Understanding weight ,fat and muscle loss

webadmin - Posted on 25 March 2011

                              Understanding Weight Loss, Fat Loss and Muscle Loss



A lot of people are under the false impression that they are losing fat when they lose weight. Weight loss can be a combination of fat loss and muscle loss. Effective weight loss is achieved when muscle loss is minimized and fat loss is maximized. Effective weight loss cannot be measured or monitored with a weight scale alone. In order to maximize fat loss, you need to measure and monitor body fat levels as well. This is the easiest and most simple way of keeping track of fat loss. The examples below will give you an impression of what happens when all the weight loss comes from fat loss as compared to when the weight loss comes from a combination of fat loss and muscle loss. In the examples below, differences in lean body mass is assumed to be due to fluctuations in muscle mass. It is very unlikely that a person would have large fluctuations in the mass of the internal organs, bones or body fluids.


Fat Loss While Sustaining Lean Body Mass (Example Deepa )

Duration                            Wk 0      Wk2     Wk4      Wk 6    Wk8   Wk10

Total Weight……………….  120lbs 118lbs 117lbs 115lbs 114lbs 112lbs  -8lbs

%Body Fat …………..         30%      27.1%   25.6%   24.3%  22.8%   21.4% -8.6%

Body Fat……………..           36lbs      32lbs    30lbs     28lbs     26lbs    24lbs   -12lbs

Lean Body Mass ……         84lbs  86lbs  87lbs     87lbs       88lbs 88lbs +4lbs


As you can see, Deepa only loss 8 pounds but she dropped 8.6% points of body fat. She went from a body fat of 30% to 21.4% in 10 weeks. That is an amazing improvement in body composition. She has also put on an additional 4 pounds of lean body mass. This increase is most likely due to increase in muscle mass. The increase in muscle mass will boost Mary’s metabolism. This will help her to sustain her fat loss. Deepa lost all her weight via exercise and a healthy diet. She did not deprive herself. In fact, she ate 3 main meals and 2 snacks. The increase in muscle mass came from strength training. After 10 weeks, she is more excited than ever. She feels that she can keep on doing what she is doing. Her healthy diet and exercise is giving her tremendous amounts of energy. She releases her cravings once a week via her cheat meal. But Mary realizes that her cravings are becoming less with each passing week. After a while, even the cheat meals are not exciting anymore. Fat Loss While Losing Lean Body Mass (Example Shruti) Shruti tried to lose weight via a low-calorie diet. She missed meals and starved herself. She also did lots of crunches and sit-ups.


Duration                          Wk 0  Wk2  Wk4  Wk 6  Wk8  Wk10

Total Weight……………… .120lbs 114lbs 110lbs 106lbs 103lbs 101lbs -19lbs

%Body Fat …………..         30% 28.0% 27.3% 26.4% 26.2% 26.7% -3.7

% Body Fat ……………          36lbs 32lbs 30lbs 28lbs 27lbs 27lbs -9lbs

Lean Body Mass …….          84lbs 82lbs 80lbs 78lbs 76lbs 74lbs -10lbs


As you can see, Shruti lost a massive 19 pounds. That will make a lot of people extremely happy. But let’s have a deeper look into the numbers. Shruti lost 9 pounds of fat. This is only 3 pounds less than Deepa. She also lost a massive 10 pounds of lean body mass. Almost all the loss comes from the loss of muscles. After 10 weeks, her cravings are unmanageable. she has had enough of dieting and wants to start eating like normal again. This is where the problems will start. This will severely affect her metabolism. Her weight would very likely rebound as soon as she stops her diet. Shruti can no longer sustain her diet anymore. She did not learn habits that would help her sustain weight loss. Focus on Fat Loss Keep track of your body fat levels. Make sure that you are losing fat and not muscles. Also note that a massive weight loss may not be ideal as a lot of it could come from losing muscles.

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