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Recomp/Cut after Marathon

kpark0818kpark0818 Posts: 19Member Member Posts: 19Member Member
Hi there! After reading through some other pages and asking about next steps with fitness, I decided the most appropriate place to go was here. I do not need to aggressively lose weight, and MFP has me eating 1290 calories because my job is very sedentary. That does not work for me, since I am lifting or running 6x week.

I gained a bit of weight during marathon training, and I expect put a lot of muscle on under some fat (some on stomach, some on legs). I'd like to cut a bit, but still be able to eat enough to manage my hypoglycemia and provide fuel on my lifting days. My schedule is currently lifting Mon/Fri, Run easy Tue (30-45 minutes); Tempo Wed (30ish), Speed Thur (25-30 intervals, tabata, etc) and then Long on Saturday (45-60 minutes atm)

I'm new to cutting while also building muscle. I want a good base for half marathon training this fall and a better base for my next full marathon. I can tell you I feel hungry (really, really) all of the time if I try and still around 1500 calories, which is what MFP has me at for maintenance right now. I feel okay around 1600-1700 on most days, but I'm not sure that will be helpful for cutting.

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*Edited pics smaller sorry!


edited July 15
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Replies

  • Erik8484Erik8484 Posts: 431Member Member Posts: 431Member Member
    Do you eat back your exercise calories? Also, can you clarify, you want advice on how to build muscle while cutting fat slowly, and on how to increase your maintenance calories?
  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 15,049Member Member Posts: 15,049Member Member
    Your calorie goal given by this site is only on days you do no exercise - for someone with an extensive exercise routine it's especially important to fuel that exercise properly, especially as the duration increases.
    "Maintenance at 1500" would not be taking any of your exercise into consideration.

    What actually happens to your weight when you eat on average 1600 - 1700 for an extended period of time?

    Remember the larger the deficit / faster the rate of weight loss the chances of building any significant muscle decline.

    What exactly is your "lifting Mon/Fri"?
    It's primarilly your lifting that drives muscle gain and two days may not be enough. You can if course get some hypertrophy from cardio but it's far more limited.

  • slbbwslbbw Posts: 224Member Member Posts: 224Member Member
    Your calories are likely too low, and as pointed above that 1290 would be without exercise entirely. IMy current workout schedule may give you an idea of what might be possible if you are committed to adding in more weight work. I do a circuit based lifting class that is mostly weights with some plyo are cardio thrown in HIIT style. 45 min class that usually equated to about 35 min of active time. I run to and from the class 1.2 miles each way. so lower miles but spread throughout the week. That is mon, Tue, Thurs Fri. Wednesday is a 6 mile run Sat is long run of 10+ miles.

    This could easily be done in a Mon Wed Fri lift with Tu, Thurs, Sat run schedule as well.

    Ohh and for comparison if I set MFP at 1 lb per week loss I am right around 1300 calories, but the average of my workouts puts me at around 1800 per day. You will likely be better off at a lower loss than that, but I suspect 1700 is a bare minimum of the calories you need, depending on height and weight.
  • kpark0818kpark0818 Posts: 19Member Member Posts: 19Member Member
    Erik8484 wrote: »
    Do you eat back your exercise calories? Also, can you clarify, you want advice on how to build muscle while cutting fat slowly, and on how to increase your maintenance calories?

    Build muscle and cut the fat I have before I go back into heavier running (just for a stronger base).
  • kpark0818kpark0818 Posts: 19Member Member Posts: 19Member Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    Your calorie goal given by this site is only on days you do no exercise - for someone with an extensive exercise routine it's especially important to fuel that exercise properly, especially as the duration increases.
    "Maintenance at 1500" would not be taking any of your exercise into consideration.

    What actually happens to your weight when you eat on average 1600 - 1700 for an extended period of time?

    Remember the larger the deficit / faster the rate of weight loss the chances of building any significant muscle decline.

    What exactly is your "lifting Mon/Fri"?
    It's primarilly your lifting that drives muscle gain and two days may not be enough. You can if course get some hypertrophy from cardio but it's far more limited.

