Monday, May 02, 2011

Shedding body fat with minimum muscle loss: a better goal

A top-down view of a skeletal muscleImage via WikipediaShedding body fat with minimum muscle loss: a better goal: "Shedding body fat with minimum muscle loss: a better goal"

Losing weight can actually be a bad thing, especially if you are doing it at the expense of lean tissue like muscle.

Your body’s total weight: includes body fat; lean tissue like muscle; your internal organs like the heart, lungs, and liver; the food and liquid currently passing through your digestive tract; water retained by body tissue; and skeletal material like bones and their connective tissue. In a healthy female of average weight, bones make up 12 percent of total body weight, muscle/lean tissue about 35 percent and body fat about 27 percent. The remaining body weight is skin, connective tissue, tendons, blood, organs and so forth. For health, a good percentage of body fat is around 15 to 20% for females. It's been determined a healthy body fat percentage between 17% - 24% for women is normal.

ncreasing your ratio of muscle to fat can make you look more in-shape, even though the scale may say you are heavier, as both vary in appearance. Muscle makes you appear leaner, while fat just makes you look fat. Extreme calorie restriction can leave you with little muscle mass, which translates into a flat, boney appearance.

Women often complain gain in weight with increase in age irrespective of a consistent dietary intake. The reason here is, as we age there is a natural tendency to lose muscle and we also are less vigorous in our physical activity, which results in further muscle loss. This loss of muscle tissue results in a decreasing metabolic rate. Lose 5 pounds of muscle and your calories burned per 24 hours decreases by about 250 calories. While this may not sound like much, it adds up. If you continue to eat like you did when you were younger, you will gain a pound of fat in about 14 days. Over a 20 week period you will gain 10 pounds. The key to getting rid of accumulated body fat is to get back your youthful metabolism by getting back your muscle. With a proper exercise stimulus that dormant muscle can be reclaimed.

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