Losing Fat While Gaining Muscle

      88 Comments on Losing Fat While Gaining Muscle

If you’re a long-time reader, you may remember a post in which I recounted how a YouTube commenter I nicknamed “Cliffy” kept insisting that kids get fat because their parents feed them too much, period.  No amount of evidence or reason would budge Cliffy from this position.  Cliffy was (according to Cliffy) a lean, muscular gym rat — and therefore knew everything there is to know about the biochemistry of body composition.

I didn’t mention it in that post, but in another series of exchanges, Cliffy also insisted I did not (contrary to what my mirror and scale were telling me) become both leaner and more muscular after I tightened up my diet and switched to Fred Hahn’s Slow Burn workout method.  Cliffy explained that it’s physiologically impossible to gain muscle mass while losing fat mass, and in fact pretty much everyone who loses weight loses some muscle mass.  He knew this because some body-building guru he worships said as much.

I tried telling him that I did indeed put on muscle even while losing weight, that my arms and chest and thighs had become noticeably thicker while my waist shrank, but Cliffy explained that I’m an idiot (and a fat, lazy old man) and only thought I’d gained muscle because the weight loss gave me more definition.

So I looked up a clinical study in which women lost body fat while gaining muscle mass and posted the reference.  (YouTube won’t take links in comments.)  Cliffy read the study and replied that it’s sometimes possible for people who’ve never worked out and are therefore “untrained” to gain muscle while losing weight, but not for anyone who’s been regularly lifting weights – which I had been.  When I asked how being “untrained” makes the physiologically impossible become possible, he explained that I’m an idiot (and a fat, lazy old man) and must not have been “trained” even though I’d been lifting weights regularly before switching to Slow Burn.

I thought about Cliffy when Jimmy Moore posted the results of his nutritional ketosis experiment earlier this week.  When Jimmy started losing weight again after cutting back on protein and adding more fat to his diet, I was happy he’d reversed the creeping weight gain that had baffled him, but I wondered if the lower protein intake would lead to muscle loss.  That fear was put to rest when Jimmy and Christine visited us last week.  His arms looked thicker than when I saw him in July, not thinner. But of course Cliffy would insist that was just better definition creating the illusion of extra muscle mass.

Wrong once again, Cliffy.

If haven’t read Jimmy’s post, here’s the quick summary:  Two months ago he underwent a very accurate body-composition test called a DXA scan.  He had another DXA scan on Monday before leaving for Australia.  The test showed that during those two months, Jimmy shed just over 16 pounds of additional body fat while gaining just over six pounds of muscle.  He gained two pounds of muscle in his arms alone.  If that doesn’t sound like much, try this little thought experiment:  picture a one-pound lean steak.  That’s how much meat Jimmy put on each arm.  So yes, his arms are definitely thicker, not just better defined.

Cliffy would jump in at this point to insist that Jimmy was clearly “untrained” until recently.  Hogwash.  Jimmy’s been lifting weights for at least a couple of years, maybe longer.  I worked out with him on the low-carb cruise in May.  He was impressively strong.  “Untrained” muscles don’t push that much weight.  He may have been training harder lately, but he wasn’t “untrained” in May.

One of the speakers on the same low-carb cruise was Dr. Jeff Volek, who has conducted much of his research on athletes.  (It was Dr. Volek , along with Dr. Steve Phinney, who convinced Jimmy to try getting into nutritional ketosis to reverse his weight gain.)  I mentioned Cliffy’s theories to Dr. Volek one night and asked if it’s physiologically impossible to get leaner and more muscular over the same time period.  It’s not impossible at all, Dr. Volek replied; we’ve seen it happen over and over, even in athletes.  (Here’s a study in which athletes lost fat and gained lean body mass.)

So the bottom line:  don’t believe the myth that if you lose weight, you’re inevitably going to lose both muscle and fat.  If you work out and eat right, you can actually gain muscle.  I lost fat and gained muscle.  Jimmy lost fat and gained muscle, despite eating less protein than he did previously.  Athletes have lost fat while gaining muscle.

