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I want to gain muscle mass and not fat mass

I feel like I am able to gain muscle without any long standing health problems. How do you do this? Will I look masculine? (I am female and I don’t want to look masculine).

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at the same time you can’t be sure
You can gain muscle and not look masculine. Many people will tell you otherwise, but it is definitely possible. Do your research. If you don't want to gain fat, then exercise with maintenance calories or with a couple hundred extra, and make sure that those extra calories are mainly protein.
Define "look masculine". Some people consider having visible muscles to look masculine. If you do, and you gain visible muscles, then you will look masculine by your definition. You do pretty much have to make a choice.

You gain muscles by using them. There are (lots of) ways to optimise that, some of which involve eating more (which is where you have to be careful about not also gaining fat) but that's the basic principle.
Original post by skylark2
Define "look masculine". Some people consider having visible muscles to look masculine. If you do, and you gain visible muscles, then you will look masculine by your definition. You do pretty much have to make a choice.

You gain muscles by using them. There are (lots of) ways to optimise that, some of which involve eating more (which is where you have to be careful about not also gaining fat) but that's the basic principle.


Yep what you described is what I regard as looking masculine. I would benefit from gaining fat but I don’t want to and have issues when I do. I am not even sure if I can gain muscle mass without any problems.
What causes problems? Is it what you eat or the actual additional mass?
I want to look like a woman but I don’t like body fat
Original post by SagaciousSag
What causes problems? Is it what you eat or the actual additional mass?


additional mass
I don't really know how to help you there, then. Could you share the problems?
Original post by SagaciousSag
I don't really know how to help you there, then. Could you share the problems?


severe constipation, I found I can’t get above a certain weight without constipation and I feel its due to a genetic condition that I have. My BMI is 14.7/14.8 and has been since I was 12, now 21.
Original post by Anonymous
severe constipation, I found I can’t get above a certain weight without constipation and I feel its due to a genetic condition that I have. My BMI is 14.7/14.8 and has been since I was 12, now 21.

You definitely need to see a doctor ASAP and get on a specialised diet created by a dietician. That sounds especially worrying, and I don't think I can provide sufficient advice.
You can't gain muscles without a little bit of fat too, just like you'll always lose some amount of muscle when you lose fat. Both are a form of energy store in the body, but they are both used to some extent rather than muscle only being used when fat runs out (if that makes sense). To gain muscle, you need a slight caloric surplus (200-500 calories over your maintenence/TDEE, personally I would go for 300 over), and to lift weights. As a woman that lifts weights, I don't look manly at all, I have more curves and feel much more feminine than when I was underweight. It's very hard to 'look like a man' as a woman when you're lifting weights, it takes a lot of effort to build that much muscle mass so it doesn't happen accidentally. Remember of you don't like how you look with more muscle mass, you can always stop lifting weights and that muscles mass will disappear pretty quick. Do your research, eat enough calories and protein, lift weights, you'll gain muscle (and a bit of fat) and just see how it goes, if you don't like how you look you can always stop.
Original post by Anonymous
severe constipation, I found I can’t get above a certain weight without constipation and I feel its due to a genetic condition that I have. My BMI is 14.7/14.8 and has been since I was 12, now 21.

You are causing yourself more harm by being that weight than you would do by having muscle. There is no reason why gaining weight would make you constipated, it is more than likely to be your diet. And constipation is easily fixed with taking medication; the health problems caused by being underweight are not.
Like others have said, genetic condition + extremely low BMI means this is something you need to discuss with a specialist, not random strangers on the internet.
muscle is a way to gain weight. My situation regarding weight and constipation is complicated and the more weight you gain, the higher the risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardiac defects. The person who is like me can’t gain too much fat mass. I would rather see a geneticist than a doctor forcing me to gain weight.
Original post by skylark2
Like others have said, genetic condition + extremely low BMI means this is something you need to discuss with a specialist, not random strangers on the internet.


14.7/14.8 isn’t too bad of a BMI, have you not seen or heard anyone worse? Its the closest I can ever get to 18.5 and we have to accept we aren’t all normal. The genetic condition causes low BMI.
It's possible that you are in an extremely unusual situation and that asking a GP is unlikely to be helpful because their knowledge will be too general.

But - and this is an extremely big but - strangers who know a bit about fitness and muscle gain will have less relevant / useful / safe advice for you than a GP, not more. The geneticist sounds like a good option, or if you already have the genetic diagnosis, maybe a specialist dietician?

Edit: yes, I've met people with lower BMI than that. They were all seriously ill and in no way fit to start trying to build muscle based on the sort of general advice which is aimed at people who don't have underlying health issues. Nobody's saying you can't do it; we're saying you need to have tailored advice, not just use the standard stuff.
(edited 1 year ago)
The main solution is professional help and advice for your health. You'll probably have to see a variety of specialists in order to increase your weight without the health problems, as well as to see whether maintaining that BMI will be healthy in the long run due to your genetic condition.
Original post by Anonymous
14.7/14.8 isn’t too bad of a BMI, have you not seen or heard anyone worse? Its the closest I can ever get to 18.5 and we have to accept we aren’t all normal. The genetic condition causes low BMI.


It is severely underweight. Just because some other people are more underweight doesn't mean your weight isn't low.

Regardless of you genetic condition, based on your posting history on here including posts about whether having one Starbucks coffee a month with make you fat, I suspect your condition is not the only issue here.
Original post by Anonymous
muscle is a way to gain weight. My situation regarding weight and constipation is complicated and the more weight you gain, the higher the risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardiac defects. The person who is like me can’t gain too much fat mass. I would rather see a geneticist than a doctor forcing me to gain weight.

You have a BMI of under 15, you do not have metabolic syndrome...

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