Additional context from original email: My hunger is just fine on 150iu, I pick up fresh hCG every week from the clinic I go to and make sure its always cold- take a cooler for pickup. As far as my losses thus far- week 1: 5.8 lbs, week 2 4.6 lbs – TOM And felt sick. In body, results show my lean muscle mass has dropped from 95.7 lbs to 89.7 in 2 weeks with losses each week. Example P2 eating day: Lunch: chicken-3.5 oz with spinach and onions, Dinner: Airfried catfish with cucumbers, Fruits: 2 tangerines
Okay there are a few things I can think of here to that might help figure this out:
WHY BODYFAT SCALES DON’T GIVE YOU AN ACCURATE PICTURE
Body fat scales are not a good way to tell body fat unfortunately – and it can seem like body fat is increasing initially because when you lose water weight, water “reads” as lean mass on body fat monitors (since that’s where water is stored – in muscles – muscles are like 55% water- vs fat is 95% fat with very little water in it)- so at the start of a diet when a person loses the initial water weight, it can seem like they lost “muscle” which will them make it seem like their body fat percent is increasing – but as you can see it’s not.
The other thing is I found the scales to just be inaccurate in the end- one I had tried when compared to hydrostatic bodyfat testing was overestimating my bodyfat percent by like 4-5% which is a lot when you are only working with 30-40% totals (ie if your bodyfat percent is 29%, being 4-5% off and the scale telling you it’s 35% is WAY off).
So I personally wouldn’t recommend relying on this method to gauge results.
NORMAL LEAN BODY MASS FOR YOUR HEIGHT
I lost a larger percentage of muscle on 1 round than I had expected to lose. And I knew it was for sure true because this was hydrostatic body fat testing, so it was indeed accurate. At first, I was really troubled by it, thinking that shouldn’t have happened.
After digging more deeply into it, I realized something.
When you gain weight and become overweight, you do not gain only fat. You gain a mixture of both muscle and fat. You must so that you have the strength to carry around the extra pounds of fat. Just like if were suddenly carrying around 50 lbs of dumbbells all the time, your body would respond by gaining muscle to handle that new heaviness right? So same thing when you gain fat, you gain some muscle along with it as well.
What happens is, depending on how overweight you become, you will now have a higher level of lean body mass than a person of normal weight of your height. Everyone’s height and body frame size will dictate the genetic “maxes” if you will that they will have when it comes to lean body mass (unless they are doing super heavy weight-lifting to increase it). But for a normal person who doesn’t lift weights much, and maybe takes a few jogs here and there, and does regular person life stuff, a certain height and build of person will have a certain span of normal lean body mass.
When you become overweight you often go above that.
So to use myself as an example, when I was at my highest weight, 172 lbs, I had 117 lbs of lean body mass on my hydrostatic body fat test. But guess what? A normal TOTAL weight of 117 lbs would be pretty common for someone of my height of 5’1″ – which means that if I kept ALL my muscle after my weight loss, I would have to have ZERO lbs of fat on my body to keep all that muscle and weigh 117 lbs total on the scale….which means I’d be dead. Our bodies require a certain amount of fat to be alive, and then a certain amount more is typical for most women. Most women have between 20-30% bodyfat.
If I weighed 117 lbs, and was 25% bodyfat, average and healthy for a woman, I would need for a little over 29 lbs of that 117 lbs to be fat. Which means that there’s only room on my body left for 88 lbs of lean body mass.
Once I figured this all out my mind was blown. And I now do not freak out over some muscle loss on a diet as I realize this actually has to happen for anyone with a significant amount of weight to lose, or you won’t be able to reach a normal weight for your weight without being dead :)-.
So some muscle loss is definitely going to occur on this diet at the higher weights. As you become leaner, typically this muscle loss will slow down, however – as you reach a more normal amount of lean body mass for your typical height. This range can vary but I have a chart of lean body mass amounts based on height and weight of over 20,000 different individuals that were hydrostatically tested:
Be sure to keep in mind that these numbers are reflecting lean body mass, NOT their entire weight. So this is JUST their muscle mass, then the fat adds on top of that to reach their total weight. Unless you are taller than 5’7″, which I don’t know, your current lean body mass at 89 lbs is still plenty in range of health and average for a woman.
Since the bodyfat results on your scale show these drops during the first 2 weeks of P2, I’m more inclined to think however that you have NOT lost that much actual muscle, and that likely a goodly portion of it is simply water loss.
I hope this helps! One thing I feel I have learned after 5 rounds of this diet, is as long as you are following the basic principles of the diet – keeping the fat low, the low-calorie protocols, not overdoing things with exercise and stress, to then trust the process. It really does work out.