Caloric deficit and protein utilization

Hello there,

I was wondering how our bodies utilize protein when on caloric deficit diets. E.g. I’m going to the gym but I consume 500kcal bellow my recommended callorie intake. How does my body handle this? What ammount of protein is used as calories and what ammount for anabolic purposes, rebuilding muscle tissue, etc.? I’m not searching for specific numbers, just for the rules governing this trade off. This paper seems to deal with exactly this question but unfortunately its behind a paywall.

I would like an input from James or any other qualified to answer this.

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Hi there

You can’t grow muscle whilst on a calorie deficit as it’s an energy requiring process. It’s not possible to say what proportion of protein is used for muscle repair or for energy as this depends on a whole multitude of factors.

However, you’ll have observed that some people can lose fat and gain muscle - but this is done by putting your body in a different metabolic state (ie calorie deficit or suplus) at different times of the week = net result fat loss and muscle gain.

With a structured meal plan - including or not including Huel - you can achieve this goal. This would include low to moderate carbs, adequate fat and highish protein.