Anonymous asked in HealthDiet & Fitness · 1 decade ago

Does the ATKINS diet burn muscle while burning fat?

I am a very lean person, but people, what i've done to get this single-unit body fat body is very exhausting. I work out with light weights, also do cardio but like experts know, diet is the most important thing. I do a low carb, high protein and good fats diet. I also restrict the amount of calories. Then one day i heard of this diet , atkins which sounds like the one I do, but certainly the amounts of carbs is zero and you can eat as much as you want. Sounds much simpler than what i do. I haven't started yet because i'm not sure if this diet could burn all my lean muscle mass while burning fat and I'm not even sure if it'll help me maintain that lean fashion model look. Any thoughts, advices???

8 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    1. If you are lean, why are you wanting to diet?

    2. Atkins in NOT zero carbs, it's pretty much what you are doing now (from the sounds of your description).

    And it's not "eat all you want", it's "eat until you are satisfied, but not stuffed".

    3. No matter how you do it, if you lose weight you will lose SOME muscle mass, however with a low-carb approach such as Atkins you will lose much less than by other methods, because your body is getting enough protein to rebuild the muscles.

    4. Lifting HEAVY weights is more beneficial and will help to preserve muscle mass. And since a pound of muscle weighs less than a pound of fat, you can look smaller even without losing any weight by substituting muscle for fat.

    5. The lean fashion model look is quite unhealthy for most people. Underweight people actually have shorter lifespans on average than those who are slightly overweight.

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    4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    The reasoning behind the 3-2-1 approach


    First things first, fad diets don’t work. The reason being is that fad diets almost always severely cut carbohydrate foods from the list of recommended consumption. Simply put, our brain, heart, and muscles among other vital organs ate fueled by glucose which comes from carbohydrates. When your body does not get enough carbohydrates, within a few days your body starts to produce an alternative fuel source known as ketosis. This is from the partial breakdown of fatty acids which is called ketosis. The intial weight loss is NOT fat loss but water, as the kidneys attempt to get rid of excess ketones. This causes an imbalance of chemicals in your body because your blood becomes more acidic, which can lead to potentially serious or unpleasant side effects such as headaches, bad breathe, dizziness, faintness, and fatigue. Even though you burn fat because your body is depending on more amino acids (protein) form the breakdown of lean muscle tissue, you are hurting your body in the process. So basically, while you are burning fatter you are also burning your muscles, causing them to breakdown. Another reason low-to-no carbohydrate diets are not good is that you will have lower energy levels and a shorter time to reach fatigue during exercise. So most of your workouts will be low intensity when you need to be able to alternate between low and high intensity workouts to help you burn more fat and to help keep your metabolism up. In short, carbohydrates help metabolize fat and help your brain, heart, and muscles function not just through exercise but through everyday life. It is also important for your carbohydrate to be spaced evenly throughout your meals so you can be sure that you have enough energy for what may come up during the course of your day. Keep in mind on your lower intensity days of workouts you will not need to; have as many carbohydrates because you will not be doing a lot to where you can burn them off. Carbohydrates will take up half of your daily allotted caloric intake or needs. I cannot stress enough how important carbohydrates are in your daily diet. As long as they are complex carbohydrates and not simple carbohydrates (simple carbohydrates enter your bloodstream faster and cause your insulin level to rise quickly and serve no purpose) you will be doing your body the greatest deed you could imagine.


    Diets that cut protein drastically are another form of unhealthy eating. General fatigue, muscle soreness, and overall weakness come with a low protein diet. As old cells die and new form the body protein is constantly being turned over. It takes one year; science has proven, for 98% of the atoms in your body to be replaced. In three months your body produces a new skeleton. In six weeks you produce a new liver. As new tissue is synthesized, the proteins in your muscles are being turned over as muscle is being broken down. All of these cells come from the protein you eat everyday. In order for protein synthesis to occur, an adequate amount of essential and non- essential amino acids (protein) is vital. All it takes is one of the essential amino acids to be missing and synthesis is halted. Restricted protein intake will result in protein degradation and catabolism, which is muscle breakdown. This is the reasoning behind protein taking up two parts of your daily caloric needs.


    Diets where you cut fat considerably are usually healthy. It’s the diets that cut out the unsaturated fats that are unhealthy. The four soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) are carried by fat and it cushions your kidneys, liver, and nerves. Research has shown that an extremely limited intake of unsaturated fat can lead to elevated cholesterol, which can lead to heart attacks and stroke. So I guess what I’m telling you are that fat-free diets are out. This is why the fat of your daily caloric needs is only one part.

    * Always follow your doctor’s orders first. I am not a licensed dietician, these are merely suggestions based on my experience and weight loss.

    Calorie-restricted diets

    The number one priority of your body is to obtain ample energy to carry on vital functions that include circulation, respiratory, and digestion. Without sufficient dietary fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, your body will break down protein in your blood, liver, pancreas, and other vital organs to maintain their function. The only time you should follow a low-calorie diet is under your doctor’s supervision.

    Fad diets

    Avoid fad dieting all together. The best way to lose weight is to work hard for it. A healthy diet should be a lifestyle, not something that can harm you. With a proper diet and workout that is designed for you, you should feel Great and reach your goal to be coming a healthier person.

    Source(s): ISSA-CFT Certified Fitness Trainer All around Fitness Expert in home fitness training
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