The Role of Body Composition in Weight Loss and Weight Regain

When you embark on a weight loss diet something strange happens. Your body is not entirely happy to shed its fat. Instead you start to lose lean tissue such as muscle and bone density.

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A research study carried out in Denmark, and reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in May 2002 found that when men dieted less than 60% of the weight lost was fat. The rest was lean tissues. When men regained weight only 24% of the weight they put back on was lean tissue – over 75% of the weight regained after weight loss was more fat. That means for people who yo-yo diet – living in a cycle of losing weight and putting it back on again – the lean tissues in their body are gradually being replaced by fat.

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The same research showed that the picture for women is even worse! During the diet 35% of the weight lost was lean tissue – initially less than for men. BUT on regaining weight only 15% was lean tissue. When women lost and then regained weight, lean tissue was not sufficiently restored – 85% of the weight regained was fat!

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