The study of changes within the key agents regulating metabolism during genetic upgrading because of selection can contribute to an improved understanding of genomic and physiological relationships. This may lead to increased efficiencies in animal production. These changes, regarding energy and protein metabolic saving mechanisms, can be highlighted during food restriction periods. In this study, a 20% weight reduction was induced in two rabbit breeds: New Zealand white, a selected meat producer (Oryctolagus cuniculus cuniculus), and Iberian wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus algirus), with the aim of determining differential protein expression in the gastrocnemius muscle within control (ad libitum) and restricted diet experimental animal groups, using techniques of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and peptide mass fingerprinting. Results show that L-lactate dehydrogenase, adenylate kinase, beta enolase and alpha enolase, fructose bisphosphate aldolase A and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, which are enzymes involved in energy metabolism, are differentially expressed in restricted diet experimental animal groups. These enzymes are available to be further tested as relevant biomarkers of weight loss and putative objects of manipulation as a selection tool towards increasing tolerance to weight loss. Similar reasoning could be applied to 2D gel electrophoresis spots corresponding to the important structural proteins tropomyosin beta chain and troponin I. Finally, a spot identified as mitochondrial import stimulation factor seems of special interest as a marker of undernutrition, and it may be the object of further studies aiming to better understand its physiological role.