Muscle and Starvation: A BEfit Style Results Reality Check

After editing this article multiple times, I feel like I am little all over the place, so these are the take home points I want you to think of should you decide to read it.

– Starving yourself to fat loss will yield dramatic and effective results, but if done for over a period of 3-4 weeks will be damaging to your body’s metabolism and mindset.
– If you have reached the point where undereating is no longer working for you, it’s time to eat better, not less.
– I do not condone starving yourself for fat loss results. It is not a long term lifestyle solution. I only believe in things that are long term lifestyle solutions.
– I believe you should have a goal of building muscle by eating more of the better foods than you currently are, as the byproduct of building muscle will help you burn fat easier.
– Having a goal of building muscle is easier psychologically, so you will be more apt to stay with your goal.
– It is incredibly hard to build muscle, most often times, trying to build muscle will have you achieve the greatest fat loss results of your life. Because you simply will not eat enough good food to build a lot of muscle.
– If you’re at the point where you’ve lost a bunch of weight with us at Bootcamp Effect with the low carb approach and have hit an actual plateau, the kind of plateau where you aren’t lying to yourself that you are still eating as well as you used to and being as consistent with your workouts then this blog post is for you.

Now let’s get into it.

So you know you have a bunch of muscle underneath the fat on your body…

And in order to “tone” and see that muscle, you need to burn body fat by eating healthy one ingredient foods while consistently exercising…

So why do you have these negative thoughts in your head?

You know, ones like “I need to starve myself to get results”…


Because if it worked for you, you would see results. Look we all know starving ourselves works for weight loss.

But it is not a LONG TERM solution for you!


There was a study on starvation in 1944 (The Minnesota Experiment) where the subjects were restricted to what they ate for 24 weeks and lost 25% of their bodyweight! They ate a normal diet of 3200 cals/day for 12 weeks as a control period, then went into a starvation period of 24 weeks eating 1600 cals/day of foods that typified the diets of people in Europe during the latter stages of the world war 2: potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, bread and macaroni.

25% of their bodyweight was lost in 24 weeks eating 1600 cals/day of potatoes, bread, and macaroni!

Yes, that’s the results of starvation.

2 things about starvation though…
1. You absolutely don’t want to eat low like this for longer than 4 weeks because it has negative effects on your metabolism long term making it substantially harder to lose weight in the future. (One of the results of this study).

2. If actually starving yourself isn’t yielding results, you have almost certainly been eating in a caloric deficit for so long that you need to do something different, because you know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.

Einstein said it. So you know there’s merit to that statement.

Which brings me to the point of this conversation…

(Because it certainly isn’t to encourage starvation)…

Your body requires fuel for success!

If you are working hard with strength training workouts in hopes of building more muscle then you have to eat food! A lot of food!

Your body is a machine. Would a machine do anything without electricity? Would a car go anywhere without gas?

You cannot build muscle in a caloric deficit. (One of the law of thermodynamics).

Repeated for emphasis:
It is unbelievably hard to build muscle.

I had 6 eggs this morning for breakfast plus 4 cups of potatoes and a wack of meat, a protein shake….

And still struggle to build muscle.

But, on another note, if I had a latte, and a starbucks breakfast sandwich and a protein bar masked as a chocolate bar, I certainly would build some fat.

It’s a delicate balance. And I am a firm believer of “fire at will” when it comes to your healthy proteins and vegetables, while NOT depriving yourself of healthy carbs and fats.

If you see increases on the scale. Please don’t automatically assume that as muscle. The average woman who is a TRUE beginner can gain 2 to 3 pounds of muscle mass in a month without adding much fat. An intermediate can gain 1 to 2 pounds a month and an experienced woman will be lucky to add half a pound a month.

It’s that hard!

So the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results…

And in my opinion, many individuals lack the level of muscle mass to make them a fat burning machine and attain the level of fat loss they are looking for!

So instead of running yourself to death or starving yourself with the no carb approach and then giving in to nutrient void foods like lattes, you would be better served eating rice and potatoes and good carbs that your body needs, while physically and mentally challenging yourself in workouts, building muscle in the process and creating that furnace that will torch fat for you.

It is the furnace that your body needs to burn fat.
It will make you look more toned when you can see it.
Trying to build muscle will keep you sane and happy because you won’t have this mentality and reality of starving yourself to success.
When you shift your focus to building a strong mental front to combat your unhealthy urges with confidence, YOU WILL FEEL AND BE IN CONTROL of every freaking thing you put in your mouth and every decision you make and every good decision will compound into some pretty impressive results.

Rant done.


Committed to your success,
Josh Saunders
The Bootcamp Effect