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How many pounds can you lose a week if...

This is in regards to Chris’ article this week. It talks about going by the old standard of losing only a pound a week. Now I’ve always heard that losing any more than 2 pounds is probably going to take some muscle with it. However, my question is, when using a fat fast type of diet, where you use androsol or some kind of steroid to preserve lean muscle mass, how much can you lose a week then w/o losing any muscle? I know, it depends on the person, but I’m wondering if there is any general figure to go by. Is a 3/4 of a pound a day unreasonable, totaling at 5.25 lbs. a week? Anybody have any ideas on this?

Basically man no matter how little you cut your calories you will lose a small amount of muscle, you will lose less if you’re taking steroids, but your body is really smart, it knows when it’s being starved, and the last thing it wants to get rid of is precious bodyfat. If you try to lose more than 2 pounds a week then I think you are going to lose more muscle, alot more muscle than if you where trying to lose 5 pounds a week, which I don’t think is even possible. And with the fat fast 10-15 pounds is going to be water with in the first week or two. So don’t count that as fat loss.

Chris, I was wondering what your take on this was? Thanks. -Steve

Interesting question. I don’t have an exact answer, though. With drugs or even good supplements (MD6/T2 stack) it might be possible to break the “pound o week” rule, especially if using something to help you retain muscle like Androsol, Methoxy-7 or steroids. But, I’m sure there is also a cut off point, meaning that if you drop cals too low and overdo the cardio then it doesn’t matter what you’re using, even steroids, you’ll lose some muscle. I’d say even with anabolic support, five pounds a week is too much. Some may be fluids, but that should level off after a week or two. And a really obese person may safely lose faster than a pound a week, but not much more.

When I lost 60 pounds, I was losing it at the rate of a pound every two days. I lost tons of muscle (this was in the early 90’s before I knew anything) and was so starved my hair started falling out. So that was losing a little over 3 pounds a week, but remember that starvation isn’t as fast for fat loss as actually eating a little something. If I only knew then what I know now…

That’s an interesting take. It does seem that Brock lost a little over 4lbs a week on the fat fast when he did the article and he wasn’t obese. Are there any other people that can list their results with fat fast-esque diets? What they lost, how much was muscle? Maybe if some of the more metabolism wise people (john b) could give their perspective. Also, on a side note,Brock, if you’ve been able to update the diet? I’d like to see you’re revisions and results if you have.

On my last phase of the anabolic diet I did a fat fast type of protocol. Basically I cut calories to about 1200-1400 a day and sprayed androsol at about 40 sprays 2X a day. I was taking MD6 (6 caps a day), T2 for the first week (3 caps a day) and also added more ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin. I did this for the last two weeks I was on before a planned break. I lost 4 lbs. w/i the first 5 days and gained about 6.5 over the weekend. My normal weight gain on weekends (water) is between 3-5 usually 4. So it seems I was gaining more than normal via the androsol making it truly anabolic, or so it seemed. The next 5 days on I lost 3.5 lbs. and gained a similar amount over the weekend. I was thinking of trying this again, which is part of the reason why I asked the question. I don’t want to lose any more muscle being so close to my goal. I definitely lost a ton of fat quick by doing this, but I don’t know if I lost muscle. I’ve got the Fat track calipers and those things vary while the % went consistently down, they did seem to vary by about +/- .7% each time I measured. I took an average to be more accurate, but still with that large of a margin of error at just over 200 lbs. that is the difference between telling whether I lost muscle or not. I want to do it again, but I don’t want to sacrifice muscle in doing it, hence my question. I’m at 203.5 and 10.0% today. I’ve got a week and a half left on the diet before I finally call it quits and do a bulking cycle. My goal was to get down to 6.5% I could have done it in theory if I tried the same method I did last time again, but that is if all the weight lost was indeed fat, but I can’t say for certain that it was. So, I played on the side of caution. Perhaps I’ll extend the diet a week. Or, since I am going almost straight into a finasol cycle after I get off the diet to bulk up, maybe I’ll cut the calories a bit short then for a week or so to really cut up. I don’t know I really wanted to be cut and then bulk as much as I could on the cycle, cut we will see. Sorry to ramble on but I just wanted to share my experience w/ my dieting and why I asked the question in the first place. -Steve

