Muscle Loss Due to Aging: How to Avoid it?

August 21st, 2010 by Tonya Zavasta

Female MusclesLoss of muscle is the most pitiful of all the signs of aging. A condition affecting many people as they age is sarcopenia—essentially a slow deterioration and loss of muscle tissue. Sarcopenia affects close to half the population!

CR as an Aid Against Sarcopenia

We already know that fasting and caloric restriction are valuable aids in helping to resolve absorption and heal digestive issues. Long-term studies have shown caloric restriction in primates can extend life span and health in general. Moreover, caloric restriction has been shown to be especially effective in preserving lean muscle mass.

Wisconsin researchers conducted a study on Rhesus monkeys over 20 years. One group’s caloric consumption was reduced by 30% and this reduction was very effective in attenuating sarcopenia in those monkeys.

Losing Too Much Weight

Occasionally, for varied reasons, I hear from those who have lost substantial amounts of weight on the raw food diet. Too much, indeed, for their health and comfort. Some of these people were already quite thin to begin with. No matter how much they eat or how much fat they consume, they can’t seem to put any weight on. Please, say the emails. I’m too skinny! I’m eating as much as I can. What can I do?

If excessive weight loss were merely the result of insufficient calories, the remedy would be a breeze. But, as I point out in my book Quantum Eating, things aren’t always what they seem. Usually an inability to put on healthy weight is not simply a matter of caloric intake. Many factors can come into play, and malabsorption stands at the root of many of them. This can result in deficiencies which make weight gain even harder.

Go Gradually

People who are already quite thin to begin with should not go raw overnight. This will only aggravate their metabolism which is already high. I have found that it can take up to two years for such people to stabilize their weight and start thriving on raw foods. There are other factors to consider, too. People coming to raw food diets later in life can also encounter special challenges due to existing medical conditions or hormonal imbalances.

Yoke CR with Exercise for Best Results

We must remember that we are not just after weight, but healthy weight. What we are after is lean, strong muscle tissue. In order to gain any muscle weight, you have to exercise. There can be no putting on healthy muscle tissue without exercising.

If you combine the metabolism-reducing and muscle-preserving effects of caloric restriction with exercise—specifically metabolism-balancing Bikram yoga—you have an unbeatable recipe for success.

One reader recently summed it up this way: Basically, there are three ways to fight this deadly, scary and crippling sarcopenia: a restricted diet (Quantum Eating), a raw diet (Rawsome Lifestyle), and exercise (Bikram yoga).

Read my Raw Food and Hot Yoga for more ideas on gaining weight on the raw food diet.

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