Muscle does not weigh more than fat myth

Discussion in 'Slimming World' started by Brightonrosie, 14 July 2010 Social URL.

  1. Brightonrosie

    Brightonrosie I want to be fitter again

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    Time and time again I have seen people blaming exercise for gaining weight so i thought this might help

    Muscle Does Not Weigh More Than Fat (five pounds is five pounds), but it is Much Nicer to Look at

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    5 Lb. Fat vs. 5 Lb. MuscleAs you can see, the 5 lbs. of fat is much bulkier than the 5 lbs. of muscle, but five pounds is still five pounds. Muscle does not weigh more than fat.
    Fat is bulky and lumpy so if you carry an extra five pounds of fat, you'll be lumpier than with five pounds more muscle. A five pound pile of fat will take up more space (volume) than a five pound pile of muscle; but five pounds is still five pounds, so for those of you that don't "get" English, you cannot say one thing weighing a certain weight weighs more than another thing at that same weight. It's a common joke to play on an 8-year old. The correct way to state the muscle weighs more than fat scenario is, "Muscle is heavier by volume than fat."
    A woman weighing 150 pounds with 19% fat will look much smaller (and be much healthier) than a woman at 150 pounds with 35% fat. They weigh the same, yet the composition is different. Because muscle is more dense than fat the person with less fat and more muscle will look smaller
     
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  3. jerricebenton

    jerricebenton Silver Member

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    When you first take up exercise though, your muscle produce a ton of acid & retain water, so it is a plausable reason for a weight gain in your first week or two of starting a strenuous excercise regime. Doesnt take yoru body long to get used to it though.
     
  4. Brightonrosie

    Brightonrosie I want to be fitter again

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    Totally agree and well said xxx
     
  5. mum of 2

    mum of 2 Full Member

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    Of course 5lb is 5lb and I totally get what you're saying. Its the same as that riddle, which is heavier a ton of lead or a ton of feathers? They're the same.

    HOWEVER, when people say muscle weighs more, what is meant is that if you take 1cm cube muscle and 1cm cube fat, which weighs more? Also you lose 0.5 inches fat (through diet) and gain 0.5 inches muscle (through exercise), will your weight go up or down?

    Of course I could be completely wrong in saying that 1cm cube of muscle weighs more than 1cm cube fat. Im not a scientist, but it is just what I have been led to believe.

    I think what you are saying, instead of saying muscle weighs more people should be all scientifically correct and say "Muscle is heavier by volume than fat". Then again the average person (I believe) doesnt really talk light that all the time do they?
     
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  6. Loopeylou

    Loopeylou Gold Member

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    I think the visual is great but I am one of those suffering from sts and small gain in the last 2 weeks since starting the gym.....my understanding was that your muscles take on water to help them heal intially but still not easy to comprehend when stepping on the scales.

    If my food has been on plan and i'm not losing then what could be the reason?
    I'm not looking for bigger loses from exercising as this is about me getting fitter and stronger but it is disheartening.
     
  7. Starlight

    Starlight Gold Member

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    Funnily enough I was watching the Biggest Loser this week and a contestant sts and said shed been at the gym and it was muscle not fat. Bob and Jillian nearly exploded when she said it, saying it was absolute rubbish then Jillian followed it up with the other myth she hates is, 'you havent lost lbs, youve lost inches' which she also dismissed as rubbish.... didnt know what to make of that
     
  8. eternity

    eternity Gold Member

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    To build muscle is difficult, and apparently impossible on a reducing diet.
    To build muscle takes a specific diet and specific exercises.
    I always have to bite my tongue when people perpetuate the myth about not losing weight because they've exercised and therefore gained muscle.
    Your muscles do retain water initially but this disperses within a few hours, so I never understand people who go to the gym just before WI thinking that it's going to give them a better weight loss.
    I'm glad you've brought it up Rosie.
     
  9. jerricebenton

    jerricebenton Silver Member

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    Ive seen Jillian say that before .... and we have seen how much the BL contestants work out, and dont gain when they are obvioulsy bulking up on muscle .. so Id tend to believe her! and they are experts in that area too.
     
  10. jaylou

    jaylou Gold Member

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    Thank you for posting this Rosie - I agree entirely with what you have said.

    My twopennorth (for what it's worth) - yes muscles do retain a certain amount of water after exercising and I agree with Eternity, I would never go to WI straight after the gym or a run.

    Time and time again I hear the following things at WI - but I've been exercising I thought I'd lose more (not going to happen, exercise helps tone up but will not really shift tons and tons more weight), I've been exercising more - group response, it must be muscle building up (this makes me grind my teeth.....) or when asked how they intend to lose the 2 or 3lb they set their weekly target at - oh I'll go out and do some more exercise!!!

    Please, exercise is great for our bodies, it tones us up and makes us look slimmer and leaner but it will not make that weight fall off. You will not build muscle in a week or month, it takes time and a lot of it - you will burn fat which is great.

    Good food plus moderate exercise is they key but you can lose weight very successfully without exercising, I know as I did. I've only started now as it's good for the body, not for any other reason.

    Off my soap box now.
     
  11. downsizingmycurves

    downsizingmycurves Silver Member

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    Exercise will burn more fat though surely - hence SW promoting Body Magic alongside Food Optimising as the best way to lose weight.

    The two people who regularly exercise in my group, regularly have the best weight losses.

    The initial water retention seems to be a genuine issue but of course 5ib of muscle does not weigh less than 5 lb of fat and I doubt those saying it think it does either. Its just a lazy way of saying that it takes up less space and so people will look smaller when toned.
     
  12. krupskaya

    krupskaya Gold Member

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    Thanks for the post Rosie - of course you're quite right. And if it was that easy to build muscle while exercising, body builders would not need to resort to steroids to bulk up on muscle.

    ZXXXXXXXXXXXX
     
  13. jaylou

    jaylou Gold Member

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    Quite true although they don't push it quite as much as some other diet groups.

    However, SW say that exercise may result in one to two pounds extra weight loss per month. I think this is a lot less than people expect and it's not guaranteed.

    As I said before, it's good for you but it will not make the weight fall off at a great rate of knots!
     
  14. laura2481

    laura2481 Silver Member

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    Yay! I hate it when people say this. Drives me bonkers. A Ib is a Ib no matter what it's made up of... muscle just takes up less space! :p
     
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