If you’re not careful with how you design and follow your fat loss program, you could end up in worse than from where you started. Loss of muscles is very common. Fitness magazines that would like nothing more than to keep you as a customer will print the wrong information month after month to make sure your fat, continue buying the magazine, and support their advertisers. Honesty is hard to find in the fitness / health industry. One of the lies magazines continue to write is that carbohydrates help spare muscle during a diet. Combine that lie with the lie that low calorie diets are required to lose fat, and that you must exercise with super high-intensity, you can quickly see how people have a hard time achieving their body composition goals. The same magazines conveniently forget to tell you those carbohydrates spare fat cells, and that low calories diets upregulate enzymes that make losing fat very difficult. Later on this week I will be doing a video on YouTube detailing some of the bad advice and protocols usually followed when trying to lose fat and gain muscle, but today I want to show you a study that deals with fat and muscle loss.
In a nine week study done in 1971, scientists put eight male subjects to compare three diets containing the same amount of calories (1800 calorie per day) and same amount of protein (120 grams per day) differing only in carbohydrate content (30, 60, and 104 grams per day (as the calories from carbohydrates went down, the fat calories went up, the total calories and total protein grams remained constant). After nine weeks on the 30 -, 60 -, and 104 -gram carbohydrate diets, weight loss was 35.6, 28.2, and 26.2 pounds,respectively, and the fat loss accounted for 95, 84, and 75 percent of the weight loss, respectively. Notice that the lower the carbohydrates, and the higher the fat, the greater reduction in fat and less loss of muscle. The higher carbohydrate group lost more muscle, so magazines and books that tell you carbohydrates are protein sparing during low calorie dieting are lying to you.
TIPS: low-carbohydrate / ketogenic diets are more effective than higher carbohydrate / low fat diets for fat loss and protecting muscle loss. That being said, this isn’t where I usually start a client. I prefer to clean up the diet by making better food choices, optimizing your exercise program and lifestyle. You can get quite far in your fat loss and fitness efforts with basic modifications. Low-carb / ketogenic diets become favorable when your current plan isn’t working fast enough, losing muscle, and all else fails. I will also suggest that you always include exercise (preferably resistance training) when trying to lose fat and gaining muscle.
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