How To Lose Muscle Fast?

Stopping resistance exercise, and reducing calories is a sure way to lose muscle mass. If cardio was included, would muscle be lost at a faster rate?

I’m going to guess that most people don’t know from experience, counting as the opposite is usually the goal, but I’m all ears.

Eat only processed foods high in carbs (twinkies, etc…) but not to excess
Drink alcohol in copious amounts
Park as close as possible to the the building you’re entering
Develop a crystal meth habit
Lower your T levels by watching Lifetime and Hallmark movies

This list I gave sounds funny, but given the unusual question I don’t know just how far you are willing to go to lose muscle fast.


Get a mate to tie you to a tree and come back in 3 days.

How much muscle do you need to lose? And why?

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This. The answers would be different depending on why, how much, and over what period of time.

Are you really looking to lose muscle, specifically, or just lose weight overall? Is this meant to be temporary, or permanent?

If the goal is making weight for a weigh in, and you’ve got a week to prepare, there’s a lot that can be done, and that involves following a well planned protocol, which would also involve a refeed at the end.

If the goal is specifically to lose muscle mass, and it needs to be done in, say, less than a week, you’d have to take drastic measures, depending on how much muscle needs to be lost.

If the goal is specifically to lose muscle mass, but you have a month or more to do it, the plan would also be different.

I’ll go ahead and answer your first question directly as well: If the goal is significant weight loss in less than a week, the plan would essentially be starvation. Eating a minimal amount, strictly for the purpose of survival, but with plenty of water intake, assuming you’re not trying to lose anything aside from muscle. Again, making weight for a weight class would be different. But in any short term plan for significant weight loss (less than a week), I would STRONGLY advise against any form of cardio. This process can take a significant toll on your heart and cardiovascular system in general, without the added stress of cardio exercise. Adding in cardio is a recipe for a heart attack. Don’t do it.

Anyway. Give us a little bit more information to go on, and you’ll get better advice. The more specific the parameters you present, the better.


Love the answers from everybody,so I will go ahead and say that I’m trying to lose weight because I’m tired of the attention that my muscles have been giving me. Up until Aug 30th of this year I was 170lbs with very little body fat at 65 inches tall. In other words, it’s obvious that I was very active in one form or the other.

As far as going hungry goes, yes I know it’s effective. I’ve been doing it since Aug30th, I’m now just under 150lbs and I’m trying to get to a thin 120lbs. I’ve even gone as far as to incorporate some cardio in there. Not surprisingly, my chest area tends to get very tight and uncomfortable when combining severe calorie restriction and cardio.

So is there anyway around the chest discomfort? (which I’d imagine is heart stress). Or, should I just stop the cardio, assuming I want to live and not suffer any serous complications?

that’s much more helpful info.

So here’s how I look at it. The overall intention here is for you to improve your quality of life, period. Right? So a lot of this comes down to your personal values. How much effort and sacrifice you want to dedicate to this process, how important it is for you to get down to 120 in, say, a month vs 3 months vs 6 months, etc. So there’s only so much advice I could personally give you, since your value system is your own.

I can tell you what I would do, though. For this particular goal, and your reasons involved, I would be doing this as safely as possible. I would want health to be a top priority. You’ve got a long life ahead of you, so risking your health in what will end up a very short process in any event is silly.

Cardiovascular conditioning is a good thing for anyone when it comes to health. But don’t beat yourself up with it. Light conditioning will make sense while in a large calorie deficit. I think you should be taking walks daily. 30 minute walks will go a long way towards completing your goal.

I would also avoid dropping calories more than 400/day less than maintenance. You still have a lot of weight to drop, and you don’t want to find yourself in a place where you hit a wall with no more calories available to drop. I wouldn’t want to see you dropping below 1600 calories per day at any point.

Much appreciated flipcollar, great advice.

You absolutely must keep your electrolytes and minerals up. Those can and do drop to lethal levels. HS wrestlers die every year from this very thing.

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man that’s a great point, I can’t believe I neglected to say that.

So yea, that’s absolutely crucial, and something I didn’t really think about. Worth expanding on.

No matter how much or how little you’re eating, to be healthy, you need to be taking in a full spectrum of essential micronutrients. You would be smart to eat a good variety of vegetables in your diet. Don’t just do the antiquated chicken and broccoli thing. That’s not a great idea.

I also recommend red meat for anyone. Not necessarily huge portion or anything, but at least a few servings every week. Don’t be scared that eating meat will keep you from losing size. As long as you’re in a calorie deficit and you aren’t lifting weights, the bodyweight will come off.

It may also be necessary to supplement with things like iron, potassium, magnesium, sodium, etc if you aren’t getting enough in your system while dieting. Bloodwork would be good to get done from time to time during this process to ensure you’re not killing yourself, lol.

any in particular?

does not sound fun

More recently this has become a big concern for me. I’m on a low sodium diet, but keeping potassium up has been a big help. I can definitely tell when I’m getting low and dehydrated. Run down doesn’t quite do it justice. More like run over.

Oranges, bananas, pineapple, and potatoes are good sources.



It isn’t.

From what I can tell with My Fitness Pal, it’s easy to go overboard on sodium and under eat potassium. High sodium and low potassium both lead to hardening of the arteries. Most of us are doubling down on that.

(He says while eating pork and drinking beer…lol)

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That’s for sure. I no longer even look at fast food places or pizza shop menus.

Easiest rule of thumb to avoid sodium bombs- prepare from raw ingredients. Nothing from a box, and most cans. Breads are pretty much out.

Some is necessary though. Not nearly as much as we typically consume, but some.

Funny you mention that, I just started taking an electrolyte supplement to see if it would help with the chest discomfort I get when I’m really cutting back on calories. On days that I have the luxury of staying home all day, I just don’t eat. In other words, I’m pretty much fasting the entire day, sometimes even 2 days, that’s when the chest discomfort kicks in. Luckily, I haven’t felt anything to extreme to convince me that my life is in any danger, but there’s no doubt in my mind that there’s some serious risks, especially when I’m doing cardio on Full-Day fasts (24-48hrs no food).

If the electrolytes don’t work, iron is the next supplement I’m looking at.

Loving the responses guys, thanks a lot.

Yeah, don’t recall where I got the information, but I think it’s important to keep the potassium higher than the sodium. The supplement I’m taking has 100mg sodium, and 390mg potassium per serving. Don’t know exact numbers, as far as how much to take, but the ratio on this specific supplement looks good.

Yeah, the rda for potassium is like 32-3500 mg. per day, and the maximum for sodium is like 2300 mg. with ideal being about 1500 according to the AHA- so in reality, most people have it backwards.

Hydration is important too. When people are cutting in an unhealthy way its easy think to eliminate water or dismiss hydration as unimportant, but it’s actually much much more important to a couple of physiological functions like the transfer of oxygen to the blood at the lungs.