Hey there, so you may be wondering why on earth losing weight would ever be harmful when everyone knows that weight loss is beneficial to heart and general health. Well, when you are losing muscle tissue at the same rate or faster than fat, this becomes problematic. Years ago, when I was on a so called diet, reduce calories, eating little or nothing, we all know what I’m talking about, I don’t remember it being that healthy either. I did lose weight but it didn’t last. As soon as I started back eating my normal way and increased calories the weight came back. It is all very well to be thinner but if you have lost crucial muscle mass, then the chances of you maintaining that lost weight are slim so to speak! Furthermore, you are in danger of putting on more weight than you lost.
The reason for this is due to muscle tissue having a higher metabolic demand than fat tissue, meaning that it is more ‘active’ and burns more calories. For every pound of muscle you gain, even while resting, you can burn up to 500 calories a day. Once you have lost that muscle tissue, also known as lean tissue, that muscle is gone and your metabolism slows down and the body turns into a fat storing machine.
Losing muscle is usually the result of a weight loss diet that does not involve much exercise and although a reduced calorie diet is in place, the food contains too high levels of fat .
Losing weight by crash dieting, and the ups and down of yo yo dieting, you are subject to weakening the immune system and putting your body under a lot of stress. The body soon finds out what you are doing and says “Hey, Im gonna adjust our metabolism because I dont know the next time you gonna feed me. So guess what else you, I’m gonna store what little food you do give me as fat!
All it takes is the addition of moderate to high levels of physical exercise to your daily life. This, in conjunction with your healthy eating, calorie reduced diet which contains equal to or less than 30% fat from food will ensure avoidance of excessive muscle loss. Eat lots of fruit, vegetables and foods which keep you full for longer such as oatmeal and other cereal and grainy foods. Lean meat such as chicken and pork are great alternatives to red meat and should be grilled rather than fried. As long as you eat properly and exercise to lose weight, your body will act like a wood burning furnance. When you feed the fire the fire keeps burning, when you don’t, the fire slowly goes out. When you feed your body every few hours, the body uses the food like a furnance and keeps the metabolism up, and when you don’t your metabolism slows down and stops working to burn the fat.
If you have already lost weight and reduced your muscle mass, don’t worry, as you can work on building up more muscle. Although you may have lost some of the lean tissue, as long as you avoid losing more weight that is simply from muscle loss, add some resistance training and keep physical activity levels within the recommended range, you should be able to lose weight and maintain muscle mass, without harm to your body composition.
Years ago, I decided to take charge of my body and do things the right way. It was a lifestyle change for me. I feel great and it feels good seeing the results of that change that started years ago. You can do the same. Start now. No matter what age you currently are, if you make that commitment, stay consistent and begin, you will look and feel the difference. Stop the harmful yo-yo effect and maintain a healthy weight for a life time, start adding healthy eating 5 to 6 small meals, 3 meals 2 snacks, and at least 30 minutes of exercise to your daily life. Hey let’s turn your body into a natual fat burning machine. Happy weight lost to ya!