So does muscle weigh more than fat?
In my bathroom I have a pair of scales that are sat gathering dust. I only keep them so I can check my suitcase is not over the weight limit any time I go on holiday! I can’t tell you the last time I bothered to weigh myself but I know as soon as I have too many cheat meals when I have put on weight. How do I know? I rely on how my clothes feel, and if they are starting to feel a bit tight then time to tighten up on the clean diet. What I actually weigh is not an issue for me. This is hard for many people to get there head around as we are constantly bombarded with media stories all about weight and how to lose it.
Weight fluctuates depending on how much water you retain and for women, this is a larger issue. The female body changes so much throughout the course of a single month due to hormone shifts that it’s hard to gauge just how much progress is made week to week solely on weight loss. In addition, as you follow a clean nutrition plan along with 3 resistance training sessions a week your body begins to use stored body fat as a fuel source. You also begin to add muscle. So, fat cells shrink and muscle cells grow and multiply.
You have no doubt heard the phrase ‘Muscle weighs more than fat’ and heard many opinions on this, so is it true? Well muscle does not weigh more than fat, any more than lead weighs more than feathers. Obviously 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. If you take the same volume of muscle and fat, (maybe a handful of each,) and put them each on a scale, the muscle will weigh more. Therefore, it takes more fat to make a pound than muscle.
As the photo shows the 5lbs of fat take up much more space than 5lbs of muscle. So you could have 2 women who weigh the same amount but one is wearing size 14 and the other a size 12. In fact the woman in the size 12 could weigh more – which would you rather be? I know my answer
For those of you getting closer to your goal size 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. But if you focus on the scales the results will disappoint you and this will have a negative effect on your motivation.
So the moral of this status – DITCH THE SCALES! Focus on the measurements and how your clothes feel. Stop stressing about the kg or lbs and keep working on dropping those cms. Stick to the plan and it will happen 🙂