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Muscle Weighs More Than Fat, By Volume - Fitness Fact #6


fat vs muscleMuscle weighs more than fat, true or false? 

It's true that 5lbs of muscle weighs exactly the same as 5lbs of fat, so technically the preceding sentence is false. 

The idea that's typically being explained, however, is true.  By volume, five pounds of fat is lumpy, fluffy, and just plain takes up more space inside of your skin than five pounds of muscle.  Additionally, fat has a way of finding the worst possible places to park itself, and doesn't offer you all that much assistance when it comes to improving your metabolic rate.

Trading in some fat for muscle, even if your overall body weight doesn't change, is a good idea because the added muscle will:

  • Improve Your Body Shape
  • Make You Stronger
  • Raise Your Resting Metabolic Rate
  • Protect Your Joints From Injury
  • Help You Maintain Good Posture

Improve your body shape within a few short weeks when you add only a few pounds of muscle.  Unlike fat, muscle won't squish awkwardly over the top of your jeans or wobble around when you move.  If you want to improve the shape of your upper arms, work your shoulders, triceps and biceps.  If you're concerned about a saggy bottom or flabby thighs, work your glutes, hamstrings and thighs.  Adding muscle alone won't give you the final shape you're after, but if you also lose a few pounds of fat you'll be smiling when you look in the mirror.

A few pounds of muscle will make you stronger.  Whether lifting small children or carrying a few boxes to help your new neighbors move in, a little additional strength is always an advantage.  Your joints and back will thank you too.  Muscles help to keep our bones in proper alignment, and that protects your joints from injury.

Good posture not only helps you feel and look more confident and attractive, it provides another layer of injury protection and gives your balance and coordination a boost.

If you want to burn fat while you sleep, you need to raise your resting metabolic rate.  Adding a few pounds of muscle is the simplest and safest way to do that because five pounds of muscle requires more calories at rest than five pounds of fat.

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Huge logical fallacy here. Of course 5 lbs of muscle and 5 lbs of fat weigh the same. That's because you're basing that statement off of the weight. 5 pounds is 5 pounds is 5 pounds, whether you're measuring fat, muscle, feathers or bricks.  
To evaluate whether muscle weighs more than fat, you need to weigh two identical volumes of each material. 
Final result: One cubic inch of muscle weighs more than one cubic inch of fat because it is more dense. 
Please revise your article accordingly.
Posted @ Monday, May 13, 2013 2:26 AM by Nicole
Nicole is correct. It's the volume that's critical. That is, a pound of muscle occupies less space than a pound of fat, which explains why someone who works out and eats sensibly can be 200lbs. and buff while their slobby unfit 200lb. neighbour is a butterball.
Posted @ Monday, May 13, 2013 4:07 PM by Baz
RE: "It's true that 5lbs of muscle weighs exactly the same as 5lbs of fat, so technically the preceding sentence is false." 
No, no, no. The preceding sentence is NOT at all false. Muscle weighs more than fat just like lead weighs more than feathers. Sure, a pound of lead weighs the same as a pound of feathers. A pound is a pound is a pound. In order to measure weight, one MUST consider volume (mass). It's simple science - something kids should learn in elementary school.
Posted @ Wednesday, September 11, 2013 4:27 PM by Weezie
Nicole! You are so smart! You must not be fat. Thats cool. You should be a scientist.
Posted @ Thursday, October 03, 2013 3:50 PM by brooke
I am not a fat person, but I always gain weight during the times in my life when I'm building my muscle mass up! I should just throw my scale away because it ticks me off :-)
Posted @ Thursday, October 17, 2013 7:48 AM by Mallory
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