View Full Version : Dieting and Losing Muscle

altered genetix
09-12-2005, 04:10 PM
I'm 21 150lbs, 5'10" and starting a new diet. I'm thinking about consuming 500 calories less a day so I can lose a pound a week. I know that if you cut too much though it can start to take muscle off. Does anyone know for my statistics when that occurs?

What about cardio? How much cardio should I be doing in addition to consuming less calories?

09-12-2005, 04:22 PM
first off at 5'10 and 150 lbs why are you cutting at all?

altered genetix
09-12-2005, 04:29 PM
Trying to cut down my body fat

09-12-2005, 04:31 PM
Then you need to do some heavy weightlifting, son!

altered genetix
09-12-2005, 04:33 PM
I want to lose the body fat first, then bulk up.

09-12-2005, 04:36 PM
dear god i man at 130 lbs yikes!

09-12-2005, 04:41 PM
Don't even bulk or cut. Just pound those weights like there's no tomorrow and EAT CLEAN. You're a beginner so you can put on that initial muscle without having to pay too much attention to other factors.

09-12-2005, 05:01 PM

09-12-2005, 05:21 PM
Yes, start a serious lifting programme and keep your cals where they are, but re-structure your diet:

Protein: 1.0-1.5g / lb LBM
Fat: 0.5g/lb LBM (or more)
Carbs: whatever, to fill up the rest of the calories

You'll see some great things happen to your body. And no, don't cut 500 cals from your diet. Your cals would be too low.

The 500-calorie guideline works fine for a big guy, but you're not big yet. The most you'd want to reduce cals for a cut is about 10-20% below maintenance. If maintenance for you is 3000, no problem. But if it's closer to 2000, it's too much of a caloric debt.

Just start tracking on fitday and clean up your macros. The lifting will take care of the rest. Really.

09-12-2005, 05:37 PM
What kind of weightlifting program? Should I be doing a max out program to gain muscle, or one with a lot of repitions to lose fat and tone?


What about cardio? Should I add any cardio to this mix, or will the weightlifting program alone burn off too many calories a day?

WEIGHT loss is DIET, not exercise.

FAT loss happens when you convince your body to hang on to muscle. Hence the heavy lifting.

Ask the people here what I think of the word "toning".

If you like, you can toss in 15 minutes of fast incline walking at the end of your lifting sessions - I do 3.5 mph at 10% grade.

But that's it.

09-12-2005, 05:40 PM
fat = .5/lb of lean body mass?

How do I know how much lean body mass I have? Wouldn't I want to cut out all fat?

.5g/lb LBM, yes. This is to help your body produce testosterone. The stuff that makes you lean, muscular, and MALE? That stuff. Yes.

No, you do NOT want to cut out all fat.

If you don't know your LBM, just assume it's 80% of your weight for now. That won't be too far wrong, and more than close enough for our purposes here.

altered genetix
09-12-2005, 05:51 PM
So 120 is 80% of my weight. That's 60 grams of fat! So I should be eating 540 calories of fat a day? 120 grams of protein, and the rest carbs?

Doesn't 540 cals of fat in my diet seem too high if I'm trying to lose fat?

09-12-2005, 05:52 PM
No. It does not.

I weigh 130 lbs, and I've been cutting on 60-80g fat daily.

Fat doesn't make you fat. Excess calories do.

09-12-2005, 06:05 PM
Also what does "Ahhhh" mean. I really don't know anything here. Sorry If my questions sound really dumb. I'm completely new to this.
Hard to completely respond when you keep editing your posts. Make a new one. That way I know what to answer.

There's no such thing as toning. My scream was for the benefit of the WBB community, so they could laugh at me.

Toning is a fighting word around me. I'd learn to avoid it. LOL!

So I should just start one of the WBB weight lifting routines, eating clean with my normal calories to maintain weight, adjusted to those levels of fat/protein/carbs and I will lose fat and gain muscle. Should I be trying to get gains in my program, or lift the same amount every time?

Also, Yes.
And finally, no.

Your goal should always be to try to increase the weight you lift.

09-12-2005, 06:10 PM
I would say way more protein, more fat, and then whatever left from clean carbs. Then add a strong lifting plan and you should be able to recomp fairly nicely for at least 3-4 months.

09-12-2005, 06:11 PM
I agree with Built on everything except perhaps the anti-cardio sentiment. For me personally, cardiovascular endurance is an important part of my overall fitness picture. It is as important a goal to me as eventually having a great physique. Plus, in my case, cardiovascular exercise (walking, cycling, running) helps me be able to eat more and combat hunger pangs.

Cycling and lifting are my two favorite activities right now. At some level, they work against each other. Weighing a lot (no matter how much of it is muscle) starts working against an elite cyclist just like exercising a lot starts working against an elite weight lifter. If I ever get good enough at either that I start worring about that then it's a sign I'm taking one of them too seriously. For me. For those who just want to get big and cut, there's no need to do any cardio work aside from lifting itself.


09-12-2005, 06:16 PM
Not sure where you read the anti-cardio statement.

I'm not anti-cardio. I DO cardio. I ride a bike. I just make sure to over-feed myself on riding days to ensure I don't create a caloric deficit from it - I ride hard, and for hours at a time.

Cardio is NOT useless. But it is hugely overrated for body composition. And the amount people need/tolerate seems to vary tremendously from person to person.

I go for walks almost every day, and I've always been active - I ran 10k 3x a week for almost 10 years. But it wasn't until I understood the heavy weightlifting / diet connection that I managed to get lean.