And Cliffy’s still an idiot, even if he’s not a fat, lazy old man.


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88 thoughts on “Losing Fat While Gaining Muscle

  1. Paul B.

    Always enjoy your blog, Tom. However, posts like this are even more enjoyable to me. I started exercising last summer, and through about eight or nine months of self education I began weight lifting. I read forums on a certain body building website fairly often, and almost every poster there is anti-low carb. Just yesterday I found an interview of Dr. Ellis on that site, was going to mention the interview and his blog here, but saw that he’s at the top of your blog roll!

    If any of the other readers here have good web-sites/sources for low-carb weightlifting (I’m not looking to be a pro BBer or Strongman competitor), please provide that info.

    One of the BIGGEST victories for me on a low carb diet is that before I went low carb and (especially) no wheat… I never had the drive to get my butt up and do ANY exercise. Once I got my diet in check with high-fat, no wheat, low carb, I actually felt good enough to actively desire to go to the gym. The Fat-Head movie was the catalyst that started it for me, and I know I’ve said thanks at least once before… but thanks again!

    I’m happy to hear that. Same goes for me. I no longer have to whip myself into exercising because I feel energetic and want to use my body.

    Reply
  2. Jason B.

    Regarding Bob Johnston’s experience with artificial sweeteners, the research seems to back him up:
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-06/uoth-rsp062711.php
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-02/apa-asl020508.php

    Now, of course, to be properly scientific, we have to remember that correlation doesn’t mean causation… somebody might say, “Duh, of course there’s a link between people gaining weight and drinking diet soda–because only people who are struggling with weight gain would drink diet soda!”

    That’s right. Let’s not jump to conclusions just yet.

    Reply
  3. Bullinachinashop

    Daniel @ Nabla: I suppose you’re right, I’m just going by the YouTube videos where I see obese-looking guys squat huuuge loads.

    As for the supplements, I think you’re right. I’ve been thinking about replacing the assistance exercises with circuits; also, an overpass near my house was rebuilt with a sidewalk and a steep stairway on the side. I think I’ll be crossing that highway a lot in the near future 🙂

    Reply
  4. Ricardo

    Hey do you happen do classify your self with one of these terms in the video?

    Hmmm … let me get back to you on that.

    Reply
  5. Ricardo

    Hey do you happen do classify your self with one of these terms in the video?

    Hmmm … let me get back to you on that.

    Reply
  6. Firebird

    The Casey Viator study is a bit flawed. He was in a motorcycle accident and atrophied from his time off during recovery and rehabilitation. First, muscle lost is muscle regained and second, he was using steroids at the time.

    Reply
  7. K

    Hi Tom,

    Incredible. Idiots abound, eh? My weight has been pretty stable around 114 lbs (5’4″) for a few years. A couple of years ago I got an over-the-doorframe chin-up bar, and while I cannot do ANY from a dead hang, I do lots of variations of chin ups, hanging crunches, etc, even just doing a few while I wait for the kettle to boil. My arms have bulked a tad and are definitely more defined – so much so that you can even see it through the sleeve of a thin sweater. So….if you have to lose muscle mass when you lose weight, the converse then is true, according to Cliffy? Well, then, how did I maintain a steady weight and gain mass, meaning I had to lose a bit of fat and gain a bit of muscle? Huh. Puzzling. 😉

    Not sure where else to post this or if you have already seen it, but here is a link to a new article by Gary Taubes on sugar and the industry. There is a video interview in the article, where it sounds like he might be working on a new book on sugar. I look forward to reading it, but I feel it might be preaching to the choir. I wish more people would be exposed to it – and I know his many articles in the NY Times helps with that – but I fear most people who read the new book are folks such as us who already know the issues.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/10/sugar-industry-lies-campaign

    My apologies if you have already seen this or someone else already sent it.

