Author Topic: Explaining the myth that muscle WEIGHS more than fat  (Read 2646 times)

Sunshine

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Explaining the myth that muscle WEIGHS more than fat
« on: April 19, 2014, 12:40:26 PM »
Found this article on Weight Watchers site.  I could never grasp this concept that a pound of anything weighed more than a pound of something else.  This now makes total sense to me - and reminds me to stay off the scale and just check in with myself on how my clothes are fitting ;)

"Muscle does not weigh more than fat, any more than lead weighs more than feathers. A pound is a pound is a pound. Where the misunderstanding often comes in is that muscle is much more dense than fat, so that, by volume, it seems to weigh more. That is, a pound of muscle occupies less space than a pound of fat. In addition, because a pound of muscle burns more fat than a pound of fat, even at rest, by increasing your lean muscle tissue mass, you're helping your body burn more calories.

But back to your question. If you only have a small amount of weight to lose, then you may feel like the weight training is not helping you move down on the scale. In fact, the number may even go up, but you will look thinner. This is due to an increase in lean body mass (muscle, bone, blood volume) and a decrease in body fat. In other words, even if the scale doesn't change much, you will probably see a difference in how your clothes fit.

On the other hand, if you have a lot of weight to lose, you will also experience an increase in lean body mass and loss of body fat. But the results on the scale will probably be more dramatic."

mouseissue

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Re: Explaining the myth that muscle WEIGHS more than fat
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2014, 02:45:13 PM »
Hi, Sunshine! :)

I agree that you should refrain from weighing yourself too often.
Since our weight will normally go up and down during weight loss,
the "number" on the scale can effect our mood and rattle confidence.

The concept that one pound of anything weighed more than one pound of something else is because 1 POUND of one thing weighs EXACTLY the same 1 POUND of another thing.
1 pound = 1 pound.

A pound of apples weigh exactly the same as a pound of oranges.
In fact, you'll have exactly 2 pounds of apples and oranges.

Speaking of apples and oranges...

Although it's true that 1 POUND of fat weighs exactly the same as 1 POUND of muscle, the false analogy "Muscle does not weigh more than fat, any more than lead weighs more than feathers." has NOTHING to do with which of these weighs more by VOLUME.

Muscle weighs more due to its molecular density relative to fat.
So 1 cubic inch of muscle weighs more than 1 cubic inch of fat.
Therefore, the same volume (amount) of muscle weighs more than the equivalent amount of fat.

To demonstrate this, if you take 1 cubic inch of fat and 1 cubic inch of lean muscle and drop them into water,
the fat (being lighter than water) will float, where the lean muscle (being heavier than water) will sink.

This is why we should measure ourselves regularly and notice our clothing fit.
Because 1 pound of muscle = 1 pound of fat even though you are skinner!

I hope that clears up the confusion for you. :)

Tony
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 02:52:08 PM by mouseissue »
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Sunshine

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Re: Explaining the myth that muscle WEIGHS more than fat
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2014, 06:32:12 PM »
Yep ;)

jay12

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Re:
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2014, 06:04:40 AM »
Very true and very informative. :)

Elizabeth779

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Re: Explaining the myth that muscle WEIGHS more than fat
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2014, 03:07:21 AM »
Great information.  I always cringe (inside) when I hear "a pound of muscle weighs more than a pound of fat".....so illogical.



umpa

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Re: Explaining the myth that muscle WEIGHS more than fat
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2014, 07:58:33 AM »
 :D