If I lose my 80lbs slowly enough, my skin will adapt over time, rather than if I lose that weight at faster than 1kg (2.2lbs) a week?
Secondly, if I built up muscles by weight training, and I wanted to then maintain that muscle but not add more....could I decrease from 2/3 weight training per week to just 1? or would I have to do the same number and just keep the weight I'm using at a constant rather than increasing progressively? I just dont want to build muscle and then reduce training enough that I end up with flab instead? I'd have guessed if you use the muscles, eg through swimming, then you shouldn't lose the muscle you've gained...but then again the work you did to gain that muscle was far more strenuous than swimming
If you lose weight in a healthy manner, you would probably average 2 lbs per week in weight loss... that is a healthy rate to lose it in. Now, your skin MAY not shrink back... depends on how long you have been overweight and how elastic your skin is... but it should. If you don't want to build muscle, the key is doing lighter weights and more reps, but you should still do it 3x per week... Increase your reps/sets rather than the weight itself... that will burn fat and tone the muscles... if ever you see that you are gaining muscle, just reduce the weight and increase your cardio... that should be fine. Make sure you are getting your cardio in and you should continue to burn fat... if you practice a healthy exercise program and healthy eating, you should be fine. Good luck!
In general, it is best to lose fat at the rate of 1-2 pounds per week. First, the body can only process fat so quickly. Second, if you lost weight too quickly, it would shock your system and impact your immune system. Third, skin needs time to adapt to your changing size. If eat healthy, drink lots of water, and lose fat at a reasonable rate, the skin can keep up, but if you starve, don't drink enough water, and lose a lot of weight at once, you'll have loose skin.
As for lifting weights, your question makes it sound like you think gaining muscle is simply a matter of lifting weights. Too many people make this assumption and it's a big reason why so many people are afraid to lift weights. While it's true that people who are new to weight training will gain muscle, after a few weeks the gains will cease. To gain a significant amount of muscle, you have to seriously stress your muscles by doing few reps and heavy weight. You need to eat a lot of protein and you need a lot of rest so no cardio. This is why I don't think you need to worry about gaining muscle. Unless you're eating a ton of protein, sleeping at least 8 hours per night, and not doing any other exercise, you won't gain much muscle. To maintain what you have, train 3 times per week. Pick a weight that you can 8-12 reps, do at least 3 sets with 90 seconds rest in between. That'll help tone your muscles and raise your metabolism, but it won't cause you to gain muscle. Exercises like swimming and running will shrink your muscles in the long run because you're training your muscles for endurance, whereas with weight training, you're training them for strength. So if you do swim, keep up with the weight training to maintain your muscle size.
Thanks for the advice. I'll be trying to lose at about 2lbs per week....cos I realise that's the upper end of what's reccommended...and I reckon its a race against time with the diabetes that runs through my family now...it's terrible that loose skin concerns me enough that its an equal weighting for me against a disease with nasty end consequences. I'll be drinking around 2 and a bit litres of water a day and sleeping at least 5 hours. I wasn't planning on starting weights till I lose the weight...I know that means I could have some muscle shrinkage....but cardio altho it wont make it grow, it should prevent loss of muscle tone fairly well. Oh and I've been seriously overweight for less than 2 years so far...will be 3 by the time I lose the weight...I'm guessing my skin's pretty elastic seeing as I'm still only 19, and I haven't done too much of the yo-yo dieting where my weights gone up and done rapidly. You misinterpreted about me not wanting to gain muscle...I do want to later on...but not just to see it shrink after...it's the wording. :-) Thanks for the advice
yeah, it's better when you're younger....more elastic....ppl say yoga and swimming and pilates and stuff like that helps...dunno if it's true though. I guess once you get past late twenties early thirties, that'd be worse for ur skin. I probably have the benefits of less skin damage too, just cos I dont go sunbathing.
You should try to sleep 7-8 hours per day. You burn fat while you sleep. Also, if your body doesn't get enough rest, it'll be less willing to get rid of fat during the day.
Don't put off weight training. Cardio does not prevent muscle loss. If you cut calories and do cardio, you will actually lose muscle. Weight training not only helps prevent muscle loss, it also raises your metabolism more than cardio does, which'll help you burn fat. Weight training also pumps your muscles which tightens the skin. Cardio does not tighten the skin. Any weight loss plan should always include weight training.