    Please keep fighting the good fight. I so enjoy your posts, especially the politically-inclined ones. 🙂

    K

    I did see it, but no apologies necessary. I’d rather 20 people alert me to a good article or video than miss it.

    Reply
  8. Firebird

    The Casey Viator study is a bit flawed. He was in a motorcycle accident and atrophied from his time off during recovery and rehabilitation. First, muscle lost is muscle regained and second, he was using steroids at the time.

    Reply
  9. K

    Hi Tom,

    Incredible. Idiots abound, eh? My weight has been pretty stable around 114 lbs (5’4″) for a few years. A couple of years ago I got an over-the-doorframe chin-up bar, and while I cannot do ANY from a dead hang, I do lots of variations of chin ups, hanging crunches, etc, even just doing a few while I wait for the kettle to boil. My arms have bulked a tad and are definitely more defined – so much so that you can even see it through the sleeve of a thin sweater. So….if you have to lose muscle mass when you lose weight, the converse then is true, according to Cliffy? Well, then, how did I maintain a steady weight and gain mass, meaning I had to lose a bit of fat and gain a bit of muscle? Huh. Puzzling. 😉

    Not sure where else to post this or if you have already seen it, but here is a link to a new article by Gary Taubes on sugar and the industry. There is a video interview in the article, where it sounds like he might be working on a new book on sugar. I look forward to reading it, but I feel it might be preaching to the choir. I wish more people would be exposed to it – and I know his many articles in the NY Times helps with that – but I fear most people who read the new book are folks such as us who already know the issues.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/10/sugar-industry-lies-campaign

    My apologies if you have already seen this or someone else already sent it.

    Please keep fighting the good fight. I so enjoy your posts, especially the politically-inclined ones. 🙂

    K

    I did see it, but no apologies necessary. I’d rather 20 people alert me to a good article or video than miss it.

    Reply
  10. Live Free or Diet

    “Building muscle requires eating more calories than you burn while losing fat requires eating fewer calories than you burn.”

    What if you burn fat to build muscle? Science has repeatedly shown the body does not differentiate between exogenous and endogenous sources of fuels and nutrients.

    That’s what I tried to tell Cliffy. Since I know darned good and well I gained muscle while losing fat, I figure my body diverted dietary protein to building muscle and tapped the fat stores for energy.

    Reply
  11. Ari Mendelson

    Inspired by Jimmy, tried upping my fat intake and dropping my protein intake to see what would happen. I did lose weight. But my strength did decrease slightly but noticeably. I bumped up the meat consumption and the strength returned immediately.

    I’ve been training for years and have experimented with dozens of exercise protocols and a few different eating plans, including some sophisticated “nutrient timing.” Plain old low carb works for me. But too much fat without a good helping of protein doesn’t seem to. I guess it’s different for different hormonal/chemical makeups.

    P.S. I once mentioned to Jimmy that I always figured that if you’re interested in fitness, you should become a student of it just as you (and he) are students of nutrition. Another perspective on fitness, and one that has helped me tremendously over the past few months has been Dan John. His book and his “Intervention” DVD series are excellent. Since putting some of his ideas into practice, I increased my pullup strength noticeably. Yesterday, I attached 105 lbs. to a weight belt and did two dead-hang pullups. (I can supply video if you’re seriously curious and don’t believe it).

    I’ve done well with Slow Burn and I’m happy with the muscles I have at age 54, but I’d take a look.

    Reply
  12. Live Free or Diet

    “Building muscle requires eating more calories than you burn while losing fat requires eating fewer calories than you burn.”

    What if you burn fat to build muscle? Science has repeatedly shown the body does not differentiate between exogenous and endogenous sources of fuels and nutrients.

    That’s what I tried to tell Cliffy. Since I know darned good and well I gained muscle while losing fat, I figure my body diverted dietary protein to building muscle and tapped the fat stores for energy.

