Burning Fat or Muscle?


Jun 3, 2005
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I have recently been trying to eat less..as to lose my weight..

Then I recently read something about the Guerilla Cardio and decided to try it M/W/F (if I can or if anyone has a better idea for a schedule) and was wondering if I was to keep at my small portion (tho not to small) when I start to do this.. when I lose the weight would I lose muscle or fat first?

Thanks Sherdog
The only way you would lose muscle is if you were not getting enough protein per day or if you just ran on an empty stomach.
You don't begin to lost muscle until your glycogen stores are completely depleted. If you have any stored bodyfat your body will be more likely to attempt to burn that first as that's what it's there for, to burn in the case that you're not taking in enough food. I wouldn't worry about it too much, just keep your protein AND carb, AND good fat intake where it needs to be and you'll be fine. Where it needs to be is varible depending on your goals.
Your body is only going to use protein (aka, "burning muscle") in times of starvation... So, just eat regularly and cleanly and you'll be fine..
I have a different opinion on this topic. From my own experience it's very easy to lose muscle and fat if you are restricting your calories by too much. If I were you I would track exactly how much and how often I was eating for several weeks along with your weight. Most people say you can safely lose about 2lbs a week. Personally, I can only lose about 1lb a week and not lose muscle mass.

If you are losing more than that, start upping your calories until you are at 1-2lbs a week of weight loss. And as everyone else said make sure you are eating cleanly.

I'll find the studies I've read if you are interested, but if I remember correctly, when you are in a calorie deficit, your body would prefer to use amino acids in your muscles as it's first source of energy. It does this through a process called gluconeogenesis. As much as it doesn' seem to make sense in todays world, having extra muscle is considered a luxury to your body. One that needs a constant supply of food to maintain. Your fat stores are there for emergencies, and it will only tap those once the "extra" muscle you carry is broken down.

I'll look through my books again soon, if I'm wrong I'll post up :).
LeeJolly said:
If you are losing more than that, start upping your calories until you are at 1-2lbs a week of weight loss. And as everyone else said make sure you are eating cleanly.

Can someone specify on 'Cleanly' eating?

I'll look through my books again soon, if I'm wrong I'll post up :).
Thanks a ton, all the help on this would be awesome..
All anyone will be able to give you on eating cleanly is opinion, because it varies for everyone. Eating clean for me means 6 meals a day, at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. Eating good complex carbs that are generally low on the glycemic index.

Examples of good carbs would be vegetables, brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat breads and pastas, etc. Keep the sugars low and as little processed food as possible. I also get most of my fat from flax seed oil, but many prefer fish oil.

After you know how many calories you take in during the day and you do that for a month or two it will be a little more instinctive and you wont need to count everything. You'll start to know your portion sizes.

If you get strict with your diet like this, and you work out hard you have no choice but to see results. Either fat loss or muscle gain, depending on how you workout and how much you eat. it's all about discipline.
I just wrote this to another guy, but you can have it to!

THE DIET is the most important thing... if you dont change your diet it wont help to workout...

6 days a week you will take a 45 mintue walk BEFORE breakfust. (Best fat burning method)This will melt the fat of quick with a good diet.

And your diet should consist of Protein 1,5 g per pound of your weight and a little carbs and Healthy fats

Only eat Carbs at Breakfust and after a workout. No carbs after 5 pm. VERY IMPORTANT.

protein : Lean ground beef, chicken breasts, fish, protein powder, turkey, cottage cheese, steaks... etc
carbs: only slow burning carbs, oatmeal, pasta(long cooking time), brown rice. And fruits.
healthy fats: flaxseed oil, olive oil. Fish oil... you can supplement fish oil capsules.

you will eat 5 small meals a day.

an example:

First a 45 minuter walk.
Then breakfust meal 1: half a cup Oatmeal with milk, a fruit and a protein shake or some meat.

meal 2: Chicken breast salad with a tablespoon olive oil on.


meal 3: Pasta sallad with tuna and a tablespoon olive oil

meal 4: Lean Ground beef with brocolli

meal 5: Cottagge cheese or some meat... ONLY protein in the last meal.

And drink LOTS of water.

And your lifting schedule. You will workout 3 days a week. Mondag, wednesday and Friday

Mon: Bench press 2 sets, Barbell shoulderpress 2 sets
Wed: Chins or pullups 2 sets, Deadlift 2 sets
fri: Squat or legpress 2 sets

Try to add 2,5 lbs or 5 lbs on every lift every week. The key is add weight so you get stronger.

Do some real cardio 2 times a week too, ride your bike for an hour or play some sports.

Good luck on your way to your ripped self!