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myth buster….bummer dude

July 12, 2012

Raise your hand if you have heard someone say:

“Muscle Weighs More Than Fat.”

Raise your hand if you think this is true.

I hate to bust anyone’s bubble but 1 pound of muscle and 1 pound of fat both weigh 1 pound. Neither weighs more than the other. It is like the old “gotcha joke” of what weighs more 1000 pounds of feathers or a 1000 pounds of bricks? Neither…they are both 1000 pounds.

Same thing with fat and muscle.

Bummer.

I hear people say ALL.THE.TIME. that they are working out but gaining weight but it is okay because muscle weighs more than fat. (said in a sing-song voice)

Um…no…it doesn’t. You are probably gaining weight because you are working out more and due to an increase in hunger aren’t realizing that you are consuming too many calories to create a weight loss.

The difference between muscle and fat is the amount of space they each take up. Meaning if you look at five pounds of muscle and five pounds of fat side by side, the fat takes up more volume, or space, than the muscle. Which explains why two women who both weigh 125 pounds and are the same height can wear two different sizes. One woman’s weight might be made up of more fat causing her to wear a size 6 while the other woman’s weight might be made up of more muscle causing her to wear a size 2.

 [photo credit]

See the difference?

Muscle is also better because muscle boosts a person’s metabolism, so a pound of muscle will burn more calories at rest than a pound of fat. Even when you’re not exercising — you could be sitting on the couch watching TV — you will be burning more calories just by having more muscle.

So..okay…just wanted to clarify that. For all my friends whose heart I just broke. I’m sorry.

Really.

Sorry.

Did you ever legitimately think muscle weighed more than fat?

I’ll admit I used to. I use to say that line all the time in college. HA!

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. July 12, 2012 7:40 am

    I’m pretty sure I’ve said that line a few times…whoops. Got me.

  2. July 12, 2012 7:46 am

    A-freakin’-men. I’ve written a similar post, and many of my friends still walk around saying that in the same sing-songy voice. It sort of makes me want to scream.

  3. July 12, 2012 8:10 am

    I just lost 5 lbs, and looking at that picture makes me feel like it’s much more significant than I was giving myself credit for.

    • July 12, 2012 8:12 am

      HECK YEAH DUDE!!! Toot your horn….5 pounds is awesome! 🙂

  4. July 12, 2012 8:15 am

    Omg that fat looks digusting. I should probably look at that before everytime I work out. Just to motivate me more.

  5. July 12, 2012 8:35 am

    I used to do that all the time when I started working out. I would also say “feathers” so I’ve learned a lot since then;)

    • July 13, 2012 8:24 am

      I always would say bricks when I was younger. 🙂

  6. July 12, 2012 9:41 am

    Gah – used to hear this from clients all.the.time!!! 1lb is 1lb people!

  7. July 12, 2012 9:58 am

    Oops. Guilty! Pretty sure I’ve said it recently too. Noted 🙂 Never said common sense was my strong suit.

    • July 12, 2012 2:27 pm

      I use to say it too…don’t worry! It wasn’t until I started thinking about it that I was like hey wait a minute!

  8. July 12, 2012 11:16 am

    Oh, I’ve totally said that before without even thinking about it. I’ve always looked at it kind of like muscle takes up less space than fat does though, so I guess at least logically I understand. 🙂

  9. July 12, 2012 12:03 pm

    Ewww, that photo of the fat is gross enough to make me want to workout more! Haha

  10. Katie permalink
    July 12, 2012 12:10 pm

    I’ve definitely heard it. Maybe it’s their short (yet inaccurate) way of implying that if you have gained weight from exercise but are in better shape, it can be because you lost fat but gained more muscle than you had in fat . . . Maybe?! 🙂 Trying to give the benefit of the doubt here! haha

  11. July 12, 2012 1:08 pm

    Ahhh, this totally made me feel like an idiot. This is so true–why did I not realize this before?! ahh

  12. July 12, 2012 3:18 pm

    Been there, done that. Great reminder!

  13. July 12, 2012 4:52 pm

    I used to before I became a health major. I hate when people are losing weight, then stop, then claim it’s because they are gaining muscle. (even though they are doing all cardio..)…anyways…Great post!

  14. July 12, 2012 7:11 pm

    It does, as you kind of point out, if you put it in a volume context. That was how it was always explained to me. The same volume of muscle weighs more than the same volume of fat. So, in the right context it’s not a myth.

    • July 12, 2012 7:13 pm

      That’s a good point. In that context it does makes sense.

  15. July 12, 2012 7:35 pm

    I think this is one of my biggest pet peeves haha. I don’t mean it to come out mean, because I know people just get confused, but obviously one pound of fat is the same weight as one pound of muscle. Kind of like when people would say in middle school what is heavier, a 1 pound brick or 1 pound of feathers.

  16. July 12, 2012 8:11 pm

    Hahaha wow. I legitimately thought this to be a factual statement for a really long time. I’m glad you’ve helped me see the light!

  17. July 13, 2012 2:17 pm

    Actually, muscle holds more water than fat. Nearly two times as much. So it actually DOES weigh more – but it’s not muscle mass, it’s the water content.

    • July 13, 2012 4:26 pm

      But a pound is a pound is a pound. So no matter if muscle holds more water it would still be 1 pound. I don’t understand how how one pound of muscle and one pound of fat wouldn’t both weigh one pound.

  18. anony permalink
    July 15, 2012 5:18 pm

    Wow, SOMEONE has a ‘holier than thou’ attitude…

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