Fitness
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Does muscle really weight more than fat?


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Ok, so I know that 1lb of fat weighs the same as 1lb of muscle(obviously). So why do people say that fat weighs less than muscle? I also know muscle takes up less space than fat, but in my head, i can't work out the logic.

I have put on about 3-4lbs over the last 5-6 weeks. I have been doing more toning, pilates, and swimming to increase my muscle. Now as far as I can see, I have not put on inches. In fact i have probably slimmed down about .5 inch on my stomach(where i always put on fat) and I don't see any difference anywhere else, except for looking slightly more toned. My calorie intake is fine. I never ever go over my limit, I'm usuallly about 350 - 400 cals under it, sometimes more if i have done a workout.

So, why do i weigh more?
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Great question when you think of it pound for pound. The quanity of fat at a pound is a whole lot more that the quanity of muscle. It takes more fat to make a pound than muscle. Keep making muscle because it takes more calories to keep that muscle going (even at rest). Make sure you are eating enough calories. The weight will come off over time (sometimes slowly) if you keep up the workouts.
In the last year I have gained about 5 lbs - but have lost 2 pant sizes.  So keep up the workouts.  Ignore what the scale says and go by how your feel.  If you are losing inches you are succeeding.  For me I'd rather look thinner than I know I am. 

I always compare myself to a coworker who claims to be the same weight and height I am - she is not in good shape and quite frrankly she looks FAT.  People have a hard time accepting I weigh 165.  I don't look that heavy.  So if you like the results of working out is giving you enjoy this. 
Fat is less dense than muscle.  It's like comparing metal (muscle) with wood (fat).  Metal sinks in water; so does muscle.  Wood floats; so does fat. 

When I started college, I gained 20 pounds in a few months, going from 110 to 130.  It was all fat because I was eating fast food all the time, not working out etc.  Now I am working out again and actually weigh 133, more than I have ever weighed, but I feel great and look better and healthier than I did at 110!  I have meat on my arms to even out my 'pear' shape, a muscular thin middle, and my legs look sculpted and strong. 
#4  
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This is my first time on the message board.  I have been working on my weight for 4 months now.  For me personally it is hard not to look at the scale.  But I too must now be in the category of gaining muscle.  I work out 5 days a week (yoga, pilaties, 2 different cardio classes and a modern jazz dance class).  The last 2 weeks I have added in a personal trainer to step things up a notch.  In September I lost 10lbs but so far in October I haven't lost anything (it seems a lb or 2 depending on the day).  But I pulled out the tape measure and I lost 2 inches off my stomach and 1 1/2 off my hips.  So if I have dropped in size but not in weight then I must be adding muscle.
wow, thats great. Id love to lose that much in inches. When it comes down to it, id prefer to look slimmer. If i look slimmer and fit into the clothes i want to, i don't care about the scales!
#6  
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So true.  Why is it that us woman are so preocupied with the number on that scale?  It is still hard for me at times.  I have fitness evaluations every 3 months for a year at my gym.  My goal for this 3 months is to loose 15lbs.  My next evaluation is Dec. 22 and I have 8 more lbs to go.  It is frustrating when I am eating right and working out and the scale isn't moving. 

But I did have an aha moment at the gym a couple weeks ago.  The teacher of my 2 cardio classes was talking about how unfair it is that she had to be weighed for insurance but her husband didn't.  Someone came to their house to do it too!  Anyway she was saying she weighed 170lbs (I was totally shocked).  She said they only take into account her height 5' 4" and weight of 170lbs so she is obesse.  She was saying they need to take into account your body structure because she has a lot of muscle mass and that is what the weight is not fat.  I remember thinking I too was 170lbs but because of fat and I would love to look like her.  So that was my aha moment that if I looked like her and weighed 170lbs that would be okay with me.
I've pretty much stopped weighing myself. I rely on the tape measure.

Put simply, fat is 3X bigger than muscle. So it's better to lose a pound of fat than a pound of muscle.
or, more simply, a pound of (popped) popcorn is WAY bigger tan a pound of rocks.
Great visual!! I'll have to remember that!
Ok, you guys all seem to know what you are talking about.  I have gained some in the past few weeks as well.  I have also increased the amount of weight I am lifting, as well as my protein intake.  I suppose it could be from that.  But, legs are very big and bulky and I still seem to have the lovely jiggly fat on the back of my arm (I guess it protects my triceps!).  I know you can't spot target body fat.... that's fine with me- it can all go!  Does anyone have a "surefire" way to get rid of this excess bodyfat?  I want to keep the muscle.  I am getting so frustrated because I can't seem to lose anymore and I can't seem to change my shape.  What gives?
Wow! Soroful is still alive? I have not seen you post in a real long time. Welcome back.

Women are not the only ones that focus so much on weight. I obsese about it too, but have now started to take my waist measurements each week to help put things in perspective.
Not sure if it's been said, but what I've heard of muscle's density is that 1 square inch of muscle weighs 3 times more than 1 square inch of fat.  The comparison of muscle to metal and fat to wood was GREAT.  Muscle is heavier and denser, while fat is lighter and less dense.  Which is why I, at 183 lbs, look a whole lot fatter than a 220 lb weight lifter.  He weighs more, but I'm a lot fatter.

