Does Muscle Really Matter For Weight Loss?


One of the most common approaches to weight loss is “going on a diet” to reduce calorie intake. Anyone who goes on a calorie reduction plan to lose weight has the potential to end up with about 50% of the weight loss occurring within their muscle mass, which is an absolute tragedy.

“Strength Changes Everything” podcast host Brian Cygan asks Dr. James Fisher, Ph.D., to explain the tragedy of muscle loss resulting from calorie reduction diets.

Instead of thinking about weight loss, we should think of it as fat loss because we don’t want to lose just any kind of weight: we want to improve body composition. The goal should be to reduce the percentage of body fat and increase the percentage of muscle rather than simply reducing overall weight.

Strength training can help to improve muscle mass. Without strength training, any weight you lose with dieting or activity will not be as much fat as you could lose by incorporating strength training into your routine.

The benefit to increasing muscle mass is that muscle is metabolically active and consumes calories just by existing. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn.

If your goal is to lose weight, consider adding strength training to your exercise regime along with whole food eating.

To learn more about why muscle matters for weight loss, listen to the discussion between Cygan and Dr. Fisher in the “Strength Changes Everything” podcast episode 65.

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by Andrea Sims, Certified Exercise Coach

September 22, 2022

1:24pm

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