Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The "secret" to Preventing Muscle Loss While Dieting

I review a lot of fat loss programs. It's part of my job at www.grrlathlete.com. From the most underground e-books, to the latest best seller on Amazon, I’ve read through stacks of them.

Let me tell you, most of the time, once I’ve finished reading of these works of garbage, I feel like I need to take a shower.

They are just that sleazy.

Sure, they’re some of the greatest examples of marketing this side of beer commercials, but the actual information in them is a combination of basic good nutritional practices (you should eat more fruits and vegetables) and make-believe (never eat carbohydrates past 6:45 pm).

Most of the time the marketing story starts like this… “My special ‘melt the lard’ program guarantees you will lose fat fast without losing any muscle”.

The part I have a trouble with is the “without losing any muscle”. It seems losing muscle is something everyone is deathly afraid of doing. Most of the bodybuilders, athletes and fitness models I’ve talked with are convinced that they lose muscle when they are dieting.

Here’s the truth about losing muscle mass while dieting. I don’t believe it. Not at all.

I have taken over one hundred body fat measurements on amateur body builders and fitness models, none of them lost any more than 1 or 2 pounds of lean mass while dieting for a competition!

They drop anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds of fat, but lose almost no muscle! My measurements were taken with a BodPod, and validated with both skin fold calipers and limb circumference measurements, so I’m sure they were accurate.

All of these athletes were on different types of low calorie diets and loads of different supplements or no supplements at all; however, none of them were losing muscle.

This is for one reason and one reason only.

People who are weight training while dieting (within reason) will not lose muscle mass. I believe this is for one main reason. By lifting weights, you are telling your body you need that muscle. Your body recognizes that need, and thinks “Whoa. Looks like I’m dieting again. I need to burn something for some extra energy but if I get rid of some of this muscle, it’ll make this whole lifting weights thing even harder. I better keep this muscle and burn something else, maybe this fat over here…”

Straight up, the number one way to ensure you don’t lose any muscle while you are dieting is by lifting weights. Protein may play a role on in this (almost all of the people I was tracking were eating a high protein diet), but other than that, no fancy diet program works better than weight training for preventing you from losing muscle while you are dieting.


Fasting Diet, Circuit Training

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Also they use steroids like winny in their cutting stack !