I've seen different questions about getting in shape like the importance of age, or how long to workout, or similar questions.

However, my question is about food. I recently started going to gym with a friend of mine, who acts as my trainer too.

He and others keep telling me to use egg, potato, and red meat, and consume protein/bulking powders and have a healthy food/meal plan.

Because of my job, I can't go beyond my routine: ordinary everyday food/meal plan. Eg. eating home-made food one meal a day, eating ready-made food at work, and eating a simple breakfast.

I'm concerned about losing my muscles instead of growing them, or even if not growing, at least keeping them the size they are now, and only form them to get more separate and more rounded.

They talk about catabolism and tell me that your muscles might lack energy after a while and instead of forming or growing, undergo a destructive phase. Thus if you can't change your meal plan, better to not workout.

Please I need your help and scientific explanation for this. Let's forget about me growing muscles. Is it possible to only form my muscles with my everyday meal plan? Without eating more times, or more specific foods. My everyday food contains fast food and healthy food and vegetables and stuff, just like any other guy.

  • In terms of diet, "Normal" depends entirely on your upbringing, current job, location, personal preferences, religion, region, likes, dislikes etc. There are too many factors to answer this as it stands. Be specific.
    – John
    Aug 9, 2016 at 8:38

3 Answers 3


You do not need special powders or foods to achieve any fitness goal. Everything can (and for most people, probably should) be done with "normal" foods. So long as you're eating an adequate amount of calories and protein and you're exercising, you will not lose muscle. To gain muscle, eat a little more calories and protein AND progressively lift heavier weights over time (you must do BOTH). To lose weight and retain muscle, eat fewer calories and eat more protein AND progressively lift heavier weights over time (if you're no longer a beginner, this may not apply--you may be only able to maintain your strength).

Since calories and protein are found in normal foods, you can achieve any of these body composition goals eating normal foods. Good luck.


It might be a bit difficult, but it's possible as long as you gain enough amount of protein and minerals throughout your daily meals. Furthermore, avoid high fat meals specially fast food and junk food which are extremely detrimental to your shape. As a fact any extra calories more than your daily need (considering your exercise) might lead to an ill-shaped body in long-term. So check your meals nutritional facts to avoid fat and sugar as well as gaining sufficient protein.


The breakdown of muscles is metabolically triggered under circumstances when the body begins to break down proteins for generating glucose as an energy source in response to starvation. The chemical markup required to trigger such a pathway is complex, but usually, before that, it is likely that you would have switched to more readily available source of energy for metabolism, such as ketones from fats, potentially breaking down the fat tissues surrounding your organs, such as the heart, which can be disastrous when your diet is not managed by a professional.

In all, it can be easily said that if you do have a nutrition you shouldn't be worried. That said, if you do being to reduce readily available sources of energy, you may trigger different chemical pathways that may begin to regulate how muscle cells are killed and disassembled (in response to damage, for instance), which can be desirable under circumstances, though these are questions best directed towards biochemists, trained nutritionists, but certainly not fitness trainers.

If you want a loose recommendation, then make sure you have a steady calorie intake of carbohydrates that are easily ingested and that you have healthy gut flora. I wouldn't recommend relying too much on proteins, even though they may be converted to glucose, as they're a poor source of calories and you can safely ingest only a limited amount as part of a healthy diet.

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