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TOPIC: How to lose body fat without losing Lean Body Mass?

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July 19, 2012 1:47 PM
I am 5'2 , 123lbs but when I calculated body fat online it says 34.5% . I eat everything I like in moderation. Will dieting alone help me lose body fat? I aim to be 109lbs according to what the site says[fat2fit] to reduce my body fat percentage to 26% . this is my first goal and during this weight loss journey, how do i make sure I am not losing lean body mass, but fat? And what will help me to lose fat? Is it eating clean or exercise or just being in a deficit and losing weight? I am not sure about weight training as I have heard that once you stop it, all the weight comes back. Can someone enlighten me on this topic and tell me what is the right thing to do?
  19436686
July 19, 2012 1:59 PM
lift weights.
July 19, 2012 2:02 PM
The weight won't come back when you stop lifting if you're still eating either in a calorie deficit or at maintenance. What will happen is you may lose some of your strength and muscle tone over time, but if you still keep up your routine even just twice a week you'll maintain your muscle. At least that's what my gym says.
  9970551
July 19, 2012 2:04 PM
QUOTE:

lift weights.


I saw this thread and I saw that you were the last post (another one snuck it menawhile) and I knew you would say what was going through my head! LOL You didn't disappoint.
July 19, 2012 2:04 PM
When dieting, you will lose muscle mass. This is inevitable. But you can slow it down significantly or even stop it in a way...

Basically, muscle WILL be broken down along with fat. To counter this, you have to eat a lot of protein and also lift weights.

Lifting while dieting does not lead to much mass gain. Instead, the only time mass gets built during this dieting phase is while you sleep in the anabolic state. During normal hours, your body will be in a catabolic state and be breaking down fat and some muscle.

Basically, at night, you rebuild what you broke down.

Weight lifters try to maintain an anabolic state (this can be done by having a calorie surplus) so they can be building muscle all day long.
  26097696
July 19, 2012 2:17 PM
Thank you. I am not looking at building muscle. I only want to reduce body fat .But twice a week doesn't sound bad even for a lazy person like me ! Some one told me not to try lifting weights if I couldn't do it life long and I am sure I wont b doing it other than for weight loss[fat loss] because I simply don't like to see me with muscle cuts in my arms. I just want to be healthy. Hope the more protein diet will help burn down fat!
Edited by newmom4411 On July 19, 2012 2:18 PM
  19436686
July 19, 2012 2:23 PM
QUOTE:

Thank you. I am not looking at building muscle. I only want to reduce body fat .But twice a week doesn't sound bad even for a lazy person like me ! Some one told me not to try lifting weights if I couldn't do it life long and I am sure I wont b doing it other than for weight loss because I simply don't like to see me with muscle cuts in my arms. I just want to be healthy.


If you are eating in a deficit you won't build muscle. You will maitain most of the lean muscle you have. Also, as a woman without the benefit of testosterone, you would have to work very hard to build muscle even if you wanted to. The weight lifting will help you burn fat and keep lean muscle mass. Look for a beginer program that has low reps and the highest weight you can do. 3 recomendations are Stronglifts 5x5, Starting Strength and New Rules of Lifting For Women.

BTW, how much muscle cut you get will depend more on your body fat % than on lifting weights. If you stay just above 20%, which is a healthy zone for a woman, you will look lean but smooth and not cut.
July 19, 2012 2:27 PM
People 'put all the weight back on' when they stop lifting weights --- IF --- they continue eating the same amount of food as they were while lifting. That's all. Don't be scared of it.
  24711976
July 19, 2012 2:28 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Thank you. I am not looking at building muscle. I only want to reduce body fat .But twice a week doesn't sound bad even for a lazy person like me ! Some one told me not to try lifting weights if I couldn't do it life long and I am sure I wont b doing it other than for weight loss because I simply don't like to see me with muscle cuts in my arms. I just want to be healthy.


If you are eating in a deficit you won't build muscle. You will maitain most of the lean muscle you have. Also, as a woman without the benefit of testosterone, you would have to work very hard to build muscle even if you wanted to. The weight lifting will help you burn fat and keep lean muscle mass. Look for a beginer program that has low reps and the highest weight you can do. 3 recomendations are Stronglifts 5x5, Starting Strength and New Rules of Lifting For Women.

BTW, how much muscle cut you get will depend more on your body fat % than on lifting weights. If you stay just above 20%, which is a healthy zone for a woman, you will look lean but smooth and not cut.


That's a lot of good information .. Just one more question..what happens when I stop the weight lifting? Does my metabolism slow down and will I end up gaining weight at the same amount of calories? Or should I lower my calories once I stop the weight lifting for a couple of months?
  19436686
July 19, 2012 2:30 PM
as stated before, you can't build muscle while in a calorie deficit. If you want to retain LBM while trying to lose fat, you need to slow down the rate at which you lose weight while taking advantage of resistance training. The more you eat, while still under your calorie maintenance, together with weight training, will help your body slowly burn the fat while keeping muscle.
  10095807
July 19, 2012 2:31 PM
QUOTE:

lift weights.


