How fast do you lose muscle?

malteaser14

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Hi I lost 10lbs in 2weeks but don't think this is fat... But muscle, seen as muscle is heavier than fat. Is this possible in such a small space of time?

I haven't trained for just over a week due to a foot injury. So I've been calorie counting so I dont end up like a hippo! My previous diet was around 2500-3000 calories. I know that's excessive and bad for me, but Im still losing inches off my body thanks to kickboxing! :) I've cut down to 1200-1400 calories (and will stick to this!) I've lost an extra inch from my waist, but when I've trained and dieted at the same time I've never lost this much weight.

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Ken Morgan

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Our bodies aren’t programmed to burn only muscle or fat when they need calories, they will burn a combination of both, plus shed water as well.
A two week layoff from exercise? Yes you likely lost some muscle, but I would think more fat and water than anything. Don’t worry, with muscle memory being what it is, if you eat enough protein and get back to training, it’ll come back very quickly.
 

Cyriacus

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Our bodies aren’t programmed to burn only muscle or fat when they need calories, they will burn a combination of both, plus shed water as well.
A two week layoff from exercise? Yes you likely lost some muscle, but I would think more fat and water than anything. Don’t worry, with muscle memory being what it is, if you eat enough protein and get back to training, it’ll come back very quickly.
This.

Plus, Muscle Size =/= Muscle Strength. You wont have lost much strength.
 

Kong Soo Do

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I'm going to suggest that the majority of the 10lbs that you've lost is muscle weight. The key here is what you have stated; You've gone from a 3000kcal diet down to 1200kcal give or take. That is a drastic reduction and depending upon your height/weight/age I'll suggest it is too little. A typical 12yr old will consume around this much or more. You've sent your body into crisis mode i.e. the body sees a drastic reduction of caloric intake. It will, by design, hang on to the fat stores, particularly around your mid-section (read vital organs) and sacrifice muscle mass.

I would suggest taking a measurement of your intake needs and still exercise in anyway that your current limitation allows. Particularly if you can some heavy upper body movements to stimulate the muscle fibers into new growth. This will retail muscle mass, at least in the upper body. One-legged squats will help stimulate a lot of overall muscle mass as well which will allow the retention of muscle mass. This will necessitate the increase of your caloric intake as well.

Typically, in a normal situation (not like above) with adequate caloric intake, it will take a least 10 days or more for strength/muscle mass to even begin to diminish.
 

ATC

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...seen as muscle is heavier than fat.
This false statement really makes me want to SHOUT! 1 pound of muscle is the same weight as one pound of fat. The statement that muscle is heavier than fat is just not a true statement as most would think. Muscle is denser than fat but fat takes up more space. You body will use more fat as fuel than muscle but will use muscle also, just a lot less of it. If you lost 10 lbs you most likely lost 7 pounds of fat and 1 pound of muscle and the rest water. If you were working out you would lose even more water, and even gain some muscle. Your body is always in a cannibalized state. This is why we eat protein to offset this state as not to have our bodies eat itself. As we lose a bit of protein due to this effect, we eat protein to build back what we've lost.

But please stop say muscle weighs more than fat. Again 1 pound of fat weighs the same as 1 pound of muscle.
Just like feathers don't weight less than bricks. Weight is weight and depending on how much of something you have determines the weight, not just because some it one thing or the other.
 

Dirty Dog

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This false statement really makes me want to SHOUT! 1 pound of muscle is the same weight as one pound of fat. The statement that muscle is heavier than fat is just not a true statement as most would think. Muscle is denser than fat but fat takes up more space. You body will use more fat as fuel than muscle but will use muscle also, just a lot less of it. If you lost 10 lbs you most likely lost 7 pounds of fat and 1 pound of muscle and the rest water. If you were working out you would lose even more water, and even gain some muscle. Your body is always in a cannibalized state. This is why we eat protein to offset this state as not to have our bodies eat itself. As we lose a bit of protein due to this effect, we eat protein to build back what we've lost.

But please stop say muscle weighs more than fat. Again 1 pound of fat weighs the same as 1 pound of muscle.
Just like feathers don't weight less than bricks. Weight is weight and depending on how much of something you have determines the weight, not just because some it one thing or the other.

Obvously a pound is a pound.
Nonetheless, the statement is still true. Given equal volume, muscle weighs more than fat, so losing one inch of muscle will result in a greater weight loss than 1 inch of fat.

On the other hand, I would ask the OP why they stopped working out. Yes, you have an ankle injury. OK, fine. So what's wrong with the REST of your body? You can nearly always do some part of the workout.
 

ralphmcpherson

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Obvously a pound is a pound.
Nonetheless, the statement is still true. Given equal volume, muscle weighs more than fat, so losing one inch of muscle will result in a greater weight loss than 1 inch of fat.

