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Hack my DXA Scan

Commented on May 05, 2013
Created February 21, 2013 at 10:54 PM

34 year old male. My weight has dropped from 312 lbs to 256 lbs in the last 6 months through a combination of paleo, 2 X 24 hours IF periods per week and StrongLifts 5X5. I do core strengthening exercises following my morning 5X5 workout, such as planks and sit ups. I try to also do 1 or 2 moderate intensity cardio workouts a week, usually elliptical walker or recumbent bike for 60 mins.

Completed a DXA scan in October after I'd been following paleo for 10 weeks and was shown as having 179 lbs of lean muscle mass. Despite sticking to 5X5 and only missing 2 sessions during this time, today my scan showed that I have lost 5lbs of lean muscle mass. The body composition part of the scan shows I lost 2 lbs of lean muscle mass from my trunk, 1.3 from my arms and 1.5 from legs. I also went from 92.6 lbs of fat mass to 72.0 lbs, taking my body fat from 32.8% to 28%.

While I'm happy with the fat loss results shown in the body scan, how concerned should I be about the muscle loss and what should I be doing to address this?

I don't religiously log my food intake, but I usually eat a 3 egg omelet with bacon for breakfast. Lunch is usually BBQ (Ribs, Pulled Pork, tri-tip or Chicken) or a Chipotle salad bowl with extra meat and avocado. Dinner is generally a lean protein cooked in coconut oil and steamed vegetables. Snacks are almonds and the occasional piece of fruit. I'm supplementing 10g of BCAA post and pre workout on Mon, Wed and Fri mornings. Daily I take a range of multi-vitamin, vitamin D, calcium and fish oil. Sleep is usually a solid 8 hours a night and no real external stress factors in my life right now.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on May 05, 2013
at 01:12 AM

Sounds like the muscle's not an issue. The plateau can happen a lot. Just keep on trucking, and if it doesn't resume in a couple weeks, start looking at changing things up.

3200de0355aaa986eb34d7ba412c62e0

on May 05, 2013
at 12:52 AM

Still making great strength gains. Unfortunately the weight loss has hit a plateau.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 22, 2013
at 01:42 AM

Maybe casual exposure to ionizing radiation isn't the best idea.

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2 Answers

best answer

0
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on May 03, 2013
at 03:35 PM

It can be complex, but in short, the body doesn't want to carry around more muscle than it needs and gets rid of the extra.

So, you start off heavy and out of shape, your body needs X amount of muscle to move you around. Just losing that weight alone, your body doesn't need that muscle mass to move you around anymore and will get rid of it. Add on the exercising so your body's more efficient with the muscle it has, it needs even less. Doesn't mean it's bad or anything.

Are you lifting heavier than you did in October? ie. are you progressing? If you're not losing strength, I wouldn't worry too much. If you're getting weaker (can't lift as much as you did in the past), then I would dig into it more.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on May 05, 2013
at 01:12 AM

Sounds like the muscle's not an issue. The plateau can happen a lot. Just keep on trucking, and if it doesn't resume in a couple weeks, start looking at changing things up.

3200de0355aaa986eb34d7ba412c62e0

on May 05, 2013
at 12:52 AM

Still making great strength gains. Unfortunately the weight loss has hit a plateau.

0
39f9425e5c198447e96cc2bcc7f57e5e

(70)

on February 22, 2013
at 01:00 AM

Good job on your progress so far! Your doing really good!

I personally would tend to lean towards not paying attention to the scan and paying attention to how you feel, look, and perform.

If you are feeling great and more energized as the weight comes off than keep doing what your doing.

How are you lifts going? If your continuing to gain strength on your lifts than I would not pay much attention to the scan and continue what your doing.

If you find your losing your strength and muscle mass, I would lean towards documenting your diet as thoroughly as possible and also making sure that your not over training those body parts. It sounds like your getting plenty of protein needed.

Also, I do not agree with the IF 2x24. I believe that only athletes, who have thoroughly attuned their body to an efficient fat burning machine, should practice IF like that.

I have always been a big fan of going by your personal feelings and performance rather than getting caught up on what a machine says.

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