat more than enough protein for muscle growth as it is already. Protein is more important for fat loss in terms of ensuring you are eating enough.

Focus on removing or greatly limiting the following:

-refined sugars(cake, cookies, candy, soda, etc)
-Trans fats/processed foods
-Wheat(pasta/breads, etc)

At the end of the day if you are focused on one ingredient foods that you combine together its much harder to eat too much than if you are eating processed garbage.
 

Pierce Manhammer

Moderator
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
4,952
Reaction score
6,004
Location
PRC
Protein synthesis works for you in several ways:

amino acids that are only available easily from animal protein, they are the building blocks of muscle (everything really).

and their synthesis causes and increase in body temp which helps with lipid clearance.

That’s just two. Somewhere around 1g/lb of target lean mass works for me.
 

Money & Muscle

Master Don Juan
Joined
May 22, 2023
Messages
1,418
Reaction score
1,532
What foods should I focus on to gain muscle without gaining back the fat from before?
It's not quite that simple, but to spare you the nonsense... you can eat as much lean protein as you want and you really don't have to worry about getting fat. Reason being is that 12oz chicken breast is like 600 calories... even if you were to go with a TDEE of 2400 - I CHALLENGE you to eat 48oz chicken breast daily. You won't want to lol.

But there are no free foods.

- Keep dietary fat intake at 0.3g/lb bodyweight. Ideally this will be DHA/EPA sources like olive oil, avocados, almonds, fish etc. You need this to support proper hormone production... less will hurt hormones and more is not beneficial unless for bowel movements.
- Set your protein intake at 1.0g/lb BW daily as a minimum. Eat more for satiety if you want; it is very difficult for you body to turn excess calories from protein into fat. It can still be done, but at a very low rate. This is your "free-est" macro nutrient.
- Carbs should be taken in before your daily training, and ideally not in excess. HOWEVER fats and proteins can be your constants and you can fluctuate carbs up and down accordingly to your current physique goals.

Want to build muscle? Try Phraks Greyskull LP and add an exercise of biceps curls at the end of every session. You will get strong in every primary movement pattern (vertical push/pull | horizontal push/pull | squat | deadlift).


Do this until your lifts begin stalling, then consider undulating volume (instead of 3x5, try 3x3 > 3x4 > 3x5 > increase weight and 3x3...) or moving to a more bodybuilder style training method like DoggCrapp.
 

Reincarnated

Don Juan
Joined
Jan 2, 2023
Messages
145
Reaction score
132
The other question that hasn't really been addressed is : Are you mentally in a place where you can put in the sustained work for the long-term? This might be the biggest factor in your success.

I was in a similar position at one point in my life, but instead of the work stress causing me to smoke, I basically stopped lifting weights and went heavy on the cardio, and for a very short period was borderline anorexic (yes I had friends who legit thought I was anorexic). I lost close to 25 lbs in that time.

Things only really started to turn around once I took control of my work stress situation, that's why I ask what mental state you're in. Yes working out can improve depression no matter what, but I'd get the stress situation under control. Ultimately I was able to put about 17-20lbs of mostly lean muscle back on in the year after this whole ordeal. But that took a lot of discipline (weighing every day, working out at 5AM 5 days a week on a calculated plan, being mindful of most of my meals, supplementing when needed). Now that's not to say I didn't still booze from time to time or miss a workout every once in a while, but consistency is key. You've got it.
 

Pierce Manhammer

Moderator
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
4,952
Reaction score
6,004
Location
PRC
Total copy of Rippeys Starting Strength…like unabashed.

It's not quite that simple, but to spare you the nonsense... you can eat as much lean protein as you want and you really don't have to worry about getting fat. Reason being is that 12oz chicken breast is like 600 calories... even if you were to go with a TDEE of 2400 - I CHALLENGE you to eat 48oz chicken breast daily. You won't want to lol.

But there are no free foods.

- Keep dietary fat intake at 0.3g/lb bodyweight. Ideally this will be DHA/EPA sources like olive oil, avocados, almonds, fish etc. You need this to support proper hormone production... less will hurt hormones and more is not beneficial unless for bowel movements.
- Set your protein intake at 1.0g/lb BW daily as a minimum. Eat more for satiety if you want; it is very difficult for you body to turn excess calories from protein into fat. It can still be done, but at a very low rate. This is your "free-est" macro nutrient.
- Carbs should be taken in before your daily training, and ideally not in excess. HOWEVER fats and proteins can be your constants and you can fluctuate carbs up and down accordingly to your current physique goals.