    Reply
  13. Ari Mendelson

    Inspired by Jimmy, tried upping my fat intake and dropping my protein intake to see what would happen. I did lose weight. But my strength did decrease slightly but noticeably. I bumped up the meat consumption and the strength returned immediately.

    I’ve been training for years and have experimented with dozens of exercise protocols and a few different eating plans, including some sophisticated “nutrient timing.” Plain old low carb works for me. But too much fat without a good helping of protein doesn’t seem to. I guess it’s different for different hormonal/chemical makeups.

    P.S. I once mentioned to Jimmy that I always figured that if you’re interested in fitness, you should become a student of it just as you (and he) are students of nutrition. Another perspective on fitness, and one that has helped me tremendously over the past few months has been Dan John. His book and his “Intervention” DVD series are excellent. Since putting some of his ideas into practice, I increased my pullup strength noticeably. Yesterday, I attached 105 lbs. to a weight belt and did two dead-hang pullups. (I can supply video if you’re seriously curious and don’t believe it).

    I’ve done well with Slow Burn and I’m happy with the muscles I have at age 54, but I’d take a look.

    Reply
  14. Andre Chimene

    Tom, here is the explanation for why this works. I have been with Dr. Ron Rosedale for over 3 years now and here is what he told me long ago.

    Your cells need to eat 24 hours a day. When you are fasting, either asleep or inbetween meals, your body is still eating. If you are a sugar burner, your body is used to eating glucose and through metabolic momentum, looks for glucose while you are not eating. It finds it thru gluconeogenisis. Your body goes into your muscles and bones looking for amino acids to break down into glucose.
    So you are eating in, between meals and while you are asleep, those hard earned gains in muscle and bones from your workouts. 2 steps forward, 1 step back.

    If you are a ketone burner, thru metabolic momentum, your body prefers ketones while you fast. So now it goes to your fat stores for fuel and preserves your hard gained muscle and bones. 2 steps forward, 0 steps back.

    I am 54 now, bodybuilding all my life. I am more muscular now, working out 30 minutes per day than when I was 24 or 34 working out 2 hours per day. I am also Type 1 Diabetic thanks to a bodybuilders high protein/high carb diet. I can see my abs without reading glasses.

    You would dig Dr. Rosedale. He would dig you.

    That all makes sense. I’m familiar with Dr. Rosedale and was sorry he had to cancel his lecture for the previous low-carb cruise.

    Reply
  15. Andre Chimene

    Tom, here is the explanation for why this works. I have been with Dr. Ron Rosedale for over 3 years now and here is what he told me long ago.

    Your cells need to eat 24 hours a day. When you are fasting, either asleep or inbetween meals, your body is still eating. If you are a sugar burner, your body is used to eating glucose and through metabolic momentum, looks for glucose while you are not eating. It finds it thru gluconeogenisis. Your body goes into your muscles and bones looking for amino acids to break down into glucose.
    So you are eating in, between meals and while you are asleep, those hard earned gains in muscle and bones from your workouts. 2 steps forward, 1 step back.

    If you are a ketone burner, thru metabolic momentum, your body prefers ketones while you fast. So now it goes to your fat stores for fuel and preserves your hard gained muscle and bones. 2 steps forward, 0 steps back.

    I am 54 now, bodybuilding all my life. I am more muscular now, working out 30 minutes per day than when I was 24 or 34 working out 2 hours per day. I am also Type 1 Diabetic thanks to a bodybuilders high protein/high carb diet. I can see my abs without reading glasses.

    You would dig Dr. Rosedale. He would dig you.

    That all makes sense. I’m familiar with Dr. Rosedale and was sorry he had to cancel his lecture for the previous low-carb cruise.

    Reply
  16. BA

    I think that the main reason that people still have these misconceptions about nutrition and fitness is because of extrapolating conclusions to a sample to which it does not apply.

