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Old 11-13-2007, 10:01 AM
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Something I don't understand...

Everytime I hear the phrase "muscle weighs more than fat", I get really confused. We discussed it at Weight Watchers last week and things seem to be making more a tiny bit more sense but after this explanation was given saying it's a misconceived statement.

1 pound of feathers weighs the same as 1 pound of lead, right? A pound is a pound. So obviously, 1 pound of muscle weighs the same as 1 pound of fat. So where do we get the phrase "muscle weighs more than fat."

I mean fat takes up more space than muscle, correct? But if a pound is a pound why would we say the two weigh different?

Thoughts anyone? It really bothers me everytime I see that statment.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:10 AM
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my educated guess would be that by size/volume, fat takes up more space than muscle because it is less dense. or that muscle is denser, so it takes less to make up a pound.

does that make any sense??
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:19 AM
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they mean that a chunk of muscle and a chunk of fat the same size will weigh differently. muscle more, fat less.

so when people exercise and gain muscle, they freak out over the numbers because it "looks" like they didn't gain much weight.

my advice: don't base health over numbers. weight, BMI etc are to be used as a guide.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PunkySpunkyRae View Post
Everytime I hear the phrase "muscle weighs more than fat", I get really confused. We discussed it at Weight Watchers last week and things seem to be making more a tiny bit more sense but after this explanation was given saying it's a misconceived statement.

1 pound of feathers weighs the same as 1 pound of lead, right? A pound is a pound. So obviously, 1 pound of muscle weighs the same as 1 pound of fat. So where do we get the phrase "muscle weighs more than fat."

I mean fat takes up more space than muscle, correct? But if a pound is a pound why would we say the two weigh different?

Thoughts anyone? It really bothers me everytime I see that statment.

if you are focused on the semantics, then yes, it should bother you because you are totally right. 1 pound is 1 pound.

but as kate stated, the intent behind the statement of muscle weighs more than fat is to emphasize that muscle is more dense than fat. so 1 pound of muscle takes up less space (leaner) than 1 pound of fat.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by kate425 View Post
my educated guess would be that by size/volume, fat takes up more space than muscle because it is less dense. or that muscle is denser, so it takes less to make up a pound.

does that make any sense??
This is exactly what they mean, Kate!

Remember learning about that quantity called "density" in high school science? Density is a measure of how much mass a unit volume of a substance has. (You may also remember that the density of water is 1 g/cm^3.)

So when someone says "muscle weighs more than fat", what they mean is "muscle is more dense than fat". If you had a certain volume of muscle and the same volume of fat, the muscle would weight more.

[Edit]

Clearly, I pressed submit a little late, lol ... stupid work.
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Last edited by korobatsu; 11-13-2007 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:43 AM
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thank you, zoki and geoff, for making that sound much nicer! lol
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by korobatsu View Post

So when someone says "muscle weighs more than fat", what they mean is "muscle is more dense than fat".
OK, that is exactly what I could not force my mouth to form the words of. Semantically speaking I am correct and all is right again.

In all seriousness though, some people think that 1 pound of muscle weighs more than 1 pound of fat and it's THOSE people that I talk to that had me confused.


Idiots.
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:40 PM
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^what everyone else said.

That's how you can have a 150lb girl (this friend of mine) who wears a size 26, and yet when I was 150lbs, I was more like a 31, 30 if I was lucky. She has a lot more muscle than I do, and the fat that makes up more of my weight also takes up more space in my jeans!
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Old 11-13-2007, 04:03 PM
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[QUOTE=pianochica;568100]^what everyone else said.

That's how you can have a 150lb girl (this friend of mine) who wears a size 26, and yet when I was 150lbs, I was more like a 31, 30 if I was lucky. She has a lot

holy moley, how tall is she? I weigh 150 and I am 31-32. Even when I weighed 30 lbs less in high school the smallest size of Silver jeans I had was 27- most were 28/29. I wish I was 150 lbs of muscle!
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by PunkySpunkyRae View Post
OK, that is exactly what I could not force my mouth to form the words of. Semantically speaking I am correct and all is right again.

In all seriousness though, some people think that 1 pound of muscle weighs more than 1 pound of fat and it's THOSE people that I talk to that had me confused.


