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How Much Strength/Muscle Will I Lose on a Big Diet?

Okay so my situation is a bit confusing but basically, I haven’t worked out in a little over a year, used to bench maybe a max of 220 pounds, I’m wondering how much strength I will lose if I start going to the gym again, lifting very light (the bar for reps), while also going on the carnivore diet which from what I’ve heard at my weight makes you lose 5-10 pounds the first couple of weeks or more, and then maybe like 5 pounds for a few weeks, and then 3 pounds every week for months (something like that I think). I’m afraid my muscle memory won’t have a good time giving me my strength back if I’m shedding fat like crazy. I’m 5"10, 21 years old, 232 pounds of lard. Does anyone have any idea what will happen? I’m panicking, I don’t want to lose all my gains and then require another YEAR of training just to get back to where I was. Usually when I take a year off (its happened before), I gain all my strength back within 6-7 months, but I’m afraid it will take me that long just to get 60-70% back to where I was if I diet. I just have no fucking idea if I will gain strength back fast after a long lay off like before, or gain insanely slowly back, or moderate, the feeling of no idea if I’ll lose all my gains or not is literally driving me mad. Please help.

Why would you do that?

Why do you keep taking years off?

Ur young. You’ll be able to regain muscle/strength relatively fast and go beyond. Starving yourself at the same time is probably counter productive to that goal but hey it’s still possible. You wouldn’t know until you dieted and trained that way for a few weeks. I’d go on a smaller deficit

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Helping and answering your question are mutually exclusive.

Start off by cleaning up your diet and getting back into the gym. On your off-days, eat a little less and go for a walk before breakfast. 20-45 minutes. After you feel that you have regained your strength re-evaluate and make a non-panicked decision.

Good decisions and panicking rarely go hand in hand.

It shouldn’t take you this long.

This could be a start,

Trying to gain back muscle while doing training that’s not the best way to gain muscle isn’t a great idea.

Trying to gain/keep muscle while following a diet that claims to let you drop between 3-5 (- 10?!) lbs a week at the same time (which is pretty impossible unless you’re losing fat, MUSCLE, WATER, maybe some organs -lol) isn’t a great idea.



yeah you really dont need to jump into extreme measures like that.
Use the info on this site/read 10 Dan John articles etc -coming of a layoff at your(prime) age you should put on muscle and lean out at the same time(presuming you go hard in the gym)

I take it you don’t believe in Arthur Jones’ so-called Colorado Experiment?

Given his training background, he should be capable of losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time. Although, clearly he is quite confused about how to go about this.

I’ve read Jones’ stuff quite a bit back in the day, and while I give the guy some serious credit for the attention he gave to recovery aspects, even Viator (the subject of the experiment) has talked about what he actually did during the “experiment” that wasn’t under Jones’ watchful eye (tons of steroids, tons of seriously intense volume training etc etc).

Also, consider: Viator was a genetic anomaly, he had lost muscle due to time off from an injury (just a couple of months if I recall correctly) where he did nothing, under ate, and stopped his PED regimen. So while it’s very cool to see how a geared up, Olympia competitor can take a small break and then resume his usual form (not unusual, I know a few olympia level athletes who take breaks, lose about 20 lbs, and then get right back on the horse 2-3 months later), I don’t think it’s applicable in this instance.


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This was a great quote!

Of course, all these guys were outliers by virtue of what they physically achieved.

I don’t think anyone will ever know exactly the real facts of the Colorado Experiment. The point is: it can be done, to some degree. Poliquin was another who claimed he could add 10lbs LBM to a person and strip the same weight in fat. I am equally sceptical of that claim.

But the fact remains: done properly, the OP could shed significant lbs while building LBM.

For what it’s worth, I also base this on my own observation: I went from 17.8% BF to 14.3% BF while showing a modest increase (2lbs) in LBM. This was based on DEXA scans. And while I can already hear cries of derision across the forum as to the accuracy of DEXA, it appeared to correspond to how I looked and was performing.