On the other hand, I would ask the OP why they stopped working out. Yes, you have an ankle injury. OK, fine. So what's wrong with the REST of your body? You can nearly always do some part of the workout.
True, muscle does weigh more than fat, I was a gym instructor/personal trainer for years when I was younger and I can assure you what you said was 100% fact.
 

Gentle Fist

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A pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of lead. But good luck putting a pound of feathers in your back pocket like you could a pound of lead.

P.S. Please don't go into the air buoyancy argument now :)
 

ATC

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Again this muscle weighs more than fat is just not true. You cannot compare substances like you do objects. Example: You can say a car weighs more than a paper bag. But you can't say wood weighs more than water. You just cannot make the comparison, I know our brains want to but it just can't be done. That statement is just false by any scientific explanation.
Also read this it may help explain things better. http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=8311&sc=128
 

jks9199

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I'm sorry but you can compare different substances. The comparison is relative but valid. And people volume of feathers weighs less than an equal volume of wood and an equal volume of fat does not weigh the same as an equal volume of muscle. With that said, I think many people often do you make too much of that difference... Usually in self serving excuses and justifications.

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malteaser14

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On the other hand, I would ask the OP why they stopped working out. Yes, you have an ankle injury. OK, fine. So what's wrong with the REST of your body? You can nearly always do some part of the workout.

I'll rephrase it, I stopped doing high I tenancy cardio training 3/4 times a week, and also had to stop running and spin. Still doing upper body work and floor work exercises just nowhere near as effective as my previous routine.

I'm going to suggest that the majority of the 10lbs that you've lost is muscle weight. The key here is what you have stated; You've gone from a 3000kcal diet down to 1200kcal give or take. That is a drastic reduction and depending upon your height/weight/age I'll suggest it is too little.

I checked with a few websites and also a dietician friend and 1200 is what they've suggested to lose weight for my height and size. I'm actually eating more quantity, it's just better quality than the processed rubbish I normally eat daily. Who knew healthy food could taste so nice and fill you up?! Lol ;)
 

ATC

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I'm sorry but you can compare different substances. The comparison is relative but valid. And people volume of feathers weighs less than an equal volume of wood and an equal volume of fat does not weigh the same as an equal volume of muscle. With that said, I think many people often do you make too much of that difference... Usually in self serving excuses and justifications.

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You almost have it. You can compare the weight of different substances by volume but not just by the substance themselves. The statement is false by simply saying that muscle weighs more than fat. But if you say a litter of muscle weighs more than a liter of fat then you have a true statement. Now take a fat or overweight person and have him lose 50 pounds by working out. He will lose almost no muscle weight and may put on 5 pounds of muscle but lose 45 pounds of fat, and much more volume will be lost also. People have this misconception that they gain a lot of muscle when losing weight but it is not true. Just as when you gain weight you don't lose that much muscle you just gain more fat. If not taking steroids most would be lucky to gain 3 - 5 pounds of muscle in a year if working out. But you could easily lose 100 or pounds of fat in a year.

The science is sound. Muscle does not weigh more than fat. You just have to get past the comparison of volume vs weight. weight is weight, and volume is volume. Just like you cannot say there is more water in liter than oil in a liter. You simply are trying to make weight and volume equal and that can't be done in the way you are thinking of it.
 
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malteaser14

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Now I'm just confused! I'm certain that since starting training (other than the last two weeks) that I have gained 4lb in weight, yet lost 8inches of my waist alone... I am definitely more toned and have more muscle... And ALOT less fat! If they weighed the same wouldn't I be lighter?! My fat volume is smaller and my muscle increased... As did my weight! Kinda makes me stick with my original opinion.
 

Cyriacus

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Now I'm just confused! I'm certain that since starting training (other than the last two weeks) that I have gained 4lb in weight, yet lost 8inches of my waist alone... I am definitely more toned and have more muscle... And ALOT less fat! If they weighed the same wouldn't I be lighter?! My fat volume is smaller and my muscle increased... As did my weight! Kinda makes me stick with my original opinion.
Fat is a different substance to Muscle. Your weight is less relevant.
Too much Fat = Bad.
Too much Muscle also = Bad. Believe it or not.
 

ATC

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Now I'm just confused! I'm certain that since starting training (other than the last two weeks) that I have gained 4lb in weight, yet lost 8inches of my waist alone... I am definitely more toned and have more muscle... And ALOT less fat! If they weighed the same wouldn't I be lighter?! My fat volume is smaller and my muscle increased... As did my weight! Kinda makes me stick with my original opinion.
Well you said it yourself. You lost volume (size) but gained a few pounds. Volume vs. weight not weight vs. weight. How long have you been training?
 

