We have been approaching weight loss all wrong. You don’t lose weight to get healthy, you get healthy to lose weight. When you get metabolically healthy by building quality muscle that improves insulin sensitivity and metabolic function, you will support fat loss.
Making recommendations based on total weight rather than evaluating what that weight is made up (to determine skeletal muscle and visceral adipose tissue) is akin to looking at total cholesterol rather than lipoproteins to make a diagnosis and treatment plan for cardiovascular health.
Clearly the standard approach to weight loss of creating a caloric deficit via a low calorie diet and exercise program is not working as evidenced by the steadily increasing obesity epidemic. This type of intervention can set up the patient for long term weight management issues due to a phenomenon known as metabolic adaptation where the patient’s resting metabolic rate post intervention is actually lower than it should be relative to their weight due to the loss of skeletal muscle.
There is a solution that can give control back to the patients and help them regain a healthy metabolism and get off the diet roller coaster. The shift is to focus on building quality skeletal muscle through a targeted diet focused on dosing protein coupled with a well designed resistance training program.
- Recognize the different components of body composition: Fat Free Mass. Fat Mass, Visceral Adipose Tissue, Skeletal Muscle.
- Recommend an appropriate and personalized nutrition and exercise program to support skeletal muscle development – they both matter.
- Employ dietary macronutrients and timing effectively to minimize muscle protein breakdown and support muscle protein synthesis.