    If you eat a large amount of carbohydrates, there is no way you’re going to burn fat and gain muscle at the same time, because the missing link in that equation is that the metabolic “switch” to burn bodyfat has to happen to compensate for decreasing carbohydate intake. We all know from personal experience, that simply doesn’t happen, and you just get hungry and irritable.

    Insulin has a powerful anabolic effect when it comes to muscle recovery. So much so, that it can become a factor in how you would train to maximize recovery in the face of a very intense strength training schedule. But this is only really relevant to someone on the level of a professional bodybuilder, who is doing multiple hour workouts of many many sets to complete failure every single day in preparation for the competitive

    For a normal person, I think there are three point that I’ve noticed anecdotally that bear some consideration —

    1) If you are training 2-3 times a week, that is plenty of downtime for the modest insulinogenic properties of protein to give you all the stimulus to push nutrients into the muscles that you need.

    2) Muscle growth is not 100% insulin / IGF-1 dependent. Muscles produce their own growth factors internally, and have multiple redundant pathways to accomplish what they need to do. The scientific literature is replete with this information.

    3) Carbohydrate restriction, by putting your body in a configuration that is more glucose-sparing, inhibits muscle catabolism (oddly this might be part of the evolutionary picture, carbohydrates cause you to break down muscle at a greater rate so insulin fights that tendency)

    4) If you are going to experiment with adding carbohydrates specifically for strength training, it should only be in your directly post-workout mean, PERIOD. The only time that adding carbohydrates in makes any sense whatsoever is during the window in which GLUT4 is upregulated in the muscle cell membranes. In which case, you want to combine a sizeable (~30g+) amount of protein with an amount of carbohydrate that is able to spike insulin (this will vary tremendously from person to person). Even then, this is not mandatory whatsoever for making size/strength gains under a low-carb regimen. Keep in mind, what I’m talking about here is not “carb cycling”, this has nothing to do with topping off glycogen, that whole idea is complete nonsense (as though your small baseline insulin level on low carb isn’t constantly topping off your glycogen stores from siphoning off small amounts of blood sugar all the time!)

    Reply
  17. lantenec

    You know, this is kinda-sorta related to something I’ve been thinking about for a while. That being how on traditional calorie restriction diets you inevitably lose muscle. Sometimes quite a bit of muscle. (And, as I’m beginning to suspect, those supporting muscles you can’t see and even bone mass possibly.) Like once, about ten years ago I lost 50 pounds in a year on extremely calorie restrictive diet. (1200 calories a day for a 6′ 200 male! Mostly carbs too. Never again….) My thighs are usually filled out and muscular but after that they looked like toothpicks. As a friend of mine says, on those kind of diets you weigh less but you’re just smaller all over, muscles, fat, etc.

    I’ve been dealing with a minor back problem (nothing major, just 1-3 out 10 on the pain scale, very ignorable most of the time) for a long time now. That’s what I’ve been wondering about. I get the recommendation to lose weight, and how being overweight makes it worse. In other words I get the physics/mechanics of that; the torque on the spine and how losing that weight would help with that. But I was thinking if, in that situation, you lose weight through traditional methods you’re going to end up losing muscle from the big muscles, and the little spinal muscles and the whole nine yards. Possibly making things worse?

    From my own experience, when I was in college from about 2005 to 2011 I was routinely eating about 1600 calories a day. Just out of habit really. I just bought the same stuff at the grocery store every week. I had even started the low carb thing when I came across your movie about 2010-11, but was still eating 1600/day. (Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t be surprised if it starting getting bad in the first place because of all those years of calorie restrictive diets. ) And of course through all those years my back pain was coming and going, sometimes fairly bad. In 2011 it was getting so bad, finally I got the clue and upped my calories over 2000 LCHF and the general trend seems to be less pain on average.

