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Muscle Loss & Protein on Ketosis

Asked on September 18, 2014
Created August 21, 2014 at 3:11 PM

I've done ketosis before and am trying it out again for a few weeks before my trip down to San Diego. Honestly I'm trying to get from 10% bf to around 8% or so (not a Paleo reason...sue me). My main concern is loss of muscle despite hearing it is a "muscle sparing diet". I'm currently 5'11" and a bit over 190 lbs. Typically I eat higher cal/protein on heavy lifting days (Tues-Thurs, Sun) and then fast and eat less on other days (Mon/Fri/Sat). The problem with ketosis is that I need to keep my protein at 170g while I would typically get up to 200g on my heavy days...this (in my mind) helped to build muscle and provide enough protein for my body during fasting days (and it's worked quite well). THE QUESTION: Is there a danger of muscle loss if I keep my protein to 170b on lifting days and only hit around 100g on fasting days? I've read "How Much Protein" and that is slightly helpful, but curious what the Paleohackers have to say. Thanks!

D5c7f9ef6aa426ba77119f7dfa6c25b7

(25)

on August 21, 2014
at 03:38 PM

It's the platform, in our list of bugs to fix. Working on spam as the #1 priority right now :)

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on August 21, 2014
at 03:11 PM

This was supposed to be 3 different paragraphs...sorry about that...not sure if it's the new platform or just me.

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4 Answers

1
3a6b23169a0a369d5c8b3e79520f6303

on August 23, 2014
at 10:07 PM

You're probably right about keeping your protein to 170g or less.  If it were me, I would monitor blood ketones to find your protein tolerance level.  Start at 170g and work your way up until you're out of ketosis, or work your way down from 200g until you're in ketosis.  Remember that if you're not in ketosis and you're running a calorie deficit, you're more likely to lose more muscle and less fat (hence why a traditional bodybuilder plan is to bulk and then lose - not do both at the same time), whereas ketosis is in itself more protective against muscle loss because of the fat-adaptation.  Especially since you're looking to do this in such a short time frame, I would start at 170g or less.  "The Art and Science of Low Carboyhydrate Living" is a great guide - maybe "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance" would be better for your question.  (Unfortunately I haven't read that one yet.)

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 21, 2014
at 11:04 PM

Ketosis is not a magical *bodyfat* burner. Mostly you are burning the fat in your diet. Calorie restriction is #1. 

 

That at being said, in my ketosis experiment I got up to 300g of protein without dropping out if ketosis. 

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on August 21, 2014
at 11:13 PM

How did you measure? Blood ketone levels or just by feel? Thanks!

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 22, 2014
at 12:11 AM

Blood. I used the precision xtra. 

Medium avatar

(138)

on August 22, 2014
at 09:12 AM

300g! I've never measured ketones myself but that's interesting, i agree you mostly burn the dietary fat, but during fasting periods (IF/sleep) i found i was getting extra lean and not really resrticting overall calories. I don't think going over calories helps though, obviously.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 22, 2014
at 01:41 PM

Confounding. IF works just as well without ketosis. 

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on August 22, 2014
at 07:42 PM

CDone, you were getting more Protein that Arnold you hulk you.!

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 23, 2014
at 12:25 PM

@stephen_4. Made me sick. I didn't do it for health, just trying to break ketosis. Ultimately a failed experiment. As I Learned that ketosis is not magic 

1
Medium avatar

on August 21, 2014
at 03:57 PM

I found i could maintain and even gain a bit when VLC as long as i was working out and eating around 70-120g protein, so at 100-170g i think you'll maintain your muscle mass easily as long as you keep using it, i don't think you'll technically be in ketosis all the time with that much protein and as a result you may not cut all the bodyfat you want to, but maybe the bodyheat from that protein will help and the times you are in ketosis will be enough to shift that 2%.

I think you'll still reach your goal regardless, i find when i drop out carbs no matter what else i do my bodyfat plummets fast, but if i go too low on protein and/or don't work out i lose lean mass just as fast, or so it seems.

It's like we're swapping diets at the moment, i was VLC for a couple years with some refeeds but now upping my daily carbs trying to bulk, and you're currently lowering carbs trying to cut. All the best!

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on August 21, 2014
at 05:15 PM

Awesome thanks...ya from "The Art and Science of Low Carb Living" the protein max is .9g per lb of lean body weight. I've also read closer to .8g-1.2g for those who are very active. I would definitely consider myself very active and am rationalizing that the extra protein goes to the extra work I put in (i.e. heavy lifting in the morning, abs as night or something similar). Any thoughts on this?

Medium avatar

(138)

on August 21, 2014
at 05:37 PM

Volek & Phinney are far more qualified to comment than i am but i'd agree with them, 0.9g of protein per lb of lean mass is plenty, i personally wouldn't go over that just cause i don't feel or look great when i eat loads of protein. I sometimes go higher if i've had hours & hours of exercise within a day and just feel like splurging for pleasure/reward, but i think it's overkill. Im quite skinny though so i don't have much lean mass to maintain, hence upping carbs trying to bulk a bit ;)

-1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 24, 2014
at 01:40 AM

if you're not in ketosis and you're running a calorie deficit, you're more likely to lose more muscle and less fat --  No that is absolutely wrong 

 

hence why a traditional bodybuilder plan is to bulk and then lose - not do both at the same time -- again, wrong.  You bulk by eating more calories, you lose by cutting calories.  Ketosis is not part of the equation.

 

whereas ketosis is in itself more protective against muscle loss because of the fat-adaptation -- again, wrong.  Ketosis has no effect on muscle loss given proper protein levels.  Fat-adaptation has been debunked.  People in ketosis, then fasting do not burn more body fat that a "sugar burner" who does the same thing at teh same caloric deficit.

 

 

85be069e99c1659f3153c63dc5dc432a

(0)

on August 25, 2014
at 01:34 AM

 Fat adaptation has been bunked? Please show that research.

Bccea22665994b64fb23a57970fd969c

on August 26, 2014
at 02:13 AM

Calories in calories out?

You may have been to busy being condescending to pay attention to spelling correctly....

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