Low Calories Losing Muscle


I am 5'8" 215lbs down from 250 in 10 weeks. I am currently on a 2200 calorie plan, 40/40/20. consuming 1g of protein per lb of body weight.

I lift weights 3 times a week, first thing in the am. 1. Are my calories too low and in turn losing muscle? and 2. Is my protein Intake ok?

Answered by:
Matt Hines, ACSM-HFS

Matt Hines Online Personal Training


Congratulations on Your Weight loss!

In general, cutting body fat usually comes at the expense of sacrificing some muscle since the body is in a caloric deficit. The goal is to maintain as much as possible.  

So with that being said, I would def up your protein to at least 1.2 g per lb/s of body weight, maybe higher depending on how you're responding. 

If you are losing more than 2lbs a week, then its time to up the calories because you are most likely wasting muscle tissue.

You want to lose the weight slowly in order to preserve as much muscle as possible. Ideally you should be losing 1 to 1.5 lb.s a week.  

Also, during a cut you need to make sure your meal timing is in place to aid in muscle recovery. Never skimp on the carbs/protein in the morning, or before and after your workout. And if your workouts are in the morning I would take in some extra carbs so you're getting your morning carbs + your pre workout carbs.
Keep in mind that caloric intake and distribution of macronutrients will vary for everyone based on body type,  muscle development, and overall goals. 

So, it's impossible for me to recommend a specific macro break down without working directly with you and monitoring how your body responds to certain variables. Best of Luck.

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