A double cheeseburger and fries will certainly get you to your calorie goals, but processed foods do zero for your insides and general physique. All that sugar, salt, and saturated fat can cause you to crash (lowering your odds of getting to the gym) and also tack on an unwanted layer of fat in no time. With every meal, eat plenty of veggies and lean meats. When choosing your carb source, pick foods like potatoes, yams, rice, whole grains, oats, etc. Also, avoid refined oils, which can sneak in extra calories and lead to more fat gains.
Beginners gain glycogen and water mass when they first start strength training programs. I’ve previously written about this here . This is a bit of an issue since “noob gains” are partially glycogen/water gains ( Ribero et al., 2014 ). This affects lean body mass (LBM), fat free mass (FFM), or cross-sectional area (CSA). Muscle glycogen/water content even affects MRI measurements ( Nygren et al., 2001 ). But, there are several studies that show beginners lose or maintain FFM when they go on a cut. Probably due to a reduction in carb (glycogen) or protein intake. Hence, it’s not a given that beginners will increase FFM when they train and cut.