Fear of losing muscle is common for bodybuilders, fitness models, and recreational lifters. Many muscle constructors believe that a few hours without protein in the system can initiate catabolic processes a.k.a. muscle loss. Similar thoughts often result in incredible anxiety. Consequently, some lifters start walking around with funny plastic protein bottles and pre-cooked meals carefully stored in food containers. Most of the individuals who fall under those characteristics are bio-robots brainwashed by the mainstream muscle media.
The goal of the muscle industry has always been to convince people that those at the top have decoded the secret to extreme natural muscle growth. The powers that be want you to think that they have a product that will make you a complete individual. The same mechanism catalyzed by the abuse of authority created the myth that you will lose muscle unless you supply your body with enormous amounts of protein and calories all the time.
Virtually every bodybuilding “guru” from Bob Hoffman to Vince Gironda supported this illusion. This was necessary for two reasons – selling products and justifying the failure of popular bodybuilding routines.
“If my routine doesn’t work for you, it’s because you haven’t been taking enough protein powder and liver tablets, ” says Mr. Guru.
The true story is a little different. In general, the body is not self-destructive. If anything, its main purpose is to survive. If the goal of your body was to “screw you”, it will not be acting as a self-repairing unit when you are hurt. Many have overcome horrific illness thanks to the same built-in survival mechanism. The human body is programmed in a language known as IWLL (I Want to Live Longer). Therefore, assuming that a short deprivation of calories will make the organism eat valuable tissue is illogical. However, it makes perfect sense from a business perspective.
Once a habit is established, breaking it becomes very hard as shown by the billions of people refusing to quit social media. This is the goal of every producer – to manipulate you into making his or hers product a major part of your lifestyle. The bigger the market share of a product in your life, the more it owns you.
The only way to lose muscle on a diet is to drop your calories very low – between 300 and 800 a day. Obviously, doing something like that will result in the evaporation of lean mass. Eventually, you will lose a lot of weight, and your head will be preoccupied with suicide plans. However, if your diet is intelligent, and you are consuming more calories, losing muscle becomes way harder than the mainstream media want you to believe.
Besides mind control, there is another reason why people are afraid to diet – the ego. When you are on a diet, you are essentially getting smaller. Your clothes feel loose, and your measurements drop. This is extremely hard to deal with if you are one of the recreational bodybuilders refusing to make a difference between fat and muscle.
Moreover, many naturals get caught up in the strength game and bulk up to ridiculous bodyweights in order to lift heavier barbells. This makes dieting even harder.
I am not a fan of bulking to gain strength, especially when you are natural. There is no reason to sacrifice everyday performance for arbitrary exercise numbers. What is the point of being 50lbs overweight to squat 50-70lbs more? Exactly. There is none.
At the end of the day, it comes down to priorities. What are you going to sell first? The fridge or one of your nine phones? Obviously, the valuable stuff will be left for last. The in-built brain of our organism shares a similar philosophy. The last thing that your body wants to use as an energy source is muscle mass because it’s an inefficient form of bio fuel.
A few hours without protein in your blood stream will not result in muscle loss even if that was your goal. To start losing muscle, you will have to live on water for a week.
I do not believe in evolution as a creation theory. To me, this is just a made up concept for people with a shut down right brain. However, the fact that we did not come from monkeys, does not mean that evolution does not exist as a phenomenon. It does, and even a job interview could be considered an example of natural selection.
In the old days, our bodies were adapted to a higher level of physical activity. Moreover, storing food was almost impossible. Most people were living a day-to-day lifestyle (like today except for different reasons). Guess, what? We survived. And many men were strong and lean.
The conclusion is that the body has the genetic potential to adapt to food regimens that are considered atrocious and dangerous compared to the artificially imposed standards of the muscle industry.
In short, don’t be afraid. We are strong enough.