It’s bound to happen at some point. You’re in a cutting cycle and you’re stuck somewhere without access to a gym. It’s time to eat, but you’re used to your training balancing out your diet since, after all, food is merely fuel at this stage. Without a workout, you’re not going to grow, so the objective now is to maintain as much lean mass as possible wh ff later. Although making sure to hit your protein numbers for the day is a no-brainer, a lot of athletes in this situation will also choose low-fat meals. This would be a mistake, according to a recent Springfield College study that compared the fat-burning and muscle-sparing effects of low-fat, moderate-carb, and low-carb, moderate-fat diets. The researchers found that not only did subjects who consumed low-carb, moderate-fat meals lose more weight than those who went low-fat, moderate carb, but they also retained 75% more muscle mass while simultaneously lowering their triglyceride levels. To replicate the meals used in the study, follow a carb:fat:protein ratio of approximately 15:55:30 for your meals, and supplement with protein throughout the day to hit your macronumbers.
Reference: R.J. Wood et al., Metab Syndr Relat Disord., 2012. Jan 27 [E-pub ahead of print]