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  1. #1
    Registered User wildhalf's Avatar
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    Weight Training on a very low Calorie Diet

    I was wondering if your muscle can cope with doing a hard weight training program lifting each set to failure on a low Calorie Diet.

    I am asking this as i am on a diet at the minute which is medically monitored. I take nothing but the shake's and bars supplied by the company which my max calorie intake would be 600..

    While on this i want to get back into training also. So i started Monday with a big session, i must say i was really tired afterwards but this could have been down to the fact that i only had 3 hours sleep the night before because of work commitments and not being able to get asleep.

    I have lost 21lbs in 2 weeks on this diet so far and am planning to stay on it for another 6 weeks and want to loose another 35lbs on this diet bringing my total up to 4 stone and then start eating healthy with a good diet while continuing my training.
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  2. #2
    Registered User usertaken's Avatar
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    600 calories HAHA

    yes you will lose weight, i tell you what .......
    Eat 600 calories of chocolate and you will lose weight too
    Called starvation !
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  3. #3
    Registered User wildhalf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by usertaken View Post
    600 calories HAHA

    yes you will lose weight, i tell you what .......
    Eat 600 calories of chocolate and you will lose weight too
    Called starvation !
    Yes it is under 600 Calories and no its not starvation you get all the nutrients and vitamins you need through the shakes and bars. I was not asking about if i will loose weight or not, as i know i will. If you read my post it states about the effect of lifting heavy weights while doing this diet.

    I have been on it for 2 weeks now and am not one bit hungry as i am in a constant state of Ketosis. I check everyday with keto sticks.

    Before anyone else leaves any smart comments and goes on about the risks of this diet you can read about it yourself just google "lighter life" and have a read.
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  4. #4
    Registered User LoRdAc][d's Avatar
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    unbelievable....you're losing massive amounts of muscle as well. Have fun gaining it all back over several years.
    Goal: Reach 165 lbs of muscle. 15 more lbs of muscle to go!

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  5. #5
    Registered User wildhalf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LoRdAc][d View Post
    unbelievable....you're losing massive amounts of muscle as well. Have fun gaining it all back over several years.

    Your point hasn't helped much at all... Doesnt answer my question in any way...

    Why do you think i asked this question???? I've started doing weights again this week already......

    The following is a Quote from http://www.weightlossresources.co.uk about Muscle Loss during calorie restricted diets....

    ************************************************** ****
    Muscle Loss

    In the past, research has shown that the amount of muscle lost during dieting is directly linked to the degree of calorie restriction. In other words, the lower the calorie intake, the more muscle is lost. However, newer research has indicated that very low calorie intakes might not affect our muscle mass as much as we previously thought. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings before any definite conclusions can be made. Regardless of this, experts agree that it?s important to protect our muscle mass as much as possible as the more muscle we have, the faster our metabolism and vice versa. Exercise is one of the best ways to protect against the loss of muscle. However, it?s questionable whether many people surviving on 500 calories a day would have the energy to exercise. Finally, experts say women should never have less than 400 calories and 40g of protein a day and men should never have less than 500 calories and 50g protein daily. The Lighter Life Programme meets these requirements.
    ************************************************** ****

    But can anyone anser my question?? Is it alright to do heavy weights while on a calorie restricted diet??
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  6. #6
    Fat Loss Hedge Fund The_Contrarian's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LoRdAc][d View Post
    unbelievable....you're losing massive amounts of muscle as well. Have fun gaining it all back over several years.
    Actually administering a very low calorie restricted diet (mostly protein) works for people who are obese and very large. The amount of muscle loss is minimized when consuming mostly protein through shakes and bars. A very low calorie diets (600-800) are given to those who undergo gastric bypass surgery and they lose large amounts of weight and allot of them keep it off. Studies have shown that the muscle loss is significantly less in obese people than lean people (like you). If you are very obese/large, then such a diet would work for you since you have to shift large amount of weight to overcome diffuculties associated with morbid obesity (heart attacks, strokes, diabetes). In this case, the risk of going on a very low calorie diet is < than being very overweight and experiencing associated symptoms.


