Expensive Medical doctors: I’ve heard that once you’re on a weight loss program and also you lower caloric consumption by so much, your physique will begin to devour muscle for vitality. Is that actually true? How are you going to shed pounds and never wind up shedding muscle?
Expensive Reader: Discussions about reducing weight sometimes concentrate on kilos, as in, “I wish to lose 10 kilos.” The essential follow-up query right here is: kilos of what? Work up a sweat with a vigorous set of tennis, and the dimensions will present you’ve instantly dropped a number of kilos — of water weight. You’ll acquire it proper again together with your subsequent beverage. (A quart of water weighs 2 kilos, in case you had been curious.)
Diets that contain a drastic calorie lower do result in weight reduction, however individuals wind up burning not solely fats, but in addition important quantities of lean muscle. That’s a nasty concept, as a result of we depend on our muscle tissue for each power and endurance. Muscle tissue additionally performs an essential position in resting metabolic charge.
The reply to the “kilos of what?” weight-loss query is, after all, fats. Once we set a weight-loss goal, the aim is to lose fats. Or, to view it in additional helpful phrases, we wish to obtain a extra healthful ratio of lean tissue to fats. Attaining and sustaining a healthful weight has many advantages, together with lowering the danger of diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery illness, melancholy and even sure cancers. And, whereas it’s tempting to attempt a number of the extra excessive low-carb and high-fat diets that at the moment are standard, which promise swift and painless weight reduction, we imagine a reasonable strategy yields higher and extra sustainable outcomes.
As a way to maximize fats loss and reduce the lack of lean muscle mass, you want a three-pronged strategy. This begins with chopping again energy sufficient that you simply’re working at a slight deficit, however to not the purpose that your physique thinks it’s ravenous. A latest examine within the Netherlands adopted volunteers on a five-week weight loss program of 500 energy per day, and people on a 12-week plan of 1,250 energy per day. Each teams misplaced the identical quantity of weight — about 19 kilos. Nevertheless, the crash dieters misplaced nearly thrice as a lot muscle mass as those that adopted the extra reasonable weight-loss plan.
To remain wholesome as you shed pounds, eat a variety of contemporary meals, with a concentrate on lean proteins, wholesome fat, and contemporary fruit and veggies. Take care to keep away from easy carbohydrates and processed meals. You desire a weight loss program that, when you’ve reached your aim weight, you’ll be able to proceed to maintain.
Lastly, it’s essential to include two sorts of train into your day by day life: cardio and resistance. Cardio helps to burn fats, and resistance maintains and builds the lean muscle mass that you simply wish to preserve. Once more, the intention here’s a new set of habits that you simply’re prepared and capable of keep even after you’ve reached your aim weight.
Eve Glazier, M.D., MBA, is an internist and affiliate professor of drugs at UCLA Well being. Elizabeth Ko, M.D., is an internist and assistant professor of drugs at UCLA Well being. Ship your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Owing to the amount of mail, private replies can’t be offered.