The healthiest way to lose weight requires not only shedding fat, but replacing it with muscle. Yet sometimes people lose muscle instead of fat on their weight loss journeys. If you recently started a Phentermine 37.5 mg regimen and want to ensure you lose fat and not muscle, keep these warning signs in mind.
Your Body Fat Percentage Is The Same
If your body fat percentage hasn’t changed since you started working out and dieting, you’re losing muscle.
“Your body won’t shape the way you want. You’ll notice shrinking circumferences, but the pinch-able fat is the same," says Dr. Spencer Nadolsky, D.O.
Workouts Are Challenging
Routine workouts become a chore when you’re losing muscle alone.
"Inadequate nutrition can lead to a decrease in muscle, which may lead to impaired function," says Dr. Gerardo Miranda-Comas, MD, Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "This is usually caused by an energy deficiency and possible overtraining."
Dr. Nadolsky adds, "You’ll notice less strength in the gym. The weight you used to be able to do for reps may decrease or you may not be able to get as many reps as you once did for each set.”
You Lose Weight Too Quickly
Healthy weight loss means losing a pound to two pounds per week. More than that can signal muscle loss, especially if you can’t ever do more when you work out, such as adding more weight or taking longer walks.
"The more fat you have, the more likely you'll lose more fat than muscle when losing weight," says Dr. Nadolsky.
Wesley Delbridge, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, emphasizes losing one to two pounds weekly: "Weight loss requires a long period of time and being patient—it's a marathon and not a sprint.”
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