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Old 01-13-2014, 08:20 PM   #1
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So if you lose more than you should--And lose LBM, you could have HIGHER BF?

From what I've been reading on here, including Chris' (Calichris) great motivational post about BF testing, it seems if you go lower in weight than you should, you could feasibly be setting yourself up for higher body fat percentages than if you stopped losing weight at a higher weight.

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Old 01-13-2014, 09:12 PM   #2
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Yes, that's true. But it's not just losing too much, it's not taking care not to lose LBM the whole time you're losing. LBM can be lost all the way through. Lack of protein is a big cause, but not the only one.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:29 PM   #3
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Yup. Percentages are just proportions so if you lose LBM you've got proportionally more fat so the percentage of body fat will be higher.
Hypothetical:
Start weight: 200, LBM: 120, BF%: 40%
End weight #1: 150, LBM: 120, BF%: 20% (Lost 50# while preserving LBM)
End weight #2: 130, LBM: 100, BF%: 23% (Lost 80#, weighs 20# less but lost LBM so body fat percentage is 3% higher)
Maybe not the best example because both of these BF% are considered healthy but you can see how, if you lose too much LBM you could end up at a "healthy" weight with a non-healthy BF%
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:51 PM   #4
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The person in Yennie's hypothetical with the 120 pounds lean body mass can also maintain weight on more calories! (which would make maintenance easier).
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:01 AM   #5
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Yes. I'm morbidly obese by body fat level (42% BF according to my assessment). Correcting that down to the top end of 'normal' body fat would mean that I'd have to weigh <96lbs iirc, and that would be if I lost absolutely no more LBM. Of course, I'd also be underweight for my height etc...

Various studies yield different results but it's not unusual for 20% of losses to be LBM. Sadly, it's not unknown for there to be approx. 50% losses in the form of LBM. It depends on many factors - but it's less than optimal to have a low LBM for many reasons related to metabolic wellbeing or health ageing.

For most of us, my advice would be, keep as much of your LBM as you can. (I'm handwaving over the exceptions who have interesting genetic variations that mean they readily put on muscle or similar.)
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:52 AM   #6
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SS, I still kind of wonder about that result. I think you may just need to come visit your American JBs and do the hydrostatic. Also, you could have had body composition changes in the meantime even if it was accurate.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calichris View Post
The person in Yennie's hypothetical with the 120 pounds lean body mass can also maintain weight on more calories! (which would make maintenance easier).
Yes, also true. Muscle burns fat (Chalene Johnson's favorite saying) but more accurately, I think, it just plain takes more calories to maintain that level of LBM. Same reason my truck gets worse gas mileage than my car - takes more fuel to move the larger mass. Bad for fuel mileage, great for maintenance calories! I wanna be a gas guzzler in maintenance!

And I agree - I struggle with the accuracy of the 42%. I just don't see how that's possible for you.

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Old 01-14-2014, 12:55 AM   #8
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Me too!
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:26 AM   #9
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It is a cross I am ready to bear, should it ever happen to me, lol.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:32 AM   #10
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LOL, Cindy. I'd rather look leaner at a higher weight, than to just see a lower number on the scale...but I've got a ways to go before I'll be satisfied with the scale or my bf! Interesting discussion.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:27 AM   #11
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This is the basis of why diets don't work!? its a spiral, unless you can arrest the LBM drop, which in reality is almost impossible to 100% degree. You lose some LBM every time you diet, and so it gets harder every time, and skinnyFat appearance ensues.
The only real way to stop LBM loss is resistance training, keep the protein high, lots of sleep and drop the cardio. or more radically; certain drugs.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:18 AM   #12
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Well it is a moving target, as Mike said elsewhere, the elusive perfect body composition. And it is really rare, and hard, for people to lose weight without losing LBM. But I think its important that we're all aware of it, and practicing body composition analysis to keep track of what exactly it is we're losing.
It may be true that some of the loss of LBM comes from not needing the "bulk" to carry around the extra weight, or there may be another reason. But as long as more fat is being lost than LBM, the proportion/percentage of fat to LBM will continue to drop and the BF% will continue to drop. Just won't drop as fast if LBM is being lost as well.
So many things to consider!
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:58 AM   #13
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i fear this may be happening to me. i am definitely losing fat, but i know i am losing muscle too. i am/was very muscular. will working out bring it back?

i was planning on getting to 120 and than working on the muscle portion of the program.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:30 AM   #14
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Good ? Colleen. I am back to 116-117. That is where I was a few years ago. I like this number but I fear I too have lost some muscle. I have been working out. But not like I used too. I have tennis elbow right now and can only lift light weights. I do some push ups , arm curls, and hoolahoop and the elliptical. I try to eat high protein. I want to keep my gut and bloat gone and to do that I have to keep the rotations and keep my weight low. As soon as I put on a few pounds it is right in the gut!!!! Grrrr
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calichris View Post
SS, I still kind of wonder about that result. I think you may just need to come visit your American JBs and do the hydrostatic. Also, you could have had body composition changes in the meantime even if it was accurate.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:30 PM   #16
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Where do you get a hydrostatic done??
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:53 PM   #17
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I get mine done by a company called bodyfattest.com They have mobile trucks that travel around in different areas of the country.