09-12-2005, 06:17 PM
I can see the cardio issue from both perspectives. Some people are "anti-cardio" because they know that it can be hard sometimes to take in enough calories if you heap a bunch of cardio on top of your daily activities. But I agree with you Zimbo, for me it's worth having to eat a lot more because I absolutely LOVE my cardio and I need my cardio fix every day. Point is...balance your daily input (calories eaten) vs. output (calories expended) then add 500 extra calories per day to put on the muscle mass.

09-12-2005, 06:20 PM
I would say way more protein, more fat, and then whatever left from clean carbs.

I think that's what he meant, Chris:

...eating clean with my normal calories to maintain weight, adjusted to those levels of fat/protein/carbs

I had earlier suggested 1-1.5g protein and 0.5g fat per pound LBM as minimums.

09-12-2005, 06:21 PM
You get yourself to 5% bodyfat and I want to see pix!

09-12-2005, 06:27 PM
It's *extremely* unlikely you'll get down to 5% body fat without ever having to go on a cut cycle. I'd say stay on the maintenance calories program until you feel like your lift gains are stagnating (i.e. several weeks without any improvement). When you get to that point, you'll need to eat more if you want your muscles to continue to grow.

Built, I'm glad to hear that you enjoy cycling and walking. Those are my mainstays (well, actually I'm scheduled to run my first marathon ever on October 1st but I don't particularly enjoy running). From your "but that's it" comment wrt cardio I got the wrong impression. My bad.


09-12-2005, 06:34 PM
No worries - the "but that's it" comment was from a fat-burning perspective: my feeling is that a little post-workout steady-state cardio is good for burning off FFAs mobilized from the lifting, and it helps create a slight caloric deficit without being excessively catabolic to muscle.

I don't think it's responsible to rely upon cardio for weight loss, but it clearly has other benefits.

09-12-2005, 06:43 PM
This seems so strange to me. So the best way for me to lose fat at my weight, is to go on a lifting program and eat to maintain my weight. For me anyways, it seems so contradictory. I mean no cardio, no cutting calories it defies everything I thought I knew. Maybe that's why Ive never lost weight.

Ding ding ding ding JACKPOT!

Altered, you may not lose very much weight here. Just so we're clear.

If you truly wanted to lose weight, I'd suggest the exact same plan of attack, but at a slight caloric deficit.

Nobody here seems to think you need to lose ANY weight. By doing it this way, you won't need to have several wardrobes, either.

What we're suggesting to you is a slow recomposition. Ultimately, you'll look and feel a LOT better this way, and I think you'll find your body will lean out and harden up nicely if you keep a tight control over your diet while you work HARD at your lifting.

So lift heavy, and control your diet.

Track what you eat on www.fitday.com

I work out my diet the day before and pack it up so I know EXACTLY what I'm eating.

Try that for a week. Then another week. Then another, and it'll be a habit for you. (Most habits take about 3 weeks to form).

Diet really is crucial here.

09-13-2005, 12:49 AM
This thread took so many words out of my mouth. So many ideas that I've thought about regarding cutting and diet has been thoroughly explained here. This thread rocks.

09-13-2005, 12:51 AM
I'm telling you fatrb, it almost reads like a set-up.

I felt like we were dispelling every bullsh!t myth in the fitness industry in sequence .

09-13-2005, 01:24 AM
LOL you should write out a page-long essay about it and always have it handy for the copy and paste.

09-15-2005, 10:50 PM
The Guide to Studliness

1. Eat vegetables at every meal (not with butter on them stupid! Corn does not count! Neither do potato(e)s :) We're talking real vegetables. See the "What a Bodybuilder Eats" thread.

2. Eat lean protein at every meal (limit your powdered intake. We're talking real food. Huge slabs of meat. And stop throwing buckets of sauce on it.)

3. Don't overdo it with the condiments (moderation is key. Learn to eat stuff that isn't over sauced.)

4. If you're "fat conscious," on non-workout days and outside the PWO window, eat only fruit and vegetable carbohydrate sources. In the two to three hours after you work out, feel free to eat some refined grain products. The more your bread looks like wood, the better (i.e. whole wheat 100% grainy goodness).

5. Eat six times a day. No snacking. Eat that fistfull of protein everytime you sit down to chow.

6. Eat fun things 10% of the time.

7. Lift heavy. Real heavy.

8. Have fun and watch your studliness amplify exponentially.

09-15-2005, 11:05 PM
I agree with it all, except for the butter part.

Butter is a natural saturated fat. It stimulates test. If you can afford the calories, there's nothing wrong with a pat of butter on your veggies.

Just don't give them a BATH in the stuff.

04-21-2006, 08:21 PM
This thread cleared alot of things up for me. Built as always :bow:
There is one question I have. Built, you said 0.5 g fat/lbm is the minumum. What would you say is the max?

04-22-2006, 07:58 AM

04-22-2006, 08:18 AM
Maximum would be as much as you can fit into your caloric needs without gaining too much weight. If you can take in 2g of fat/lbm and meet your cutting/maintaining/bulking goals, then go for it.

04-22-2006, 09:44 AM
The Guide to Studliness

6. Eat fun things 10% of the time.

7. Lift heavy. Real heavy.

8. Have fun and watch your studliness amplify exponentially.


I'll nitpick the "10%" on #6 by pointing out that one of the keys to success (at least for me) has been to find more foods that fit points 1-5 that ARE fun. Nice, lean steak... poached salmon.... sashimi...

Good food doesn't have to taste pentitential.

OTOH, sometimes it does pay to just BTFU and eat the damned tuna right out of the can. ;)