People worship the scale. It’s up; and that’s “bad.” You take it to mean your burnt offering has been rejected. You cry out, “I am cursed, by you, oh great one, Scale Above All Others.” The photos above illustrate average bone density progression throughout the aging process of Americans. As body weight goes up, lean tissue goes DOWN.
The problem is that your body is readily shedding weight every day even when you see the scale go up. Aging and degeneration ARE the loss of lean tissue. Age IS the body’s decreasing capacity to make cells faster than you damage them.
Thus, a weight on the scale going up for someone who “wants to lose weight” could actually be the best possible thing for them.
Most people eat a nutrient poor intake. Once we remedy that, and they begin incorporating lifting, we WANT to see a few pounds up. That can merely mean you’re winning the battle against worsening. Now, to be fair, for almost everyone, that journey upward is short lived and very finite. Why? Because, as I said, your body is aching, yearning, begging to lose bone, ligament, cartilage, tendon, connective tissue and muscle every single day that you don’t put a heavy resistance on the body.
This is a difficult topic for the layperson to wrangle. They don’t think about composition in the strict sense. If at 50 years old they are about the same body weight as when they were 25, they think that’s good. It isn’t good. It isn’t anything. It just is. What’s your composition and athletic capacity? In order to live well and feel good, you probably need to gain the 25lbs of lean tissue you’ve lost in the past 25 years.
Perhaps you can see the compounding problem. The really high difficulty lies in the fact that people carry an extra 100lbs of body fat WHILE 50lbs less lean tissue. This reduces your function by magnitudes, not mere percentages. It’s worse in yo-yo dieters. As the years go on, their capacity to save or build lean tissue is ever-worsened. Eventually they are so weak AND overweight that the project to recover basic function is beyond the tissue-turnover horizon. That is, the start point is too weak to produce the intensity to lose the fat. Biologically, your body's weight loss efforts as we age become increasingly targeted at lean tissue, not fat mass. When the average person is down 5lbs, 100% ISN’T fat.
This is why strengthening is critical. This is why there is no substitute for heavy weight training. If your starting point is totally sedentary, then yes, you benefit from being not-sedentary. Absolutely. I applaud the stages of beginning walking and hiking and just general activity.
They are insufficient to do what you want though. The human body has absolutely no reason in all of biological fact to magically retain or build lean tissue as we age if you don’t pickup a very heavy weight with some regularity. No, seriously. There is no mechanism for bone matrix improvement without heavy loading. That’s not an opinion. Lookup astronaut studies, osteocalcin during resistance training, etc.
Furthermore, the insulin-INDEPENDENT glucose transporters are stimulated by hard muscle contraction. Also, try to keep up: the musculoskeletal system is not simply a bunch of robotic mechanism. Muscle contraction produces myokines, making it integral in endocrine signaling. You read that right. If you don’t lift, you are endocrine-deficient. This even applies to avid endurance athletes if they never actually sprint or perform heavy resistance training.
With endocrine deficiency, and with only insulin-dependent transporters, with a dearth of osteocalcin, do you really think GAIN of weight on a scale is the real problem? UP may be your body trying to save your life. Non-beneficial changes of composition are THE problem. Predominantly, the rapid wasting of non-fat mass is wearing you down.
Therefore, although I am sympathetic to the scale idolatry, your false religion is ruining modern human health.
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