Weight Loss Support - Jen the Myth Buster!!




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Jen415
02-03-2009, 09:45 AM
I've seen this statement around the boards alot lately:

"Muscle weighs more than fat."

Folks, let's put this myth to rest. A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat. A pound is a pound is a pound.

Muscle DOES, however, occupy less space than fat. And that is ultimately what we want--to occupy less space!

Here is some more reading on the subject:

http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=8311
http://caloriecount.about.com/muscle-weight-more-fat-ft16616
http://www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/does-muscle-weigh-more-than-fat-542448.html


midwife
02-03-2009, 09:51 AM
Thanks, Jen. A pound is a pound is a pound.

A pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of lead weighs the same as a pound of Jello weighs the same as a pound of pencils weighs the same as a pound of goldfish weighs the same as a pound of salami weighs the same as a pound of grass (no, not that kind of grass! but yes they weigh the same) as a pound of English muffins, chihuahuas, chicken wings, pebbles & yarn.

A pound of X weighs the same as a pound of Y.

That is why it is a standardized unit of measurement! :D

srmb60
02-03-2009, 09:51 AM
Very true Jen. There used to be a riddle about what is heavier a ton of bricks or a ton of feathers. Reminds me of that.

Somebody used to post a really good picture of a piece of muscle and a piece of fat. Equal in weight but not volume. I wonder if they still have it somewhere.


midwife
02-03-2009, 09:54 AM
http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=17582 Pic!

willow650
02-03-2009, 09:56 AM
I think everyone technically knows that. I think they meant it as size, like if you see a pile of muscle and a pile of fat the same size, the muscle weighs more.

Jacquie668
02-03-2009, 10:02 AM
I think the comment comes from the frustrations of people who step on the scale only to see a "gain" in weight when in reality they have gained muscle not fat or they are loosing inches, but not weight.

I think this also comes down to understanding what role a scale plays. It is a tool to help guide you with your weight loss journey. There are times when I get frustrated with what the scale says, but now I tend to look at the whole picture. Meaning if I'm noticing my clothes getting loose, yet I'm not showing a weight loss, then I'm assuming I'm gaining some muscle there which is a good thing. I also take into consideration that my body retains water and all that other junk as well lol.

So, I personally think the comment about muscle weighing more than fat is a reaction to scale frustration, but maybe that is just me.

srmb60
02-03-2009, 10:05 AM
Yup Jacquie ... I agree.

I sometimes joke that I'm going to write a book called "You Don't Really Want to Lose Weight, You Just Want to be Smaller"

FB
02-03-2009, 10:10 AM
Yup Jacquie ... I agree.

I sometimes joke that I'm going to write a book called "You Don't Really Want to Lose Weight, You Just Want to be Smaller"
as a pound of English muffins, chihuahuas, chicken wings, pebbles & yarn.


:lol:

FB
02-03-2009, 10:14 AM
Help me with this aspect of the myth... doesn't it take a really, really, really long time to put on substantial muscle weight/mass?

I've always been under the impression that a huge bulky muscle man would be thrilled to put on 15 pounds of muscle with intense training and big eating - and that it would take about a year without juicing up.

srmb60
02-03-2009, 10:19 AM
I liked the pound of chihuahuas too!

I think so FB. I can't fish any good resources out of my head but Mel is a good example. At goal weight she did not have her goal body. She worked really had and got smaller. No bulk.

I wonder if any of the ladies in the weight lifting threads have had any trouble? with sleeves? or pants legs?

rockinrobin
02-03-2009, 10:20 AM
Another thing I often hear in regard to muscle, is that people are always looking to "turn their large _______ into muscle". Well, you can't do that. You need to get rid of the fat and gain muscle through some sort of strength training. Two separate things. You can never change fat into muscle. The good thing though is that you can gain muscle WHILE still, being, ummm fat. The muscle will be there underneath the fat. And once that fat is gone, good riddance, adios, buh-buh, you will get to SEE that muscle. :)

I think the comment comes from the frustrations of people who step on the scale only to see a "gain" in weight when in reality they have gained muscle not fat or they are loosing inches, but not weight.

I also don't think people are aware that it takes several months of strength training to build and gain muscle. It does NOT happen in two weeks time. But it will happen. It most certainly will. Just keep at it and one day - there they'll be. The human body is so amazing. :strong:

And thankfully, very, very forgiving. ;)

Jacquie668
02-03-2009, 10:26 AM
I think the difference is you have someone like me who is trying to loose weight and activate my muscles, build them up a bit with certain types of training. Example, strength training such a pilates or smaller weights for lifting or heck even Yoga. Someone who is training to put on muscle, eating a diet that feeds muscle, is doing a different type of training in order to bulk themselves up.

