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Does muscle weigh more than fat?

I hear people talking about how muscle weighs more than fat all the time. Many people also believe that fat can turn into muscle and muscle can turn to fat. The truth is, muscle and fat are completely different. We can only lose or gain fat, and/or lose and gain muscle. One cannot be converted to the other. And in the end, one pound of fat weighs exactly the same as one pound of muscle. However, muscle takes up less space than fat because it is denser than fat. 

For example, a woman weighing 150 pounds with 20% fat will look much smaller, and be much healthier, than a woman weighing the same 150 pounds but has 40% fat. Both women weight exactly the same (150 pounds), yet their body composition is different. Because muscle is more dense than fat, the woman with less fat and more muscle will look smaller. 

This is a big reason why I always stress to you to not focus solely on the number you see on the scale each week. Even though you may not be seeing a change on the scale, your body composition may be changing which is a very good thing. Therefore, use the scale as a guide, but also take body measurements to measure your success. 

 

 

One pound of fat weighs the same as one pound of muscle. Muscle takes up less space because it is denser. This means that if you have a consistent workout and strength training schedule, you should experience a change in body shape. If you begin strength training but do not increase your caloric intake, you should experience weight loss from the burning of extra calories.

I love this question because it is a bit of a brainteaser.

No matter what you are weighing, 1 pound of anything is still a pound no matter if it is brick, sand, water, power or feathers. The key is in the amount of space it takes up. If we take a 1-pound brick and put it next to 1 pound of feathers, they weigh the same but the space that is taken up is vastly different. Muscle is like a brick; it takes up a smaller space but is denser. The feathers are like fat; they take up more space but are not very dense.   

So in translation, a muscular person who weighs 185 pounds will take up less space than a person who weighs 185 pounds but the weight is mainly from fat. The most important concept is understanding that having more lean muscle allows the necessary support needed by your skeleton for the daily movement need throughout your life. Fat...simply adds stress to your body and all of its systems.

Visual: 5 pounds of fat is comparable to the size of a 2-liter bottle. Now, check out the size of a 5-pound weight. Very different 

Homework: Carry 10 extra pounds with you for an entire day and journal how you felt physically and emotionally.  You will be amazed at the effort it takes for just 10 pounds.

Robert DeVito
Fitness

Does muscle weigh more than fat?

This is a common Fitness Myth.

One pound of fat weighs exactly as much as one pound of fat does. Remove the muscle and fat from the question and what you are left with is: Does 1 lb weigh more than 1 lb?

Muscles density is different, so, it has less volume than fat does. Basically, it takes up less space. An analogy I heard long ago was - which weighs more -1 lb of bricks or 1 lb of feathers?

These too, weigh the same but take up different amounts of space.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.