Dieter’s Phobia: Catabolism Explained

As you might know, I worked in the Gym-, Fitness-, Health-, Sports-, Supplement-, and Pharmaceutical Industry as both a Coach/Trainer, Scientist, Educator, Writer/Author, and Editor in Chief for more than 28 years combined. I began coaching in the early 90’s, and I still do. However, I left the industries all together in 2017 when I faced death from tumors and failing organs, and then learned that everything I thought I knew about nutrition, supplements, and diseases was mostly lies. And our species-appropriate, species-specific diet and the new found knowledge of the terrain theory helped me recover in record time, and dry fasting sped-up the healing process manifold.

During my time in the Fitness Industry, I worked with and coached competing bodybuilders and fitness athletes for about 20 years, from around 1995 to 2016. About 90 % of that work was “contest prep,” as in constructing personalized diets and training programs for an upcoming competition, as in extreme ‘fat-cutting’ to get the client as lean, ripped and dry as possible for the stage. Depending on their ‘off-season’ physique, some started 24 weeks out, while most started at around 16 to 12 weeks out. So, anywhere from 6 to 3 months of extreme dieting was often needed, and none of my clients lost any muscle mass, which is usually the case for every single bodybuilder doing a competition diet. And this takes me to today’s subject of catabolism, every ‘dieting’ gymgoer’s biggest phobia.

Catabolism is the breaking-down aspect of metabolism, whereas anabolism is the building-up aspect. Catabolism is simply our body’s way of providing energy and building blocks for repair and hormonal functions when these demands are not met by the food we consume, as when faced with starvation, or self-induced starvation as in dieting.
Now, we can somewhat counter the activation of these metabolic destructive pathways by ingesting protein, especially protein that is rich in the amino acid leucine, which triggers anabolism. That effect is rather short-lived though, and it is the reason why most bodybuilders consume 6 or even 8 meals a day while ‘cutting.’

However, consuming more meals and ‘spiking’ anabolism with amino acids, as in meals rich in protein only works if your nutrition is truly on point. Meaning that you get all the micro- and macronutrients your body need except for meeting energy demands, so that your body is forced to tap into its fat reserves to keep up, but leaving all other tissues alone. That however, is mostly never the case as people and coaches are clueless about human nutrition and does not follow diets that provide enough animal foods, which is the only source of bioavailable nutrition (and they avoid crucial animal fats and cholesterol that is extremely important.)
Most ‘dieters’ rely on lean ‘white’ meat, such as chicken breasts and cod, which is low in micronutrients and animal fats, and on vegetables and man-made supplements that are totally void of bioavailable nutrients and also presents a heavy toxic load to the body. And that is why they lose muscle mass while dieting, although they eat every 2 to 3 hours throughout the day. This is also why elite bodybuilders that are on a ton of anabolic- and anti-catabolic drugs can preserve their muscle mass during these idiotic diets, as they can consume much more food (which equals more nutrients) due to the ‘metabolism inducing drugs,’ and the anti-catabolic nature of all the anabolic steroids. However, someone trying to copy that while being natural without the support of said drugs will crash and burn.

Another problem with this approach is that it goes completely against our nature and our physiology. We are obligate hyper carnivores and we’re supposed to eat only a few meals during the day, and also to go without food for extended periods of time, as hunting, trapping, and scavenging were not always successful ventures. That is also why we can tolerate some emergency plant foods, such as nuts, fruits and berries for limited times, while they really hurt us if consumed regularly (as they are highly toxic.) For more on this and the fallacy about vegetables (all man-made and not present in nature,) read my article about vegan liars.

Now, the fact that we can go without food is why our bodies can tap into autophagy, a more refined and self-serving form of catabolism where our body selectively breaks down damaged and unnecessary tissues (body fat, scar tissue, excessive skin, tumors, etcetera,) to provide what is needed to keep the body functioning and surviving.
Now, if you have been eating normally, as in being fed/nourished with no nutrient deficiencies, and you suddenly stop eating, you will not ‘fall into’ catabolism and start losing muscle mass after only a few hours of food. That will only happen if you are already starving, as being on a nutrient deficient diet and then stop eating, as in missing meals.

If you have no nutrient deficiencies, your body will upregulate anti-catabolic hormones such as growth hormone, and after 8 to 16 hours without food, autophagy is engaged. Autophagy is protective of muscle mass, as muscle, strength and endurance are needed for survival, as in hunting, trapping, scavenging, building shelter, protect you from the elements, and so on. Actually, it’s even more protective if you do not drink, as in dry fasting. This is why retarded “survival experts” on tell-a-lie-vision lose muscle mass and get weak, as they immediately eat whatever they can catch and find. In other words, they never tap into autophagy. Instead, they stay in starvation mode, as in an extreme weight-loss diet, fueling catabolism instead of autophagy. They would do much better, and last a lot longer, if they did dry fasting and only ate and drank when they had gathered a lot of food for a really big meal.

And this brings me back to my approach, which has always been a diet high in nutrients, as in animal-foods, and close to “energy maintenance” and with days of fasting for fat-loss and autophagy. I’ve described this approach and its superiority in several articles, including that of ‘fat loss’ mechanics:

In the past, when I coached competing athletes, and before I learned about humans being obligate hyper carnivores, I still made all my meal plans for my clients centered around meat, animal fats and other animal products, and simply said that they should add a small serving of vegetables they liked, as I thought that was needed for minerals, “fiber,” “phytonutrients,” and “antioxidants,” which I now know are simply toxins — and minerals in vegetables are not really bioavailable. However, since I only allowed a little bit of carbohydrates before workouts (also toxic,) and the diets were mostly ketogenic in nature and heavy in animal products, my clients did very well even if we cut “calories” on several days a week and used fasting once or twice. From all measurements, screenings, and body fat testing, none ever lost muscle mass and most actually gained some – simply because they ate better for the first time in a long while.

The bottom line is that if you eat according to your physiology, as in our species-appropriate and species-specific diet of animal foods, as the true carnivores that we are, you will never have to worry about ‘catabolism’ or losing muscle mass, not unless you go full retard and starve yourself for long periods of time.
If your nutritional needs are covered, any energy deficiency will be compensated through using body fat as extra fuel. And if you need to lose some body fat, the best way is to use strategic fasting and eat full and nourishing meals during the rest of the week.

For more, especially about the importance of autophagy and letting your digestive system rest during the evening and night, read the articles linked above, and also check out the articles recommended below. And if you need help with adapting our natural way of eating or with fat loss or any other health issue, please read more about my coaching and consulting services here:

Online-Coaching and Education – Animal-Based Nutrition
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