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Jen the Myth Buster!!

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Old 02-03-2009, 08:45 AM   #1
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Default Jen the Myth Buster!!

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/a...=1&art_id=8311
http://caloriecount.about.com/muscle...re-fat-ft16616
http://www.articlesbase.com/health-a...at-542448.html
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:51 AM   #2
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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!
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:51 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:54 AM   #4
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http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/atta...chmentid=17582 Pic!
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:56 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:02 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:05 AM   #7
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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"
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanB View Post
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"
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Originally Posted by midwife View Post
as a pound of English muffins, chihuahuas, chicken wings, pebbles & yarn.

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Old 02-03-2009, 09:14 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:19 AM   #10
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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?
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:20 AM   #11
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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.

Quote:
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.

And thankfully, very, very forgiving.

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Old 02-03-2009, 09:26 AM   #12
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I think the difference is you have someone like me who is trying to lose 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.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:27 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:29 AM   #14
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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.

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Old 02-03-2009, 09:37 AM   #15
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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.
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