Agree!!
July 19, 2012 2:32 PM
definitely lift weights. i've been lifting throughout (nrol4w and strong lifts). i've lost a lot of fat (sizes worth) and i think only 10% of my loss has been from lean body mass.

i still have another 50 pounds to go so i'm hoping that by bumping up my protein i'll avoid losing that much lean body mass
  12840602
July 19, 2012 2:32 PM
QUOTE:

Just one more question..what happens when I stop the weight lifting? Does my metabolism slow down and will I end up gaining weight at the same amount of calories? Or should I lower my calories once I stop the weight lifting for a couple of months?


When you stop lifting weights your activity level will drop...meaning that if you don't either lower the amount of calories you take in, or do something else to make up for the energy you burned while lifting weights, it is possible that you can gain weight back. If you keep yourself in a deficit, you can continue to lose weight but without lifting weights you can start to lose LBM again which will result in your metabolism slowing down
  10095807
July 19, 2012 2:35 PM
Hey OP, I'm 5'2.5" and started at 132 with 32% body fat. I'm now 113 with ~23%bf. I've lost very little muscle. I made sure to consume 1g of protein per lb of lean body mass, but I had no lbm to begin with. To be at 20%bf like I want, I'd have to weigh ~109 also, but that seems too small. I think trying to gain muscle mass via lifting (and some excess calories) is the best bet for us.
July 19, 2012 2:35 PM
QUOTE:


That's a lot of good information .. Just one more question..what happens when I stop the weight lifting? Does my metabolism slow down and will I end up gaining weight at the same amount of calories? Or should I lower my calories once I stop the weight lifting for a couple of months?


Im not sure why you would stop but if you dont continue to work the muscles they will atrophy. They will be absorbed by the body. Depending on if your in a calorie deficit will depend on whether it gets turned into fat. The less muscle you have the fewer calories your body will require. Muscle burns calories all day everyday.
  18262944
July 19, 2012 2:35 PM
You'll gain the weight back if you think of whatever you do to lose the weight as something you can stop once you reach goal. wink

That's why everyone says "It's a lifestyle change." You might not to exercise as aggressively or be as dilligent in what you eat when you're eating at maintenance level, but it's not something you can stop doing. Just like you can't say, "Well, I brushed my teeth and now they're clean. I can stop doing that now."

As far as avoiding losing lean muscle mass, set your weight loss goal to a half pound a week, increase your protein to at least 20-25%, eat most of your exercise calories, and get regular exercise including strength training.

Also, be aware that online BF% calculators... well, they kind of suck. Some more than others. Some calculate my BF is at 17% and some say in the 30s. I don't know exactly what mine is but I'd guess around 20-22-ish. So don't get too wrapped up in thinking, "I have so much to lose!"
  3240741
July 19, 2012 2:36 PM
QUOTE:

as stated before, you can't build muscle while in a calorie deficit. If you want to retain LBM while trying to lose fat, you need to slow down the rate at which you lose weight while taking advantage of resistance training. The more you eat, while still under your calorie maintenance, together with weight training, will help your body slowly burn the fat while keeping muscle.


My BMR is 1240 and TDEE 1611 and I have set the MFP goal as Losing 1/2 lb a week and I eat 1300 Calories. Should I up my calories to make the weight loss slower? Right now I am more concerned about burning fat than what the scale reads and it seems like all of it is on my hips.Other than my hip area I look lean..if you can say that!
  19436686
July 19, 2012 2:37 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

as stated before, you can't build muscle while in a calorie deficit. If you want to retain LBM while trying to lose fat, you need to slow down the rate at which you lose weight while taking advantage of resistance training. The more you eat, while still under your calorie maintenance, together with weight training, will help your body slowly burn the fat while keeping muscle.


My BMR is 1240 and TDEE 1611 and I have set the MFP goal as Losing 1/2 lb a week and I eat 1300 Calories. Should I up my calories to make the weight loss slower? Right now I am more concerned about burning fat than what the scale reads and it seems like all of it is on my hips.Other than my hip area I look lean..if you can say that!


I think .5 a pound a week is already slow enough. I normally go with around 1lb a week
Edited by akaOtherWise On July 19, 2012 2:39 PM
  10095807
July 19, 2012 2:42 PM
QUOTE:

Thank you. I am not looking at building muscle. I only want to reduce body fat .But twice a week doesn't sound bad even for a lazy person like me ! Some one told me not to try lifting weights if I couldn't do it life long and I am sure I wont b doing it other than for weight loss[fat loss] because I simply don't like to see me with muscle cuts in my arms. I just want to be healthy. Hope the more protein diet will help burn down fat!


"Building muscle" does not equal getting bulky or muscle-bound or becoming a body builder, it's just another word for what happens when there is weight-bearing exercise. I would actually suggest you *do* do it "life long." We lose muscle starting around age 30 and it accelerates from there. Keeping your muscles strong and building them holds up your joints and prevents supposed age-related hip, knee and back problems. It keeps your body efficient at burning fat, which is the best way to lose weight and maintain a goal weight.

