Lost Muscle During Weight Loss Speeds Weight Gain

Only about five percent of people who lose a significant amount of weight keep it off for more than one year. Despite these depressing statistics, some people lose weight and manage to keep it off. The National Weight Control Registry keeps track of people who successfully lost at least 30 pounds and maintained the loss for one year or longer. A shared characteristic among these people is that they burn an extra 3,000 calories a week, which means they exercise about one hour daily. Also, successful weight losers restricted calories moderately. You can beat the odds if you maintain muscle mass as you lose weight. Scientists from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, led by Roel Vink, found that people who lost the most fat-free mass during weight loss gained weight the fastest. You can preserve muscle when dieting by exercising vigorously and consuming a high-protein diet. (Obesity, 24: 321-327, 2016)

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