Tips on Maintaining and Sustaining Lean Muscle Mass
Over and over again, you’ve seen it happen. Among the 48 million Americans who go on a diet each year, there’s a down-side for many who have succeeded in shedding the pounds. The scale may indeed reflect a loss of weight and in some, even a loss of fat may be observed.
But most times, the percentage of weight lost in muscle mass is too high: a crucial loss because it means that there is less capacity to burn calories when the body is at rest as well as during exercise. Weight loss becomes increasingly difficult since metabolism also slows down.
Lost Muscle Mass from Yo-Yo Dieting
To maintain and sustain lean muscle mass, Yo-Yo dieting should be avoided. Dr. Kelly D. Brownell was the first to use this term, also known as weight cycling1. The ups and downs of this kind of weight loss and weight gain are an endless cycle of disappointment following elation. It’s more common among women – 30% of women are Yo-Yo dieters, while 10 percent of male dieters ascribe to this weight loss approach.
According to weight loss authority Dr. Matthew Thorpe2, Yo-Yo dieting may result in a multitude of health-related problems, in addition to leading to lost muscle mass.
Important Dieting Information
If you are unable to work with a nutritionist or dietitian to customize a diet that is based on your needs and lifestyle, consider a diet that is rich in foods designed to assist with muscle building3 or one with a proven history of success, like The Mayo Clinic Diet4, which was developed to lose six to ten pounds in two weeks and can help in building lean muscle.
Any diet designed to avoid muscle loss should include:
Diet experts agree that avoiding sugar and excessive carbohydrate and fat intake are essential to any healthy diet.6
It would be difficult to find anyone who didn’t want a leaner, more appealing body shape while simultaneously looking for greater strength and endurance. To get this result, you need to not only lose fat but also increase the amount of muscle that is attached to the bone...what we are referring to as Lean Muscle Mass.
When you want to maintain Lean Muscle Mass while burning excess visceral fat, outside factors can frustrate the process. Aging, sedentary lifestyles and some weight management programs can contribute to a loss of muscle mass.
According to many experts, if you want to lose fat without losing muscle, think about eating enough protein; maintaining your current level of strength; and perhaps reducing your weight training volume and/or frequency.
Recommended Exercise: Weight Training
Strength training is one of the most effective ways to burn fat and build muscle. Your muscles naturally increase in size so that they can lift heavier weights. Maybe you are not looking to become another Arnold Schwarzenegger or compete with his training partner, Franco Columbo, who could Deadlift 755 lbs; Bench 525 lbs and Squat 655 lbs. However, when used under the guidance of an expert trainer, weight training will contribute to muscle strength. The bench press, deadlift, overhead press, barbell row in combination with squats, chin-ups and dips will lead to muscle growth. Weight training has been shown to halt and even reverse sarcopenia – the reduction of skeletal muscle that occurs as we get older7.
While strength training can help stimulate your muscles to burn more calories, a proven, muscle focused supplement can support this goal.
Healthy Metabolic Rate & The Protein Synthesis Process
Keep in mind that although metabolism is linked to weight, it is rarely the cause of weight gain8. However, maintaining weight loss becomes difficult as your metabolism slows down. Metabolism, the process by which your body converts what you eat into energy, is affected by numerous, variable factors such as your body size and composition and whether you are a man or woman. How you process and store the food you consume and the level of your physical activity also have important roles. A healthy metabolic rate and sustained lean muscle mass go hand in hand, relying on the Protein Synthesis Process9, which is essential when it comes to long term weight management.
The protein synthesis process is a fundamental biological process whereby individual cells build their specific proteins. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) are both involved in the protein synthesis process. The process is initiated in the cell’s nucleus where specific enzymes unwind the needed section of DNA which makes the DNA in this region accessible for an RNA copy to be made. When the RNA molecule moves from the nucleus to the cell cytoplasm, the actual process of protein synthesis occurs.
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