It also is very important to keep your bones strong and prevent osteoporosis. Aesthetically, women really generally don't get bulky, and as you age, muscle definition looks a lot better than saggy skin. Doing something just "for weight loss" is setting yourself up for failure at both fitness and weight loss (and maintaining a weight you're happy with) itself. Once you start experiencing what it's like to get fit, you'll wonder how you could be any other way–and you win what was formerly a struggle to lose weight.

Also, a "more protein diet" won't help "burn down fat" unless you build the muscle, which actually burns the calories efficiently.
Edited by furrina On July 19, 2012 2:43 PM
July 19, 2012 2:46 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Thank you. I am not looking at building muscle. I only want to reduce body fat .But twice a week doesn't sound bad even for a lazy person like me ! Some one told me not to try lifting weights if I couldn't do it life long and I am sure I wont b doing it other than for weight loss because I simply don't like to see me with muscle cuts in my arms. I just want to be healthy.


If you are eating in a deficit you won't build muscle. You will maitain most of the lean muscle you have. Also, as a woman without the benefit of testosterone, you would have to work very hard to build muscle even if you wanted to. The weight lifting will help you burn fat and keep lean muscle mass. Look for a beginer program that has low reps and the highest weight you can do. 3 recomendations are Stronglifts 5x5, Starting Strength and New Rules of Lifting For Women.

BTW, how much muscle cut you get will depend more on your body fat % than on lifting weights. If you stay just above 20%, which is a healthy zone for a woman, you will look lean but smooth and not cut.


Awesome post. Nailed it.
  7131933
July 19, 2012 2:48 PM
QUOTE:

You might not to exercise as aggressively or be as dilligent in what you eat when you're eating at maintenance level, but it's not something you can stop doing. Just like you can't say, "Well, I brushed my teeth and now they're clean. I can stop doing that now."


This ^^
July 19, 2012 2:51 PM
QUOTE:

Hey OP, I'm 5'2.5" and started at 132 with 32% body fat. I'm now 113 with ~23%bf. I've lost very little muscle. I made sure to consume 1g of protein per lb of lean body mass, but I had no lbm to begin with. To be at 20%bf like I want, I'd have to weigh ~109 also, but that seems too small. I think trying to gain muscle mass via lifting (and some excess calories) is the best bet for us.


That's a lot of protein! I hope you don't need to eat that much protein if you aren't lifting!
  19436686
July 19, 2012 3:00 PM
QUOTE:

You'll gain the weight back if you think of whatever you do to lose the weight as something you can stop once you reach goal. wink

That's why everyone says "It's a lifestyle change." You might not to exercise as aggressively or be as dilligent in what you eat when you're eating at maintenance level, but it's not something you can stop doing. Just like you can't say, "Well, I brushed my teeth and now they're clean. I can stop doing that now."

As far as avoiding losing lean muscle mass, set your weight loss goal to a half pound a week, increase your protein to at least 20-25%, eat most of your exercise calories, and get regular exercise including strength training.

Also, be aware that online BF% calculators... well, they kind of suck. Some more than others. Some calculate my BF is at 17% and some say in the 30s. I don't know exactly what mine is but I'd guess around 20-22-ish. So don't get too wrapped up in thinking, "I have so much to lose!"


Point taken..the reason why I said so was because till my pregnancy I never had a weight problem..I would always stay within 120-125lbs n eat whatever I want . I was active too..When I gained a bit I exercised n reduced portions for couple of weeks n all would b fine again. And I only had to restrict myself only couple of weeks a year ..This time I want to reduce my fat n hips too and am beginning to understand that its different from what I thought..
  19436686
July 19, 2012 3:05 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Thank you. I am not looking at building muscle. I only want to reduce body fat .But twice a week doesn't sound bad even for a lazy person like me ! Some one told me not to try lifting weights if I couldn't do it life long and I am sure I wont b doing it other than for weight loss[fat loss] because I simply don't like to see me with muscle cuts in my arms. I just want to be healthy. Hope the more protein diet will help burn down fat!


"Building muscle" does not equal getting bulky or muscle-bound or becoming a body builder, it's just another word for what happens when there is weight-bearing exercise. I would actually suggest you *do* do it "life long." We lose muscle starting around age 30 and it accelerates from there. Keeping your muscles strong and building them holds up your joints and prevents supposed age-related hip, knee and back problems. It keeps your body efficient at burning fat, which is the best way to lose weight and maintain a goal weight.

It also is very important to keep your bones strong and prevent osteoporosis. Aesthetically, women really generally don't get bulky, and as you age, muscle definition looks a lot better than saggy skin. Doing something just "for weight loss" is setting yourself up for failure at both fitness and weight loss (and maintaining a weight you're happy with) itself. Once you start experiencing what it's like to get fit, you'll wonder how you could be any other way–and you win what was formerly a struggle to lose weight.

Also, a "more protein diet" won't help "burn down fat" unless you build the muscle, which actually burns the calories efficiently.


Thanks for all the advice.I needed some ,to be convinced of why weight training was so important.
  19436686
July 19, 2012 3:07 PM
Go here

http://www.simplyshredded.com/16909.html

http://www.simplyshredded.com/the-ultimate-female-training-guide.html
Edited by Hendrix7 On July 19, 2012 3:07 PM

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