When it comes to health and fitness, there are a lot of misconceptions floating around. In this section, we’ll explore one of the most common ones: that muscle weighs more than fat. We’ll look at the math, explain some technical details about how muscles and fat operate in the body, and finally we’ll get into what you should focus on instead of worrying about which is heavier.
A pound is a pound
Weighing yourself every day is one of the most important things you can do as a fitness enthusiast, but it’s also one of the most complicated. You might think that your scale is telling you how much weight you’re gaining or losing—and sure, it’s measuring that—but not in the way that we think it does.
Weight is nothing more than a measurement of force—the force exerted by gravity pulling on whatever object or mass you’re weighing. If an object has more mass than another one, then gravity will pull on it harder (which means its weight will be higher). If two objects have equal mass but different densities, then their weights may be different even though they have identical masses!
The power of numbers
If you’re looking to lose weight, or just see the scale move in the right direction at all, chances are you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about numbers. How much did I weigh last week? How many pounds have I lost since January? And so on. But here’s the thing: Weight is only one number that matters when it comes to your health and fitness goals. So think of all those other numbers as well—and remember that there isn’t just one way to measure success!
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- The scale alone doesn’t tell us everything we need to know about our fitness levels or bodies; it only measures weight and gives no indication of muscle mass versus fat mass (which can sometimes be different than total bodyweight). Instead, focus on other measurements like waist circumference and body fat percentage (both available via tests like DEXA scans). These give a clearer picture of how much actual fat is on your frame vs how much lean muscle mass you have gained through exercise! If these numbers are trending downward over time then you will know that whatever efforts are being made at the gym or elsewhere in life are having a positive effect.*
The first thing you should know about muscle is that it’s denser than fat. Density is just another way of describing how much something weighs per unit volume, meaning a small amount of material can weigh a lot if it’s dense enough. For example, if you put an empty soda can on your bathroom scale and then filled it up with water until it overflowed, the weight would change dramatically even though you haven’t added any calories or nutritional value to the drink.
Muscle and fat are both made up mostly of protein (about 15% water) but also contain other stuff like carbohydrates, DNA and bone marrow cells. The more protein in something—even something as seemingly soft and squishy as fudge—the more dense it will be! So while muscles may weigh less than fat once they’re separated from each other
Health versus weight
The scales are a notoriously unreliable tool, particularly when it comes to tracking the progress of weight loss. But when you think about it, this is only natural: your body is constantly making adjustments both up and down in order to maintain a certain balance and homeostasis. You might lose 10 pounds in two weeks, which seems great at first; but then you find yourself eating more than usual because your body thinks that there’s a food shortage (or something like that). So now we’ve gained back 7 pounds.
So what should we do? How can we keep track of our progress without relying on the scale? The answer lies in measuring health instead of weight.
What to focus on
Don’t get wrapped up in the numbers.
In the end, it’s not about how much you weigh; it’s about how healthy and fit you feel. It’s about getting stronger and more powerful every week, rather than seeing your weight scale go up or down by a few pounds. It’s about building muscle mass, so that you can do more things in life without feeling worn out afterward—like running to catch a bus or walking up stairs without losing breath!
Focus on health, not the scale
Don’t let yourself get caught up in the numbers. You may lose weight and see the number on your scale go down, but that doesn’t mean you’ve lost weight. In fact, it’s entirely possible to lose fat while gaining muscle or vice versa (or both). The key is to focus on health and not put too much stock in weight loss.
Weight loss isn’t all about how much you weigh—it’s about how much of what’s sitting on top of your bones is actually fat versus muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat, so if you’re working out regularly and eating a balanced diet full of lean proteins, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, healthy fats like olive oil and avocado oil—you’ll build more muscle mass with each passing day. If you’re doing this right (and we hope you are!), then there should be very little change in the number on the scale even as your body composition improves significantly over time!
If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t focus on the number on your scale. Focus on how your body feels and looks instead. Build up strength and muscle mass. Be active, eat nutritious foods, and get plenty of sleep. Weight isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to health and physical fitness, and your body may be healthier than you think!