    The aim of this study was to evaluate the lean body mass variation in obese children and adolescents under Protein Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF) treatment through two indirect, not invasive, methods: The Slaughter-Lohman formal as an anthropometric method, and the urinary excretion of 3-Methylhistidine (3MHIS) as a biochemical method. Materials and methods. Thirty-five subjects, divided in two groups, participated in this study: Group A, 12 children (4 girls, 8 boys, age 9.5?1.9, OW% 73.8?20.1); Group B, 19 adolescents (14 girls, 5 boys, age 14.6?2.3, OW% 61.7?19.7). Diet: PSMF: Protein g 1.8?0.08 kg. IBW. day, total Kcalories 10.64?0.63 kg. IBW.day, prescribed for 9 weeks ? 1. Results. The 3MHIS final values were not significantly increased compared to the initial ones in both groups. In both groups the final value of lean body mass was significantly higher than the initial ones (p<0.03) in terms of percentage and Kg, while the fat mass was significantly reduced. Conclusion. With all the limitations using indirect methods to measure body composition, it seems that a PSMF, prescribed for 9 weeks ? 1, does not cause a significant lean body mass loss in obese children and adolescents.
    Last edited by The_Contrarian; 04-30-2008 at 03:03 AM.
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  7. #7
    Fat Loss Hedge Fund The_Contrarian's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by wildhalf View Post
    I was wondering if your muscle can cope with doing a hard weight training program lifting each set to failure on a low Calorie Diet.

    I am asking this as i am on a diet at the minute which is medically monitored. I take nothing but the shake's and bars supplied by the company which my max calorie intake would be 600..

    While on this i want to get back into training also. So i started Monday with a big session, i must say i was really tired afterwards but this could have been down to the fact that i only had 3 hours sleep the night before because of work commitments and not being able to get asleep.

    I have lost 21lbs in 2 weeks on this diet so far and am planning to stay on it for another 6 weeks and want to loose another 35lbs on this diet bringing my total up to 4 stone and then start eating healthy with a good diet while continuing my training.
    I think you would need to adjust your calorie intake on weight lifting days, where your body would need additional calorie intake in terms of protein for muscle repair and recovery. I would highly suggest you take some sort of casein/whey blend before you sleep and add a complex carb/protein combo post workout. It is definitely possible to lift weights but you would need to adjust your calorie intake accordingly to accomodate muscle repair. Also you would need to lift after consuming a meal; definitely dont lift on an empty stomach. Maybe have 300-400 calories more through shakes/meals on lifting days.
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  8. #8
    Registered User wildhalf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by The_Contrarian View Post
    I think you would need to adjust your calorie intake on weight lifting days, where your body would need additional calorie intake in terms of protein for muscle repair and recovery. I would highly suggest you take some sort of casein/whey blend before you sleep and add a complex carb/protein combo post workout. It is definitely possible to lift weights but you would need to adjust your calorie intake accordingly to accomodate muscle repair. Also you would need to lift after consuming a meal; definitely dont lift on an empty stomach. Maybe have 300-400 calories more through shakes/meals on lifting days.
    THank you very much for your advice and help... I will do as you suggested and see how things go... I'm only going on this to get me moving again... I had lost all motivation since christmas after loosing near 40Lbs from training and diet... I even put back on a good bit.....

    This diet is not for the long term and i will succeed in my journey to loosing my weight and getting fit..
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  9. #9
    The accidental bulker : ( Bodysteele's Avatar
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    Im not here to bash as I always like to see bigger guys get into shape and look good...

    BUT, that being said WHAT IS THE BIG HURRY?

    Im in the same situation as you were before the 21lbs 2 week weightloss and I gotta say I think that was a BIG mistake.

    Take it gradually...or you know youll end up regretting burning off the lean mass with the fat and youll have skin issues also...I mean its exciting and all to see massive changes in your body fairly fast but clinically its been proven to be MUCH LESS EFFECTIVE in maintaining loss than gradual losing.

