Why am I burning more muscle than fat?

Discussion in 'Dieting / Supplement Discussion' started by xolent234, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. xolent234

    xolent234 White Belt

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    Hey there guys, just a bit of back ground info first as this is why I'm REALLY confused on what's going on with my body!

    A couple of years ago I was only lifting weights and nothing else, the occasional jog around the block (literally), but I was predominantly weight lifting and eating almost anything I wanted and heavy drinking, on the weekends. I actually was losing fat and gaining muscle with this life style.

    My diet would consist of just tuna, chicken, steak, vegies, rotate. I was also working ridiculous hours and my body clock was wayyyyyyy out of whack, i.e. I had uni 9am to say about 6pm five days a week, and I would have work that starts at 11pm and finished at 4am, five days a week. I barely frichen slept! I remember this was one of the hardest times for me as a kid growing up!

    NOW! Add a couple of years to that, I gained a heap load of weight so I decided to take up Muay Thai. After a week of doing Muay Thai I was like, "pfft, stuff weights, let's just focus on Muay Thai and cardio".

    ...so I signed myself up to City to Surf (a sort of 14km marathon that starts from the city centre all the way outwards to Bondi beach in Sydney) and as it got closer I was actually running a lot more on a session (I was doing 8k's minimum a session).

    I was also doing weight lifting, but nothing extreme anymore, mostly upper body workouts where I thought would help me in my Muay Thai.

    I was also doing Muay Thai 3 days a week, each 2 hour sessions.

    My diet consisted and is currently something along the lines of this:

    Mornin (6am) - Oatmeal with drop of honey, with casein protein mixed with mater
    10am - a banana
    11am - an apple
    1230am - a 6inch subway sandwhich which double fillet chicken boobies, no dressing, salads, no cookie and waster.
    3pm - an apple
    6pm - 8pm - Run/Muay Thai/Gym depending on the day
    Immediate post workout protein drink mixed with water
    930pm - Small piece of rump steak, handful of vegies
    Right before bed 11pm - Casein Protein mixed with water

    the question is, I'm obviously doing a lot more rigorous training than I was years ago, how come my body is burning away all my muscles and not so much my fat? I'm saying this because I remember years ago all I did was lift weights and the fat on my belly shrunk and I remember the fat on my stomache formed in a shape of a donut! (which means small amount of fat!) but now, I'm doing shitloads of cardio, i've never done this much running and training in my life, yet my body is burning all my muscles and keeping my fat!?

    What do I have to do in my diet?!?!

    Could someone please help!

    I'm going to start trying to stop running as much as it's really starting to hurt my achilles and switch it for sprints, 2 times a week. I did my second sprint session last week and everything in my body hurt! Even my biceps (I know, wtf?).

    Any help would be appreciated guys!
     
  2. Croatia K1**

    Croatia K1** Banned Banned

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    How much do you weigh, there is no way you are eating enough calories, so when this happens your body panics and goes into survival mode, the body needs fat to stay alive but doesn't need muscle, it will burn the muscle first.


    If you do an insane amount of cardio you need to eat well also man, or you'll look like one of those kenyan marathon runners.
     
  3. Hunter Simpson

    Hunter Simpson 2GM/c^2 belt Platinum Member

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    And much much more protein.
     
  4. XTrainer

    XTrainer Red Belt

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    There's a lot wrong here. It's clear you haven't read the FAQs. But, the main thing you need to understand is that by removing the "incentive" (the stimulus of strength training) for your body to build/spare muscle, your body has no reason to keep muscle. Muscle is calorically expensive to build and maintain--you're body doesn't keep it around unless it needs it. Your body will happily break down muscle, producing energy from tissue that would otherwise be a pointless drain on the body's resources.

    The fact that you're doing tons of cardio just accelerates the whole process.
     
  5. Denbob99

    Denbob99 Orange Belt

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    So, you're doing 6hours of muay thai, running a lot, eating shit all for the amount of work you're doing and barely hitting the weights. Why exactly do you think you would maintain your muscle? Your body keeps muscle if it needs it, and right now you're giving it no reason to keep that muscle around.
     
  6. Denbob99

    Denbob99 Orange Belt

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    That wasn't constructive enough.

    1) Eat more, especially protein
    2) Train right, try the two day split in the FAQ
    3) Keep track of your body composition and make adjustments to make sure it goes the right way
     
  7. TheMinotaur

    TheMinotaur Blue Belt

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    its a word.
    short answer? because you suck...
     
  8. ronin0352

    ronin0352 Lift, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

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    Wow, talk about constructive.:rolleyes:

    TS listen to XTrainer & Denbob99
     
  9. xolent234

    xolent234 White Belt

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    Thanks guys. I currently walk around 72kg, that varies a lot though due to water weight and everything (I can weight 69kg after a long run and an empty load).

    I had some knowledge when I was lifting weights, on what to eat and how to eat (sort of) but I never knew it was in a way "expensive" to keep muscle, it makes sense now though. It does make a lot of sense now.

    To be honest I really wanted to strip on the fat so I really restricted to a lot of carbs (only in the morning and lunch, i.e. oatmeal and brown bread for lunch).

    Is the problem here that I'm not eating enough protein or that I'm just not eating enough? I don't quite know how much carbs I should be taking in, I assume the fruits and morning & lunch carbs are adequate to fuel my body for the big work outs.

