Monthly Archives: March 2011

Which weighs more? Fat or muscle?

Forgive me — I must rant a tiny bit.

I have two dogs. Pflouff is a Newfoundland bitch, built like a freakin’ tank. Pax is a male curly coated retriever, tall and slender. Which weighs more?

Neither actually. Put them on the scale, and they weigh pretty much exactly the same, even though they are shaped and sized quite differently.

That’s how I, personally, figure out which is heavier — I compare the things in question on a scale. I have Thing A and Thing B. Which is heavier? I put them on the scale to find out.

Unfortunately, if Thing A is a chunk of fat and Thing B is a chunk of muscle, the scale is suddenly not valid. “Muscle weighs more than fat.” No. I can assure you that a 1lb chunk of fat weighs EXACTLY the same as a 1lb chunk of muscle, and 2lb chunk of fat weighs MORE than a 1lb chunk of muscle.

Nooooo, people argue. The muscle is denser and smaller. It weighs more by VOLUME.

I bet Pflouff weighs more by volume too, but who the heck weighs by volume? Is there ANYONE who does their weekly weigh-ins by volume? Does anyone’s doctor ask for a weight by volume?

The statement “muscle weighs more than fat” is meaningless. Here’s the important information concerning fat, muscle, and weight:

* Muscle has weight. Period. If you gain 1lb of muscle, you will weigh 1lb heavier on the scale. If you lose 1lb of muscle you will weigh 1lb less on the scale.

* Fat has weight too. Same principles apply.

* 1lb of muscle takes up less SPACE than 1lb of fat. It looks and functions very differently in your body.

* Muscle gives your body form and pleasing definition. The difference between these two men is muscle. Which do you find more attractive? The more muscular guy also weighs more.

* Muscle gives your body FUNCTION and prevents injury.

* Muscle, even at rest, is active. That means it burns calories even when you’re not doing anything. More muscle means a higher basal metabolism. More muscle means you get to EAT MORE just to maintain weight.

* Fat is never active. It doesn’t burn calories.

* Fat cannot be converted to muscle, nor muscle to fat.

* You have to have fat. You have to have muscle. You have to have bones. You have to have organs. All of these things have weight. On a scale.

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