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Obesity and Weight Management

Is there a such thing as too much lean mass

12/16/2003

Question:

I am 5`7 and weigh 284 lbs. my body fat is 31%. That is 83 lbs of fat. My doctor says that I should lose 100 or more lbs. I am no math wiz but that would mean I would have to lose lean mass as well.

Does having more weight than reccomended for my height, even if it is lean mass, put me at higher risk for heart disease and diabetes. I plan to get to 15% body fat, which would put me at about 240, which is about 80 lbs more than I should be for my height.Please help

Answer:

With weight loss it is important to be realistic.  There is plenty of research which shows that a 10% weight loss can significantly lower disease risks.  This is a good place to start and then re-evaluate and, if desired, aim for another 10%.  The idea is that you are able to make lifestyle changes you can maintain.

As far as if you can have too much lean muscle mass.  I haven`t seen any significant studies which show whether risk factors vary based on the type of weight you carry.  I would, however, think that if you did carry more lean mass, exercised regularly and maintained a healthy diet they would be somewhat lower.

Hope this helps.

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Response by:

Angela Blackstone, RD, LD
Staff Dietitian
Center for Wellness and Prevention
Clinical Instructor
School of Allied Medical Professionals
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University