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Jan 24

Drs. Oz and Roizen: Want to keep muscle as you lose weight? Exercise is essential – The Union Leader

You've heard over and over that the key to losing weight is reducing food intake, not exercise. And exercise plus control of portion size is what's needed to keep weight off once you lose it. Well, that's technically true. But healthful weight loss isn't just about numbers. You want the reward for all your hard work to be looking good and feeling strong -- and that means you want to maintain and even build muscle as you shed excess pounds.

A new study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise looked at the results of a six-month weight loss program for postmenopausal women. It reveals that if you combine a protein-rich diet with exercise, you can maintain and build muscle strength while you lose weight. But if you just opt for a high-protein diet without exercise, you will lose strength as you shed pounds.

So it's essential that any weight loss program be paired with 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity five or more days a week. That should include two weekly 20-minute resistance exercise sessions. We also recommend you balance protein intake with healthy carbs like 100% whole grains and fiber-rich veggies and fruits.

Weight loss is not won by the speedy but by the consistent, committed and controlled. To shed one to two pounds a week, reduce your calorie intake by 300-500 a day as you increase your exercise routine. And don't let increased exercise fool you into thinking you can eat anything you want -- it's still necessary to reduce your calorie intake.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

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Drs. Oz and Roizen: Want to keep muscle as you lose weight? Exercise is essential - The Union Leader

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