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8.25.2011

Weight Loss – How Fast?

Faster Can Mean Slower  

How fast should we lose weight if we want to maximize our performance and increase our lean tissue, is a great question?  Which would be better, losing 1 pound or losing 2 lbs per week?

On the surface 1 or 2 pounds per week is very little and should not have much to do with maintaining lean tissue or performance.  But if you step back you will see there are big differences between these two numbers.  Losing 1 pound per week is 52 pounds in 1 year and 2 pounds is a whopping 104 pounds.  Whether it be 1 pound per week or 2 pounds per week both weight loss strategies represent a rapid loss of tissue and a certain metabolic stress on the system.

If you take two groups of athletes and put them on a highly monitored energy-restricted diet, promoting the above two different predetermined weekly weight loss regimes, you will find something interesting after testing.  The athletes who lose 1 pound per week will out perform the athletes who lose 2 pounds per week in body composition as well as in tests such as sprinting, jumping and strength.  Losing weight slowly means an athletes can gain lean tissue rather than retain lean tissue while on an exercise program, hence increase performance.

ScaleThe catch is you must follow the caloric restricted diet exactly.  Any coach knows there are many difficulties associated with the good intentions of a sophisticated diet.  Many coaches have watched, much to their chagrin, athletes gain instead of lose weight on their supposed dietary regime. Dieting requires commitment, determination and stick-to-itiveness or the results are different than what should occur.

The good news is this information from the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism is accurate.  And can be used if you are really trying to Get Strong.

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