    I was under the impression as I did lift weights before and had some mass, as long as I ate X amount of protein that I would be able to maintain it. I guess I was wrong.

    I've been thinking of substituting my fruit snacks with tuna salads, I did this a lot when I was "bulking" and I bulked well for some reason.

    Thanks for the input guys.
     
  10. dropshot001

    dropshot001 Red Belt

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    its most likely a combo of not enough cals and protein. if you are on lowered cals, your protein must stay high or else you will start eating through muscle
     
  11. big_kahuna

    big_kahuna Problem?

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    Any chance you can squeeze into your schedule some heavy lifting?
    That's the best way to prevent muscle loss. (in combination with good nutrition, high protein intake, etc.)
     
  12. SocraticMethod

    SocraticMethod Kingmaker

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    This is where I got confused:

    If that's what you call eating anything you want, then just keep eating anything you want.

    As others have said, you need to incorporate weight training to spare muscle while losing fat. And real weight training, not just upper body stuff. Full body training, using squats, deads, presses, will help your MT more than just doing upper body stuff will.
     
  13. xolent234

    xolent234 White Belt

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    what's your definition of heavy?

    I can squeeze in heavy lifting, not as much as I was when I was "body building", but perhaps a modest 3-4 days, I still want to keep my cardiovascular up though so i might throw in running on the treadmill for say, about 2k's...I've been doing that as a warm up.

    the problem that i have is that i don't have a partner as all my friends are "bodybuilders" and they train at different times to me, so I have no one to spot me or give me some critique.

    I really want do deadlifts and squats but my form isn't the best and again, I've got noone to critique me on that.

    Mr current routine I mainly focus on my lats, abs and shoulders and triceps. Should I be focusing on the much larger muscles also, as perhaps focusing on the larger muscles may get my body to think "shit, the big muscles are getting smashed, we should stop burning the muscles!"? That was the explaination that I came up with. I use to be reallllll focused on benching but that doesn't really mean anything to me anymore.

    The real issue I find that is I have no one to spot, so I limit myself to doing 8 reps at the highest weight I can.
     
  14. XTrainer

    XTrainer Red Belt

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    He's having protein supplements 3x a day, two chicken breasts with his lunch, and steak for dinner. I do not believe a lack of protein is the problem here, guys.

    Also, (to the op), you're saying you've cut back on carbs? Because this is hardly a carb-restricted diet. If you don't tolerate them well, you may have to eat less.

    Finally, you need to read the stickies in here and in S&P before you make a fool of yourself.
     
  15. xolent234

    xolent234 White Belt

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    i knew when i was writing that it would confuse people, i meant i ate and drank on the weekends. i use to go out drinking like i was left at the high school prom every weekend followed by the sloppiest, oiliest burgers!
     
  16. SocraticMethod

    SocraticMethod Kingmaker

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    Yes, you should be focusing on larger muscle groups. You should be doing squats, deads and presses. Doing those types of movement with a minimum of accessory work 3 days per week or even 2 days per week will be sufficient for maintaining muscle, which I take to be your goal. If you're concerned about your form, you can make videos and post them in the S&C forum. People will help you. Really, they will.

    Do you have a power rack? If so, you don't need a spotter.

    Read the S&C FAQ.
     
  17. SocraticMethod

    SocraticMethod Kingmaker

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    But your diet during the week was the good, clean stuff you posted? How old are you? When I hit 27 I could no longer eat like I used to.
     
  18. xolent234

    xolent234 White Belt

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    Oh, I meant restricting myself to carbs as I love eating rice, pasta and bread anytime of the day. I only eat oatmeal and the brown bread for lunch, so this may be too much you think? I think I will experiment on taking out the fruits first and replacing them with the tuna.

    I forgot to mention, I am also taking multi's. All the products I'm taking are Optimum nutrition.

    I do apologise for not reading the stickies, I have read and done my research prior to posting (I was planning on making this post a couple of months ago) but the more I read the more it confused me, especially with running and sprinting and how the body works. I do apologise.
     
  19. xolent234

    xolent234 White Belt

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    Yeah, because during the week I was so busy I only had time to eat my packed foods as I didn't have much choice or time to go buy food, so in a way, it did promote good eating! but when the weekends came I let hell break loose!

    I'm pretty much on a more cleaner diet and much more fitter and that's why I'm confused why my body isn't going the way as it use to, or better than it use to.

    I'm 23. The big drinking phase was when I was 20-21.
     
  20. Envy

    Envy Silver Belt

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    I estimated your calories, and it's somewhere around 1400. You're basically on a starvation diet with tons of cardio and little to no proper weight training. You're also probably getting less than 130 grams of protein per day, and you have almost no fat.

    Suggestions:
    -add whole eggs to breakfast.
    -add meat to your snacks. Some peanut butter on the fruit would be good as well.
    -post workout, when you most need and best tolerate carbs, you have none.
    -make your small piece of steak at dinner a big one
    -do some real lifting. Squats, Bench, Deads, OHP, 3 times a week. Cut some of the long distance running and replace it with lifting.

    Honestly, your "eat as much meat and veggies as i want" diet combined with all the heavy lifting was probably the best thing you could do.
     

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