LA Weight Loss - Maintaning fast weight loss? Is it possible?

06-29-2009, 06:18 AM
Im a very picky eater, so when I go to 'exotic' places for vacations I end up eating very little, maybe only fruits and some bread.
Im going to thailand for 2 weeks soon, to a small beach place where eating in 'western' restaurants is very expensive. Were all on a budget so well be eating at the local joints and I dont eat Thai food so its gonna be fruit for me all week.
That coupled with all the running around we'll be doing im bound to loose a ton of weight over the week (it always happens).
Now my question is, is it possible for me to keep this off? I know its not a healthy way to loose weight but if youve already lost it why not just keep it off right?
So any tips on maintaining fast weight loss. (or, have you ever gone on a detox/fruit diet and kept the weight off? how?)

06-30-2009, 03:38 PM
Tricky question --

Usually, really rapid weight loss is a result of depleting your body of fluids and glycogen which is stored energy in your liver and muscles. Your body will use up the glycogen, and when gone, will go for your muscle tissue and fat next. So you will lose some muscle along with the fat.

If you do this for a short period of time, like 2 or 3 weeks, when you eat your usual caloric intake again, your body will replenish the glycogen in your muscles, and store water along with it, giving you a usual 3-5 lb bump up in weight.

If you do this for a long period of time, like a month or two, you will still bump UP in numbers (water and glycogen), but you will have an overall loss due to muscle and fat tissue loss.

This is why people on very low calorie diets often become "skinny fat" -- they are down in numbers but are loose, untoned, and often larger than their fitter contemporaries are at the same weight -- and because they have lost muscle mass, they have a harder time metabolically because muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so they have lost some of their metabolic edge, so to speak.

More importantly, it is hard to maintain the weight loss because usually people return to their normal eating pattern plus some. Deprivation often results in cravings and poor food choices, making it hard for lots of people to "get on track" right away. This is why maintenance after severely restricted diets is so darn tough --you don't learn much about eating properly, just about how to restrict...

SO, I hope you can keep it off and get on track when you come back. It definitely CAN happen and I sure hope it does for you!!!


07-02-2009, 05:18 PM
That truly depends, if you are obese--have a high bmi, you actually have a safe guard against your body breaking down your muscle tissue. If you don't have as much fat stores then your body most likely will go for your lean mass for energy.

As far as the rapid weight loss being maintained--yes you can keep it off. You need to eat healthy. That is how it can be done . I went from 170-135 lbs in about 4 months. It stayed off because I ate very healthily and didn't use food as a comfort source.

07-02-2009, 06:11 PM
Hi there!
Actually, being obese does NOT protect you from loss of lean body mass:

Kind of a technical article from the Obesity Journal, but it states that with restriction of calories, once the body burns through the available carbohydrate stores, it will consume lean body mass (muscle) AND fat in a 25:75 ratio.
The amount of fat you have is IMMATERIAL -- this is just what the body does.
They also studied the effect of weight training during these types of diets, and found that it has a minimal effect on preserving lean body mass.



07-04-2009, 10:29 AM
I am very concerned how this was put forth. If someone is truly trying to obtain knowledge about a study it should be thoroughly investigated before being commented on.

There is a healthy link between not just low calorie diets but VLCD for the morbidly obese and obese. And the study posted proves it. Why are people so afraid of not eating? Low calorie diets have been proven over and over to PROLONG LIFESPAN.

Here was the conclusion to this study by the way:

Conclusions: VLCD with active follow-up treatment seems to be one of the better treatment modalities related to long-term weight-maintenance success.
*very low calorie diets* A low calorie diet is between 800-1200 cs and a VLCD is 400-800 cs.

These combined therapy programs are aimed to have an effective weight loss at the start of the treatment using VLCD and the support therapies to promote long-term weight control.

And here is the part of the study you posted that demonstrates the amount of lean body mass lost in obese individuals is minimal:

Several mechanisms promote fluid loss early in a VLCD. Insulin, which causes sodium retention by the kidney, goes down and the natriuretic hormone glucagon goes up. Also, the increased excretion of ketones will lead to extra sodium and potassium loss together with water. Once a new mineral balance is achieved, weight loss is dependent on the energy deficit compensated by the release of fatty acids as energy substrate from the fat stores. Under those conditions the amount of lean body-mass loss is a fixed level of 25% of the total-body weight loss. This lean mass is directly related to the adipose tissue such as supporting connective tissue and muscle. An important point of discussion in the past was the question of whether VLCD causes excessive loss of lean tissue because of the very energy-restricted protocol (8) (9). From this it has been assumed that there is a greater health risk in slimming in the overweight (body mass index , 25 to 30 kg/m2) than in the obese (BMI, >30 kg/m2). (Basically saying when you lose the adipose tissue YOU WILL LOSE the support structures for that adipose tissue in a healthy way)

Here is the concern between obese people and lean people on VCLD

From a theoretical point of view, taking the second law of thermodynamics into consideration, a negative energy balance will lead to a higher proportional loss of protein in lean subjects than in obese subjects due to a relative lack of available energy from the fat stores. However, the question remains: at which level of body fatness or leanness does the associated protein loss exceed the [B]accepted 25:75 ratio? (this is accepted as healthy loss)

Here's the Answer:

Reexamination of the Forbes and Prentice graphs (8) (9) demonstrates that if the data-points below 15-kg body fatness are excluded as well as those data-points based on energy restriction below 400 kcal/d, the trend for a disproportional loss of LBM is less clear. It is difficult to find much evidence that VLCDs have produced body composition changes where LBM accounted for more than 25% of the total weight loss, unless the changes were reported in the initial phase of dieting (7).

