Does Muscle Weigh More than Fat: Here’s The Truth!
You hear it all the time: muscle weighs more than fat. Except it does not. A pound is a pound is a pound. So a pound of muscle is the same exact weight as a pound of fat.
Makes sense, right?
Do You Weigh More If You Are Muscular?
Now that we have cleared that a pound of fat and a pound of muscle weigh the same, let’s talk about density and body composition.
A pound of muscle is far denser than a pound of fat. That means that the fat will take up more volume while muscles will take up less space.
If your goal is to look lean, building muscle will help you get that look. The thing to remember is that you can tone your body and get that lean muscle without bulking up.
But more on that later.
The Benefits of Muscle?
Still, wondering how much more does muscle weigh than fat?
Remember, it doesn’t.
The weight is distributed better on our body because muscle does not weigh more than fat.
There are benefits to turning that body into muscle.
To gain muscle means improving your metabolism. That means you are burning calories more efficiently.
A higher amount of muscle is also important to improving bone density.
Muscle also improves your balance and coordination.
How Do I Know If My Weight Gain is Muscle Mass or Fat?
- Clothing: Do your clothes fit better? If you have been working out trying to improve your health and the scale creeps up, take note of how your clothes fit.
- Exercise: People making a conscious effort to do resistance training/HIIT or cardio may notice the scale very slowly moves up a notch. That is a good sign if you have not changed your dietary habits and are doing strength training.
- Measurements: When embarking on a new fitness lifestyle change, you should consider taking some body measurements. Why should the scale matter if your body is moving in the right direction? Perhaps your waist whittles down, and your biceps get a bit bigger. That sounds like a good thing!
- Progress Photos: Many programs encourage you to take pictures when you embark on the fitness journey. Pictures don’t lie. Don’t expect to see changes overnight. Take the photos and put them away for a month. Then compare. If you look smaller and more toned, it’s muscle.
How Much Should I Weigh?
Don’t ask us that question because we will not answer it.
First of all, many things go into what constitutes a healthy weight and body fat percentage for each individual person.
Second, obsessing on the scale is just plain dangerous.
Let us explain why.
If you weigh yourself every morning at the same time each day, you will notice your body weight fluctuates throughout the week.
There are so many factors that impact how much you weigh from one day to the next:
- Sodium causes water retention.
- Food and water both have weight. If you drink a lot, even if it is water, you will notice your weight creep up for a day.
- Carbs can make your body hold onto water.
- Your exercise routine can also impact your weight. If you are a runner, you may have noticed that your weight jumps up a pound (or 2 or 3) for a day or two after a long run. Your body is worried you will put it through another long run, and it hoards water.
- Some medications cause you to temporarily gain weight, either due to water retention or for other reasons.
- Alcohol intake can have adverse effects on your weight.
- Dehydration can give you a false sense of weight loss that is just from sweating and losing fluids. The weight will come right back on.
The point is that you cannot put too much credence on what you weigh because that is just one snapshot in time.
Some people advise just weighing yourself once each week to check-in. Other people swear by not even owning a scale.
Just find yourself a pair of jeans you feel fabulous in. If they still fit well, you’re doing fine.
Don’t Fret The Numbers
The long and short of it is that building muscle is an advantage for people. You can put on muscle without getting bulky, so don’t even worry about that.
And if you want to jump on the scale periodically, go ahead.
However, how you feel and how your clothing fits are both far more important than the number on a scale.
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