Muscle Loss While Dieting

by Annie on July 21, 2012 · 0 comments

in Exercise & Injuries,Weight Loss & Body Image

When you go on a fad diet to lose weight, you are setting yourself up for failure. Approximately 70% of the weight lost through fad diets is from muscle tissue.  So for every 10 pounds you lose, 7 pounds comes muscle loss!

Muscle loss = slow metabolism

Maybe you think muscle loss is the price you have to pay for weight loss. But each pound of muscle burns up to 50 calories a day. When you lose 7 pounds of muscle, you are losing the ability to burn 350 calories a day.

350 calories is a lot of food. It is almost an entire meal for some of us. It is approximately the calorie count for my breakfast each morning (if you don’t count my coffee).

Losing muscle slows down your metabolism.  A slower metabolism means you must eat less and less food to maintain your new weight.

This is why yo-yoing dieting so detrimental to your overall health. Each cycle of weight loss leads to more muscle loss. After several cycles of yo-yo dieting, you have the classic case of a slowing metabolism so that each time you re-gain a little more weight than you lost previously or it becomes harder to lose weight each time.

Build muscle = increase metabolism

The secret weapon to maintaining your weight is strength training. Each year, we lose a little more muscle from our body due to age and a sedentary lifestyle.

Some body types could build muscle faster than I can sneeze. But on average it takes years to get your body into shape, but you would notice the health benefits within days of exercising regularly.

Ruler Body Shape on Building Muscle

With a ruler body shape, I put on a pound or two of muscle a year with my current exercise routine which includes 3 strength training session a week. This amount of muscle gain is only enough to counter the muscle I am losing.

So in reality, I am only staying status quo, which explains why someone had commented once that for all the exercise I am doing, I look about the same. And sometimes that is good enough because I don’t want to be going backwards.

Until next time and thanks for stopping by Small Steps to Health. If you like what you are reading, please share it with your friends.

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