Is gaining muscle a problem for weight loss?

Many people hold off on doing strength exercises when trying to lose weight. Some misconceptsion about strength exercises includes:

  • muscle weighs more than fat
  • weight lifting will make you ‘bulk up’
  • muscle turns to fat if you stop exercising

None of these are true. They can cause you to skip one of the most important things you can do when losing weight.

The bottom line is muscle is good! You need muscle to age well, keep your metabolism while aging, women going through menopause and anyone on restricted calories. The scale is will not tell what you are losing. Studies show weight loss without strength exercises is about 30% muscle loss. That’s quite a bit considering the function of your muscles predicts your ability to age well and live longer.

Gaining muscle is not a problem. It generally will not show up on the scale. Conversely , loss of muscle eventually can show up on the scale in weight regain from reduced metabolism.

However, you do want to consider what you are doing to ensure you keep your muscles functioning strong. Your body gets used to exactly what you give it. Strength exercises that mimic movements of daily life ensure you not just hold onto muscle but those muscles are able to do what you want them to do in daily life. Your ability to get up and down off the floor, carry objects up stairs, lift something overhead, etc all depend on how consistently you tell all those muscles how to do that.

So instead of thinking about muscles as weight on the scale, think about them working together to keep you moving well against gravity, as you age and as you lose weight. You likely want to lose weight to feel and function well and stay healthy as you age. Do strength exercises to tell your body what movements you want to keep, and it will thank you with a higher metabolism, lower risk of disease, and better tolerance of aging.

The bottom line is that strength exercises that challenge muscles to work together to practice movements of daily life tell your body you would like to stay physically and metabolically strong as you lose weight and age.

Leave a comment

by | April 26, 2023 · 9:41 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s