Have you ever tried to lose weight, only to lose muscle mass along with the fat? It's a common issue, but it doesn't have to be. Sure, weight loss doesn't always accurately measure fat loss, but there are ways to make sure you're losing fat and keeping your hard-earned muscle mass.
According to a 2010 meta-analysis from Purdue University, when people diet without exercising, about 24% of their weight loss comes from muscle and other non-fat tissues. This means that a weight loss of 10 pounds may only be about 7.6 pounds of fat, with the rest being muscle and other tissues. However, when people diet and exercise, the percentage of weight loss coming from muscle and other non-fat tissues decreases to just 11%.
So, what's the key to preserving muscle while losing fat? Resistance training. Of the 36 studies analyzed in the Purdue University meta-analysis, only 7 included resistance training, and of those 7, 5 showed no decrease in muscle mass. This suggests that resistance training in your exercise program can help you optimize fat loss while preserving muscle.
But what about experienced lifters who want to cut body fat? A review published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that, for experienced lifters, cutting both calories and training volume during a fat-loss phase can lead to muscle loss. The review suggests that maintaining a high training volume, at least 10 sets per muscle group per week, is key to preserving muscle mass while losing fat.
Protein intake is also crucial for muscle growth and maintenance. Make sure you're getting enough protein in your diet, especially if you're cutting calories. Experts recommend a daily intake of 1.6-2.2 grams per kilogram of body weight to support optimal health and performance. Most people see the best results with 1.6 grams, but for those seeking maximum results, a higher intake of up to 2.2 grams per kilogram may be necessary, according to research.
And don't forget about the role of proper recovery. Adequate rest and recovery are crucial for muscle growth and repair, so make sure you're not overexercising and giving your body the rest it needs.
By following these tips, you can lose fat while preserving muscle for a lean, toned physique.
Have you ever noticed that your metabolism seems to slow down as you get older? It's a common concern, but is it age or something else?
A recent study sought to answer this question by analyzing data from over 6,400 subjects in 29 countries, ranging in age from 8 days old to 95 years old. The results showed that while metabolism does decline with age, it's not solely due to the passage of time.
The study found that metabolism peaks in infancy and gradually declines until age 20. After that, it remains stable until around age 60, when it begins to fall again but at a slower rate of about 0.7% per year. When we reach 95, our metabolic rate could be about 20% lower than in our late 50s.
However, the study also found that menopause doesn't impact metabolism and that there isn't a significant difference in metabolism between men and women when body size and fat-free mass are considered.
That was actually pretty shocking to me.
So, what does this all mean for us as we age?
Well, it's important to look honestly at how our lifestyle might have changed over the years and what type of impact that has had on our bodies. Many people, for instance, become more sedentary as they age, start families, and begin socializing differently.
The good news is that we can significantly impact our metabolism and overall health by making conscious choices about our daily habits.
I hope that you find it both reassuring and empowering to know that something we can't change, like our age, has less of an effect on our metabolism than the things we can change, like our lifestyle.
As we age, it's common for our weight to fluctuate. But just how much does the average person's weight change over time? According to a new study from Brigham Young University, the answer may surprise you.
The study, which analyzed data from 13,800 Americans aged 36 to 79, found that over 50% of participants gained at least 5% in body weight over the previous 10 years. 35% gained 10% or more, and a shocking 16% gained 20% or more. But perhaps the most interesting finding was when this weight gain occurred. On average, participants gained the most weight from their 20s to their 30s, and then less in each subsequent decade thereafter. That means that for the average American, the total weight gain over the course of adulthood is a staggering 46.7 pounds.
But the study didn't just look at overall weight gain. It also delved into differences between genders and racial groups.
Women gained significantly more weight than men, with an average increase of 12 pounds compared to 6 pounds for men. This difference may be due to pregnancy, as research has shown that each birth is associated with increased weight gain. Meanwhile, men actually lost weight from their 60s to 70s, likely due to factors such as loss of muscle mass and increasing frailty.
Black women experienced the highest average weight gain at 19.4 pounds, while Asian men had the lowest average weight gain at just 2.9 pounds.
It's important to note that the initial body weights of the participants in this study were self-reported from memory, which could be a limitation. However, the scientists cited evidence indicating that self-reported body weight is often accurate, even when being recalled 20-30 years later.
So what can we take away from this study?
First, it's important to not confuse obesity trends with weight gain trends. While it's true that obesity rates rise with age, that's because it takes longer to reach the necessary BMI for obesity classification when you're younger. Weight gain slows over time, so it may take several decades to accumulate enough weight to reach that threshold.
This study also highlights the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle as we age. While it's natural for our lifestyle to change and for some weight gain to occur because of that, it's important to take steps to prevent excessive weight gain. By eating for health and staying active, we can help ensure that we maintain a healthy weight throughout our lives!