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August 11, 2023

Feel Like You’re Losing Muscle Mass When Dieting? Read This…

When we exercise in a depleted state, our body is forced to become more efficient.

It must turn to its reserves for energy, which are glycogen (carbs) found in your muscles and liver, and stored fat.

This is done by the mitochondria in your cells adapting to becoming better at using the alternative stored fuel source.

Due to the energy from the food we have ingested being very limited and small to the calorie deficit state.

We can teach our body to preferentially use stored fat instead of glycogen (carbs) when in a depleted state.

This is key. It is known as having a good metabolic adaption and is the difference why people have very effective fat loss only results and others who have some fat loss but also some muscle loss.

Losing lean muscle mass is detrimental to both male and female. Especially after we have worked so hard to gain it.

Things to expect and be aware when dieting

> This calorie deficit will mainly come from a significant decrease in carbs.
It has been proven that calorie restriction, specifically from carbs, dramatically improves insulin sensitivity.

> It’s normal to see a huge weight drop in the first few days.
This comes from the loss of water that is stored in the muscle cells along with glycogen (carbs). For every 1g of glycogen stored in muscle cells, 2.7g of water is also stored. Makes you realise how much of a muscle is actually water!

So, dropping 500g of stored glycogen would equal a weight loss of 3 pounds alone. This is NOT muscle loss providing you follow the nutrition recommendations that we will come onto.

> Expect to look flatter and smaller.
This is a phycological aspect you need to just get through and trust the process. When you add the carbs back in, your muscles will fill out again.

> Expect a slight decrease in performance.
You’ll find you tire faster and can’t push as hard. This is fine. When you reach this point, it’s best to stick to the workout plan week that you’re on. Don’t try and push into the next week’s workout plan and go harder.

This isn’t the time for muscle building, we just want to maintain what we have.

> You’ll notice fats are high.
This type of diet will get your body ‘fat adapted’.

This means your body will get used to using fat as fuel in workouts but more importantly, at rest. If calories, specifically from fat, are too low for a long period, this can have a negative impact on hormone production.

Don’t be scared of fats.

Don’t cut fats thinking you’ll lose fat faster. this is important because your body will be switching to fat as its primary fuel source.

You need the fats to stop your body from becoming catabolic and breaking down muscle tissue for energy.

> Eat as many vegetables as you can
Fiber and plant nutrition are excellent for detoxification and insulin sensitivity restoration. As you lose fat, you must get rid of the toxins that go with it. Vegetables are great for this.

HOT TIP!

> Plants and anti-estogens
Plants are the only food source (that I am aware of as I write this) that have a source of anti-estrogens available.

Eating plenty of high sulfur veg like broccoli and cauliflower can help raise testosterone levels, the main fat burning hormone.

Fiber also helps keep your appetite satisfied.

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