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  1. #1
    Registered User solidsnake88's Avatar
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    Hypothetically, if I get enough protein, will I lose muscle while on a cut?

    Hypothetical situation - say my daily caloric maintenance is 2800 calories. I'm on a cut, so I should probably be eating around 2400 calories. Say I only eat about 1800 calories, but get all 200g of protein, and the rest of the calories are carbs and fat. I work out hard 3-4x/week - I shouldn't except to lose any muscle right? Just fat?
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  2. #2
    Registered User coldvein's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by solidsnake88 View Post
    Hypothetical situation - say my daily caloric maintenance is 2800 calories. I'm on a cut, so I should probably be eating around 2400 calories. Say I only eat about 1800 calories, but get all 200g of protein, and the rest of the calories are carbs and fat. I work out hard 3-4x/week - I shouldn't except to lose any muscle right? Just fat?
    Yup, I've been saying this quite a bit, but there are quite a few studies I've read that basically have shown that people who aren't even exercising as well or eating as well as your proposed diet have not lost muscle on a deficit.

    Keep in mind that LBM is more than just muscle, it is everything in your body but fat. For instance, I've been doing the same as you (200g protein, 1000kcal deficit, 3 hard workouts) for the past two weeks and have lost about 7 lbs. Although I should have only lost 4 lbs of fat due to my deficit, water loss contributes to other loss. When you reduce carbs, you lose water too, and when the cut is over I expect to gain a few pounds back in water.

    Calipers are a decent way of tracking progress, but I really wouldn't worry about muscle loss unless you are prepping for a contest which is where muscle loss can occur (< 6% bf)
    Enjoy the pain of becoming, fall in love with that pain, and everything will work out.

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  3. #3
    Registered User Woofidy's Avatar
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    Muscle loss is inevitable, all you can do is hope to minimize it with protein and lifting.
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  4. #4
    Serpentarius's Avatar
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    regardless of nutrition, if the deficit is too big, the weight is gotta come from somewhere other than fat. The body can only oxidize so much fat in a given time, this is why a moderate deficit is emphasized. It can also only make use of so much protein, think filling a gas tank up with 14 gallons, and putting another 100 gallons inside the trunk, it would just be a waste.
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  5. #5
    Registered User JonathanWinbush's Avatar
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    Its not impossible I have the paperwork to show it. I did the hydrodunk tank when I was at 25% bodyfat to get my fat to muscle ratio in Jan. I got retrested last month and am down to 20% and didn't loose 1oz of muscle I was able to drop 30lbs all fat. I didn't gain any muscle I stayed at 177lbs of lean muscle mass but I didn't loose anything either. I ate around 2,300 calories a day and kept my protein about 300/400g.
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  6. #6
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    Any muscle loss will be minimal if protein is kept high, you continue to lift heavy and the deficit isn't too much.
    Currently cutting.
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  7. #7
    Registered User masterb403's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by solidsnake88 View Post
    Hypothetical situation - say my daily caloric maintenance is 2800 calories. I'm on a cut, so I should probably be eating around 2400 calories. Say I only eat about 1800 calories, but get all 200g of protein, and the rest of the calories are carbs and fat. I work out hard 3-4x/week - I shouldn't except to lose any muscle right? Just fat?
    You're edging towards what's known as a PSMF (protein sparing modified fast), and they do work, but are brutal and usually reserved for the morbidy obese.

    Speaking from personal experience, you can minimize muscle loss tremendously by keeping your protein as your dominant macro, and by having low-volume, very high intensity lifting sessions. A great routine for this is wendlers 5/3/1, and that's what's working for me.
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  8. #8
    Registered User dmacdonal9's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by masterb403 View Post
    Speaking from personal experience, you can minimize muscle loss tremendously by keeping your protein as your dominant macro, and by having low-volume, very high intensity lifting sessions. A great routine for this is wendlers 5/3/1, and that's what's working for me.
    This has been my experience as well. I am cutting with an 800 cal/day deficit, but lifting very intensely 4 days/wk, lots of proteins and fats, and some of my lifts have been creeping up (very slowly, but it's there) as the fat drops.

    As I understand it, at very low bodyfat numbers, you have to be more conservative with your deficit. A good rule of thumb for max deficit is your bodyfat in pounds X 31 (Lyle McDonald).

    He's got a good writeup on deficits here: http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat...levels-qa.html
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  9. #9
    Registered User LiftHeavy3400's Avatar
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    Eat enough protein, don't go low carb > have great workouts attempting to lift HEAVY every session. You will lose muscle, however - it won't be significant if you lose weight slowly, and don't make the deficit too extreme.

    Eating carbs will prevent muscle loss - your body will burn them for fuel before burning protein.

    You're going to lose a bit of muscle and strength but you'll look a lot better. Good tradeoff.
    Trying to help out others by putting out some good accurate information, and of course learn more!

    Too many clowns and sarcastic remarks on this forum, needs more supportive members, you were all newbs once too.

    Rep me if my posts are helpful :)
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