For most of us we want to loose fat as our main goal and we are focused on strength building. We'll gain muscle, but it isn't our specific goal until we start training for it, if that makes sense.

FB
02-03-2009, 10:27 AM
Oh shoot Susan, that would be the case with me as well - getting smaller by lifting. It seems the heavier I lift, the smaller I get. I love it!

Yeah, I had trouble with sleeves and pants legs - BEFORE I started weight training. :)

Robin, isn't the human body wondrously forgiving though? It's so amazing to me too.

JayEll
02-03-2009, 10:29 AM
It is hard for anyone to put on a pound of muscle. It is less hard for men. So, although gaining muscle weight is good, it's not like one can do a trade-off. Those guys and gals who compete in bodybuilding contests spend a long time bulking up and do really hard workouts to get there.

I doubt that even a highly motivated man could put on 15 pounds of muscle in a year.

Increasing the percent of lean body mass and lowering body fat percent is the most important measurement, in my opinion. Lean body mass is more than just muscle, btw.

Jay

FB
02-03-2009, 10:37 AM
What about the theory that water retention is a common occurrence when you first get into resistance training? That likely adds fuel to the myth.

When I first started training, a good lower body workout could (and occasionally still does) result in a 3-5 pound gain easily.

Sorry, I'm feeling chatty this morning. Off to the gym! It's legs day.

Thighs Be Gone
02-03-2009, 11:12 AM
I see what you mean, a pound is a pound. I think most get that one.

I agree with the others though that mass isn't the same weight. You can have one gal that weighs 200 in a size 14 and another one (same height and weight) wearing an 18.

Thighs Be Gone
02-03-2009, 11:14 AM
What about the theory that water retention is a common occurrence when you first get into resistance training? That likely adds fuel to the myth.

When I first started training, a good lower body workout could (and occasionally still does) result in a 3-5 pound gain easily.

Sorry, I'm feeling chatty this morning. Off to the gym! It's legs day.


I have always read that a couple of pounds (unsure of max) is normal when you first begin training because of the repairation of the muscles. Water is retained in them in the beginning as part of that process. It comes off though.

Extasee58865
02-03-2009, 11:40 AM
It is hard for anyone to put on a pound of muscle. It is less hard for men. So, although gaining muscle weight is good, it's not like one can do a trade-off. Those guys and gals who compete in bodybuilding contests spend a long time bulking up and do really hard workouts to get there.

I doubt that even a highly motivated man could put on 15 pounds of muscle in a year.

Increasing the percent of lean body mass and lowering body fat percent is the most important measurement, in my opinion. Lean body mass is more than just muscle, btw.

Jay


My boyfriend is a serious body builder & has went from 155 lbs to 210 lbs of muscle... BUT.... That has taken 11 yrs to do. I never realized how hard it was to gain muscle until I see him bench 375 lbs @ the gym and think about how long he has worked to go from the scrawny kid I knew in high school the lean sexy man he is now :D

corazonas
02-03-2009, 12:14 PM
mmm... sexy pic! :lol:

that pic (of the pound of fat and muscle) reminds me of a website i saw a long time ago- mypetfat . com i think. you could BUY a replica of a pound of fat! or 5 lbs or what have you... it was so gross! and people would like leave it in their fridge and stuff to deter them from eating... hahahaha

Eves
02-03-2009, 12:31 PM
What about the theory that water retention is a common occurrence when you first get into resistance training? That likely adds fuel to the myth.

When I first started training, a good lower body workout could (and occasionally still does) result in a 3-5 pound gain easily.


It happens even when you're not a beginner. Muscle needs plenty of fluids to repair itself, that's why I never weigh myself after legs day.

Talking about that, I need to get back to using weights...

JayEll
02-03-2009, 12:45 PM
Thighs be gone, and then there are the girls who weighed 198 and wore a size 20. Go figure.

Jay

lumifan4ever
02-03-2009, 01:11 PM
ok...i know i always weighed more when my legs were really sore...what about arms?? They retain fluids to when their sore from working out, don't they?? Cause i'm up another pound since yesterday morning and i did a pretty good work out on my arms last night. I also ate a little heavier meal than usualy (carbs) but i also excersize on the elliptical for 20 minutes after my arms work out.

WarMaiden
02-03-2009, 01:24 PM
I'm wondering, though, about the changes to my muscles which started becoming very evident within just two to four weeks of training. I'm still very obese, of course, but for example--my triceps muscle and shoulder muscles started being very visible when I flex or when I'm just doing my daily activities. My arms overall and lower body have become FAR more firm, also--to sight and to touch.

