Weight and Resistance Training - All of my weight loss came from muscle

03-04-2014, 04:52 PM
I like to get my body fat checked every few weeks. I havn't done it in 2 months because i had been away at school. I'm home on spring break so I decided I would check it. I used an omron handheld bia analyzer. I know that these machines are not accurate but they are precise, meaning the number the machine reads out may not be correct but they are good for measuring progress over time. Basically they are consistently inaccurate. To my dismay, my percentage went up by .5% despite losing 3 pounds. I know this doesn't really sound bad but this means that every single pound of weight I lost came from muscle. I actually gained .034 pounds of fat. To be honest, I expected to lose muscle. I was lifting much heavier weights 2 months ago. Due to a spine injury I can no longer lift heavy weights permanently. I am still lifting regularly but I am lifting lighter weights for more reps. So I knew I was going to lose muscle. I just didn't expect all of my weight loss to come from muscle.

How is this even possible? I have never heard of anyone losing weight and having none of it come from fat. I feel like I put so much effort into improving my body, which to me means lowering my body fat percentage, and I completely failed. I am literally doing everything I can do to maintain muscle and lose fat. I spend an 1 and a half to 2 hours every day at the gym, I count every calorie making sure my weight loss is slow, I make sure to eat above 85 grams of protein every day, I always eat protein and carbs after working out, and I still cannot accomplish what I want. My body is literally doing the exact opposite of what I want it to do.

My bmi is 19.5 and my body fat percentage is in the normal range so its not like I reached my body's limits or anything.

I am so depressed and frustrated right now. I really don't know what to do with myself. I have so much school work to do but I cannot focus on anything besides my body fat percentage. I don't know what to do next to improve my body. I feel like the only answer is to lift heavy weights but I can't do that anymore. If I keep doing what I am doing is my body going to continue losing muscle without losing fat? What is going on? Has this happened to anyone else?

03-04-2014, 05:39 PM
You may be giving the omron a bit too much credit. Did you measure the same time of day as previous measurements? Did you have the same hydration level?

Also, it is possible to lose body tissues but most likely, you were less hydrated last time you tested than this time. I wouldn't worry about it.

03-04-2014, 07:47 PM
^^^^^ What nelie says :) (LOL, that seems to be a recurring theme for me, when posting after her ;) )

Hydration and even when you eat can change the BIA readings quite a bit. Don't sweat it too much.

IF, however, you are losing muscle before fat, it COULD be due to excessive exercise. Ironically, strength training and fitness regimes actually break down your muscles - it's the recovery, through time and good eating habits, that builds them back up bigger/better than before. It might be worth trying to take a day or two off a week, to give your body that chance to recover properly. Additionally, if you're healing from an injury, you might need extra protein AND calories- if you don't get a surplus in your diet, your body can start breaking down other parts of the body that aren't being 'used' as much.

The numbers I've read about suggest 1.5-2g of protein for every kg of bodyweight while recovering from injury/surgery. Does 85g hit the spot for you? Have you tried increasing your kcal for a week or two, to see if that helps?

If you continue to consistently see muscle loss in the next 2-4 months, it might be worth sitting down with a doctor, dietitian, or fitness pro to see what you can change. Or, you can try tracking your bf% with a different method in addition to the BIA, to add some context.

At the end of the day though, you could be doing everything right, and the omron just misled you this time. :hug: Keep strong!

03-05-2014, 03:17 AM
I'm sorry to go off topic here. I couldn't help but add my voice even in an awkward way.
A few years ago, I was on a weight loss journey and found myself at the EXACT place you're at now, because of BODY FAT PERCENTAGE! I gave up, and blamed myself for allowing such things to defeat me. The negativity of those experiences made me write this thread
I don't want to be a party crapper, but I sincerely hope you'll find the force to overlook this and go on with your efforts.
All the best to you!

03-06-2014, 03:57 PM
I retested myself yesterday and today and the reading on both days came back as 1% lower than what my percentage was 2 months ago. So that means I lost 1.3 pounds of fat and .7 pounds of muscle. This is a much better result and what I would expect to happen! I just hope it is true.

03-06-2014, 05:12 PM
julie14401 - for what it's worth, I track my BF% by using calculators that take into account your age, height, weight and measurements from specific areas like waist, wrist, neck etc., to compare from month to month. I doubt that the actual percentage is accurate, but I'm sure the trend is reflective of actual changes with out the interference of hydration fluctuations. I use the calculators on the fat2fit website at http://www.fat2fittools.com/tools/

01-06-2015, 11:26 AM
I totally agree with whoever it was that posted about increasing your protein intake, allowing for recovery time and getting adequate nutrition. I was a solid size 10, then gained 60 lbs. I then lost down to a very squishy size 8 due to too much cardio, not enough protein/food and little to no weight training. I reached my WW goals but I look like ****. Now I have to undo the damage I did but I'm confident I can because I built muscle before. Best of luck to you.

01-10-2015, 01:10 PM
This definitely sounds like a nutrition problem. I also agree that those analyzers shouldn't be believed.

Start by analyzing and making changes to your current diet. Sounds like you do need more protein intake. Then, as suggested above, give your body enough time to recover between exercise routines.

My personal preference is to split my workout routine so I only work specific muscles two to three times a week. This gives the muscles time to recoop.