A number of studies have addressed the question of whether the combination of a VLCD with an exercise program has a protective effect on the loss of LBM. The exercise triggers conservation of muscle. Meta-analysis evaluating this issue showed that there was a conservation of the LBM, although the effect is relatively small (9) (10).

Now I would never advocate eating a 400-800 cs diet. But it won't kill you if you do it under supervision and the right circumstances. This study evaluates the VLCD.

Here's another study about the protective benefits to lean muscle when having more fat being burned:

Ketone bodies
As noted above, the liver produces ketone bodies during a VLCARB and they flow from the liver to extra-hepatic tissues (e.g., brain, muscle) for use as a fuel. In addition, ketone bodies exert a restraining influence on muscle protein breakdown. If the muscle is plentifully supplied with other substrates for oxidation (such as fatty acids and ketone bodies, in this case), then the oxidation of muscle protein-derived amino acids is suppressed. Nair et al. reported that beta-hydroxybutyrate (beta-OHB, a major ketone body) decreases leucine oxidation and promotes protein synthesis in humans [7]. Although blood concentrations of beta-OHB in their subjects during the infusion of beta-OHB were much lower than concentrations observed in humans during fasting, leucine incorporation into skeletal muscle showed a significant increase (5 to 17%).

I find it disturbing there was even a study done on a pure starvation diet: people who refused to eat until death, but the conclusion supports the thesis:

Most of the weight loss during starvation in lean individuals is due to loss of lean body mass. A variety of autopsy studies in humans have shown that 25-50% of most lean tissues and organs are lost during starvation. However, the brain, gonads and skeleton appear to be preferentially preserved. Examples of the changes occurring in humans and non-human species (cats, dogs and pigeons) during 'total' starvation are shown in Table 1.

And finally scientific evidence that the obese have protection of their lean muscle mass during not just low calorie diets but starvation:

Figure 10 shows that the values for P% during starvation in lean subjects are up to three-fold higher than in obese subjects, especially during prolonged starvation. In lean individuals, protein oxidation usually contributes about 15-25 % to BMR with little tendency for the percentage to decrease as starvation progresses. In contrast, several of the values for obese individuals are less than 10% of BMR. A theoretical curvilinear relationship between percent energy (% BMR) derived from protein oxidation on the one hand and BMI or percent body fat on the other, is shown in Figure 11.

protein oxidation is lean mass burning for fuel.

07-04-2009, 11:34 AM
Hey, if you really believe that you only burn fat on a VLCD OR a LCD (study indicates that there is not a huge difference between the two), then go for it. And if you believe obesity somehow protects you from muscle metabolism, who am I to say?

You WILL burn lean muscle mass during these diets as the article indicates, and unfortunately alot of the muscle mass comes from smooth muscle sources, such as heart muscle. And that is extremely hard to replace. This is why there are so many cardiac effects in anorexics.

The study shows that you will lose lean muscle mass during LCDs, too.

But if this is your preferred path that you have chosen, then who am I to say??? I just think that this is an important consideration for anyone who is trying to decide what to do...



07-04-2009, 02:49 PM
kira...I don't believe in either VLCD or LCD. I don't do either. My fast is during the day to allow my body to use ketones from fat metabolism for fuel. When I do eat --I promise you I get a good 1200 cs in. However, my body uses it more efficiently.

Again, there is protection when you are obese from your body using your muscle mass SEVERELY unlike somebody who has a very low BMI, their body will AUTOMATICALLY burn their lean body mass for fuel. I hope you realize that is the point I want to make. It is not that an obese person's body will NOT USE lean mass for energy at all--BUT THAT it will be LESS EXTREME than for a person with a low BMI.

a person who is 240 lbs wants to lose 25% in lean body mass due to the fact their overall body will be considerably smaller when they do get to their goal weight. There will be less muscle needed to move less fat.

I am in no way promoting anorexia

07-04-2009, 04:48 PM
Well. I can appreciate what you are saying. However, there ARE two types of muscle tissue -- smooth and striated, and you've assumed that you are going to lose striated muscle. BUT the first source of muscle metabolism is SMOOTH muscle, which is not the type of muscle in your biceps or legs that you use to haul around your body. Since you can't control which TYPE of muscle is metabolized, you kind of have to hope you don't do too much damage in the process to your smooth muscle tissue.

I personally don't want to lose ANY smooth muscle tissue -- heart tissue, connective tissue, muscle that lines my internal organs and my blood vessels, and the outer lining of my digestive tract -- during my weight loss journey. And as striated muscle (the kind you voluntarily control, forming for example the major muscle groups of your body) is significantly more metabolically active than fat, I'd like to keep that around, too.

So, I appreciate that you are on your own path. I have a different one, but that is what makes us unique, no?

Best of luck with it...


07-04-2009, 09:05 PM
lol. I'm a biology major. I know all of the types of muscle. Smooth, skeletal, and cardiac.

I Like the way you think. Hope you succeed on your journey too.