Home guest articles Can You Maintain & Build Muscle While Dieting?

Can You Maintain & Build Muscle While Dieting?

written by Guest Blogger November 15, 2013

When you want to lose weight and get fit, it’s usually a very daunting task – mostly because everyone’s got an opinion. Do you restrict calories, then start exercising and increase calorie consumption? Or do you workout while you’re restricting calories? Argh! Well here’s guest blogger, Will Kashchuk, with a little light on the subject. 

Diet gurus tell you that you must reduce calories to lose weight. Many may tell you that not eating enough food or fasting will cause you to store more amount of fat. They may even tell you that, for reducing weight, you should keep eating. To be more specific, they will tell you that to eat their exclusive food which is meant for reducing weight.

These confusing messages may lead several to compulsive habits of eating. The professional experts that tell you that you must keep eating base their arguments completely on the “starvation mode” theory. At the time of starvation mode, the body evidently slows metabolism production at times when few calories get ingested.

Moreover, researchers have even shown that individuals may actually eat just few calories for the extended time period without any change in the level of metabolism with no decline in muscle mass until a routine of resistance training is maintained.

It appears that important amounts of weight may be lost on the low-calorie diet, devoid of losing the muscle mass or destructing the level of metabolism, if resistance exercise gets included in a weight loss plan.

In the recent study which is published in Journal of Obesity, the researchers examined the effects of 94 women who lost an average 25 pounds of weight. These women followed the strict diet of 800 calories each day for about 5 months. One portion of women followed a workout program consisting of resistance training, another portion followed the program of aerobic training, and the final portion did not perform any exercise.

The researchers found that women who followed the workout program of resistance training maintained Fat Free Mass when they were on this diet. It means that although they lost about 25 pounds they were still able to protect the muscle mass. Hence all 25 pounds which these women lost was completely fat!

They even found that group of women who followed a resistance training workout program preserved their metabolic rate. On the other hand, both women who performed the aerobic training and who did not perform any exercise lost their muscle mass.

Not just women but even men can save and build the muscle mass by following the low calorie diet and irregular fasting rule. It’s however difficult to acknowledge this idea as we have heard the advice to “Eat big to get big” and even consider bulk eating as the ideal strategy for muscle building, but it seems the truth is a quite different.

Eating massive amounts of protein and calories will, quite likely, result in enhancing the muscle mass when you attain the age of 18 till 25. Then, bulking may simply lead to gaining needless pounds of fat instead of helping you put on the muscle.

So, as you become older, the role of calories change as process drive of muscle growth decreases and as calorie adequacy and proper workouts become priority. Calorie adequacy is the quantity of protein and calories which is sufficient to support the muscle growth and avoid increases in body fat. It is quite different for people, depending on their age, training program, level of the body fat, and it takes trial and error to find the right number.

“Eating enough” for your muscle growth may be done easily with intermittent fasting. For this, you can incorporate one or two 24 hour “safe” fasts a week in your fitness plan and workout on your non-fasting days. Also, slightly increase your intake of protein above the amount of calories you need to eat for body maintenance. The most convenient way to take care of this is to take some protein supplements, such as protein powder-laden smoothies. Considering all this, it seems that the average person can build muscle while they are trying to shed some pounds through intermittent fasting and overall calorie reduction.

Bottom line: Intermittent fasting and dieting combined with resistance training may help you lose pounds without losing muscle mass or reducing metabolism. Note that short-term fasting does not hinder the long-term process such as muscle building, particularly if you get adequate quantity of calories and proteins which are sufficient to feed the muscle growth and supply the energy for the workout sessions.

About the Author

This article is provided by Will Kashchuk, author of <arel=”nofollow” href=”http://intermittentdiet.com/”>intermittentdiet.com. He’s also owner of <arel=”nofollow” href=”http://www.diets.md/”>DietsMD.


United States National Library of Medicine: <arel=”nofollow” href=”http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed”>http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed

Eat Stop Eat Diet Source: <arel=”nofollow” href=”http://www.eatstopeat.org/”>http://www.eatstopeat.org/

Weight-control Information Network: <arel=”nofollow” href=”http://win.niddk.nih.gov/”>http://win.niddk.nih.gov/

Does any of this information change your health plan? Please share your insights with us!

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