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crazedwombat
04-04-2005, 07:04 AM
Ok, I'll make this as clear as possible. It has been stated here often that when you're cutting and if you cut too many calories out, you'll lose muscle as well as body fat.

however, I learned in biology awhile back that your body uses energy in this order:
Whats on hand
Fat
Muscle
Organs

When one is gone is jumps into the next one. thats what they taught me.

So how, when cutting and with lots of bf to lose, do you burn muscle as well?

This is a basic question but it hit me on the way home from the gym yesterday and it makes me curious whether or not they taught us wrong or what.

dw06wu
04-04-2005, 10:26 AM
Ok, I'll make this as clear as possible. It has been stated here often that when you're cutting and if you cut too many calories out, you'll lose muscle as well as body fat.

however, I learned in biology awhile back that your body uses energy in this order:
Whats on hand
Fat
Muscle
Organs
That is the general idea, but there is WAY more to the story than that. A countless number of books have been written on this very topic. It's described a little in UD2. Without restating the book, basically there is this stuff called leptin in your blood that has a big influence on what your body burns. When leptin levels get low, your body becomes more and more reluctant to burn fat (since it holds more energy than muscle). Leptin levels drop in relation to caloric defecit. It can take only a couple days for leptin levels to drop very low and this has a catabolic effect on the body. The premise is that you don't need all this muscle to be able to bench press 300lbs to survive, so the body can get rid of a lot of muscle up to a certain point, and save fat since it holds much more energy. This is to keep you alive during a food shortage back in the hunter-gatherer days, but is pretty much useless to anyone in first and second world countries nowadays.

One idea to get around this was the incorporation of refeeds, which has a sticky for itself at the top of this forum, if I remember correctly.

crazedwombat
04-04-2005, 12:00 PM
ahhh ok. I had the general idea then, and been reading a bit but I just wanted a few quick details which you took care of very well. I have my answers now, Thanks.

shansen008
04-04-2005, 02:44 PM
That is the general idea, but there is WAY more to the story than that. A countless number of books have been written on this very topic. It's described a little in UD2. Without restating the book, basically there is this stuff called leptin in your blood that has a big influence on what your body burns. When leptin levels get low, your body becomes more and more reluctant to burn fat (since it holds more energy than muscle). Leptin levels drop in relation to caloric defecit. It can take only a couple days for leptin levels to drop very low and this has a catabolic effect on the body. The premise is that you don't need all this muscle to be able to bench press 300lbs to survive, so the body can get rid of a lot of muscle up to a certain point, and save fat since it holds much more energy. This is to keep you alive during a food shortage back in the hunter-gatherer days, but is pretty much useless to anyone in first and second world countries nowadays.

One idea to get around this was the incorporation of refeeds, which has a sticky for itself at the top of this forum, if I remember correctly.


Yeah its common snese if you think about it. Your body is a very effeicient machine. If you drop your deficit too low, your body is going to have to change its burn rate to compensate...its the only way it feels it will survive in the long run. So instead of burning off stored fat, it burns off muscle. This helps in 2 ways. First off it suplies immediate needed energy...secondly withless muscle it lowers your calories needed to maintain body weight. Setting itself up for survival during "famine".

pfc3rex
04-05-2005, 12:25 AM
so most likely when on a cutting phase, you'll lose bf% along with some muscle due to the drop in deficit, and your leptin?

dw06wu
04-05-2005, 07:48 AM
so most likely when on a cutting phase, you'll lose bf% along with some muscle due to the drop in deficit, and your leptin?

Leptin is basically your body's starvation indicator. Lower calories -> causes leptin to drop -> causes body to raise muscle burn:fat burn ratio.

TheGimp
04-05-2005, 07:51 AM
And this is why UD2.0 is a cyclical approach involving a day of carb loading once a week in order to reverse the drop in leptin. (EDIT: amongst other metabolic changes)

crazedwombat
04-05-2005, 10:53 AM
right, well I always refeed on sundays, I've been cutting right, I just was wondering the mechanics behind it, to help better understand, but I do now...thanks.