Weight Loss
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How much more does muscle weigh than fat? ...

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..Because I'm at an all-time high even though I thought I was doing really well.

It might have been just wishful thinking, I don't know, but I thought I was looking thinner.

Initially I decided that numbers on a scale didn't matter and I was going to go by how I looked and felt, but I broke down and weighed myself. It was a full pound higher than three weeks ago, which was five pounds higher than I used to be.

I have been excersizing, but I don't think I've gained that much muscle..

So how much more does it really weigh?

Feeling very down right now... Thanks for any responses.

Edited Feb 26 2016 02:11 by coach_k
Reason: locked to prevent unnecessary zombie/spam bumps
18 Replies (last)
muscle doesnt actually *weigh* more than fat.  its like a lb of feathers weighs the same amount as a lb of bricks... but the bricks take up less space so we think of it as *weighing* more.  take your measurements--- you can see if your weight has become more compact (takes up less space) and you can usually attribute that to not just fat loss but muscle gain.

the scale isnt always the best gauge... how do your clothes fit?  how are your measurements?  how is your health?  are you getting better endurance, lower heart rates, faster? 

it also matters how close you are to goal weight.  also, some people notice a little uptick when they start working out (esp with weighlifting) and attribute that to water holding by muscles. 

good luck!
I did a quick search on google.

Here is the quote:

"Summary: Muscle density is 1.06 g/ml and fat density is (about) 0.9
g/ml. Thus, one liter of muscle would weight 1.06 kg and one liter of
fat would weight 0.9 kg. In other words, muscle is about 18% denses
than fat. This should not be confused with the "energy density" of
muscle and fat, which may be where you got the 3x figure that you
mention in your question."

It also matters when you weigh.  I can be 5-6 lbs heavier in the evening because of food and drinks I've consumed.

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I weighed around 8 AM this morning, before I had eaten breakfast.

I really don't know how my clothes are fitting... I feel like some pants fit better but others are tighter.

I WAS five pounds away from my goal weight, but now I'm about eleven... Sigh.

Thanks for the information and support, everyone.
It could be anything, maybe you didn't realize how much salt you ate yesterday, or maybe you are near TTOM.  I'd give it a week, weigh yourself again, I'm sure the numbers will make more sense.  Don't feel blue!
so, are you by any chance in the week b4 totm?  I always see a 5 - 12 lb spike that week.  Someone near their goal should expect to see say a 3 - 6, maybe 8 lb water weight gain starting and building 10 days b4 you start, and then if you don't overeat, it will whoosh back off the 1st 3 days after you start.  for me, day 4 is the lowest weight of the month after I use the restroom and b4 I eat or drink (if I was trying to maintain and keep my weight the same)...  You can't avoid water weight fluctuations, and if you are younger, a woman and near goal, you need to allow a 5 lb range, maybe 8... for water fluctuations.  It's all  normal.   
elanorci, if you haven't weighed in 3 weeks, you may simply have caught the day that is showing an up-fluctuation in your weight, not an actual gain.

I think you can safely say you've gained, but not necessarily 1 lb in the last 3 weeks.

Obviously, a lb of fat and a lb of muscle weigh the same.  <grin>

However, a cubic inch of fat weighs less than a cubic inch of muscle, because muscle is denser than fat.  One person's opinon, stated on a bb, is that muscle is 3 times as dense as fat.  So however many cubic inches of fat would weigh 1 lb, the same amount of cubic inches of muscle would weigh 3 lbs.

However, you can only put on so much muscle -- especially if you are a woman -- unless you want to do steroids or hormones or other extreme programs. 

I also found this explanation for density as a post, which may help some better visualize what is meant by muscle weighs more than fat:

The difference lies in density. Muscle is more dense than fat, thus it takes up less space than an equal amount of fat. A good analogy(?) is comparing a pound of lead(muscle) to a pound of feathers(fat). The pound of lead would be a small brick and the pound of feathers would be equal to a pillow or two.

From this analogy you can easily see why a muscular person can weigh the same as a non-muscular person, but the appearance would be totally different. 
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Obviously, a lb of fat and a lb of muscle weigh the same,
Rofl. Haha, yeah. :P

I finished TOTM about a week ago, so I don't think it's that. I ate Pei Wei for dinner last night and their nutrition information doesn't include sodium, so maybe it's that..

