View Full Version : Muscle Mass
01-13-2009, 04:00 PM
I met up with someone the other day who told me the problem with people who eat raw is that when they lose weight they lose muscle mass. I answered with well I feel great because I didn't have an answer. So is that correct do you lose muscle mass?
01-13-2009, 04:10 PM
it's a worthy question, but not something to worry about if you're eating an adequate raw diet with sufficient calories and protein.
i'm a certified personal trainer, and even the american council of exercise has it right that we humans don't need anywhere near as much protein as the general population believes. a raw diet as most of us eat it will supply plenty of protein.
now, that being said:
1. people will lose muscle mass on ANY diet if they do not do sufficient strength training. this mostly kicks in in middle age, but even young folks lose any added strength or hypertrophy (increase in muscle size) in just a few weeks of discontinuing a workout program.
2. a raw food diet that is nutritionally inadequate, either because it has too few calories or deficiencies of certain key nutrients, could be a factor in muscle loss. this kind of case would most likely be present in a person who was trying the diet but not adequately varying their food sources, or a person who is using "raw" as a disguise (either conscious or unconscious) for anorexic behavior. in the latter case, anorexia, rather than the raw food diet, would be the root cause of the muscle mass loss.
so as long as you're eating enough calories, working out, and varying your diet appropriately, you shouldn't have to worry about muscle loss.
01-13-2009, 04:19 PM
I probably would have said.....um, ya...you are right - I think an extra 50 pounds of fat is probably better than a little less muscle :)
01-13-2009, 05:42 PM
If you don't begin with a lot of muscle mass you will appear smaller as you lose fat on any weight loss program. But remember, this is not a "weight loss program" - it's a lifestyle. And the final outcome is unique and different for everyone depending on their genetics, body build (ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph), fat/muscle ratio, bone density, and overall health going into it. In my case, I did look really skinny when I first went raw because I experienced a lot of muscle depletion due to operations on my leg. Now I'm rebuilding my body and whoa, my muscles are firm, plentiful and vibrant. Next time, just tell them to catch up with you in 1-2 years. Most people are clueless when it comes to body chemistry and nutrition. There are a lot of myths out there that are just plain incorrect and misleading. Trust yourself and your own information.
01-13-2009, 05:52 PM
Seems like we should be hearing from raweater about now!
Speaking for myself though, at first when I went raw, I did feel weak in the gym for a few weeks, which looking back on it likely had more to do with detox and the effects of switching fuel, so to speak. However, after awhile, with adding hemp protein to my smoothies, and in the last few months, chia seeds, I noticed a big difference and I have made gains at the gym, more so than when I had animal protein in my diet. Seems that what I am getting out of raw is MORE nutrition to feed those muscles. Definitely any kind of diet has to be well constructed - I do agree with Kalimelle here on this. So many people are still unaware of the whole muscle mass issue, especially as we age, when it is a must that we keep that going. IMO, the most efficient way to do that, short of an agricultural, hard outdoor work lifestyle, is hitting the gym heavy and hard.
Although greens and other raw foods technically don't have as many grams of protein as meats, etc., the quality of such is far more potent on account of the whole amino acid issue. Also, go to any good horse facility where they board athletic horses(racing, jumping, etc.). What are these beautiful, strong, ripplingly-muscled animals eating? Grasses with maybe a few nutritional additions like grain(only for VERY active horses though - a dieting horse will be put on lighter grasses only). Gorillas - fruits and greens, and maybe a tiny bit of insects. Bulls - grasses. All of these animals are large and muscular unless kept totally inactive.
Bottom-line, just get kickin' with the raw that's well-balanced(adequate amount of calories for you size and activity, some denser foods, and plenty of dark greens)and hit the gym with a serious program and check it out! You will be amazed!
01-13-2009, 06:22 PM
Just bouncing off of what cara4art wrote:
check out Storm or Shannon (on Storm & Jinjee's site)
Do either of them look like they're suffering from muscle loss?
100% raw vegan.
01-13-2009, 08:19 PM
When you lose weight, you will ALWAYS (ALWAYS) lose muscle mass, 15%-20% of the weight being muscle. But think of it this way- with that much less fat on you, you will not need to use that much more muscle.
01-13-2009, 08:28 PM
tell em too take a look at Richard Blackman and see how he lost so much muscle LOL :)
what a bunch of nonsense .. carnivores will always say stupid things like this to try and discredit raw and living foods :)
01-13-2009, 11:08 PM
Thanks so much everyone, I'm going to make a point of bumping into that person in a years time and show her my muscle mass. Make her eat her words.
01-13-2009, 11:57 PM
"When you lose weight, you will ALWAYS (ALWAYS) lose muscle mass, 15%-20% of the weight being muscle. But think of it this way- with that much less fat on you, you will not need to use that much more muscle." - jurence
Not so, if you are on a solid weight-training program, which PREVENTS muscle loss in the first place. This is why many people who do so, along with a sound diet(in this case raw as this is what we are talking about here)find themselves maybe not losing THAT much weight, but those pants are getting looser around the waist, and the shirts are getting little tighter around the shoulders, as the body recomposes itself in response to solid training and proper nutrition. Add some high-intensity interval training for the cardio part of your exercise, and you will have an unbeatable combo for either maintaining existing muscle/increasing it AND dropping bodyfat at the same time. Plus, for women training naturally, don't worry about having "too much muscle" as it is very hard work actually to put on a few pounds of muscle due to hormonal status, ie. only 1/10th the amount of testosterone(responsible for building muscle)that men have. It makes me laugh when I hear women talk about how they bulk up if they as much as TOUCH a 5-lb. weight - I don't THINK so! Not unless said woman is so incredibly genetically-gifted that she already HAS a good bit of muscle by nature(there are those, the rest of us have to work hard for it). I've been in gyms long enough to see all of this in action as well as personal experience too.
However, if you are just dieting, without doing any exercise, then it is entirely likely that a good part of that weight loss will be muscle, in some cases with a sedentary person who is dieting only, as much as 50% of the weight that is lost will be muscle, and only half will be fat. This is why dieting-only folks find themselves weighing less, but still the same shape as before, or even flabbier. This is why any sensible program to lose fat ALWAYS includes a serious fitness program. More and more is known about the importance of some form of resistance training, especially for women. It used to be that women only did some light exercises out of woman's magazine and we were discouraged from doing stuff like going to the gym, etc. but that is changing, fortunately.
Again, bottom-line, well-constructed raw diet that agrees with your body, plus kickin' it at the gym!
01-14-2009, 12:06 AM
Cows have muscles, and so do elephants...
01-14-2009, 12:40 AM
All I can do right now is laugh...and laugh...and laugh.
I second your comment. Totally agree with you. Use muscles + feed muscles = no lost muscles. Simple logic.
(still laughing!!!) :p
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