It doesn’t matter really. If you lose the muscle, it will grow right back to where it’s supposed to be given the ammount of stress you put on your body (exercise and your regular weight in general). If you lose fat, of course you will lose muscle because your body doesn’t have to carry so much extra weight that isn’t neccessary. Ever wondered why fat people have large bones and thin people have skinny bones (prior to finishing puberty and/or before the age of about 30 when bones stop growing)? It’s simply because when you are fat, you put more pressure on your body to increase bone size to support the extra weight. The same thing applies to muscle and fat. Muscles will grow larger in response to greater stress being applied to them if they receive proper nutrients to grow from. Odds are the first week of dieting will be the one where you lose the most lean body mass, a lot of this should be in water as Chris mentioned. It shouldn’t be such a big deal unless you are a serrious bodybuilder. What’s more important is that even on a diet, the ratio of fat loss will FAR exceed that of muscle loss and the ratio is well worth it. I never did get exact figures but let’s say you take a normal person (avg everyday male 5’10). For every extra pound of fat that person has, their basal metabolism increases by about 4.6 calories. For every pound of fat you have, your basal metabolic rate increases by 2 calories. For every pound of lbm you have, you generally burn off 50 calories. If you do the math, generally, it could be assumed that for every pound you lose, you will lose about 1/19.23th of a pound in LBM. For some people, this will be different in accordance to their genetics but in general this should be the case. That’s less than a gram of muscle loss vs. a whole pound of fat! Anotherwords, if on average, you lost 20 lbs and kept it off and gave your body time to regain some lost muscle from dieting, you would only lose 1 measily lb of muscle for those 20 lbs of glob. A fair trade off if you ask me! My best advice to avoid muscle loss is eat a proper diet. Eat plenty of beans and meats with enough sugar so your body doesn’t take up glucose from the muscle. Keep the fat out of your diet and spread your meals (should be snacks) out by about 2 hours apart. If you want the quickest route to weight loss even if it means losing lots of muscle which is mostly temporary loss (remember that!), stay on a ketogenic or all-protein diet. Low fat, very low carb (if you have carb make sure they are low glycemic index carbs, that means no certain cereals, potatoes, etc…) Furthermore, because high protein is usally high in sodium, make sure you get enough potassium in your diet to offset the high levels of sodium and be sure you take calcium with vitamin D (probably good to have some magnesium with that as well, the meat should have enough iron) because sodium and protein degenerate bone density greatly.

I realize that the muscle, at least most of it, will come back. The concern I have is that it will come back with a good deal of the fat. I always thought that if I were to minimize the muscle lost in the first place, I wouldn’t have to worry as much about gaining the fat back with the muscle.

I recommend no more than 1 pound to 1.5 pounds a week. Any more and you will lose muscle weight, unless you are using AAS or other muscle sparing drugs. I am open to arguments about my point, if you differ in opinion from my own.

I broke the pound per week barrier last year. I lost about 8 pounds the first week but after that I lost an average of 3 pounds per week for about 12 weeks totalling 45 pounds in 14 weeks with no rebound of water gain afterwards. There was 1 or 2 weeks that it stalled completely then started right back up again. I was however extremely out of shape, as in about 45 pounds overweight. I didn’t even count calories for the first 6 weeks(BFL hehe) and even when I did count calories it was about the same.

Here is an interesting thing though. I've read this somewhere but I can't remember where. When you're extremely out of shape your body must increase it's muscle mass and tendons, etc.. to support this weight(this "stuff" counts as LBM). As you diet it off, especially at a rapid weight, you will lose some of this LBM as well because the body doesn't need it anymore. So remember that when you're dieting from being severly out of shape. According to the scale and bodyfat % it may seem like you lose a good bit of LBM, but some of it may not be necessarily bad LBM. It does tend to make sense.