Also, I just weighed on another scale in my house, and it gave me a two-pound lower reading! Can anyone recommend a more accurate scale? Because I don't know which to believe.

I'll start weighing myself regularly again. Maybe the numbers will even out.

You guys are so amazing! So many responses, and so quick... I knew there was a reason I joined this wonderful site. :)
Thanks for all the support and reassurance. Best of luck to all of you.
nocturne, thanks for exposing the 3x as dense fallacy.  <grin>

The difference is only .16 grams per ml. 

1 gram = 0.035 273 962 ounce x .16 = .00564383392 ounces

not much difference at all.
You mentioned your exercising in you original post, but how is your diet?  If you are trying to lose weight by exercise alone, that's very hard to do.  Proper diet and exercise is a b-zillion times more effective than either is alone.
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I have been dieting also-- 1200 cals/day and 1400 when I run. I've also been trying to increase my protein intake since I dislike most meat and probably don't get enough. I have salmon and milk/yogurt a lot.
I try and avoid junk foods, and I eat a lot of salad... Some days I go over my 1200 calories, but it's not by a lot and it's usually not with junk food.
just some more facts about the differences in weight and volume for muscle and fat

OK, when we left last week I'd left you with the fact that with a specific gravity of roughly .91, human fat weighs 56.8 pounds per cubic foot and that a pound of fat was about 30 cubic inches. From some searches, I've got a rough estimate of human muscle of having a specific gravity of 1.07 and the idea was to figure out how much smaller a pound of muscle was volume wise than a pound of fat.

Well at 1.07, that means human muscle weighs about 67 pounds per cubic foot, heavier as we would expect. That's about 25.8 cubic inches for a pound. Divide 25.8 by 30 and that means for the same weight, human muscle is about 86% the size of the human fat. (I did this calculation quickly, I'll double check it when I have a bit more time.)

so the analogy I posted before comparing a lb of lead to a lb of feathers is a gross exaggeration. 

The theory that muscle weighs more than fat only has so much value anyway because you can only gain so much muscle, especially if you are a woman, unless you want to really go excessive with steroids and hormones. 

I have been a healthy weight most of my life except for times of illness and injury.

 I was at my goal weightf or years ( I put on weight due to illness and medication)and I still had almost 10lb fluctuations throught the month. so I aimed for a "weight range" instead of an exact number I think this is healthier and keeps one from becomming too obsessive. I had a top limit of 135 and if i hit it I just would watch if I went over I would look at what I ate and/or increase my activity. My range was 125-135 I mostly hovered around 130.

I hope this helps.
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To everyone reading this post please remember its fat that we want to lose not weight. Keep track of your fat percentage and forget about some meaningless number on a scale

RE: drea99:  Couldnt you have just answered the dam question?! Was it REALLY that hard not to play word games? Its SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO obvious we are talking about volume! Again- which is heavier , Fat or Muscle and by what % and/or how many times more? Very Simple!

LOL nice work in digging that thread up pal ;)

Look at the answer above, muscles are 18% more dense than fat. So you could say muscle weights 18% more than fat(of course 1lb of muscle will weight the same as 1lb of fat). So if you're doing weightlifting to increase your muscle mass and are counting your kcals to lose weight you might actually end up weighting the same, cause your fat-weight might switch with your muscle-weight.

The scale won't have a satisfying number on it, but your body will be in a much better state and shape, that's for sure. PLUS more muscle mass means you BURN more fat a day, cause muscles need 3 times(not completely sure about that) more kcal to work than "just fat-weight".

Also know that muscles won't grow forever and if not used every once in a while to some extent, even shrink back! So you have to keep up weightlifting or they shrink again, lowering your kcal intake per day.

The Straight Answer is 17.7%

Muscle is 17.7% heavier than Fat - God was that so fawking hard!?

Yes, muscle is more dense than fat.

I'm in the same boat. I weigh more than ever and I've been working out. Screw that scale! But I do know that I just went on vacation and for the 1st time I was able to keep up with my family. So something is working right. Good luck!

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