I cannot do many reps if muscles are glycogen depleted from low carbs. And I may have to drop the weight as well. Glycogen depletion and the accompanying strength loss is not the same as losing actual muscle tissue, but it will probably lead to muscle loss if you stay in that state very long. Also, on very low cals, your training can suffer from just low energy.
Were you dieting awhile before you brought carbs and cals very low?
If that last part was directed to me then yes I was. Strength was rising most workouts until I brought calories to about 2200…from then to about 1750 they just stayed about the same and when I dropped them again strength loss started so I’m bumping it up 1-200 with some added carbs around workouts and seeing how it goes.
By the way energy and sleep have been fine…I think it’s just a combination of such low calories and an extended period with those calories.
For most people really looking to cut down I certainly have not lost any significant amount of strength, it’s more the fact that the results are not good enough right now to continue with my old plan considering all I was doing. And at my stage I still want to significantly increase strength, not being able to increase most lifts for weeks now has gotten to me mentally. [/quote]
Well, as you have discovered, it’s tricky to retain muscle on very low carbs/calories. When your training demands glycogen for fuel and it’s not there, training is going to suffer, the stimulus demand for keeping the muscle around and the fuel to fuel it are both low = muscle loss. You’ve got to get those targeted workout carbs just right to have any chance of keeping it around.
Also by keeping calories so low for very long, your RMR will drop. This will make it much harder to keep dropping fat. It is a misconception that just losing muscle is responsible for the drop. Organs like the heart, liver, and brain are probably responsible for most of the drop. You will get to the point where maintenance is what you’re eating now.
Overall for a person with a lot to lose (say more than 10-20 pounds), there’s a good reason for the standard recommendations of calorie deficits of 20% per day, calories no lower than BMR, and a 1.5-2 pound loss per week. Tom Venuto has data on hundreds of clients and says that with rare exceptions, more than 2 pound loss per week included a loss of LBM.