When you are following a weight loss plan, there is nothing more encouraging to see the number on the scale go down but there will also be a loss in muscles.
This matters because not only is muscle key for helping you perform everyday tasks (i.e., carrying groceries, putting away heavy bags and boxes overhead), but muscle is also metabolically active tissue; this means muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. Maintaining a good amount of lean muscle mass keeps your basal metabolic rate (i.e., the number of calories your body burns at rest) elevated, which may help you lose fat in the long-term.
Here are a few ways to tell if you are losing muscle.
- You only do cardio – a cardio based exercise regimen will yield a weight loss of 50% muscles and 50% fat. This is why it’s important to add resistance training (weight training) into your exercise regimen.
- Your energy level are significantly lower – you are constantly fatigued and can’t perform perform regular daily activities.
- Pictures don’t lie – a person who weighs 130lbs with a body fat of 20% will look more leaner and defined than a person who weighs 130lbs with a body fat of 30%
- You use a bioelectrical impedance scale – it’s basically using your weighing scale that records your body fat %. That’s a good gauge to know whether you are losing fat or muscles.
- You are using body fat calipers – though it’s low-tech but if it’s done properly, you can have an accurate reading of your body fat.
I am currently offering FREE photo body fat analysis. It’s an app that I used for my trainees. If you are interested, just reply to this post.