# Muscle doesn't weigh more than fat

Discussion in 'The DIS Unplugged Podcast' started by disneysteve, Dec 8, 2012.

1. ### disneysteveDIS meet junkie

Joined:
Sep 29, 2002
Messages:
13,057
First, congratulations to Pete, Kevin, and whoever else has been successfully losing weight. Pete really nailed it when he said he has finally discovered the secret - eat less food. Once you realize that, the pounds start melting away, so good job for that.

I just finished the 10/31 show (yes, I know I'm behind - I'm working on that ) and someone (one of the new correspondents whose name escapes me right now) made a comment about gaining weight due to buidling muscle mass from exercise because muscle weighs more than fat.

Sorry to disappoint you but that is complete and utter nonsense. Remember the old riddle: Which weighs more - a pound of feathers or a pound of bricks? The answer is they both weigh a pound. The same is true for fat and muscle. The difference isn't weight but rather density. A pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. That's why when you lose body fat and build muscle mass you tone up and get firmer. You may not lose any weight but you will look trimmer.

If you are trying to lose weight and get healthier, you want to gain muscle mass and decrease body fat. Not only does it help you look leaner, muscle also has a higher metabolism than fat so the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns, even if you are just sitting on the sofa doing nothing.

So again, congrats to Pete, Kevin, and everyone else working on this. But the next time somebody tries to use the excuse that they gained weight because they gained muscle, don't buy it.

2. ### Mike2023DIS Veteran

Joined:
Feb 24, 2008
Messages:
1,303
If a pound of muscle takes up less space then a pound of fat then by your definition muscle weighs more then fat?

3. ### disneysteveDIS meet junkie

Joined:
Sep 29, 2002
Messages:
13,057
Nope. You're confusing weight and volume which are not the same thing.

One pound of muscle weighs one pound.
One pound of fat weighs one pound.

One cubic inch of muscle weighs more than one cubic inch of fat however.

Another common exercise/weight loss myth is when people say they converted their fat into muscle. That isn't possible. Fat is fat and muscle is muscle. One can't become the other.

Joined:
Apr 3, 2008
Messages:
948
I love this and how SO many people think that. A pound is a pound!!

You are correct Steve.

6. ### LilyWDWGoing to My Happy Place

Joined:
May 7, 2006
Messages:
10,124
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Yes, this is one of those pet peeves that I have.

7. ### BonniecDIS Veteran

Joined:
Aug 22, 2011
Messages:
2,777
How do you know that you gain muscle at the same rate you lose fat? Your thought process just makes me question that.

At any rate, as someone who has lost over 40 pounds in the past 4 months I would agree that the secret is simple. Eat less and move more.

DH and I have both been doing very well. We do use a Fitbit pedometer and I like it because we can enter in the foods we eat and it tells us how much we've burned verses eating. So if I sit on my butt reading the Dis all day, I pretty much have to starve, lol. But if I get in 15,000 steps in the parks I get to eat a lot. (And it sucks because being a dude, my hubby gets to eat SO much more than I do )

We haven't even worried so much about WHAT we eat. We do try to eat more healthy (more bang for the buck), but we still enjoy the same things we always have...just less of it.

ETA: I will add this though, every single time we have long walking days at the parks, we always gain weight the next day. My guess is it is dehydration. It's always hot here and we tend to eat very little when in the parks. So I am guessing that causes water retention or swelling or something. I don't know what it is, but it always causes a gain for both of us. Then a day or two later we have a huge loss. So now we just weigh in during the middle of the week. I wonder if that happens to everyone after a lot of exercise and causes people to think it's muscle.

8. ### Mike2023DIS Veteran

Joined:
Feb 24, 2008
Messages:
1,303
No, im not confused. The title of this thread is "Muscle doesn't weigh more then fat" not "a pound of muscle doesn't weigh more then a point of fat"

A pound of anything weighs the same as a pound of anything else.

One cubic inch of muscle versus one cubic inch of fat the muscle weighs more, therefore muscle weighs more then fat.

Your same example can be applied to any 2 substances.

I agree though that the turm "muscle weighs more then fat" and what it means when it comes to weight loss is an incorrect assumption.

9. ### disneysteveDIS meet junkie

Joined:
Sep 29, 2002
Messages:
13,057
That's great! Congrats to you as well.

10. ### Mike2023DIS Veteran

Joined:
Feb 24, 2008
Messages:
1,303
Again, I think I disagree. When people say they converted their fat into muscle I take that as they lost fat and gained muscle. This can absolutely be done.

Its the same statement as "turn time into money".

