This is one of those things we’ve all heard a million times… muscle is heavier than fat. So you can be working out like crazy, get on the scale and get a shock… the number is higher than you think it should be, higher than your new, fit self expected. Remember that when you start a weight loss program, some of the early, dramatic drops in that number on the scale are from water weight and fluid loss.
You can help how you look with exercise and not necessarily see a change in your body weight though you will be firmer, more sculpted and perhaps leaner. This doesn’t mean you’re getting tons of muscle and losing all kinds of fat. Fat doesn’t turn into muscle, and if you stop workouts your new muscle will not change into fat. Each of these tissues is unique and cannot change into the other.
A pound of muscle does weight the same as a pound of fat – just as a pound of lead weighs the same as a pound of feathers. The misconception comes out of the fact that muscle is more dense than fat, so that by volume it seems like it weighs more. Fat is more fluffy. Muscles take up less space than the pound of fat. So your weight might actually go up as you increase your amount of compact, tight muscle mass.
But remember, muscle burns more fat, even at rest. So by upping your lean muscle mass you are naturally helping your body burn more calories.
The lesson experts say, is to focus on your body, not the number on a scale. If you’re working hard to improve your fitness level, and see a weight gain, you’re likely adding calorie-burning muscle to your body. To get an aqccurate read on your health, look at your body fat ratio to lean muscle mass. There are three ways to do this…
1. Hydrostatic weight measurement, or being weighed under water… not very easy or pleasant.
2. Bioelectrical impedance scale (body fat scale) is something you can pick up at most sporting goods stores. A low level electrical signal passes through your body when you step on the scale, and this computes the percentage of body fat based on the amount of resistance the signal encountered as it moves through the body.
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Truth About Muscle And Fat Weight Continued…
3. Body fat caliper, is an accurate and easy way to tell. Any gym with a personal trainer can use the caliper to take some measurements, use a formula and calculate your body fat.
Since muscles need more calories each day, but will burn fat like crazy, and this should help you reach your weight loss goals. If you’ve only got a small amount to lose, weight training isn’t helping you move the number on the scale down, but you will look thinner and your clothing will fit differently.
If you have a very large amount of weight to lose, regular workouts will still bring an increase in lean body mass and a loss of body fat. The results on the scale will likely be more dramatic at the start and will slow as you get closer to a more normal weight. How you look will be where you (and others) see the results.
To your good health,