The answer is build muscle because muscle loss causes weight rebound
When you lose weight you can be losing more than fat. Weight loss can result in a 25% loss of muscle mass. You might be happy to have lost of kilos in weight without realizing that a lot of it is muscle. Then disaster strikes because as soon as you start eating a little more food you start putting the weight back on and more.
To make matters worse as we age the percentage of body fat increases and muscle mass and strength reduce. This is important because the amount or percentage of muscle mass we have determines our metabolic rate. Muscle is metabolically active and if the engine is running slower then we can be burning less fat with resulting weight gain.
What can be done to build muscle and counteract the loss?
People naturally think of exercise and research has proved that resistance training (exercise with weights) is especially beneficial to build upper and lower body strength with and without fat loss.
Adding more protein to your diet to build muscle also helps.
The choice is yours- to eat or to drink your protein.
Adding eggs and having some extra chicken and fish in meals helps counteract the natural loss of muscle as we age. Some people don’t like the idea of shakes but they are a easy way to add protein to your diet. I like the pea and brown rice protein to balance the animal meats you may be having in food. Avoid concentrated dairy proteins as they have natural growth factors that can increase your risk of cancer. Whey protein is not so high in these factors. It’s important to have some easily absorbed protein immediately after a work out to feed those growing muscles.
I like to use the Tanita Body Composition scales to monitor fat and muscle with my clients. Then we know that we are building or maintain muscle while burning fat. The weight is irrelevant when you can see fat percentage going down and muscle going up.
One of my male weight loss clients lost 10 kilos of fat and gained 10 kilos of muscle. He is trimmer, taut and terrific but weighs the same as he did at the beginning.
Eating enough protein (but too much) supports muscle retention! Which is great news? Muscle is also associated with longevity. So you can be strong, slim and live longer with more muscle.