Yeah but the problem is I’m going on this carnivore diet because I have tons of health issues and this diet basically fixes all of them. I can’t help that the diet also makes you lose weight really fast, I need this diet though, my health issues are ruining my life.

Lots of minor injuries I guess you could say, I have better training now though.

I wouldn’t say I’m confused about how to go about losing weight and that’s why I’m choosing this diet, I’m choosing carnivore because it has a good chance of fixing many health issues I have.

If your priorities are towards weight loss ASAP over gains then fair enough. Muscle will still help you out as long as you are below the level you used to be at at least while you are young.

Carnivore diet doesn’t guarantee fast fat loss any more than any diet with mucho caloric restriction as far as I’m aware.

What health issues do you have that the carnivore diet would help in particular with?

But all the people on reddit were saying how they lost 20 pounds in one month so I am confused. This diet claims to fix lots of issues I have. GERD, being overweight, bad skin, mental health issues, joint pain, low testosterone (260 ng/dl at 21 years old) (OOF), and then hopefully make me lose fat and gain muscle (higher test levels might help this?). So yeah, that’s why I want to go on it ASAP and am very excited to finally stop being heavy as hell for the past five years! But I am still confused why everyone on reddit is saying they lose so much weight, I’ve heard people saying it just makes you lose weight because you aren’t hungry on the diet so you don’t eat much and then you lose weight without even trying. I would definitely rather lose more like 1 pound a week at first, then maybe 2-3 after I get a lot of my strength back. Idk if I can do that or the diet will just force all the weight off me.

20lbs of what though? Fat? Be cautious about that claim.

I like carnivore, and the work of Shawn Baker especially. I personally don’t want to adhere to strict carnivore because I love cheese, nuts, dark chocolate, odd glass of red wine, salad, etc. But I will say only when I ditched the so-called essential micronutrient dense foods, like greens and other veg and fruit, did my digestion improve and belly bloat go away. I rarely eat them now.

So good luck on that. It’s worth giving it a shot.

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Let’s say I go from 232 pounds to 170 pounds in four months, how much strength and muscle do you think I will lose? I’m willing to lose a good chunk if it means less back pain and overall better health, but I don’t want a fucking 135 max bench at the end of those four months, I’ll take a 170 max bench at the end idc, its worth it for my health. Also, you can eat cheese on the carnivore diet. An odd glass of wine wouldn’t hurt you, and from what I’ve heard, you stop having cravings and you’re able to live without all those foods you used to live for.

Just lose the weight man. There is no life difference between a 135lbs. and 160lbs. bench, and it’s impossible for you to not improve that number by lifting weights anyway. There sure is a life difference between 230lbs. and 170lbs. bodyweight, though; if carnivore helps you get healthy, go for it.


Just to say do absolutely everything you can to improve those Test levels naturally; sleep (8 hours min consistently), diet (not fad just healthy I’m sure I don’t need to spell this out), zero alcohol, all the right supps (d3, zinc, omega 3, boron etc) get down to a healthy weight and hold it whilst keeping up the good sleep, diet, exercise supps etc, for a few months and retest.

Be prepared for the fact that may only have a negligible impact (but given your age and current lifestyle let’s hope significant impacts can be made) and TRT might be a good option for you in the long term, but best avoided if at all possible and only worth engaging in once your settled and doing everything else 99% right, consistently for months on end.

Yeah, dude, I’ve done it. I did Vince Gironda’s steak and egg diet long before I’d heard of Shawn Baker.

The trouble is, you keep having a little bit of this and a little bit of that and then it’s not really the carnivore diet anymore. The you realise, actually, I enjoy the cheese, nuts, dark chocolate, and a load of other stuff. Tying yourself down to a particular mode of eating can be counter-productive unless (a) health issues dictate you must do it; or (b) you really enjoy that strict, focussed lifestyle.

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