Colleen, it's much better if you can work on the strength training as you're losing, as it helps prevent LBM loss. Otherwise, you might end up in SS's predicament: at a low scale weight, but "skinny fat." It's worlds easier to retain LBM than to build it once you've lost it, especially for women. That's why I'm trying my damnedest not to lose LBM as I lose fat. I decry every half pound of LBM loss, because I know it can take months, if not more, to regain.
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:10 PM   #18
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I keep searching for one in my area and they're never around here. The closest I've found is about an hour and a half away and on a Monday or Tuesday when I can't get there due to work. Grr.
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:56 PM   #19
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I keep searching for one in my area and they're never around here. The closest I've found is about an hour and a half away and on a Monday or Tuesday when I can't get there due to work. Grr.
I'm in your boat too Dawn. The one time I had mine done, the guy flat out said he's never come this far north and may not ever again. So I keep checking the schedule but it may come to having to suck it up and drive a few hours south to see how we're doing... blah.
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Old 01-14-2014, 04:34 PM   #20
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The closest they will come to me, according to their online schedule is over 5 hours away. I'm not that curious.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:42 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calichris View Post
SS, I still kind of wonder about that result. I think you may just need to come visit your American JBs and do the hydrostatic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yennie View Post
And I agree - I struggle with the accuracy of the 42%. I just don't see how that's possible for you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ntombi View Post
Me too!
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoCarbGal View Post
Me three!
West Coast, here I come And the travel costs wouldn't be substantially larger than me travelling within the UK to obtain a DXA (oddly enough). (I keep meaning to return to the West as San Diego is one of my favourite places on earth - it's perfect for me. And I like the architecture tours of the Craftsman Homes, Frank Lloyd Wright etc.)

The people who know this result IRL and have met me in person, even the obesity researchers, question the accuracy of the result. Which is a nasty public health problem. What is the point of lecturing people about the dangers of being TOFI (thin outside, fat inside) if:
  • the moment that researchers know someone who doesn't fit their template, they abandon what they say about TOFI and question the data;
  • currently available assessment technologies have accuracy issues and there are no plans to make DXA/MRI/hydrostatic assessments commonly available as part of regular screening;
  • there is no decent way of determining or counselling anomalies (if I am an anomaly and it seems that way);
  • there is no advice for people in my position that is practical/theoretically feasible*.
*In effect, the standard advice would always be that, as a matter of urgency, I need to go into WLM to reduce that level of body fat. However, I have so little LBM that the danger would be that even losing 10% would be disproportionately unwise - and if I'm the sort of person who loses up to 50% of LBM as a percentage of 'lost weight' then that would be dangerous (albeit impossible, I'd think, in my case as I already have such a small amount).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettleboy View Post
This is the basis of why diets don't work!? ...You lose some LBM every time you diet, and so it gets harder every time, and skinnyFat appearance ensues.
The only real way to stop LBM loss is resistance training, keep the protein high, lots of sleep and drop the cardio. or more radically; certain drugs.
Yes, it is a common side-effect of serial dieting and an aspect that I don't think receives enough consideration when various media discuss the topic of weight loss. I also think it doesn't have enough attention paid to it when people have been in recovery from various accidents or illnesses - it seems odd to have physiotherapy that doesn't have a baseline as to how much LBM has been lost by someone.

Ntombi is an excellent model of retaining LBM during significant weight loss. I know she's mindful of her protein etc. and does weight/resistance work when feasible.

Sleep is a chronic issue for me since my last concussion: it's not been right since and I'm averaging <30hrs a week. It's rarely in a block as I tend to wake up after 20-40 mins so I don't know what this is doing to the usual muscle repair mechanisms. It is this that slightly nags at me whenever I think that my LBM is implausibly low for my age and general state of health: I know that I'm probably relatively impaired at body maintenance (so to speak) because of the lack of sleep.

I know several post-menopausal women who had testosterone implants to assist them in building muscle (amongst other concerns). I have an instinctive horror of messing with hormonal balance by introducing this but it may be something to which I have to give a lot of thought, given the paucity of LBM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mafiamom View Post
i fear this may be happening to me. i am definitely losing fat, but i know i am losing muscle too. i am/was very muscular. will working out bring it back?

i was planning on getting to 120 and than working on the muscle portion of the program.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ntombi View Post
Colleen, it's much better if you can work on the strength training as you're losing, as it helps prevent LBM loss. Otherwise, you might end up in SS's predicament: at a low scale weight, but "skinny fat." It's worlds easier to retain LBM than to build it once you've lost it, especially for women. That's why I'm trying my damnedest not to lose LBM as I lose fat.
I couldn't agree more with Ntombi. You may be an exception but for most women it's much easier to keep LBM than to attempt to gain it. This is particularly true when our hormones change as we get older and it makes LBM building that much more difficult.

And yes, if you've recently had muscle, it's relatively straightforward to get it back - most broscientists refer to this as 'muscle memory'.

Last edited by SlowSure; 01-15-2014 at 05:47 AM.. Reason: wish autocorrect would stop messing with smileys
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