Yep.. definitely use the mirror---never the scale!
A lot of guys on here will disagree with me about eating more (they say you need to).. but look at some of them LOL... many are ripped and carrying around tons of muscle---muscle that must be fed else they'll lose it!
But if you're more in the normal range, AND you've got some fat to lose (even a little; in other words, you can't see a full six-pack), then DO NOT change your diet (except perhaps toward eating healthier whole foods) and step up your activity level with a good workout. Ignore the supplements, ignore the claims you need more protein, etc. Just eat healthily, workout HARD (but not too hard; and get plenty of rest days), and you'll see the fat drop and the muscle gain.
To be clear, yes, you need to eat for muscle gains to occur, but the food you're already eating (else you'd be dead) will handle those needs.
Later when you're ripped you will need to eat more to maintain that muscle.
But I guarantee you that even someone who's ripped and perhaps eating a staggering 3500 calories a day to maintain all that muscle will still get fat themselves if they suddenly think they need to eat, eat, eat and take in 5000 calories a day while they continue to burn 3500. It's simple physics.
Finally, also remember that not all fat is subcutaneous.. meaning, some fat is "marbled" within muscle (think beef steaks
). So, losing fat might make some muscles appear to be shrinking when in fact they're not. Keep logs of the amount of weight you're able to lift. Some fluctuations on a daily basis are meaningless and often biochemical, but if you see an overall downtrend (highly unlikely unless you're not allowing enough rest days between workouts of the same muscle groups) then there's a prob. If you can still lift the same (and over time more weight) then all is good even if the muscles look smaller because you've lost some fat. The good news is you'll also be losing those lovehandles and such, and better yet: muscles will be more visibly defined as fat beneath your skin decreases