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Weight Training Plus Calorie Restriction May Preserve Muscle, Aid Weight Loss

When losing weight, it’s important to retain muscle, especially in later years. A recent study suggests that combining weight training with a low calorie diet may help preserve lean muscle mass in mature adults who are trying to lose weight.


Participants in the study included 249 adults in their 60’s who were overweight or obese. Over the course of 18 months, they followed a calorie restricted diet alone, a calorie restricted diet plus a weight training regimen, or a calorie restricted diet plus resistance training.


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted a 17 pound fat loss in the diet plus weight training group; a 16 pound fat loss in the diet plus walking group; and a 10 pound fat loss in the diet alone group. The percentage of weight loss coming from muscle mass in the diet plus weight training group was 10%, 16% in the diet only group, and 20% in the diet plus walking group.


Additionally, loss of fat at the end of the study was associated with faster walking speed, while loss of muscle was associated with reduced knee strength.


Researchers from Wake Forest University led the study. It was published on October 30, 2017, in the journal Obesity.


Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health and this study suggests that weight training may be more effective for muscle retention and weight loss.

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