    I do legs on Monday and Arms Friday. Legs include things like split squats, goblet squats, single leg deadlifts, glute raises, band fire hydrants. Arms include chest press, overhead raise, arm raise, tricep dips, one-armed rows. I only do two days right now to fit in cardio stuff, but I may cut miles some for this period before the half marathon training to meet my current goals.

    I don't tract consistently enough at 1600, but I gained several pounds eating around that while training for the marathon (which was three days lifting but lighter reps/weights) and running 4x a week with runs up to 20 miles.
  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 15,049Member Member Posts: 15,049Member Member
    kpark0818 wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Your calorie goal given by this site is only on days you do no exercise - for someone with an extensive exercise routine it's especially important to fuel that exercise properly, especially as the duration increases.
    "Maintenance at 1500" would not be taking any of your exercise into consideration.

    What actually happens to your weight when you eat on average 1600 - 1700 for an extended period of time?

    Remember the larger the deficit / faster the rate of weight loss the chances of building any significant muscle decline.

    What exactly is your "lifting Mon/Fri"?
    It's primarilly your lifting that drives muscle gain and two days may not be enough. You can if course get some hypertrophy from cardio but it's far more limited.

    I do legs on Monday and Arms Friday. Legs include things like split squats, goblet squats, single leg deadlifts, glute raises, band fire hydrants. Arms include chest press, overhead raise, arm raise, tricep dips, one-armed rows. I only do two days right now to fit in cardio stuff, but I may cut miles some for this period before the half marathon training to meet my current goals.

    I don't tract consistently enough at 1600, but I gained several pounds eating around that while training for the marathon (which was three days lifting but lighter reps/weights) and running 4x a week with runs up to 20 miles.

    I think your hopes of significant hypertrophy (muscle building) in a deficit whilst only hitting muscle groups just once a week in what seems a haphazard fashion are absolutely minimal. Sorry.
    (For context for most of my lifting lifetime once a week = strength loss, twice a week = strength maintenance, three times = progress.)

    Think you need to revise your goals or revise your training to match your goals.

  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 36,562Member Member Posts: 36,562Member Member
    kpark0818 wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Your calorie goal given by this site is only on days you do no exercise - for someone with an extensive exercise routine it's especially important to fuel that exercise properly, especially as the duration increases.
    "Maintenance at 1500" would not be taking any of your exercise into consideration.

    What actually happens to your weight when you eat on average 1600 - 1700 for an extended period of time?

    Remember the larger the deficit / faster the rate of weight loss the chances of building any significant muscle decline.

    What exactly is your "lifting Mon/Fri"?
    It's primarilly your lifting that drives muscle gain and two days may not be enough. You can if course get some hypertrophy from cardio but it's far more limited.

    I do legs on Monday and Arms Friday. Legs include things like split squats, goblet squats, single leg deadlifts, glute raises, band fire hydrants. Arms include chest press, overhead raise, arm raise, tricep dips, one-armed rows. I only do two days right now to fit in cardio stuff, but I may cut miles some for this period before the half marathon training to meet my current goals.

    I don't tract consistently enough at 1600, but I gained several pounds eating around that while training for the marathon (which was three days lifting but lighter reps/weights) and running 4x a week with runs up to 20 miles.

    If you're lifting 2x per week, you should be running a full body program so that you at least hit everything twice per week. Once per week is not enough frequency to accomplish much.
  • kpark0818kpark0818 Posts: 19Member Member Posts: 19Member Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    kpark0818 wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Your calorie goal given by this site is only on days you do no exercise - for someone with an extensive exercise routine it's especially important to fuel that exercise properly, especially as the duration increases.
    "Maintenance at 1500" would not be taking any of your exercise into consideration.

    What actually happens to your weight when you eat on average 1600 - 1700 for an extended period of time?

    Remember the larger the deficit / faster the rate of weight loss the chances of building any significant muscle decline.

