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Why you need to keep your lean muscle mass for a sustainable fat loss

Updated: May 21, 2020



To many this is kind of a common sense, however why exactly keeping your muscles while losing weight is so important? Is it just because of the looks,strength, athleticism or is it something else in question?


Fortunately, there was a recent study on this topic where they did a retrospective analysis of 209 overweight or obese individuals and compared dieting with and without muscle loss. The results showed that individuals who lost muscle mass during the weight loss phase had higher increases in appetite and a higher rebound effect compared to the individuals with no muscle mass loss. Lets see why is this the case and why it is crucial for anyone trying to lose weight to keep as much muscle mass (preferably even build some) as possible.


The study


Diet, Obesity, and Genes as its called, had a total sample size of 209 participants for body composition analysis, and 40 participants for the secondary where appetite perception was studied. All subjects were between 16 and 65 years old with a BMI between 27 and 45 (all participants were overweight or obese).


The study consisted of an 8 week weight loss period, where participants lost 8% of their body weight, followed by a 26 week maintenance period, where they studied appetite perception. Body composition was measured by DXA.


The two main goals of this study were to:


1. Understand the relationship between the percentage of weight loss as muscle mass and weight regain.