    Just my 2 cents....im always shocked at the people that seem to think 1-2lbs of fat loss per week it too slow...thats 13 weeks to lose 20+ lbs...if you cant wait 1/2 year to see HUGE changes in your body(losing 20lbs of ALL FAT is huge) than I dont see how your motivation to work out will be maintained honestly.
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  10. #10
    Fat Loss Hedge Fund The_Contrarian's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bodysteele View Post
    Im not here to bash as I always like to see bigger guys get into shape and look good...

    BUT, that being said WHAT IS THE BIG HURRY?

    Im in the same situation as you were before the 21lbs 2 week weightloss and I gotta say I think that was a BIG mistake.

    Take it gradually...or you know youll end up regretting burning off the lean mass with the fat and youll have skin issues also...I mean its exciting and all to see massive changes in your body fairly fast but clinically its been proven to be MUCH LESS EFFECTIVE in maintaining loss than gradual losing.

    Just my 2 cents....im always shocked at the people that seem to think 1-2lbs of fat loss per week it too slow...thats 13 weeks to lose 20+ lbs...if you cant wait 1/2 year to see HUGE changes in your body(losing 20lbs of ALL FAT is huge) than I dont see how your motivation to work out will be maintained honestly.
    Its not uncommon for morbidly obese people to undergo a medically supervised VCR diet in order to lose some weight really fast and then slowly start off a moderate diet, which is designed for the long-term. Fat loss and keeping it off is definitely tough and in that respect I agree with you.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Saturnal's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by wildhalf View Post
    I was wondering if your muscle can cope with doing a hard weight training program lifting each set to failure on a low Calorie Diet.
    On 600 cals/day? No, your muscle can't cope with that. It'll basically deal with the severe calorie restriction and weight training by eating itself until you start eating more food.
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  12. #12
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    Personal experience here...

    I was 105 pounds over weight. I know how yu feel. I cut my calories low (around 900-1000) for months. I lost weight fast. I was feeling good. UNTIL i tested my BF % regularly. I was not dropping much fat. My body was catobolizing muslcle!! I am only 5' 8" you are taller and bigger so 900 cals would probaly be very low.

    I certainly would not do this for long. How much protein are you getting. I became a master of getting HIGH protein from low cals but imo it would be hard getting a high enough amount from only 600 cals.

    Now, with that said. Many in this forum only believe in a 500 below maintainence deficit. I am zig zagging. one day I'll have 1000-1200 cals the next I may have 2800 cals.

    I have been lifting seriously for 2 years and truly believe that it is possible to gain muscle on low cals. YOU must be careful though. It is much tougher to do.

    Good Luck. Congrats on your decision to a healthy lifestyle.

    Burn the fat, feed the muscle by Tom Venuto is probaly a good read for you.
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  13. #13
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    Im consuming 2k roughly everyday. When I started eating at that level, I noticed a BIG decrease in energy at the gym. I could no longer put up the same wieghts that I could a few weeks before when my calorie intake was closer to 2800 per day.

    You will notice this as well. I have since upped my carb intake a bit on lifting days, which is M/W/F just to get me through an intense workout without too much energy loss.

    I've just recently started drinking Purple Wraath pre, during, and post my workouts. Noticed a big difference, but I've only taken it twice so far. Ill fill a 20 oz bottle with water, add 2 scoops, sip a bit before, top it off with water, sip on it during the workout and continually refill bottle to dilute it some more, and then Ill do the same post.

    Good luck man!
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  14. #14
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    You should stay away from any bars that contain Gelatin, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Hydrolyzed Gelatin.

    Therye complete garbage devoid of nutritional value.

    The shakes are fine but I think you should dump the bars and eat real food. You should actually be eating small meals more frequently.

    Mix what HIIT training you can do with moderate cardio.