    What exactly is your "lifting Mon/Fri"?
    It's primarilly your lifting that drives muscle gain and two days may not be enough. You can if course get some hypertrophy from cardio but it's far more limited.

    I do legs on Monday and Arms Friday. Legs include things like split squats, goblet squats, single leg deadlifts, glute raises, band fire hydrants. Arms include chest press, overhead raise, arm raise, tricep dips, one-armed rows. I only do two days right now to fit in cardio stuff, but I may cut miles some for this period before the half marathon training to meet my current goals.

    I don't tract consistently enough at 1600, but I gained several pounds eating around that while training for the marathon (which was three days lifting but lighter reps/weights) and running 4x a week with runs up to 20 miles.

    If you're lifting 2x per week, you should be running a full body program so that you at least hit everything twice per week. Once per week is not enough frequency to accomplish much.

    That's helpful. I will look into doing that a couple times a week versus isolating the muscle groups one day per week. While I want strength,my main focus is running, but I do want to cut a bit, which was more about what I wanted to figure out here.
  • kpark0818kpark0818 Posts: 19Member Member Posts: 19Member Member
    slbbw wrote: »
    Your calories are likely too low, and as pointed above that 1290 would be without exercise entirely. IMy current workout schedule may give you an idea of what might be possible if you are committed to adding in more weight work. I do a circuit based lifting class that is mostly weights with some plyo are cardio thrown in HIIT style. 45 min class that usually equated to about 35 min of active time. I run to and from the class 1.2 miles each way. so lower miles but spread throughout the week. That is mon, Tue, Thurs Fri. Wednesday is a 6 mile run Sat is long run of 10+ miles.

    This could easily be done in a Mon Wed Fri lift with Tu, Thurs, Sat run schedule as well.

    Ohh and for comparison if I set MFP at 1 lb per week loss I am right around 1300 calories, but the average of my workouts puts me at around 1800 per day. You will likely be better off at a lower loss than that, but I suspect 1700 is a bare minimum of the calories you need, depending on height and weight.

    So I'm 5'2, sitting at 125 (up from 120 before the marathon). Definitely increased mass in legs and glutes during the training, so that's where I'm looking to cut the fat and build some lean muscle.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 36,562Member Member Posts: 36,562Member Member
    kpark0818 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    kpark0818 wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Your calorie goal given by this site is only on days you do no exercise - for someone with an extensive exercise routine it's especially important to fuel that exercise properly, especially as the duration increases.
    "Maintenance at 1500" would not be taking any of your exercise into consideration.

    What actually happens to your weight when you eat on average 1600 - 1700 for an extended period of time?

    Remember the larger the deficit / faster the rate of weight loss the chances of building any significant muscle decline.

    What exactly is your "lifting Mon/Fri"?
    It's primarilly your lifting that drives muscle gain and two days may not be enough. You can if course get some hypertrophy from cardio but it's far more limited.

    I do legs on Monday and Arms Friday. Legs include things like split squats, goblet squats, single leg deadlifts, glute raises, band fire hydrants. Arms include chest press, overhead raise, arm raise, tricep dips, one-armed rows. I only do two days right now to fit in cardio stuff, but I may cut miles some for this period before the half marathon training to meet my current goals.

    I don't tract consistently enough at 1600, but I gained several pounds eating around that while training for the marathon (which was three days lifting but lighter reps/weights) and running 4x a week with runs up to 20 miles.

    If you're lifting 2x per week, you should be running a full body program so that you at least hit everything twice per week. Once per week is not enough frequency to accomplish much.

    That's helpful. I will look into doing that a couple times a week versus isolating the muscle groups one day per week. While I want strength,my main focus is running, but I do want to cut a bit, which was more about what I wanted to figure out here.

    I would recommend doing an actual structured program vs making your own. Full body programs focus primarily on compound movements and/or variations of compound movements...they are the most beneficial given that your body doesn't work in isolation so training in isolation doesn't really make sense outside of being a body builder or other particular aesthetic aspirations...but even then, my bodybuilding friends, while they do a lot of iso work, the foundation of their programming is compound movements.

