Diet Myth #3 – When you diet you lose fat.

April 4, 2018

This is Diet Myth #3. If you want to lose fat go on a diet. Everyone know this is true.


Guess what. When you diet you lose muscle and keep the fat. You might say that this doesn’t make sense. We have all seen the horrible photos concentration camp survivors who are only skin and bones. Haven’t they lost most of  their fat? No they have lost almost all of their muscle mass and only some fat.


You might ask how can that be. The answer is that when you fast your body is forced to feed upon itself to generate the energy that it needs to survive. Muscle is a ready source of energy and muscle can be consumed readily. Not so for fat. the body holds on to fat to maintain a store of energy in case there is a prolonged period without adequate food. In this process a little fat is lost along with the muscle, but most of it is hoarded until the end.


Here is something to ponder and it may surprise you. So what  happens when you go on that special diet to create a new you and you do not exercise? Perhaps it is really a great diet like one of those advertised on television. Perhaps you lose forty pounds. So far so good, but the you stop dieting and begin to put on weight. Maybe you only gain back thirty-five pounds. that is progress, correct? After all you are five pounds lighter than you were before you started dieting.


Wrong again! You are probably fatter now than you were before. Even though you weigh five pounds less, you gained back fat and lost lean muscle when you really wanted to gain muscle and lose fat. No one goes on a diet to get fatter, but that is exactly what can happen when you diet and don’t exercise. 


We will feature 1 post a day for a week on this topic. Look in tomorrow for the next installment!



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Dr. Sanford L. Severin

Dr. Todd D. Severin

San Ramon, CA 94582 USA

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© 2020 by Sanford Severin, MD