Did you know that 5 pounds is 5 pounds no matter what it is?
Sounds silly when you say that out-loud doesn't it?
Don’t be obsessed with the scale! There are many great reasons to throw that sucker out.
As you can see, in the picture to the left, the 5 lbs. of fat is much bulkier and more “spread out” than the 5 lbs. of muscle.
However, five pounds is still five pounds. Don’t for one minute think muscle weighs more than fat.
I hear people say it ALL. The. Time.
“Muscle weighs more than fat”. NO. IT. DOESN'T.
This is NOT true! Again, I’ll say, “5 pounds is 5 pounds whether it’s fat, muscle, feathers, bricks, cookies, or apples – if it’s 5 pounds, it’s 5 pounds.” The End.
The difference is this, fat is bulky and lumpy so if you carry an extra five pounds of fat, you’ll be lumpier and appear larger than if you had five pounds of muscle.
A five pound pile of fat will take up more space (volume) than a five pound pile of muscle; but five pounds is still five pounds. Get it?
The correct way to state "the muscle weighs more than fat" statement would be: ”Muscle is heavier by volume than fat.”
Muscle is much more dense than fat, so that, by volume, it seems to weigh more. A pound of muscle occupies less space than a pound of fat.
For example, a woman weighing 130 pounds with 20% body fat will look much smaller (and be much healthier) than a woman at 130 pounds with 40% body fat.
They weigh the same on the scale, yet their body composition is very different. Because muscle is more dense than fat, the person with less fat and more muscle will look smaller and leaner.
The person with more body fat will have to worry about potential health conditions that are linked to a high body composition such as; high blood pressure, fatigue, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, heart attack, stroke, fertility issues, and more than likely they will also suffer from lost wages and lost productivity due to having to take sick days because of aforementioned conditions.
I am not saying, ALL overweight people will suffer from these condition, but they absolutely are at higher risk. The same can be said about underweight people. They too can suffer from health conditions; such as osteoporosis from too little vitamin D, decreased immune function, fertility issues, dizziness, irregular menstrual cycles, gastrointestinal problems and they may also suffer from lost wages and lost productivity.
So stop being so obsessed with the scale and your body weight and start paying attention to body composition! This is the number that is sooooooooo very important! Body composition is NOT to be confused with BMI.
Body Mass Index, also know as, BMI is the measurement of one's body fat based on only their height and weight and more commonly used by doctors to access health risks associated with increased body mass. Body composition doesn't directly look at your body weight. It's a measure of how much of your weight comes from lean mass, which includes muscle, bone, connective tissue and water, and how much comes from fat.
BMI is often used as a measure of obesity because it's easy to figure out; you don't need expensive equipment, just a scale and a tape measure.
BMI really isn't the best measurement system. If you're "skinny-fat", which means, you have a healthy body weight (on the scale) but a higher than healthy range of body fat, you would be considered "healthy" according to the BMI chart, but you could still have a higher risk of developing an obesity-related illness due to the high rage of body fat weight. You may look skinny, but that doesn't mean you are "healthy" or "fit".
BMI isn't always a good fit for healthy and muscular people either; the BMI might be considered overweight or obese, even though you have low fat levels. BMI really is a skewed number!
The scale doesn’t measure body fat, it only measures total body weight so you can’t rely on the scale when determining body composition. Beware of weight loss programs that only measure body weight. Effective weight loss programs will help you lose body fat. Not just 'scale weight'.
How much fat-free weight vs fat weight is much more important than your total body weight!
Also, fat will never turn into muscle and muscle will never turn into fat. It's physiologically impossible to turn fat into muscle because they're two entirely different types of body tissue with different types of cells. Fat is made up of adipose tissue, while muscle is made of mostly proteins.
It’s my job as a health coach, to “un-brainwash” everyone out there who is stepping on the scale everyday. Stop it. Just throw it away. Break up with your scale. It's bad news. It ruins your self esteem, it makes people cry, and it is just plain evil. Throw. it. out. :)
Proper food choices, exercise and mental health days are all important parts in the getting healthy and fit process.
"Take care of your body; it's the only place you have to live."
Here is me below at 146 pounds and 42.6% body composition.
Here is me AFTER weighing in at 119 pounds and 20% body composition