There is a common myth that goes around, especially in the mouths of those trying to lose weight, and that is that muscle weight more than fat.
The statement is similar to the question of "how long is a piece of string" or "what weighs more, a ton of feathers or a ton for bricks?"
The answer cannot be one or the other; instead, it all comes down to how much you have of each.
In terms of the muscle and fat that form a part of everyone's body composition, it is more important to focus on density, not weight.
If someone was to put on 5lbs of fat, they might be able to notice it around the midsection. Whereas someone who has put 5lbs of muscle, might not see any change at all.
Muscle is more dense than fat, so as a result, if you have equal volumes of both, the fat will weigh less.
It is important to note that body fat and muscle does not always translate to bodyweight.
It is possible and even common to see a difference in body fat or muscle, but not see any difference on the scales.
How Much Does Muscle Weigh?
Muscle will weigh only as much as you have of it. If 40% of 200lb man's body mass is muscle, then the weight of his muscle is 80lbs.
1lb of muscle weights 1lb.
How Much Does Fat Weigh?
Similar to muscle, fat can only weight as much as you have of it. If half your body weight is fat and you weigh 200lbs, then your fat will weight a total of 100lbs.
1lb of fat weights 1lb.
Why The Myth 'Muscle Weighs More' Started.
The reason why this myth started and why people ask if muscles weight more than fat, in my experience, is because of a massive misunderstanding and application of weight loss.
Often people who have set a goal of weight loss only focus on that exact point – weight loss. Be it water weight, muscle loss, or fat loss, all they have in their mind is that they want the number on the scale to go down.
So if someone with this mindset is working out regularly and starts seeing a positive change in their body, they will expect that number to have gone down.
But when they step on the scales and see no difference, there has to be a reasonable explanation, right? So they convince themselves and others that "it’s because muscle weighs more than fat"
BMI- What Is It? And How To Calculate It.
If you are overweight, you might be advised by your doctor to lower your BMI.
Your body mass index or BMI is a standardized calculation based on your height and weight, and is a place marker calculation that determines whether or not your weight is 'healthy.'
Most accurate way to calculate BMI:
Dividing your body weight by your height squared, then multiplying that number by 703 is the basic formula for determining your BMI. If math isn't your strong point or you haven't got a calculator near, there are many BMI calculators that can be found easily online.
While your BMI might give you a good idea of where you stand in the eyes of doctors, BMI is a fairly outdated measuring system and is not an accurate way of measuring body fat.
A far better, easily accessible fat-measuring technique is through the use of body fat calipers.
These calipers pinch and measure body fat from different points on the body, generating an accurate representation of the general body fat percentage.
A note to leave with.
It does not take much analysis to see that muscle does not weigh more than fat, and the confusion probably comes from mistaking weight with density.
The best tool to use for determining whether or not you are making progress on your weight loss journey is not the scale, but instead the mirror, a pair of fat calipers and how you feel in general.
It is important not to be blinded by a goal of 'weight loss,' as it is far better to focus on a goal of health and wellbeing.