Wednesday, March 28, 2007


By now, you should be losing weight if you are sticking to a balanced carb and protein diet. But if you are losing muscle as part of that weight loss, you are slowing your metabolism down. It would be better not to diet at all than to lose muscle as you lose weight.

The protein and carb balance is computed on how many pounds of muscle you have now. You can find this out with a body composition scale - if you have to, just subtract your fat from your total weight to learn how much muscle you have. Your protein and carb targets are set by eating one gram of protein and carbs for every pound of lean body mass, or muscle, that you have.

For most women, this is 90 to 100 grams of protein and carbs per day. For most men, this is anywhere from 125 grams of protein and carbs to 150 grams of protein and carbs. Both men and women need 25 to 30 gm dietary fat, and both men and women need an additional 10 gm of omega 3 fats (flax or fish oil, or a mixture of these.)

If you suddenly stopped losing weight, it is most likely that you are not eating enough. The body goes into starvation mode and starts eating muscle. If this happens, just push up your protein and carb intake in equal amounts. Like magic, you will begin to lose weight again.

This phenomenon happens most often when people decide to starve themselves and knock themselves out at the gym. "Eat less, exercise more" is the WORST advice for weight loss, because it almost always leads to muscle loss. Instead, make sure you get one gram protein and one gram carbs for each pound of lean muscle you have. And don't forget to have an additional protein bar for every half hour of exercise. If you excercise for an hour, have the protein bar before you exercise, and a protein drink and a piece of fruit after you exercise.

The pattern we look for in successful weight loss is: loss of 2 lbs fat per week, and GAIN of around a pound of muscle. In my case, I lost 100 lbs, and GAINED 30 pounds of muscle. Each additional pound of muscle gained burns 13 calories per day. So, in my case, I am now burning 390 calories a day MORE than I did when I weighed 283.

Muscle rules.


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