cabbage soup diet recipes

How Long Does It Take to LOSE MUSCLE Mass? (The Science of Muscle Loss)

By Caitlin Miah | February 13, 2019

Are you curious about how long it takes to lose muscle mass? If so, you’re not alone. Many people wonder about this topic, especially when they’re unable to maintain their usual workout routine. Understanding the science behind muscle loss can help you make informed decisions about your fitness goals. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the factors that contribute to muscle loss and give you a clearer picture of how long it takes to lose muscle mass. So, let’s get started!

How Long Does It Take to LOSE MUSCLE Mass? (The Science of Muscle Loss)


Have you ever taken time off from your routine exercise or got busy with work, only to realize you are losing your hard-earned gains? Or, are you planning to take a break from your workout routine, but you are worried about losing muscle mass? Building muscle takes time and hard work, and the last thing anyone wants is to lose it all quickly. In this article, we will discuss the science behind muscle loss and factors that influence how long it takes to lose muscle mass.

The Science of Muscle Loss

Muscle loss, also known as muscle atrophy, is the reduction of muscle tissue. The rate of muscle loss can vary depending on an individual’s age, diet, exercise routine, and health conditions. Inactivity and low-calorie diets are known to cause muscle loss. Lack of physical activity leads to a decline in muscle mass, strength, and function. Calorie deficits, especially for extended periods, can lead to a decrease in muscle mass along with body fat.

Factors that Affect Muscle Loss


As we age, our bodies undergo changes that result in the loss of muscle mass. Our bodies start to lose muscle mass in our early 30s, and this continues throughout our lives. By the time we are 60, most people will have lost about one-third of their muscle mass.

gluten free diet recipes


Your diet plays a crucial role in determining how long it takes to lose muscle mass. If you are consuming fewer calories than your body needs, your body will start to break down muscle tissue for energy. This is why low-calorie diets are not recommended for people who are trying to gain or maintain muscle mass.

Exercise routine

Lack of exercise or physical activity is a significant factor that contributes to muscle loss. Suppose you stop working out or are not as active as before. In that case, you can expect to lose muscle mass faster than someone who is consistent with their exercise routine.

Health conditions

Certain health conditions can accelerate muscle loss. People with chronic diseases such as cancer, AIDS, heart disease, and kidney disease are at higher risk of losing muscle mass.

Muscle Memory: Regaining Lost Muscle Mass

If you lose muscle mass, your body composition changes as well. To gain back the muscle you have lost, you need to take the time to rebuild it. However, it’s not all bad news. The good news is that our bodies have memory — muscle memory. Muscle memory is the ability of muscles to regain mass and strength quickly. By staying consistent with exercise routines, you can stimulate the growth of new muscle fibers, and regain lost muscle mass.

How to Prevent Muscle Loss

The best way to prevent muscle loss is by staying consistent with your exercise routine and following a balanced diet. The following tips may help prevent muscle loss:

  • Incorporate strength training into your routine at least two times a week.

  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.

  • Consume enough calories to meet your body’s energy needs.

  • Consume enough protein to support muscle growth and recovery.

  • Get enough sleep and allow your body to rest and recover.


Losing muscle mass can be a significant concern for anyone who works hard to build it. However, if you are consistent with your exercise routine, maintain a balanced diet, and follow healthy habits, you can minimize muscle loss. Remember that muscle memory can help you regain lost muscle mass quickly. So, if you lose muscle mass due to unavoidable circumstances or an injury, rest assured that you can get back to your previous level if you put in the effort.

FAQs After Conclusion

Q1. Can a lack of exercise cause muscle loss?
A1. Yes, when you don’t exercise, your muscles are not stimulated, and this can lead to muscle loss.

Q2. Can a calorie deficit cause muscle loss?
A2. Yes, when you don’t consume enough calories, your body will start to break down muscle tissue for energy.

gluten free diet recipes for weight loss

Q3. Is it possible to regain lost muscle mass?
A3. Yes, by staying consistent with exercise and following a balanced diet, you can regain lost muscle mass.

Q4. How long does it take to regain lost muscle mass?
A4. The time it takes to regain lost muscle mass varies depending on several factors such as age, exercise routine, diet, and health conditions.

Q5. Can following a low-calorie diet help prevent muscle loss?
A5. A low-calorie diet is not recommended for people who are trying to gain or maintain muscle mass.