Because lean body mass is the main single determinant of resting energy expenditure, methods to possibly increase lean body mass at the expense of fat body mass are of great relevance in the context of weight-management strategies. Preservation of lean body mass during weight loss helps further weight loss, and a preferential regain of lean body mass over fat mass helps body weight maintenance after weight loss. Body composition is very much dependent on the balance between lipogenesis and fat oxidation/thermogenesis (see Sections 4.2 and 4.3). Other important determinants are nutrient partitioning between fat and muscle, adipocyte hyper-plasia and the balance between protein synthesis and breakdown in muscle. These processes, like lipogenesis and thermogenesis, are influenced by the nutritional status and the composition of the diet.
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