    I would think eating low carb would have certain advantages in regard to this kind of thing over traditional calorie restrictive diets. I would think you really don’t have to restrict by very many calories to lose fat on a low carb diet? (a few calories sufficient maybe?) I’ve actually been doing hardcore weight lifting (HIT/heavy duty) since I stopped restricting calories and gained a lot of weight, mostly muscle I think. Hopefully I haven’t gained too much fat; can’t tell visually but again, I suspect I’ve been gaining back some of those supporting muscles and bone mass too. (I know I’ve heard of studies regarding people who are overweight and people who lift weights having more bone mass. )

    Anybody have any thoughts on this stuff?

    I don’t count my calories, but I suspect I consume fewer of them now. The difference is that I’m never hungry because I have easier access to stored body fat. When I lost weight on calorie-restricted but high-carb diets, I was hungry most of the time and seemed to lose muscle too. The one time I semi-starved myself below 170 pounds, I know I lost muscle. My arms and chest started to look thin.

    Reply
  18. BA

    I think that the main reason that people still have these misconceptions about nutrition and fitness is because of extrapolating conclusions to a sample to which it does not apply.

    If you eat a large amount of carbohydrates, there is no way you’re going to burn fat and gain muscle at the same time, because the missing link in that equation is that the metabolic “switch” to burn bodyfat has to happen to compensate for decreasing carbohydate intake. We all know from personal experience, that simply doesn’t happen, and you just get hungry and irritable.

    Insulin has a powerful anabolic effect when it comes to muscle recovery. So much so, that it can become a factor in how you would train to maximize recovery in the face of a very intense strength training schedule. But this is only really relevant to someone on the level of a professional bodybuilder, who is doing multiple hour workouts of many many sets to complete failure every single day in preparation for the competitive

    For a normal person, I think there are three point that I’ve noticed anecdotally that bear some consideration —

    1) If you are training 2-3 times a week, that is plenty of downtime for the modest insulinogenic properties of protein to give you all the stimulus to push nutrients into the muscles that you need.

    2) Muscle growth is not 100% insulin / IGF-1 dependent. Muscles produce their own growth factors internally, and have multiple redundant pathways to accomplish what they need to do. The scientific literature is replete with this information.

    3) Carbohydrate restriction, by putting your body in a configuration that is more glucose-sparing, inhibits muscle catabolism (oddly this might be part of the evolutionary picture, carbohydrates cause you to break down muscle at a greater rate so insulin fights that tendency)

    4) If you are going to experiment with adding carbohydrates specifically for strength training, it should only be in your directly post-workout mean, PERIOD. The only time that adding carbohydrates in makes any sense whatsoever is during the window in which GLUT4 is upregulated in the muscle cell membranes. In which case, you want to combine a sizeable (~30g+) amount of protein with an amount of carbohydrate that is able to spike insulin (this will vary tremendously from person to person). Even then, this is not mandatory whatsoever for making size/strength gains under a low-carb regimen. Keep in mind, what I’m talking about here is not “carb cycling”, this has nothing to do with topping off glycogen, that whole idea is complete nonsense (as though your small baseline insulin level on low carb isn’t constantly topping off your glycogen stores from siphoning off small amounts of blood sugar all the time!)

    Reply
  19. lantenec

    You know, this is kinda-sorta related to something I’ve been thinking about for a while. That being how on traditional calorie restriction diets you inevitably lose muscle. Sometimes quite a bit of muscle. (And, as I’m beginning to suspect, those supporting muscles you can’t see and even bone mass possibly.) Like once, about ten years ago I lost 50 pounds in a year on extremely calorie restrictive diet. (1200 calories a day for a 6′ 200 male! Mostly carbs too. Never again….) My thighs are usually filled out and muscular but after that they looked like toothpicks. As a friend of mine says, on those kind of diets you weigh less but you’re just smaller all over, muscles, fat, etc.