As they're saying...weight is not everything.  Inches are where its at.
I just wanted to clear something up.

It is true that fat takes up more space than muscle per pound.  It is not true, however, that fat takes up three times the amount of space as muscle.  I'm not sure exactly where this number came from. 

The density of human muscle is about 1.06 grams per mililiter.  The density of human fat is about .9 grams per mililiter.  Thus, muscle is about 18% more dense than fat.  If it were three times more dense than fat, then that number would be 300%.  So this whole three times thing is a myth.

But don't be discouraged, 18% is a lot, and is plenty to substantiate all the great results everyone is reporting with weighing more and looking thinner - that is not in question. 

Perhaps someone can help me determine where the 3 times thing came from as I have heard it many times as well.

Someone said that this myth might have come from confusing density with energy density.  I don't know if that's true.  If it were, then I am guessing it means that the same mass of muscle would be able to store three times the energy as the same mass of fat.  Again, I can't substantiate the accuracy of this.

Either way, this would have to do with potential energy and molecular and chemical bonds inside your tissues.  This is NOT what everyone is talking about when you are thinking of fat taking up three times the amount of space as muscle.  It's simply not true according to the math.

If anyone can enlighten me as this energy density thing, or where the 3x myth came from, I'd be delighted to hear it.
What ever it is, I rather focus on being slimmer. 'Width, not Weight' is my goal. I stop weighing myself on scale. In fact, I have none at home for a long time. What I have is a full length mirror and a tape measure. Weight is relative too. I am much lighter than a friend of mine that looks hell-a-lot better than me. We are talking about similar height and age here. Hard to swallow, but it sure gives me motivation.

Oh, and if you look good, feel, good, it doesn't matter what the scale tells you, doe it? ~.^
#16  
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This concet has worked backwards for me and now I am going to try to get back on track.  I was playing softball in college and weighed as much as 169 lbs, but because it was all muscle, no one would have guessed I weighed this much.  Now that I have graduated and don't work out so avidly I have lost a lot of muscle and am gaining fat, yet I weigh 160 lbs.  My goal is to see what I can look like to lose the fat after I lost all that muscle. 

when you hear some one say Muscle weighs more then fat they are referring to the same volume of muscle vs the same volume of Fat.  People get carried away with the 1lb of lead and 1lb of feathers concept and turn around and say that muscle and fat weigh the same! The same volume of muscle does not weigh the same volume of fat.  How much more space does a 1lb of feathers take up then a block of lead! what would you rather be made of feathers (soft and fluffy and light, taking up lots of space) or lead (compact, dense, and heavy and taking up minimal space)

The science behind it is that Fat takes up approximately 18% more space than Muscle. so for 1 L of muscle weighs = 1.06 kg and 1.18L of Fat weighs = 1.06 kg

if you have 5 kg (11 lb) of muscle = 5 L     5kg (11) of Fat = 5.9 L

The scale is evil and if it makes you feel bad, chuck it and go by your waist to hip measurements and the way your clothes feel and what other people are saying.  I think as women we keep the scale around because we like the drama of it. Go watch "He's just not that into you" It is really funny and see if you are applying that kind of drama to your scale.

I myself am very dense (haha) and have a very high Lean Body Mass for a female.

I fluctuate between 135 - 140 ( and wear a size 6, in the stores that don't fluctuate their sizes)

so how frequent do  you measure yourself? I have been going to the gym, lifting weight and doing cardio for a month. I am also on a calorie deficit. no changes in my measurements or the scale.

sorry if this is not related to the original question.

I am pretty random about weighing myself. I usually get on the scale to show people how heavy you can be and still be lean. And I only measure myself once every 6 months. I guage myself by my clothes. If my skinny jeans get snug then I haven't been paying attention to what I am putting in my mouth.

  There could be several reasons for not seeing a change in measurements?

1) Too big of a calorie deficit?/ not eating enough food

        are you hungry all the time? or going to bed hungry

2) Performing the wrong type of cardio

        are you working out doing Long duration Cardio or Short High Intensity Cardio?      

3) Lifting weights or doing exercises that are too light or easy.

 are you doing more whole body exercises ( squats, lunges, burpees...)or isolated exercises (ie leg curl, leg ext, bicep curl.....)


Last question how close are you to your goals! Because that makes a difference as well.

 

ybff, thanks. My burn meter is 1900 and I eat 1400 -1500 a day so I guess that is fine.

No, I am not hungry all the time. as a matter of fact, I eat breakfast even sometimes I feel full.

I think I just need to a cardio plan but I don't know what to do. I am a bit confused. after a long break from the gym, my fitness level declined. I am able to jog 2 miles per 30 minutes. that is what I have been doing three times a week for a month.

weight training? I do six exercises only three times a week. squats, deadlifts, bench press, military press, lat pull down, and leg press. 

I still have 50 pounds to lose. 

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