Do people really think that fat "turns" into muscle?

11. ### LilyWDWGoing to My Happy Place

Joined:
May 7, 2006
Messages:
10,124
Spend enough time on dieting forums and you will see that yes, people believe stuff like that. As well as other healthy eating, exercise, and dieting myths. And a lot of them won't even change their minds when presented with well documented scientifically backed evidence.

12. ### kaligalDIS Veteran

Joined:
Sep 12, 2009
Messages:
7,014
So you are arguing that rocks don't weigh more than feathers because a pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of rocks? Seriously?

And you are further suggesting that adding muscle doesn't add weight? Tell it to the bodybuilders, lol. I'm sure they'd be fascinated to hear this theory.

You should present these amazing theories of yours in an official way...especially the one about additional muscle not adding additional weight because muscle weighs nothing...or weighs the same as fat...or whatever theory you have.

13. ### ToddyLuWelcome aboard explorers- I love Mr. Ray

Joined:
Jun 6, 2008
Messages:
5,551

If you have 5 rocks that added together weigh one pound and you decided to balance them on a scale with feathers---you would maybe need 1, 000 feathers. So therefore a pound of rocks can equal a pound of feathers.

Now my head hurts, and I need a bagel.

14. ### disneysteveDIS meet junkie

Joined:
Sep 29, 2002
Messages:
13,057
Perhaps I didn't explain it clearly enough. Try this. Google "muscle weighs more than fat" and read some explanations from other sources.

Here's a good one:
http://www.aworkoutroutine.com/weight-loss-plateau-myth-muscle-weighs-more-than-fat/

As for bodybuilders, that's an entirely different conversation. I'm talking about weight loss, not weight gain. In order to build muscle, you need to have a caloric excess in your diet. Do that and work out and yes, you will build muscle and gain weight. If your goal, however, is weight loss, you need to have a caloric deficit.

15. ### Mike2023DIS Veteran

Joined:
Feb 24, 2008
Messages:
1,303
Great article, but does not change my point. There is one comment on the article that does sum up my point. I'll paste it bellow.

I understand why people disagree with the statement ‘muscle weighs more than fat’ but really, those people are either being deliberately objective or are incapable of making appropriate assumptions given conversational context.

Clearly, in the above statement, the person saying it is assuming that we are intelligent enough to know that they are referring to weight by volume. It speaks to a person's intelligence, if when they are confronted with that statement, they assume that they are talking about equal weights being different.

Also, the person didn't say "A pound of muscle weighs more than a pound of fat", so why did you make that assumption? You have intentionally made the wrong context assumption to be deliberately awkward.

In the same way; if I were to say "humans weigh more than pigeons". You wouldn't argue I was wrong because 200lbs of humans is the same as 200lbs of pigeons (or maybe you would).

The sentence isn't wrong, it is just incomplete because humans have the intelligence to fill in the gaps.

16. ### GANDIS Veteran

Joined:
Jul 18, 2005
Messages:
2,333
I think you should add "By Volume" -then you would be correct. I believe that is where the disconnect is over this issue.

17. ### Mike2023DIS Veteran

Joined:
Feb 24, 2008
Messages:
1,303
"by volume" is implied.

When you say a rock weighs more then feathers you're not expected to say "by volume".

The reason for this is because saying "a pound of Muscle weighs more then a pound of fat" would be dumb and incorrect.

18. ### disneysteveDIS meet junkie

Joined:
Sep 29, 2002
Messages:
13,057
Certainly I'd agree that one human weighs more than one pigeon.

When you say, however, "muscle weighs more than fat" you are leaving out a vital detail - volume or quantity. Without that information, the statement is meaningless.

The bottom line will always be that in order to lose weight, you must have a caloric deficit in your diet. Do that and you lose weight. Don't do that and you don't lose weight. It doesn't matter what else you do. Work out or not, lift weights or not, if there is not a caloric deficit, you will not lose weight. If you are gaining weight or even staying the same weight, it is not because muscle weighs more than fat. It is because you haven't created a caloric deficit.

19. ### Mike2023DIS Veteran

Joined:
Feb 24, 2008
Messages:
1,303
This I 100% agree with. It really is that simple.

20. ### disneysteveDIS meet junkie

Joined:
Sep 29, 2002
Messages:
13,057
Great. Maybe I didn't articulate it clearly enough in my OP but this is really the point I was trying to make.

It just isn't true when someone says, "I'm dieting but not losing any weight but that's because I've been working out so I'm converting fat to muscle and muscle weighs more than fat."

Joined:
Jun 27, 2003
Messages:
3,150