Idiots.
Give them a good slap for me, please.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:22 PM
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before i had my baby i was into weight lifting alot to tone up. not heavy weight, but enough to get my body sculpted. i gained five lbs when i did this because apparently muscle weighs more than fat. i got into eating super healthy, no junk, no pop, nothing and i worked out 5 days a week. i went from 130 to 135 lbs. i don't know all the physics of it, but i know i'd rather weigh 5lbs more and be tone than 5lbs less and not be. according to a health class i took one pound of muscle burns more calories at rest than a one lb of fat. more muscle is good for you.
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:24 PM
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according to a health class i took one pound of muscle burns more calories at rest than a one lb of fat. more muscle is good for you.
True. Dr. Oz (the cardiologist from columbia who's on oprah alot) spoke at my school recently and stressed that point alot. If you want to get skinnier, you have to build muscle. Cutting calories alone won't do it

On an unrelated note he brought a table full of body parts with him and let an auditorium full of students come up for a closer look. I touched a brain
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Phishphood View Post
True. Dr. Oz (the cardiologist from columbia who's on oprah alot) spoke at my school recently and stressed that point alot. If you want to get skinnier, you have to build muscle. Cutting calories alone won't do it

On an unrelated note he brought a table full of body parts with him and let an auditorium full of students come up for a closer look. I touched a brain
As in real preserved body parts?
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:02 AM
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As in real preserved body parts?
Nothing wrong with holding real preserved body parts. It's fun!
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by TISWILHOIT7 View Post
before i had my baby i was into weight lifting alot to tone up. not heavy weight, but enough to get my body sculpted. i gained five lbs when i did this because apparently muscle weighs more than fat. i got into eating super healthy, no junk, no pop, nothing and i worked out 5 days a week. i went from 130 to 135 lbs. i don't know all the physics of it, but i know i'd rather weigh 5lbs more and be tone than 5lbs less and not be. according to a health class i took one pound of muscle burns more calories at rest than a one lb of fat. more muscle is good for you.
See, what you say here goes making the statement even more confusing Yes, you gained 5 pounds of muscle from all the working out. But in all reality, muscle and fat weigh the same thing. A pound is a pound. You could have sat on the couch for a month and gained five pounds of fat and then been 135. Of course you'd rather it be 5 of muscle than fat, but....argh

It was never a question of 1 pound of which being "better" for you.

I guess I'm just bothered by the semantics (I know, it's silly) as we can see from me being all riled up from your post for no reason what so ever, I'm trying to wrap my brain around it, that's all.
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:01 AM
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See, what you say here goes making the statement even more confusing Yes, you gained 5 pounds of muscle from all the working out. But in all reality, muscle and fat weigh the same thing. A pound is a pound. You could have sat on the couch for a month and gained five pounds of fat and then been 135. Of course you'd rather it be 5 of muscle than fat, but....argh

It was never a question of 1 pound of which being "better" for you.

I guess I'm just bothered by the semantics (I know, it's silly) as we can see from me being all riled up from your post for no reason what so ever, I'm trying to wrap my brain around it, that's all.
i would agree..."TISWILHOIT7", but did your body shape change in inches as a result??

when i added weight lifting to my routine (2 hours/week) i stayed the same weight but i lost inches and dropped almost a whole jean size. and it really was because of just the added weight lifting.
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:03 AM
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Same thing happened to me when i started working out, i started getting more “heavy” on pounds but i also started losing inches in my waist, hips and thighs. So, i guess that what the muscle/fat weight expression means is that, even you will be heavier in numbers your will look “skinnier” , more contoured and can even lose a size, cause muscle will take less space than fat but will weight more.
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:46 AM
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Nothing wrong with holding real preserved body parts. It's fun!
... not that I ever suggested there is anything wrong with it ...
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:46 PM
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:54 PM
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Thank you, but it was never a question of density. If you tell me muscle is more dense than fat, I know that arleady. It just bothers me everytime I hear WEIGHS used like that.

Whatever. Personal gripe. I'll get over it.

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Old 11-14-2007, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Imhotep View Post
Whoa ... awesome picture of a pool ball floating in mercury on that site!



I think this is funny though:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Density Definition Page
Density is a measure of how much mass is contained in a given unit volume (density = mass/volume). It is usually expressed in kg/m^3. Put simply, if mass is a measure of how much ‘stuff’ there is in an object, density is a measure of how tightly that ‘stuff’ is packed together.
When did the USA switch over to SI?
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:21 PM
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When did the USA switch over to SI?
I think American scientists use mostly SI units, especially when it comes time to publish things. I have seen density expressed as lb/ft^3 though, so i dunno.
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:28 PM
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Thank you, but it was never a question of density. If you tell me muscle is more dense than fat, I know that arleady. It just bothers me everytime I hear WEIGHS used like that.

Whatever. Personal gripe. I'll get over it.

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its because you are too smart for your own good!
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:54 PM
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Well I always think of it in terms of volume. Like a liter of muscle does weigh more than a liter of fat, in addition to being more dense.
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Old 11-14-2007, 04:31 PM
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I think American scientists use mostly SI units, especially when it comes time to publish things. I have seen density expressed as lb/ft^3 though, so i dunno.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure the engineers are still holding on to their pounds and feet. And fucking US gallons.
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