Doesn't that mean that I am actually building muscle? What else would explain them becoming more obvious--"bulking up" to the naked eye?

Daimere
02-03-2009, 01:36 PM
ok...i know i always weighed more when my legs were really sore...what about arms?? They retain fluids to when their sore from working out, don't they?? Cause i'm up another pound since yesterday morning and i did a pretty good work out on my arms last night. I also ate a little heavier meal than usualy (carbs) but i also excersize on the elliptical for 20 minutes after my arms work out.

Yes, they will still retain water. It's a "problem" weighing in after your legs day because your legs are part of your largest muscle groups. They will retain more water just because there is more muscle. I think I explained that decently. :p

JayEll
02-03-2009, 01:46 PM
I think there is a difference between muscle definition and muscle bulk. If you use muscles, they become more defined, that is, they tone up, their shape changes. And with repeated use, they also become larger. That's what you're probably seeing in 2 to 4 weeks.

Is it a pound of muscle? Well, it could be more than that if you have been working out vigorously.

So the change in your weight is a combination of fat loss, water weight (up or down), and lean body mass change (up or down). That's why I think body fat % is so important.

Jay

lumifan4ever
02-03-2009, 04:10 PM
daimere...i think you explained that just fine. And i think that we are thinking the same thing. When you work out your legs, they are a much larger muscle and so they retain a much larger amount of fluids...up to possibly 5 pounds. But the arms, much smaller muscles, will retain fluids but much less..possibly up to 1 or 2 pounds. I believe that may be correct. If i am wrong, someone please let me know. I know that reasoning makes me feel better about being up another pound this morning. And all i know is that i am definately going to drink my water, and excersize and stay on plan today and tomorrow and hope that the weight goes back down (which i'm sure it will).

Eves
02-03-2009, 05:37 PM
Also, remember that as the fat around the muscle goes away you can see them better!

EZMONEY
02-03-2009, 11:15 PM
FACT or MYTH? ~

Jen will do her second 5K faster than her first.....

Waiting for the results.....;)

srmb60
02-04-2009, 01:01 AM
Fact!

Jen415
02-04-2009, 10:17 AM
FACT or MYTH? ~

Jen will do her second 5K faster than her first.....

Waiting for the results.....;)

Gosh thanks, y'all!! <blush>

I sure hope my second 5K is faster than my last....turtles are faster! ROFL

srmb60
02-04-2009, 02:48 PM
This turned out to be a pretty informative thread!

Jen415
02-04-2009, 03:47 PM
It sure did! :)

FB
02-04-2009, 04:03 PM
Thanks Jen, I had fun! :)

redlight
02-05-2009, 02:12 AM
Actually a cubic inch of muscle weighs more than a cubic inch of fat.

aware210
02-05-2009, 03:06 AM
a pound is a pound but muscle weighs more than fat. hard to wrap your mind around i guess lol. but lets see if it can get clearer..
muscle does not weigh more than fat..becasue clearly a pound of fat and a pound of muscle both weigh a pound

BUT a pound of fat, will occupy more space than a pound of muscle, therefore if you have a set of fat and a set of muscle, that both occupy the same volume of space, then the muscle will weigh more than the fat

like a bowling ball weighs more than a blow up ball of the same size and shape.. right?

JayEll
02-05-2009, 08:04 AM
Yep! That's it! :cheer2: Good analogy, Aware210.

Jay

mayness
02-05-2009, 04:00 PM
a pound is a pound but muscle weighs more than fat. hard to wrap your mind around i guess lol. but lets see if it can get clearer..
muscle does not weigh more than fat..becasue clearly a pound of fat and a pound of muscle both weigh a pound

BUT a pound of fat, will occupy more space than a pound of muscle, therefore if you have a set of fat and a set of muscle, that both occupy the same volume of space, then the muscle will weigh more than the fat

like a bowling ball weighs more than a blow up ball of the same size and shape.. right?

Yup... and that's what everyone means when they use that phrase... which is why I've always wondered why all of the "a pound is a pound" ****s will instantly correct anyone who says it. :dizzy: (I love you guys.. I really do.. it's just one of my pet peeves! And I'm not just referring to these forums.) I sure don't say it anymore, lol.

JayEll
02-05-2009, 04:13 PM
mayness, I think it's because a lot of people say, "A pound of muscle weighs more than a pound of fat." And that's wrong. :)

The right way to say it is that a pound of muscle is smaller in size than a pound of fat.

And around it goes! :rofl: :crazy:

Jay