    I’ve been dealing with a minor back problem (nothing major, just 1-3 out 10 on the pain scale, very ignorable most of the time) for a long time now. That’s what I’ve been wondering about. I get the recommendation to lose weight, and how being overweight makes it worse. In other words I get the physics/mechanics of that; the torque on the spine and how losing that weight would help with that. But I was thinking if, in that situation, you lose weight through traditional methods you’re going to end up losing muscle from the big muscles, and the little spinal muscles and the whole nine yards. Possibly making things worse?

    From my own experience, when I was in college from about 2005 to 2011 I was routinely eating about 1600 calories a day. Just out of habit really. I just bought the same stuff at the grocery store every week. I had even started the low carb thing when I came across your movie about 2010-11, but was still eating 1600/day. (Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t be surprised if it starting getting bad in the first place because of all those years of calorie restrictive diets. ) And of course through all those years my back pain was coming and going, sometimes fairly bad. In 2011 it was getting so bad, finally I got the clue and upped my calories over 2000 LCHF and the general trend seems to be less pain on average.

    I would think eating low carb would have certain advantages in regard to this kind of thing over traditional calorie restrictive diets. I would think you really don’t have to restrict by very many calories to lose fat on a low carb diet? (a few calories sufficient maybe?) I’ve actually been doing hardcore weight lifting (HIT/heavy duty) since I stopped restricting calories and gained a lot of weight, mostly muscle I think. Hopefully I haven’t gained too much fat; can’t tell visually but again, I suspect I’ve been gaining back some of those supporting muscles and bone mass too. (I know I’ve heard of studies regarding people who are overweight and people who lift weights having more bone mass. )

    Anybody have any thoughts on this stuff?

    I don’t count my calories, but I suspect I consume fewer of them now. The difference is that I’m never hungry because I have easier access to stored body fat. When I lost weight on calorie-restricted but high-carb diets, I was hungry most of the time and seemed to lose muscle too. The one time I semi-starved myself below 170 pounds, I know I lost muscle. My arms and chest started to look thin.

    Reply
  20. Rae

    Always entertaining how the people like Cliffy resort to insults and name calling when they can’t back their argument with science.

    I like it when people I’m debating resort to name-calling. Then I know they’re out of ammunition.

    Reply
  21. Rae

    Always entertaining how the people like Cliffy resort to insults and name calling when they can’t back their argument with science.

    I like it when people I’m debating resort to name-calling. Then I know they’re out of ammunition.

    Reply
  22. Nick S

    Bro-science is always good for a laugh. “Bro, you totally gotta be on a bulk/cut cycle to get big.”

    A lot of bodybuilders and powerlifters correctly believe that the *optimal* way to add muscle mass is on a significant calorie surplus, but some of them take that one step further and start thinking that it’s the *only* way, which is patently wrong.

    Reply
  23. Nick S

    Bro-science is always good for a laugh. “Bro, you totally gotta be on a bulk/cut cycle to get big.”

    A lot of bodybuilders and powerlifters correctly believe that the *optimal* way to add muscle mass is on a significant calorie surplus, but some of them take that one step further and start thinking that it’s the *only* way, which is patently wrong.

    Reply
  24. Rebecca

    Hi! I love your movie – and I’ve just started a low carb diet! I’ve been eating a low calorie diet for more than 10 months now, and have had very little success, so I’m hoping this works out. But after learning about the science behind it, I’m pretty confident! So glad you have a blog too – you’re definitely going in my feed!! 🙂

    Reply
  25. Rebecca

    Hi! I love your movie – and I’ve just started a low carb diet! I’ve been eating a low calorie diet for more than 10 months now, and have had very little success, so I’m hoping this works out. But after learning about the science behind it, I’m pretty confident! So glad you have a blog too – you’re definitely going in my feed!! 🙂

    Reply
  26. Mike G

    Here is how I know for sure that I am gaining muscle while losing fat: my wife is becoming jealous of my physique. I started Slow Burn back in June. Then I read Jonathan Bailor’s book “Smarter Science of Slim” and tried his routine. It started to work really well for about two weeks, but then I started feeling pain in my lower back. Not good for me. So I went back to Slow Burn after taking two weeks off, and I have slowly seen gains in my arms, chest, legs – everywhere. My wife says I’m looking “buff.” At age 47 – that is the first time in my life I’ve ever been called “buff.” So Cliffy is wrong on multiple levels – the science level and my wife’s observational level.
    And thanks again Tom for making “Fat Head.” I am showing it to my high school students – and they are starting to “get it.” I’ll be teaching them the details of ATP production after the Thanksgiving break, and then I’ll tie those concepts together with low-carb nutrition. Young minds are so much easier to reach than adults – especially adults like Cliffy..