    Most full body programs are scheduled to run 3x per week in an A/B format, but they can be run 2x per week. I am currently doing 2x per week using New Rules Supercharged. I like it because it gives you a template that dictates the type of movement and a list of lifts that accomplish that movement...I get bored in the weight room easily, so I like to be able to select from a variety of exercises that accomplish the movement rather than be dictated to do "back squat" or whatever.
  • heybalesheybales Posts: 16,876Member Member Posts: 16,876Member Member
    kpark0818 wrote: »
    slbbw wrote: »
    Your calories are likely too low, and as pointed above that 1290 would be without exercise entirely. IMy current workout schedule may give you an idea of what might be possible if you are committed to adding in more weight work. I do a circuit based lifting class that is mostly weights with some plyo are cardio thrown in HIIT style. 45 min class that usually equated to about 35 min of active time. I run to and from the class 1.2 miles each way. so lower miles but spread throughout the week. That is mon, Tue, Thurs Fri. Wednesday is a 6 mile run Sat is long run of 10+ miles.

    This could easily be done in a Mon Wed Fri lift with Tu, Thurs, Sat run schedule as well.

    Ohh and for comparison if I set MFP at 1 lb per week loss I am right around 1300 calories, but the average of my workouts puts me at around 1800 per day. You will likely be better off at a lower loss than that, but I suspect 1700 is a bare minimum of the calories you need, depending on height and weight.

    So I'm 5'2, sitting at 125 (up from 120 before the marathon). Definitely increased mass in legs and glutes during the training, so that's where I'm looking to cut the fat and build some lean muscle.

    Do realize that marathon training did not increase fat in your legs that there would be extra to lose.
    Nevermind you can't spot reduce anyway.

    You also can't decide to build lean muscle - your body decides how much fat will be in it. You order lean meat from your butcher.

    You also never commented if actually eating more than the sedentary 1200 when doing more than being sedentary - which with marathon training you most obviously were more - so hopefully eating much more.

    And I'm sure you gained weight at 1600 eating level - your body starving to store more glucose finally got it, and it stores with attached water. Along with increased blood volume.

    Always do the math with weight gain or loss to determine if this could possibly even be fat, or is it water weight. Fat is not fast, gained or lost.

    3500 cal excess/short for a change of 1 lb of fat.

    So if eating at 1600 for a few days or a week caused 2-3 lbs weight change - couldn't be fat.
    edited July 16
  • GaryRunsGaryRuns Posts: 200Member, Premium Member Posts: 200Member, Premium Member
    You're going to find it very difficult (read impossible) to build muscle while maintaining a marathon-level of training for running and being in a caloric deficit to lose fat. My recommendation would be to keep up the running and other cardio, maintaining a calorie deficit, and when you reach your body composition goal (losing fat?) then going on a slight calorie surplus to build strength and muscle.

    And your life will be a LOT easier if you cut back on the running and cardio when you start strength training. It's not impossible to build muscle while keeping a high level of cardio but you really have to be on top of your game to do so, meaning tracking calories religiously and making sure you fuel sufficiently to maintain all that activity while at the same time giving your body what it needs to build muscle. And prioritizing recovery. And I hate to say it, but hopefully you're young. Again, not necessary, but with all that exercise it'll help tremendously if you're working with a young body that can recover more quickly than us old farts! :D

    And as others have mentioned, use a structured program for strength/hypertrophy training. Here's a thread that lists a lot of good ones:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10332083/which-lifting-program-is-the-best-for-you/p1
  • TallGent66TallGent66 Posts: 76Member Member Posts: 76Member Member
    Just curious, can hiking build leg muscles, and / or at least reduce muscle loss while downsizing?

    I'm a big dude, and when I hike up 700', my legs get work. And when I come down, I tend to feel it in my core.

    I've played with a couple of these online BMI calculators, and if I lose say 40 pounds, they're estimating it comes half from fat, and half from muscle.

