Have you ever lost muscle when trying to cut fat?
I’m sure you have. Me too – years ago before I knew what I was doing.
Despite what some would have you believe, this is NOT inevitable. You do not have to lose muscle when cutting.
If you don’t want to look emaciated at the end of your cut, read this!
Think about it…why would the body need to actually break down its muscle stores for energy when you have plenty of body fat to be used?
It’s only when you do things incorrectly that you cause this unwanted scenario.
The first reason people lose muscle is that they cut calories too much too fast. In an effort to speed up results, they lose muscle and end up stalling their fat loss. A cut is only successful when calories are reduced over time. This prevents your metabolic rate from slowing down and helps spare muscle tissue.
The 2nd reason is…not getting enough daily protein.
The bottom line here is: if you don’t get enough protein while cutting, you WILL lose muscle. And that’s a disaster.
Pay attention to this study , which proves my point. Then I’ll tell you how much protein you need.
Researchers with the Military Nutrition Division of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine tested varying levels of protein and its effects on sparing muscle tissue while on a calorie-reduced diet.
The participants were split into 3 groups. All 3 groups were placed on the same number of total calories. The only difference was protein intake.
(1) One group consumed the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein
(2) One group consumed twice the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein
(3) One group consumed three times the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein
These researchers found that dieters on a weight-loss program including diet and exercise can prevent muscle loss by increasing their protein consumption to twice the recommended daily allowance.
“Our data demonstrate a potential inadequacy of the current RDA for sparing muscle mass during weight loss”.
The group receiving twice the recommended daily allowance showed the best muscle retention. Further muscle retention was not demonstrated in the group who received three times the RDA.
To spare muscle tissue when cutting, consume at least twice the RDA protein intake in grams Click To Tweet
HOW MUCH PROTEIN TO TAKE WHILE CUTTING
While different countries may recommend slightly different values, generally the RDA for protein is:
- 55g per day for men
- 45g per day for women
These are the UK figures. I have no doubt all of my readers are getting much more than this. We are athletes. We are constantly tearing up and repairing our muscle tissue so we need more.
Generally speaking, we need 1g per pound of body weight to build muscle.
A bodybuilder weighing 165lbs will therefore be taking 3 times the RDA (55 x 3 = 165). This is a good level for him/her. And he can feel confident that he won’t lose muscle as he shreds body fat.
A Natural Society article on this study stated:
“First, dieters who take on a weight loss regimen often focus their efforts on reducing fat rather than reducing sugars and processed carbohydrates. For them, carb intake goes up while trying to reduce calories. This creates a subsequent increase in blood sugar which can spell dieting failure.”
I would whole-heartedly echo this. Do not go on a very low fat, high-carb diet when cutting.
First, the low-fat intake will have a negative impact on your body’s natural anabolic hormones. Therefore, you’ll find it very difficult to build any muscle.Don't go low-fat to build muscle. You need fat to optimize production of anabolic hormones Click To Tweet
Secondly, the high-carb intake means chronically high insulin levels, which makes it much harder for your body to release its stored body fat for energy. Since it can’t tap into this energy source readily, it adapts by lowering its metabolic rate, which produces low energy states, fatigue and…you won’t lose much (if any) fat.
For a program that already takes into account the best protein intake levels for cutting, AND the perfect balance of carbohydrates and fats, all within the context of a caloric deficit diet, you don’t need to look any further than my Total Six Pack Abs program.
For less than a tub of protein, you can have my full cutting strategy and get the same results as these guys. Even better, I’m so confident if the results that I offer a full 8-week money-back guarantee, so there is absolutely no financial risk on your part. You either succeed, or you get your money back with no questions asked.
Instead of losing your hard-earned muscle tissue and looking like someone who has been malnourished for a few months, how about looking like Al Siebert did at the end of his cut? See his pics below…
Or perhaps, you’d like to look like wrestler “The Cougar Kid” at the end of his TSPA cut? Pretty good, eh?
Bottom line is: Yes a caloric deficit is necessary for getting ripped. But do not make the mistake of reducing your protein intake, or taking your fat intake too low. Then you’ll succeed and look great when it’s all over. 😀
If you have any questions, please ask me below. I’m always happy to help.
If you don’t need to focus on fat loss now and just want muscle gains in the fastest way possible, download THT training below. After inputting your email, you will be taken directly to the download page for instant access to the workout. You don’t need to log into your email to click on any confirmation link.
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Reference:  Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial. Stefan M. Pasiakos*,1, Jay J. Cao†, Lee M. Margolis*, Edward R. Sauter‡, Leah D. Whigham†, James P. McClung*, Jennifer C. Rood§, John W. Carbone‖, Gerald F. Combs Jr.† and Andrew J. Young*
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Can I just say– I love musclehack! lol. Love the advice, straight and to the point. Love your work Mark. Keep it coming!
@Terry. Many thanks 😀 I’ll keep it coming. My pleasure, buddy!
Thanks for the nice article as always.
Am I interpreting these lines correctly? It says ” Further muscle retention was not demonstrated in the group who received three times the RDA.”
Does this mean protein z not required more than certain level? I read eating high protein cause hypoglycemia as protein also releases insulin as carbs does but not as rapidly as carbs though.
Mark, are you planning to run a promotion in time for the south hemisphere summer? Let me know 🙂
Perfect muscle hint
I would love to read an article from you about breathing techniques during all kinds of lifts!
first , i wanna say .. i did learn from your blog more than any page or websites or youtube videos , thank you Marc
second , i love carbs .. i went on low carb diet for 14 weeks and i saw great result for cutting and holding muscle .. i went on 180 g protein , 30 fat , 25 carb .. but truly i was feeling so weak and dizzy all the phase
finally can you explain why fat better than carbs for cutting ? isn’t it’s about the totel deficit ? for non dieabitc person ?
@Rahav.. Yes exactly. Protein is not required above a certain level. It will not make you any more muscular. In fact, the excess will be turned to sugar inside your body.
@Alan. There are all sorts of opinions on that. I find none conclusive. The only important factor is to make sure that you keep breathing throughout the set.
@Ameen. Your fat levels were way too low for a low-carb diet. That’s why you were dizzy.
It isn’t only about the deficit. It’s about the hormonal environment in your body that optimizes fat loss, or can lead to muscle breakdown. Read my article Carbs and Weight Loss…