    I agree that too few calories, but I wouldnt be so concerned about counting calories as I would be about counting protein - you should be lifting, upping youre protein while keeping your carbs and fat way down.
    Last edited by JonZ; 04-30-2008 at 08:16 AM.
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    I would tend to agree with those on here that say 600 cals is wayyyy too low. I understand the point in regards to morbidly obese people......but again....it probably took years to get heavy. Why would it only take days to get thin again. To answer the original question, I dont see how the muscle could cope with the heavy training.....however, I dont see how it would cope...PERIOD. I recently lost 42 lbs on 1800-2000 cals a day....lifting HEAVY and intensely. I lost strength as the weeks went by. Theres no way around it unless you are cutting very moderately. Lifting heavy DOES minimize muscle catabolism because the body knows that it needs the muscle to do the next heavy workout. But to cut to 600 cals a day would certainly mean large amounts of muscle catabolism no matter how heavy you are. Would it be less than someone who it 12% BF?? Yes......but still not good. Not to mention, when you add the calories back in, you metabolism is going to be so slow, youre setting yourself up for a lot of work on the back end. Losing FAT is a good thing. Just losing weight for the sake of losing weight isnt smart IMOP if it comes at the expense of muscle tissue.

    Either way.....good luck with your diet man.
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    Fat Loss Hedge Fund The_Contrarian's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AustrianOakJr View Post
    I would tend to agree with those on here that say 600 cals is wayyyy too low. I understand the point in regards to morbidly obese people......but again....it probably took years to get heavy. Why would it only take days to get thin again. To answer the original question, I dont see how the muscle could cope with the heavy training.....however, I dont see how it would cope...PERIOD. I recently lost 42 lbs on 1800-2000 cals a day....lifting HEAVY and intensely. I lost strength as the weeks went by. Theres no way around it unless you are cutting very moderately. Lifting heavy DOES minimize muscle catabolism because the body knows that it needs the muscle to do the next heavy workout. But to cut to 600 cals a day would certainly mean large amounts of muscle catabolism no matter how heavy you are. Would it be less than someone who it 12% BF?? Yes......but still not good. Not to mention, when you add the calories back in, you metabolism is going to be so slow, youre setting yourself up for a lot of work on the back end. Losing FAT is a good thing. Just losing weight for the sake of losing weight isnt smart IMOP if it comes at the expense of muscle tissue.

    Either way.....good luck with your diet man.

    I agree that 600 calories is very low. But if you take into consideration that there are people out there who are very large and suffer back problems, hernia, sleep apnea, etc. then dastric calorie restriction is the diet that is administered to boost weight loss at the beginning and this is followed by a more moderate diet once a significant amount of weight has dropped. But yeh, this kind of diet is not for everyone as there is a high chance of gaining the weight back. Not forgetting other symptoms such as hair loss, constipation, gallstones, etc. But taking into context of morbidly obese people who undergo gastric surgery and stomach stapling, they all eat 500 calories a day for around 3-6 months and then move onto 1200 calories, eating mostly protein. They lose weight very fast but the people who undergo such a 'risky' operation are those who suffer allot of probs due to their weight. Hence i think its important to take the diet into an overall context...
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    Originally Posted by The_Contrarian View Post
    I agree that 600 calories is very low. But if you take into consideration that there are people out there who are very large and suffer back problems, hernia, sleep apnea, etc. then dastric calorie restriction is the diet that is administered to boost weight loss at the beginning and this is followed by a more moderate diet once a significant amount of weight has dropped.
    I don't think these people are lifting heavy weights though. So I'm guessing this doesn't apply to the OP's situation.
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    Originally Posted by wildhalf View Post
    I was wondering if your muscle can cope with doing a hard weight training program lifting each set to failure on a low Calorie Diet.
    Your muscles will cope fine but the connective tissue may take a pounding with heavy weights and low calories depending how your body recovers.

    While you're on such restriction, you might consider lightening up on the weights a little but using little to no rest between sets, ie: circuit training. It'll be easier on your joints, you'll be able to recover quickly, it'll still kick your ass if you use exercises that involve lots of muscles, and you'll maintain lean mass.
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    Originally Posted by mpipes View Post
    Your muscles will cope fine but the connective tissue may take a pounding with heavy weights and low calories depending how your body recovers.