    Wouldn't hiking burn fat, and at least retain leg muscle?
    edited July 16
  • heybalesheybales Posts: 16,876Member Member Posts: 16,876Member Member
    If first starting out hiking could build more leg muscle if really out of shape - otherwise just training body to use it aerobically better.

    Hiking is going to burn fat and carbs, ratio depends on how intense and aerobic it is.

    Your diet deficit is going to spell out how many of of your eaten carbs are going to go back into the carb storage you used up - liver and muscles, how much used for energy right then.

    Your diet nutrients is going to spell out how much of the protein is going to what the body considers essential usage for the amino acids, and how much can be spared for rebuilding the daily muscle that is always broken down. If not enough, something isn't being built back up.
    Using it helps make it more essential from body's viewpoint. Too much deficit though, some muscle somewhere will lose out.

    What online BMI calcs are saying you'll burn muscles?

    Or are you confusing LBM (Lean Body Mass) with just muscle, when that actually means everything not FM (Fat Mass) - water included?

    The scenario you'd have to setup to actually have muscle broken down to be used as a fuel source is not easy.
    Hiking all day for days on end without eating barely anything would accomplish that at some point.
    edited July 16
  • kpark0818kpark0818 Posts: 19Member Member Posts: 19Member Member
    oookay, I see a lot of "you can't build muscle and run" and that wasn't exactly what I was going for:

    My plan was to do some muscle building BEFORE I started hardcore running again. But, after reading the posts and considering longer-term goals (which include additional marathons) I would rather keep my running mileage up and add in all body workouts a few times a week rather than heavy strength training. I have always made up my own exercise sets and been fairly successful, so that is why I'm not looking for a specific program right now.

    I will add that the leg mass only increased during marathon training (at least this quickly), and I ran two HMs last year and gained probably 3-5 lbs then, with another 5 more recently with the marathon.

    I have tried eating the lower calories and eating back exercise and I feel like *kitten*, so I can't eat that low. Probably going to eat a bit more for awhile and see what happens and then plan to cut if I start seeing more mass gain that is not desirable. o
  • slbbwslbbw Posts: 224Member Member Posts: 224Member Member
    I think recomp is what you are looking for. I would definitely plan on reducing some of your running volume and switch to a 3 day run 3 day lift in your off season. Honing in on trying to determine what your actual maintenance levels are will be important. That might be easier to do when you are not running as much. HAve you already completed your marathon?
  • TallGent66TallGent66 Posts: 76Member Member Posts: 76Member Member
    heybales wrote: »
    If first starting out hiking could build more leg muscle if really out of shape - otherwise just training body to use it aerobically better.

    Hiking is going to burn fat and carbs, ratio depends on how intense and aerobic it is.

    Your diet deficit is going to spell out how many of of your eaten carbs are going to go back into the carb storage you used up - liver and muscles, how much used for energy right then.

    Your diet nutrients is going to spell out how much of the protein is going to what the body considers essential usage for the amino acids, and how much can be spared for rebuilding the daily muscle that is always broken down. If not enough, something isn't being built back up.
    Using it helps make it more essential from body's viewpoint. Too much deficit though, some muscle somewhere will lose out.

    What online BMI calcs are saying you'll burn muscles?

    Or are you confusing LBM (Lean Body Mass) with just muscle, when that actually means everything not FM (Fat Mass) - water included?

    The scenario you'd have to setup to actually have muscle broken down to be used as a fuel source is not easy.
    Hiking all day for days on end without eating barely anything would accomplish that at some point.

    Thank you. I'll have to read this again a time or two.

    Yes, out of shape former semi athlete, trying to up my knowledge. Started at 6'6" 315, now 282. Current GW of 245 or possibly 235.

    My quickie understanding of how the body uses fuel is this:

    1. Food in the digestive tract
    2. Glycogen
    3. Fat
    4. Muscle

    Is this close? I thought fat was the efficient fuel source, and common sense dictates muscle is useful for survival.

    One hour 45 minutes hiking, eating 1,600-1,900 CPD, protein way up, and weight coming off slowly. Puzzled. Figured maybe building some muscle.

