How Low Calorie Can You Go Without Losing Muscle?

Low calorie diets are nothing new, and everyone knows that you have to eat less in order to lose weight. But many people tend to criticize low calorie diets because they believe it makes you lose muscle mass.

Is this true? Will going on a prolonged low calorie diet really cause you to lose all that beautiful muscle mass you built in the gym?

Well, I used to think it did, until I did some digging and found some very interesting research to prove me wrong.

The research I refer to can be found here.

Details About the Study:

  • Two groups of people were tested
  • One group did only aerobic exercise 4x a week (walking/biking/stair climbing)
  • One group did weight lifting 3x a week
  • Both groups consumed an 800 calorie diet every single day

So what happened in the end? Well, the group that only did aerobic exercises lost the most amount of weight, but also lost the most amount of muscle mass.

On the other hand, the group that lifted weights lost practically ZERO muscle mass and their resting metabolic rate stayed the same throughout.

What this study shows is that there is a huge misconception about low calorie diets and its effects on the human body. Now, I don’t recommend people to go on an 800 calorie diet because that is a bit too extreme in my opinion, but I just want to show people that going on a low calorie diet isn’t as bad as you think it is.

As long as you perform some form of weight lifting, then you should be able to preserve all your precious muscle mass with no problem at all.

[box type=”important”]Just remember, there’s no other way to lose weight than to restrict your calories. In the end, it’s all about watching how much you eat. This is something that will never change.[/box]


Keith Lai is the author of the fitness blog at FitMole. Getting the body of your dreams is no easy task and that's where Keith comes in. Keith provides unbiased info on weight loss, celebrity workouts, and tips to get in the best shape of your life. Read more about Keith here -

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