T Nation

Won't a Cut Make You Lose Muscle?

Let’s say you eat 3000 calories a day for a bulk. You’re done bulking, and now you have a lot more muscle and some more fat. You start cutting in which you consume 2500 calories a day. You now have a higher muscle to fat ratio. But how many calories are you supposed to eat after the cut to maintain the body that was a result of the cut? If you start eating 3000 calories again, you’ll gain back the fat. If you keep eating 2500 calories a day, won’t your body eventually turn to burning muscle instead of fat? And how much protein are you supposed to eat on a cut?

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No, you won’t lose muscle on a cut. The only people who have a chance of losing some muscle are bodybuilders (those that actually compete in contests), as they end up having to cut calories drastically and perform a lot of additional cardio to burn up the fat. They usually do this over a 12-week period which tends to eat up some muscle.

The chance of an average person losing muscle is slim, as long as they train properly and eat properly. As for how much protein to eat while cutting, it’s generally recommended to take in at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. The lowest I would recommend is .8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight (some have recommended a range of .8-1 gram per pound of bodyweight for dieting).

When bulking up, you usually want to consume 1.5-2 grams per pound of bodyweight.

haha 3000 calories on a bulk? chances are you dont have to worry about cutting for a long time!

but really, once you get used to eating enough to gain weight for a while, it’ll give you an idea of where you need to be eating wise, and the more experience you get, you’ll get a rough estimate of how much you need to maintain, even if you dont know exact calorie counts…if you need the # to help, just take off a couple hundred calories off, and if you strength starts to drop and everything else is good, maybe you went too low…

but i’d probably keep eating the same and just add a bit of cardio a couple days a week or something,or just time it so you have most of your carbs in the earlier part of the day and around a workout but still keep calories a little bit higher (unless the fat is really more than you want i guess, then you might have to go about it more properly)

Strictly speaking if you lose body fat you will weigh less. If you weight less then your energy requirements will be less since it costs less energy to move a less massive body. And yes, strictly eating in a deficit for a prolonged period of time will incur some metabolic consequences which may and likely will include a loss of muscle mass.

You don’t have to go in 500cal increments.

Find a balance point to maintain your “current” weight once you figure where you wanna stay.