Does muscle really weigh more than fat? This question is on a lot of our minds, especially those who want to lose weight and/or build muscle. It may be discouraging to eat right and exercise for weeks only to see that number on the scale stay the same.
It’s a common misconception that muscle weighs more than fat. After all, a pound equals a pound. A pound of cement weighs the same as a pound of paper. But where exactly does this myth stem from?
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A Pound of Muscle Versus a Pound of Fat
The short answer is: not really. The notion stems from the fact that muscle is actually more dense than fat. Because of this, a pound of fat takes up about four times more space than a pound of muscle. That’s why you’re trimming down visually, but the numbers don’t seem to add up.
There’s a huge difference between the compositions of muscle and fat. Fat is free-floating and more like jello. Its low density takes up a lot more space than lean muscle. So a person with 40% body fat will appear to be much heavier than a person with 25% body fat, even if their weight is the same. The person with 25% body fat could have a lot more muscle–which makes them look lean, but is more dense.
Explaining the Concept
Take an example. Let’s say we have a pound of apples and pound of applesauce. The consistency of the applesauce is like the lard inside of your body. Can you picture that lumpy, soggy look in a pair of your favorite yoga pants?
In contrast, the apples are a much more firmly packed matter and they do not require much room to expand. Would you rather your backside looked more like two apples or two lumps of applesauce?
So now that we have the answer, we can delve into why lean muscle is such a valuable factor when it comes to improving and maintaining a healthier physique.
Muscle is your Friend
The key difference between muscle and fat is not their weight. It’s the fact that muscle burns more calories than fat. Muscle is very metabolically active–that is, it’s always burning a lot calories. Fat almost does nothing for you. It takes almost no calories to maintain itself.
Being more lean means you have a high percentage of muscle compared to your body fat percentage. This means you will burn lots of calories all of the time, even when you’re sleeping. A leaner body will burn fat much quicker. So a great way to burn fat is actually to build muscle.
Cardio fitness is a huge factor in shedding pounds, keeping a healthy heart, and reducing your risk of developing disease. Resistance training is just as key. Lean tissue will be your best friend when it comes to boosting your metabolism. A well-balanced diet rich in protein is also necessary to help you achieve your weight-loss goals.
No matter you number on the scale, keep your exercise and diet consistent, and you will make your way to a leaner, more-toned physique and a healthier you.
Cardio fitness is an important factor if you want to shed extra pounds, maintain a healthy heart, and reduce your risk of developing disease. A resistance-training program is just as key. Lean tissue can be your best friend when it comes to boosting your metabolism. One pound of lean muscle burns significantly more calories than a pound of fat.
In addition to regular cardio and resistance training, a well-balanced diet rich in protein is also necessary to help you achieve and maintain your weight-loss goals and a leaner, more toned physique.