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I am a thin guy (5'6-3/4" - 138 pounds), somewhere between ectomorth and mesomorph (more towards mesomorth I would think) who eats very little. I have been going to the gym to lift weights twice a week for 5 years now. I have built some muscles, nothing much. My belly length is 31 inches (30.8). I don't know my body fat but I would like to think I am lean.

Question is:

I usually skip meals or eat little. I drink a lot of juice (Apple Juice) which I know has a lot of sugar. Will I lose muscle or fat when I am "fasting"? I don't mind losing fat, but losing muscle (which I don't have much) concerns me.

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    The body somatotypes have been debunked, they weren't really a physical classification anyway, it came out of the psychology world. – JohnP Dec 3 '14 at 18:04
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Regarding being thin and wanting to put some strength on, there's a very well written answer over here I'd recommend checking out.

I usually skip meals or eat little. I drink a lot of juice (Apple Juice) which I know has a lot of sugar.

Juice is pretty terrible to be honest: it's like all the bad parts of fruit with none of the good parts. Your body is supposed to work in breaking down the fibers and unlocking the sugars. By doing that for you, the sugar absorption rate skyrockets and it's on par with drinking a sugary soda. Check out some stats on it:

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Will I lose muscle or fat when I am "fasting"? I don't mind losing fat, but losing muscle (which I don't have much) concerns me.

You will lose muscle under three conditions. If you combine them, you'll lose even more.

  1. You're not requiring a lot of strength. Your body will only maintain the muscle strength it deems necessary. If you are not regularly subjecting it to high loads, it will save itself the trouble of keeping "unneeded" muscle mass.

  2. You have less testosterone and human growth hormone, amongst other metabolic issues. This happens as you age, if you don't sleep enough, and if you have an endocrine disorder.

  3. You are in a caloric deficit. Your body primarily wants to keep you alive, and if it needs calories it will get them from you via cannibalizing your body. This is really quite linked to the strength requirements. If you are not loading your body with strength requirements, muscle becomes a nice calorie rich target.

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  • Thanks for your detailed answer. Regarding 3. are there any studies or consensus about which is targeted first, muscle or fat? – HattanMan Dec 3 '14 at 17:42
  • @HattanMan - Generally fat stores will be targeted first, as that is what they are there for. Muscle starts shrinking more from lack of stimulus than lack of calories. – JohnP Dec 3 '14 at 18:05
  • So, what if we consider a person who doesn't do sports(low muscle level), and a constant small caloric deficit, will he lose muscle first or fat? – Herokiller Apr 17 '15 at 9:32
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I think a lot of it comes down to protein intake. If your calories are low and your protein intake is low, then a lot of your weight loss will come from muscle. If you up your protein and maintain the calories where they at, then you have a fighting chance at losing the majority of your calories from adipose tissue (fat).

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