T Nation

Help Me, I'm Losing Muscle


I stated weight training again the first of June from a LONG time off. My first month went great (never want to leave the gym) but I have some concerns.

I started out at 185# with 19% body fat. In the month I lost to 170# to 14% body fat but I lost about 5# of muscle. Is this normal starting back into lifting or no.

I eat around 1700 cals a day with 200g of protein 145g of carbs and 20g of fats. Am I doing something wrong or am I just worring about nothing.

Thanks for the info you guys have been great.



How are you measuring BF%? I'm just thinking that, if you were using a Tanita scale or something along those lines, you could be getting wildly inaccurate readings. It might not be that bad.


At only 1700 calories a day, and losing as much weight as you did, I would say that you probably lost some muscle. You really need to be around 2500 calories a day.

I would eat more for couple of weeks, and see what the numbers say then.

Just my 2 cents.


The macronutrient breakdown you described is only 1560 kcal. You didn't mention how much you were eating before you started your program, but you're not eating enough, even to lose weight. Of course you're going to lose muscle mass. Check out this article from John Berardi:



Just using the old pinch calipers. But whats wierd in the first month none of my arm, neck, or leg measurements got smaller they stayed the same.



Give HOT-ROX a shot. It will help you preserve your LBM.


Well I am eating six meals a day from previously one meal a day. I work in Law Enforcement and the overnight shift so about all I did was set in a car sleep and eat a meal before I went to work. My problem is I have trouble eating that much. I about vomit eating six meals a day because of all of the food.

So how do I get more in me if I cant hold it.




Try taking MRP like Grow!, which gives you the cals and keeps you full until you next meal.


Yikes! I agree with the advice to bump up the calories. Start by eating 2000 calories and see how things are going. You will most likely be able to lose fat fine at this amount. Even more like Rainjack said might be appropriate depending on your individual body and metabolism.


Really? Is advising a beginner whose diet is not in check or appropriate to take a supplement the way to go? I'm not so sure. Skip the HOT-ROX for the time being. Get the calories up to an appropriate level for fat loss without damaging your metabolism.


Eventually your body should adjust and it won't seem like a lot at all. If you're drinking during your meals stop. Drink in between meals instead.


Intake is WAYYYYYY to low unless you are taking loads of illegal drugs. There is no good reason except that of losing LBM, and lower grade of health for you to be consuming only 1700 k/cals on a regular basis.

You are just going to wreck your metabolism, jeapdordise your health, and have sub par gym and life performance.

I suggest as above bumping intake ASAP for a while something along the lines of 2500 k/cals a day and you should actually at the least maintain at that intake for you size.

Then after a month or so at that level re-evaluate where you need to go. I personally would never suggest you drop below 2000 and that level would only be server cases, for short stints.

Just my 2 cc however,



Try nuts, protein shakes, oil with your veggies (olive or flax), pumpkin and sunflower seeds, whole milk, dried fruit post workout, sardines with olive oil, etc.


185 lb and 1700 calories. YOU'RE STARVING! Your body thinks there is a famine. Eat some food man. How can you build muscle without building materials??????

Try this analogy: There are 15 people at sea in a life boat. They only have food enough for 10 people.

What is the solution????? Eat 5 people.
The 10 will recieve nurishment from the 5 and there will then be adequate food for the 10. It's called SURVIVAL.
That's exactly what your body will do if you only give it 1700 cal. IT WILL EAT YOUR MUSCLE.



Thanks guys for the info. Now need to find out how to get that much in my stomach and make it stay there. Anyone know of a good MRP. Ha Ha let me guess. When I up my calories does it need to be in form of protein carbs fats or a combination there of?

Thanks again



Don't call them "meals". Call them "feedings". With a meal, people tend to think that they have to sit down with a plate and 5 pieces of cutlery. You can eat and drive or eat and walk. Your ancestors did it for a couple of million years (the walking & eating part).

You shouldn't need a MRP to exceed 3000 cal. On a heavy day I'll reach about 3500 cal with only breakfast and about a bazillion snacks throughout the day. Read Berardi (how many times has this been said????). You need some meal preparation stategies. Sorry, Feeding preparation strategies.



6 meals a day and your only at 1700 calories? I'm generally at 1700 calories after breakfast and my morning snack. Rounding up, your only eating 300 calories a meal... a scoop of oatmeal with powda has more calories then that.

Practice makes perfect, and that holds true for eating as well. If your loosing weight at 1700 a day, up the intake 500 calories. This kind of thing is easy. Just try having drinks with calories in them (not soda or crap like that).

While I'm bulking, or even maintaining I drink milk with almost every meal, and a protien shake with dinner (this is generally right after my workout though). A few glasses of milk a day will easily add 500 calories to your diet, and not to mention its HEALTHY for you.

Once its easier for you to eat more, then simply do that. I cant tell you how many times I've been so uncomfortably full, then started cooking my next meal. However, after a while you dont have to stuff yourself like that. Half the time these days I'll be in the middle of one meal, thinking about what I'm going to eat for the next one.



Only 20g fat per day? 1560 Kcal? Yikes. I agree with the above suggestion to eat lots of nuts and seeds. As for MRP, there's tons of different recipes for use with Low-Carb Grow! on this website. Just do a search for "recipe". Look for one with carbs in it too :slight_smile:


Increase your calories gradually. Try not to increase or decrease by more than 10% every few days. Don't shock your body.

There's lots of good advice on this thread.




ProfX once said something about hamburgers and eating. It was funnier, simpler, and yet still more elegant. Anyway, eat something.