I’ve returned to weightlifting after a year out from a back injury, I’m 6ft 2 and trying to cut down to 12% body fat (started at 19.8% (206lbs) in Jan, currently at 17.8% (194lbs) ). I’ve been Using Huel for 3 meals a day Mon-Fri,snacking on fruit and nuts and then eating solid foods at the weekend. I’ve been using a bioelectrical impedance scale scale to track progress and have noticed muscle mass is also declining which I don’t wan’t.
I understand muscle mass is meant to decrease whilst in a calorie deficit but is there any way I can reduce the speed at which it is currently declining? Should I up my calorie intake/ protein intake or maybe both? Would anybody recommend any supplements?
I would recommend at least 0.6g of protein per lb of body weight so for your current weight that’s 117g of protein. Going higher wouldn’t hurt though. So that you don’t have to hit a definite target a good range for you would be 0.6-1g per lb of body weight or 117-194g of protein per day.
This also accounts for any strength training you add in too.
The first 2 most important things to not losing muscle while cutting is eating enough protein and not dieting too hard. Ideally you shouldn’t be dieting more than 0.5kg/week. As for the protein intake going even higher than 0.6g/kg might also have additional positive benefits and there are several research papers that suggest that:
This is not all of the literature on the subject of course, and there are many more debates on the subject. My suggestion would be to try going for about 1.6g/kg, although personally I like my protein intake being really high (right now I’m on a 500kcal surplus and I eat 3.5g/kg of protein) as among other things it’s more satiating and I feel better when compared to lower intakes.