Want to build muscle? Try Phraks Greyskull LP and add an exercise of biceps curls at the end of every session. You will get strong in every primary movement pattern (vertical push/pull | horizontal push/pull | squat | deadlift).


Do this until your lifts begin stalling, then consider undulating volume (instead of 3x5, try 3x3 > 3x4 > 3x5 > increase weight and 3x3...) or moving to a more bodybuilder style training method like DoggCrapp.
 

Money & Muscle

Master Don Juan
Joined
May 22, 2023
Messages
1,418
Reaction score
1,532
Total copy of Rippeys Starting Strength…like unabashed.
I didn't steal anything from ripped toes to write this.

Diet info is from Rensaissance Periodization's Renaissance Diet 2.0 and Phraks Greyskull LP is just a better version of Starting Strength, but without the MLM and dogma.
 

FlexpertHamilton

Master Don Juan
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
2,392
Reaction score
2,868
Location
US
I wouldn't bother with obsessive diet tracking and fitness programs until you've gotten back in the groove. Just lift heavy weights and switch things up as needed. The first ~6 months don't matter much. Just listen to your body, don't over do it, get plenty of rest. Focus on doing whatever is sustainable and enjoyable.

Diet wise just use common sense. Don't eat junk, only home made meals from whole foods. Good mix of healthy carbs, fats, and protein. Personally the bulk of my diet is homemade chili from grass fed beef, fish of all sorts, big loaded salads w/ homemade olive oil dressing, nuts, and some dairy. If you are worried about not getting enough protein try drinking pasteurized egg whites.

It takes a long time to lose fat while maintaining or gaining muscle. So might as well be patient and play the long game.
 
Last edited:

BackInTheGame78

Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
13,497
Reaction score
14,447
I wouldn't bother with obsessive diet tracking and fitness programs until you've gotten back in the groove. Just lift heavy weights and switch things up as needed. The first ~6 months don't matter much. Just listen to your body, don't over do it, get plenty of rest. Focus on doing whatever is sustainable and enjoyable.

Diet wise just use common sense. Don't eat junk, only home made meals from whole foods. Good mix of healthy carbs, fats, and protein. Personally the bulk of my diet is homemade chili from grass fed beef, fish of all sorts, big loaded salads w/ homemade olive oil dressing, nuts, and some dairy. If you are worried about not getting enough protein try drinking pasteurized egg whites.

It takes a long time to lose fat while maintaining or gaining muscle. So might as well be patient and play the long game.
It really doesn't need to take a long time. Another fallacy that keeps being perpetuated.

I dropped 60 lbs in under 6 months and went from probably 35ish%(if not higher) to under 15% in that time frame. In my mid 40s. Younger guys could probably do this quicker. I know it was much easier for me to drop weight/fat even in my later 30s than now.

Your margin for error gets smaller and smaller with every passing year.
 

EyeBRollin

Master Don Juan
Joined
Oct 18, 2015
Messages
10,835
Reaction score
8,813
Age
35
Use the strength program provided by @Money & Muscle . That split actually works.

For diet, you need to eat. The training will take care of the recomp. Focus on eating enough to add weight to the bar. That means eat as much of these foods as you can handle-

Oats
Rice (start with white rice for mass building)
Beans
Lean meat (>90% lean beef, chicken breast)
Fish
Dairy
Nuts
Easily digestible fruit and vegetables

And start drinking MILK. Use the lactose free (like fair life) if you have to.
 

FlexpertHamilton

Master Don Juan
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
2,392
Reaction score
2,868
Location
US
It really doesn't need to take a long time. Another fallacy that keeps being perpetuated.

I dropped 60 lbs in under 6 months and went from probably 35ish%(if not higher) to under 15% in that time frame. In my mid 40s. Younger guys could probably do this quicker. I know it was much easier for me to drop weight/fat even in my later 30s than now.

Your margin for error gets smaller and smaller with every passing year.
But did you gain muscle mass and strength when you lost those 60 lbs?
 

BackInTheGame78

Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
13,497
Reaction score
14,447
But did you gain muscle mass and strength when you lost those 60 lbs?
Yes, and that is why it is so important to eat a high protein diet when losing weight. Much more important than when you are trying to gain weight/muscle. Study after study shows that when dropping weight, eating protein to 1g/lb of bodyweight helps ensure as little muscle is lost as possible while fat is preferentially used.

There were a lot of other things I did to help ensure that but high protein diet is the priority and most important thing.

Arms are now slightly over 17" which is the largest they have ever been by far at 185lbs.
 
Top