    While you're on such restriction, you might consider lightening up on the weights a little but using little to no rest between sets, ie: circuit training. It'll be easier on your joints, you'll be able to recover quickly, it'll still kick your ass if you use exercises that involve lots of muscles, and you'll maintain lean mass.
    Yeh, just to add that I think nutrition is highly important in this regard (Pre and Post workout). Hence the OP should increase his calorie intake in order to lift weights. There is a high risk of 'overtraining' if you dont have the correct nutrition where your muscles dont have the environment to recover, repair and rebuild.
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    Originally Posted by Saturnal View Post
    I don't think these people are lifting heavy weights though. So I'm guessing this doesn't apply to the OP's situation.
    Yeh, many dont but lifting heavy and adjusting the calorie intake on lifting days would only assist in minimizing muscle loss.
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    Originally Posted by The_Contrarian View Post
    Yeh, many dont but lifting heavy and adjusting the calorie intake on lifting days would only assist in minimizing muscle loss.
    And on rest days, there'd be no nutrients available to continue the necessary repairs from the previous day's damage from lifting.

    But all these details are rather pointless to begin with, because this is basically a starvation diet which has no place in body-building imo. If you're gonna go that route, you should just accept what it is, and try not to do more damage than you're already doing by lifting heavy weights on top of severe calorie restriction.
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    Originally Posted by wildhalf View Post
    I was wondering if your muscle can cope with doing a hard weight training program lifting each set to failure on a low Calorie Diet.

    I am asking this as i am on a diet at the minute which is medically monitored. I take nothing but the shake's and bars supplied by the company which my max calorie intake would be 600..

    While on this i want to get back into training also. So i started Monday with a big session, i must say i was really tired afterwards but this could have been down to the fact that i only had 3 hours sleep the night before because of work commitments and not being able to get asleep.

    I have lost 21lbs in 2 weeks on this diet so far and am planning to stay on it for another 6 weeks and want to loose another 35lbs on this diet bringing my total up to 4 stone and then start eating healthy with a good diet while continuing my training.
    Stallone did something similar, 200 cals, when he got ripped for Rocky III and IV. But yeah, sounds unhealthy to me.
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    Originally Posted by The_Contrarian View Post
    There is a high risk of 'overtraining' if you dont have the correct nutrition where your muscles dont have the environment to recover, repair and rebuild.
    This is highly individual.

    His body just might thrive and have no problems with recovery at all. The liquid diet he's taking might lack calories but could make up for it by being packed with nutrients. The body repairs itself and functions properly because of nutrients, not calories.

    There is absolutely no way to predict what is going to happen. Yes, there is risk, but the only way for anyone to know is to try it, keep track of results, and modify as needed.
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    Failure Failing

    You asked

    "I was wondering if your muscle can cope with doing a hard weight training program lifting each set to failure on a low Calorie Diet"

    I would not recommend taking each set to failure...even if you were bulking. Even when training for size and stength I always made the best gains taking less sets to failure. When I was younger I was training for strength/size and always took every set to failure and my gains were slow and often stalled, when I reached college my lifting coach basically told me I was doing it wrong, had me take only one set of one heavy compound movement to failure
    each workout, and my strength blossomed.

    That all being said I would recommend checking out some of the diet threads on here for ideas about calories before committing further to any ultra low plans. I personally have recently changed my lifestyle to drop fat and have been losing consistently while taking in around 3100 calories a day so far. I actually avoided going too low in calories after reading some of the good advice I found here.

    Congratulations, however on making the choice to change, any way you decide to do it. Just make sure to do it in a way so that choice is something you can keep making, every day, for the rest of your life.
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    It's been going through my head all day and all night what to do. Although i am very heavy i have alot of muscle and am very strong. After reading though everyones opinions and advise i have decided to follow mpipes advice and try it out.

    Originally Posted by mpipes View Post
    There is absolutely no way to predict what is going to happen. Yes, there is risk, but the only way for anyone to know is to try it, keep track of results, and modify as needed.
    I have decided to keep track of it here on the Losing Fat Logs and created this log Wildhalf's Road to Fat Loss

    After reading through all reply's i decided i am going to take it easy and let my body tell me what i can do.....and not go to failure every time
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
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