Weight Gain
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How long to rebuild atrophied muscle?


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I am 16. I lost a lot of muscle through a very low calorie diet. How long does it take to rebuiild maybe 10 pounds.

Edited Jan 17 2010 19:59 by nycgirl
Reason: Please stop posting the same topic over again. One thread per topic in most suitable forum
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An atrophied muscle tends not to be used to describe muscle loss due to a VLCD. An atrophied muscle is a muscle that has wasted due to disuse or disease.

If you have starved yourself, then you have lost fat, bone, muscle, hippocampus cells in the brain and a host of other things because your body was actively pilfering energy from these areas to make up the huge energy deficit you created from dangerous dieting.

Your focus should be to gain weight (which will include fat, bone and muscle and not just muscle) and that will require 2500-3500 calories a day (with no exercise during that time).

#2  
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I went on a diet in which i ate 1 800 calories a day. I also jogged 40 minutes a day nad walked for an hour. I lost a lot of muscle. Now I have a high body fat due to a lack of muscle. I wan't to rebuild my muscle. How long will that take? I am not trying to put on fat.

Thanks, that's helpful information.

So, 1800 is not monstrously low unless you are a very tall guy. You did likely create a deficit of 1000 + calories each day which is too high but it's easily rectifiable by ensuring that what you burn each day is only 800 calories more than what you eat each day.

You figure that out by entering your current age/height/weight in the Burn Meter tool. Set your activity level to "Light". The calorie reading is what you burn on a day when you do not exercise. 

Then in the daily log for the burn meter you add your jogging or walking on days when you workout and then you up your food intake accordingly so that the deficit is never more than 800 (assuming you are clinically overweight). If you are already at a healthy body mass index (BMI) then keep the deficit down around 200-400 to avoid metabolic issues.

As you were jogging and walking there is no reasonable way to have lost muscle at all unless you were truly eating much less than 1800 calories a day. And that would involve bone, fat and muscle loss as I've said.

One of the main reasons that dieters are always told to exercise is precisely so they minimize muscle loss to the energy deficits that they are creating.

I also cannot come up with any scenario that would have created a high body-fat percentage given your activity levels (unless there is an undiagnosed illness involved).

Have you actually been dunked in a vat of water after exhaling completely? -- that's the only reliable way to measure body fat percentages. 

Maybe you need to provide us with your stats: current age/height/weight so that we can guide you through figuring out your calorie and burn targets while staying healthy. Also a bit of background too -- were you clinically overweight when you began dieting/exercising and what was the rate of weight loss you experienced on average?

#4  
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I am almost 16, and 5'10. I am 136 pounds, I used to be 181. That diet was very low calorie as i was very dizzy and blood rushed quickly into my head every time i got up. Just by looking in the mirror, I can tell i lost a lot of muscle. I look good with clothes on, but i am all flabby underneath due to losing muscle definition. How long will it take to rebuild my lost muscles? Also, will i be okay? Don't suggest that i ask my doctor because that is out of the question.

Talk to your parents about this..   You sould like you've been through a rough time, you sound very down, confused about what's 'normal' for a growing teen and what you should do next.   You may not want to see a doctor but it's a mistake to try to tackle this solo.... same as losing weight solo has landed you in very hot water.

The only 'cure' for your situation is food... good food, lots of it and at regular intervals from now on.  If you're a typically active 16 year-old then your muscles will develop quite naturally given plenty of good nourishment.  Whether that takes a few weeks, a few months or a  few years will depend on how conscientious you are about eating plenty.  It's almost impossible for you to overeat.

But chiefly, because most 16 year-olds are not responsible for the grocery shopping or cooking in the home, you need the help of whoever has that responsibility ...... the people who love you....  your parents.

 

#6  
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Thank you for your concern. I do have my parents support on this. I just want to know how long it will take me to rebuild the muscle I lost if i strength train. Oh and by the way, when i don't watch my weight i put on fat so it's not impossible for me to overeat. If you can give me an answer, please do do. Thanks for your help.

Original Post by joseph43:

I am almost 16, and 5'10. I am 136 pounds, I used to be 181. That diet was very low calorie as i was very dizzy and blood rushed quickly into my head every time i got up. Just by looking in the mirror, I can tell i lost a lot of muscle. I look good with clothes on, but i am all flabby underneath due to losing muscle definition. How long will it take to rebuild my lost muscles? Also, will i be okay? Don't suggest that i ask my doctor because that is out of the question.

Given your bouts of dizziness which I think you have mentioned in another thread persist despite eating properly now, it would be dangerous for you to do any training to regain muscle without discussing the situation with your doctor.

Why is it out of the question to discuss this with your doctor? Do you not have medical coverage that would allow for a doctor visit at this time?

If it is the case that financial restrictions don't allow for any doctor involvement, then it would still be foolhardy for anyone in this on-line forum to suggest you can strength train without benefit of medical advice, given the dizziness.

Perhaps you could receive some medical support through your school -- such as a district health nurse?

I'm sorry but this is just not the right environment for seeking the kind of support you need at this time. Any advice on muscle redevelopment that you do receive on an anonymous and amateur forum like this could be downright dangerous for you.

#8  
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I have been eating more these last couple of days. I finally figured out that my calorie needs are a bit higher than suggested on online teenage calorie calculators as i have  asomewhat faster metabollism. I am not at all dizzy during the day anymore except when i go some time without a meal. What could that mean? I have been feeling a lot better.

I'm the same way. Or at least I used to be before my metabolism became as slow as that of a sloth.. If I'd go too long without a meal, I'd get really dizzy and pretty much lose the ability to function lol. It just means that you need more and a constant supply of calories to sustain yourself. So be sure you eating enough, and frequently too.

Hey Joseph,

The time it takes to build muscle will depend on a variety of factors including whether or not you strength train, how often, your protein intake, your body type etc. On average it takes an individual 1 year to gain 5 to 10 lbs of muscle mass (muscle only).

If you want to gauge and estimate of what you can expect from strength training, go here: http://scoobysworkshop.com/expectations.htm

This guy really knows what he's talking about.

Good luck Joseph!

 

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