Everyone wants to gain muscle while losing fat. At the same time, each of us knows that a diet focused on fat loss also inevitably leads to muscle loss, but few people know what the scale of these losses is. Scientists also asked this question in a review entitled “Composition of weight loss -25% of muscle mass: a critical review and criticism of this rule” from 2014 collected all the material available on this topic.
The review features several scientific concepts – Minnesota, Max Wisnofsky, Webster, and Gilbert Forbes, although athletes with training experience did not participate in the experiments, but still.
For example, in the Minnesota experiment in the first three weeks, weight loss occurred due to – fat/water/muscle in the proportions 25/70/5 and starting from the third week 85/0/15. The averaged data from another study showed a 25% muscle loss per 75% fat. Forbes, on the other hand, deduced dependence on the initial percentage of body fat, which again is very logical and concluded that the lower the percentage of fat, the greater the loss of muscle mass should be expected.
As you understand, we are talking only about a diet with a calorie deficit without strength training, but the inclusion of strength training showed a decrease in muscle loss by almost half (!).
Science on how to gain muscle while losing fat
The conclusion of scientists is: “Losses of muscle mass on a diet equal to 25% are approximate (there is such a statement). The proportion of weight loss in the form of muscle tissue changes over time and is determined by several factors, including the level of energy consumption, diet composition, gender, underlying obesity, lack of physical activity or type and level of added activity, and possibly the metabolic state of the subject or hormonal response.”
Scientists believe that a diet without strength training is likely to result in muscle loss of up to 25%, and in the presence of strength training, up to 12-13% of the lost body weight. In other words, we lose 10 kg of weight on a diet, of which up to 1.5 kg of muscle mass. Not so bad.
Talking about muscles, why not find out whether isolated exercises worth it.