  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 15,049Member Member Posts: 15,049Member Member
    kpark0818 wrote: »
    oookay, I see a lot of "you can't build muscle and run" and that wasn't exactly what I was going for:

    My plan was to do some muscle building BEFORE I started hardcore running again. But, after reading the posts and considering longer-term goals (which include additional marathons) I would rather keep my running mileage up and add in all body workouts a few times a week rather than heavy strength training. I have always made up my own exercise sets and been fairly successful, so that is why I'm not looking for a specific program right now.

    I will add that the leg mass only increased during marathon training (at least this quickly), and I ran two HMs last year and gained probably 3-5 lbs then, with another 5 more recently with the marathon.

    I have tried eating the lower calories and eating back exercise and I feel like *kitten*, so I can't eat that low. Probably going to eat a bit more for awhile and see what happens and then plan to cut if I start seeing more mass gain that is not desirable. o

    It's not that you can't run and build muscle but rather the training that would actually build muscle is far too low a volume in your current schedule and it's also not at all efficient training for the very limited time you are allocating to it. No that doesn't mean you have to follow a program but you should consider why those programs massively concentrate on big compound lifts with progressively increasing weight rather than what you are doing.

    Yes it is a compromise when you have conflicting goals that demand your time (I'm a long distance cyclist) and that's why I said you need to either change your training or change your goals to take that compromise into account. For example in the summer months when my cycling volume is very high I simply can't fit in lower body weight training - I'm either cycling or recovering from the last ride so I have to be realistic about how I can train and the likely results of that training.

    BTW - as a fellow endurance cardio athlete a same every day calorie goal probably isn't the way to go, if you felt awful before I would think it's more likely your daily base goal was set too low rather than being an issue of accounting for your exercise that way.
  • heybalesheybales Posts: 16,876Member Member Posts: 16,876Member Member
    TallGent66 wrote: »
    heybales wrote: »
    If first starting out hiking could build more leg muscle if really out of shape - otherwise just training body to use it aerobically better.

    Hiking is going to burn fat and carbs, ratio depends on how intense and aerobic it is.

    Your diet deficit is going to spell out how many of of your eaten carbs are going to go back into the carb storage you used up - liver and muscles, how much used for energy right then.

    Your diet nutrients is going to spell out how much of the protein is going to what the body considers essential usage for the amino acids, and how much can be spared for rebuilding the daily muscle that is always broken down. If not enough, something isn't being built back up.
    Using it helps make it more essential from body's viewpoint. Too much deficit though, some muscle somewhere will lose out.

    What online BMI calcs are saying you'll burn muscles?

    Or are you confusing LBM (Lean Body Mass) with just muscle, when that actually means everything not FM (Fat Mass) - water included?

    The scenario you'd have to setup to actually have muscle broken down to be used as a fuel source is not easy.
    Hiking all day for days on end without eating barely anything would accomplish that at some point.

    Thank you. I'll have to read this again a time or two.

    Yes, out of shape former semi athlete, trying to up my knowledge. Started at 6'6" 315, now 282. Current GW of 245 or possibly 235.

    My quickie understanding of how the body uses fuel is this:

    1. Food in the digestive tract
    2. Glycogen
    3. Fat
    4. Muscle

    Is this close? I thought fat was the efficient fuel source, and common sense dictates muscle is useful for survival.

    One hour 45 minutes hiking, eating 1,600-1,900 CPD, protein way up, and weight coming off slowly. Puzzled. Figured maybe building some muscle.

    1 - food is gotten into body and elevated insulin window means protein is shuttled off as amino acids where it's needed, carbs to refill liver and muscle stores, fat used for energy needs along with any carbs not stored. If no needs then fat to fat stores and carbs will eventually get there if truly in excess. Once blood sugar drops and insulin drops - back to normal usage.

    2 - while at rest and low level activity - for the brain almost only need. As intensity of movement goes up then greater and greater % of usage. Vast majority of the day (outside of insulin windows) is low level of carb usage if you have a desk job. And sleep. And sit.

