1

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How does the muscle/fat loss thing work exactly?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 06, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Excuse my lack of knowledge on the subject (which is why I'm asking), but I'm wondering about how the whole fat loss / muscle gain thing works. Y'see, I had a body fat comp test and w that alone I made my goal to lose around 3% of body fat every few months, and w their scaling system, that would land me around a certain weight number, however, that is fat loss alone. I work out 3-4 times/week and am looking to gain muscle, and bcause muscle weight more than fat,

I am aware that the # on the scale doesn't totally matter, I assume I'd end up around the same weight, anyway? Does it take longer, or shorter to do both? Is it more difficult? I apologize if my q's aren't specific enough ) :

STATS:

AGE: 24 FEMALE HEIGHT: 5'3.5 WEIGHT: 128.9 BODY FAT % AS OF MAY: 32% BODY FAT GOAL BY AUGUST: 28%

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on July 07, 2012
at 01:58 AM

I'm sure you realize it takes more muscle to move a 350lb body around than it does to move a 200lb body. Just logically I would say that is one reason you lose muscle mass at a proportion of fat loss if you were doing "nothing" before fat loss and nothing during.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on July 07, 2012
at 01:50 AM

Actually I listed a study that is from Volek and referenced in "The Art and Science of Low Carb Living". I don't have the book with me to see the exact diet, but thought being from that book it might meat your parameters. I agree that protein and fat are important. And its not like the body is just "wasting away". We are talking the difference between losing 9.7 out of 10 lbs as fat vs. losing 7 out of 10 pounds as fat (according to that study). Significant yes, but its not like your only losing muscle if your not doing resistance training. You just retain more with it.

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on July 06, 2012
at 11:57 PM

Another question. If the person was not doing anything that required the muscle mass before going on the diet, why is the body all of a sudden ridding itself of muscle mass. It didn't need it before the diet. Odds are the person was eating sufficient protein prior to the diet to maintain the muscle tissue. The likely low fat diet, low protein, high vegetation diet is what led to the loss in muscle mass.

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on July 06, 2012
at 11:48 PM

I'd be willing to concede you're right with a typical low fat, high carb diet. But I just know too many paleo/low carbers who've maintained lean muscle mass literally sitting on the couch. Show me a study where the weight loss regimen was TRUE high fat/mod protein or Atkins, etc., and the person lost significant muscle mass.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on July 06, 2012
at 09:53 PM

And its not that they are "programmed to destroy themselves"....it's an intelligent response by the body to get rid of this tissue IF it is not needed. Which if all your doing is sitting on your couch it is NOT needed....if all your doing is walking it is needed a little....if your doing heavy resistance work it is definitely now a necessity.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on July 06, 2012
at 09:50 PM

See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10487375 for instance.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on July 06, 2012
at 09:44 PM

Sorry Trashcan, but you are just wrong. Many studies show that resistance training 2-3x/week can preserve lean body mass during weight loss. Walking helps...just not as much.

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on July 06, 2012
at 08:52 PM

So, continuing, if you were to just walk normally perhaps 30 minutes a day, the body fat would melt away effortlessly. (Unless you like killing yourself, that is.) No, it doesn't sound like it should work, but in fact, when you keep your cortisol low, as in leisurely walking, you will burn more fat then when your body is in stress (working out), when your high cortisol levels are telling your fat cells to hold onto the fat.

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on July 06, 2012
at 08:45 PM

>>Lean mass (muscle) is metabolically expensive, so your body will sacrifice it when your losing weight unless it has good reason not to.<< Sorry, but this makes no sense at all. Why would our bodies be programmed to destroy themselves? The whole purpose of body fat is to be a reservoir of energy to burn. In long-term starvation mode you might start breaking down a little muscle for gluconeogenesis. But major breakdown of muscle wouldn't occur until your body fat is used up.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on July 06, 2012
at 03:21 PM

Read the leangains website especially the f((ckarounditis post regarding training and of course all the posts on meals/bodyfat/hormones/etc

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1 Answers

2
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on July 06, 2012
at 03:28 PM

So if your looking for recomposition (lose fat but keep or gain muscle) then you need the proper hormone signaling to do so. Lean mass (muscle) is metabolically expensive, so your body will sacrifice it when your losing weight unless it has good reason not to. A good reason not to is that you are using it to a significant degree. Resistance training signals this. Running like a hamster on a wheel does not (actually does the opposite).

So train hard a couple times a week and eat sufficient protein to retain/build lean mass. IMO lower carbs to lose the fat while doing this.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on July 06, 2012
at 09:50 PM

See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10487375 for instance.

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on July 06, 2012
at 11:48 PM

I'd be willing to concede you're right with a typical low fat, high carb diet. But I just know too many paleo/low carbers who've maintained lean muscle mass literally sitting on the couch. Show me a study where the weight loss regimen was TRUE high fat/mod protein or Atkins, etc., and the person lost significant muscle mass.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on July 07, 2012
at 01:50 AM

Actually I listed a study that is from Volek and referenced in "The Art and Science of Low Carb Living". I don't have the book with me to see the exact diet, but thought being from that book it might meat your parameters. I agree that protein and fat are important. And its not like the body is just "wasting away". We are talking the difference between losing 9.7 out of 10 lbs as fat vs. losing 7 out of 10 pounds as fat (according to that study). Significant yes, but its not like your only losing muscle if your not doing resistance training. You just retain more with it.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on July 06, 2012
at 09:44 PM

Sorry Trashcan, but you are just wrong. Many studies show that resistance training 2-3x/week can preserve lean body mass during weight loss. Walking helps...just not as much.

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on July 06, 2012
at 11:57 PM

Another question. If the person was not doing anything that required the muscle mass before going on the diet, why is the body all of a sudden ridding itself of muscle mass. It didn't need it before the diet. Odds are the person was eating sufficient protein prior to the diet to maintain the muscle tissue. The likely low fat diet, low protein, high vegetation diet is what led to the loss in muscle mass.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on July 07, 2012
at 01:58 AM

I'm sure you realize it takes more muscle to move a 350lb body around than it does to move a 200lb body. Just logically I would say that is one reason you lose muscle mass at a proportion of fat loss if you were doing "nothing" before fat loss and nothing during.

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on July 06, 2012
at 08:52 PM

So, continuing, if you were to just walk normally perhaps 30 minutes a day, the body fat would melt away effortlessly. (Unless you like killing yourself, that is.) No, it doesn't sound like it should work, but in fact, when you keep your cortisol low, as in leisurely walking, you will burn more fat then when your body is in stress (working out), when your high cortisol levels are telling your fat cells to hold onto the fat.

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on July 06, 2012
at 08:45 PM

>>Lean mass (muscle) is metabolically expensive, so your body will sacrifice it when your losing weight unless it has good reason not to.<< Sorry, but this makes no sense at all. Why would our bodies be programmed to destroy themselves? The whole purpose of body fat is to be a reservoir of energy to burn. In long-term starvation mode you might start breaking down a little muscle for gluconeogenesis. But major breakdown of muscle wouldn't occur until your body fat is used up.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on July 06, 2012
at 09:53 PM

And its not that they are "programmed to destroy themselves"....it's an intelligent response by the body to get rid of this tissue IF it is not needed. Which if all your doing is sitting on your couch it is NOT needed....if all your doing is walking it is needed a little....if your doing heavy resistance work it is definitely now a necessity.

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