Kong Soo Do

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Now I'm just confused! I'm certain that since starting training (other than the last two weeks) that I have gained 4lb in weight, yet lost 8inches of my waist alone... I am definitely more toned and have more muscle... And ALOT less fat! If they weighed the same wouldn't I be lighter?! My fat volume is smaller and my muscle increased... As did my weight! Kinda makes me stick with my original opinion.

In your OP, you lost 10lbs which you felt was muscle mass rather than fat. Let's go back to my original reply to you for a moment. There are 3500kcal in one pound of body weight. You cut your caloric intake by less than half of what you normally consumed. Thus in a two-day period you would be taking in the equivalent of one pound less of weight. The positive is that you state your eating healthier, the negative is that your body, because of the drastic cut in normal caloric intake, will sacrifice lean muscle mass BEFORE stored fat.

You need to get your body a reason to retain lean muscle mass i.e. resistance exercise. This may, or may not necessitate increased caloric intake depending on your height/level of exercise. I would be inclined to say it would need to increase. If however, you wish lean muscle mass to stay/increase while losing stored body fat then, in addition to resistance exercise, you may need to take CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid) and/or MCT oil (medium-chain triglycerides). Both are 'fat burning fats' that encourage the body to use stored body fat for fuel during exercise. Also, Lipase enzeyme will also assist in this as well.

Even with a foot injury you can still do resistance training that will stimulate lean muscle mass and trigger muscle fiber 'growth/use'. This way, any weight lost will be fat first rather than lean muscle mass.
:)
 
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malteaser14

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Thanks Kong Soo Do, your last post made the most sense to me :)

Well you said it yourself. You lost volume (size) but gained a few pounds. Volume vs. weight not weight vs. weight. How long have you been training?

Only 10months, but it's 3/4 times weekly on top of extra exercise outside class. Before that I though exercise was just too much effort :( hence why Im clueless! I don't seem to put on weight unless I'm pregnant so wasn't bothered before. Now I'm hooked on kickboxing and gonna be training in martial arts until I'm 6 feet under!

The OP was because I was concerned I was losing too much muscle, and if not, losing that much fat in 2weeks is not safe/healthy to maintain. I'm just starting out so wanna get it right from the start.

Thanks for the responses to the OP :)
 

ATC

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Thanks Kong Soo Do, your last post made the most sense to me :)



Only 10months, but it's 3/4 times weekly on top of extra exercise outside class. Before that I though exercise was just too much effort :( hence why Im clueless! I don't seem to put on weight unless I'm pregnant so wasn't bothered before. Now I'm hooked on kickboxing and gonna be training in martial arts until I'm 6 feet under!

The OP was because I was concerned I was losing too much muscle, and if not, losing that much fat in 2weeks is not safe/healthy to maintain. I'm just starting out so wanna get it right from the start.

Thanks for the responses to the OP :)
You dropped your caloric intake so and reduced your workouts. You did not stop working out but reduce none the less. I think the reduction in calories has a lot to do with it. You cut a little more that half the amout of food you were eating. I am sure you lost some muscle but not a lot.

I train my kids and a school of kids that compete and have to maintain, gain, or cut weight all the time. The ones that have to maintain weight have to eat a lot during conditioning as they burn a ton calories. The ones that have to gain have the most trouble as it is hard to eat the amount of calories to gain while they are training. Many times they just can't do it and drop in weight classes. Those that have to lose have a hard time also as they don't take in enough calories to sustain the workouts, and many times find themselves going up a weight class becuse of this.

Just keep training and eat to be healthy and you will be just fine.
 

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I wouldn't minimize the amount of water shift you can experience when you suddenly shift caloric intake and exercise (caloric output). Metabolizing fat and muscle requires water and starvation mode might kick in and quickly utilize glycogen stores and water. Don't be too concerned with short term weight fluctuations. You can easily move one to two liters of water in a day with a resultant weight shift of several pounds. The fact that you are losing inches indicates that you are moving in the right direction. Keep your calories mildly below (somewhere around 1200 cal. less) your daily needs if you are doing extreme work outs and keep hydrated. If you monitor your weight daily, expect it to fluctuate but the trend should be gradually down. If you stick with the program and you are burning more calories than you consume, you will lose weight as well as fat mass. Remember also that you will shift water weight with your monthly cycle. I suspect you'll be happy with your progress in 6 mo and 1 yr. as long as you are consistantly on program.
Good luck
Hope the ankle is improving
Dennis
 

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