    3 - vast majority of fuel source for the day except during insulin windows when blood sugar trying to be dropped. As intensity of movement goes up, it's rate increases until it can't be oxidized fast enough and then carb usage increases.

    4 - never a fuel source in that manner. Rather muscle is broken down somewhere daily (as is many systems of the body) and built back up - that means available amino acids. Which can be used as fuel for tiny % of what's used.
    The problem is a diet of either too big deficit or not enough protein prevents that building back up.


    Unless you have tapped out using your existing muscle for all it's got as far as strength, and pushing it more so that body wants to build more - cardio type workouts like hiking just call for using the muscle in a more aerobic fashion for endurance.
    There may be small supporting muscles that grow to support a new load, if diet allows.
  • TallGent66TallGent66 Posts: 76Member Member Posts: 76Member Member
    heybales wrote: »
    TallGent66 wrote: »
    heybales wrote: »
    If first starting out hiking could build more leg muscle if really out of shape - otherwise just training body to use it aerobically better.

    Hiking is going to burn fat and carbs, ratio depends on how intense and aerobic it is.

    Your diet deficit is going to spell out how many of of your eaten carbs are going to go back into the carb storage you used up - liver and muscles, how much used for energy right then.

    Your diet nutrients is going to spell out how much of the protein is going to what the body considers essential usage for the amino acids, and how much can be spared for rebuilding the daily muscle that is always broken down. If not enough, something isn't being built back up.
    Using it helps make it more essential from body's viewpoint. Too much deficit though, some muscle somewhere will lose out.

    What online BMI calcs are saying you'll burn muscles?

    Or are you confusing LBM (Lean Body Mass) with just muscle, when that actually means everything not FM (Fat Mass) - water included?

    The scenario you'd have to setup to actually have muscle broken down to be used as a fuel source is not easy.
    Hiking all day for days on end without eating barely anything would accomplish that at some point.

    Thank you. I'll have to read this again a time or two.

    Yes, out of shape former semi athlete, trying to up my knowledge. Started at 6'6" 315, now 282. Current GW of 245 or possibly 235.

    My quickie understanding of how the body uses fuel is this:

    1. Food in the digestive tract
    2. Glycogen
    3. Fat
    4. Muscle

    Is this close? I thought fat was the efficient fuel source, and common sense dictates muscle is useful for survival.

    One hour 45 minutes hiking, eating 1,600-1,900 CPD, protein way up, and weight coming off slowly. Puzzled. Figured maybe building some muscle.

    1 - food is gotten into body and elevated insulin window means protein is shuttled off as amino acids where it's needed, carbs to refill liver and muscle stores, fat used for energy needs along with any carbs not stored. If no needs then fat to fat stores and carbs will eventually get there if truly in excess. Once blood sugar drops and insulin drops - back to normal usage.

    2 - while at rest and low level activity - for the brain almost only need. As intensity of movement goes up then greater and greater % of usage. Vast majority of the day (outside of insulin windows) is low level of carb usage if you have a desk job. And sleep. And sit.

    3 - vast majority of fuel source for the day except during insulin windows when blood sugar trying to be dropped. As intensity of movement goes up, it's rate increases until it can't be oxidized fast enough and then carb usage increases.

    4 - never a fuel source in that manner. Rather muscle is broken down somewhere daily (as is many systems of the body) and built back up - that means available amino acids. Which can be used as fuel for tiny % of what's used.
    The problem is a diet of either too big deficit or not enough protein prevents that building back up.


    Unless you have tapped out using your existing muscle for all it's got as far as strength, and pushing it more so that body wants to build more - cardio type workouts like hiking just call for using the muscle in a more aerobic fashion for endurance.
    There may be small supporting muscles that grow to support a new load, if diet allows.

    heybales, Thank You.

    So if I'm currently losing 1-2 pounds per week, hiking, light-moderate lifting (after being sedentary), protein at 100-150g per day, is it safe to assume 70-80% of the weight loss is Fat? Or more?
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