    That was a big advantage of Slow Burn for me: I stopped injuring myself, despite working out pretty hard. No time off to nurse an injury meant steadier progress.

    I’m delighted you’re showing Fat Head to students.

    Reply
  27. Mike G

    Here is how I know for sure that I am gaining muscle while losing fat: my wife is becoming jealous of my physique. I started Slow Burn back in June. Then I read Jonathan Bailor’s book “Smarter Science of Slim” and tried his routine. It started to work really well for about two weeks, but then I started feeling pain in my lower back. Not good for me. So I went back to Slow Burn after taking two weeks off, and I have slowly seen gains in my arms, chest, legs – everywhere. My wife says I’m looking “buff.” At age 47 – that is the first time in my life I’ve ever been called “buff.” So Cliffy is wrong on multiple levels – the science level and my wife’s observational level.
    And thanks again Tom for making “Fat Head.” I am showing it to my high school students – and they are starting to “get it.” I’ll be teaching them the details of ATP production after the Thanksgiving break, and then I’ll tie those concepts together with low-carb nutrition. Young minds are so much easier to reach than adults – especially adults like Cliffy..

    That was a big advantage of Slow Burn for me: I stopped injuring myself, despite working out pretty hard. No time off to nurse an injury meant steadier progress.

    I’m delighted you’re showing Fat Head to students.

    Reply
  28. Nick

    Finally, an article that says meat has some value. In this case, they say it’s good for the brain. However, the end of this article may not be good for the brain, because you’re going to be pounding your head on your desk because they repeat the arterycloggingsaturatedfat crap. Also, this is the longest link I’ve ever seen. Here it is:

    That was amazingly long. I’ve substituted a TinyURL:

    http://tinyurl.com/beolmq7

    The article reminds me of points made in the excellent book “Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human.” We developed big brains first because of eating meat, then by cooking our food.

    Reply
  29. Nick

    Finally, an article that says meat has some value. In this case, they say it’s good for the brain. However, the end of this article may not be good for the brain, because you’re going to be pounding your head on your desk because they repeat the arterycloggingsaturatedfat crap. Also, this is the longest link I’ve ever seen. Here it is:

    That was amazingly long. I’ve substituted a TinyURL:

    http://tinyurl.com/beolmq7

    The article reminds me of points made in the excellent book “Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human.” We developed big brains first because of eating meat, then by cooking our food.

    Reply
  30. truckerzero

    I lifted weights once a while back my arms went from 13 inches to 15 inches in 6. Months at the same time my weight went from 220 to 185 I was eating lots of steak and a gallon og milk a day and was not trying to lose weight just gain muscle but lost it any way

    Reply
  31. truckerzero

    I lifted weights once a while back my arms went from 13 inches to 15 inches in 6. Months at the same time my weight went from 220 to 185 I was eating lots of steak and a gallon og milk a day and was not trying to lose weight just gain muscle but lost it any way

    Reply
  32. Phillip

    I think that you are right.You can lose weight and gain muscle at the same time.Depends on your purposes and your ambition.The diet is the most important factor in my opinion also for losing weight and for gaining muscle too.

    Reply
  33. Phillip

    I think that you are right.You can lose weight and gain muscle at the same time.Depends on your purposes and your ambition.The diet is the most important factor in my opinion also for losing weight and for gaining muscle too.

    Reply

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