Eli5 How did the morbidly obese guy(Angus Barbieri) who fasted for one year not lose all of his lean body mass(muscles)? Does the body actually work to preserve muscle mass and not break it down when fasting as a morbidly obese person?

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Eli5 How did the morbidly obese guy(Angus Barbieri) who fasted for one year not lose all of his lean body mass(muscles)? Does the body actually work to preserve muscle mass and not break it down when fasting as a morbidly obese person?

In: 41

The body eats fat first. Muscle mass is typically converted to fat, then consumed by the body.

So long as you’re keeping active and supplementing yourself with the nutrients you need your body shouldn’t be going after your muscles until it absolutely has to.

It’s a survival mechanic because muscle powers us to escape predators, defend ourselves, and acquire food. Do we’ve evolved to burn up fat first in order to preserve muscle for other uses. Though there are circumstances that will make your body eat the muscles first.

*NOTE: I don’t know this case you’re referencing, nor am I nutritionist*

Fasting essentially throws your body into more of a ‘we don’t have calories available, let’s be smarter about using our fuel to not die’

Without eating (the preferred fuel of choice), the next source of fuel that the body will use is fatty tissue. Typically this will get used before moving on to the body’s proteins

I wonder then, how long is too long to fast? If you’re doing it for weight loss and have nutrients available, could one theoretically go along time if they have a lot of fat to work with? Lol asking for a friend…

Yes, your body *absolutely* works to preserve lean muscle mass. This is absolutely crucial, because some of your organs (like your heart) are composed of muscle.

When you fast, the first thing your body will use for energy is glucose (sugar). Since your body only stores small amounts of glucose, this will be used up quickly – within a few days. At that point, your body switches to *ketosis*, which means that it gets its energy from fat stores.

In fact, this is exactly why we store fat in the first place – to give our bodies a source of energy when we’re fasting. Periods for fasting were common in hunter-gatherer days, simply because we couldn’t always find food. If our bodies immediately switched to using protein, we would have gone extinct.

Fat is where extra energy is stored. The more fat you have, the more likely you’ll lose fat rapidly rather than muscle, as that’s what the body goes for first. The body tries to get rid of the problem (the excess fat that hurts it) rather than make another problem (consuming glycogen from liver and muscles) in most cases.