Does Muscle Weigh More Than Fat?
For those who are embarking on training programs, most will have a goal to lose some weight, even if just a little. This doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone as many people are looking to build core strength, lean muscle or to gain stamina for endurance events such as a marathon. Many who are underweight might even be looking to gain weight. However, the vast majority of the time it’s muscle mass people are looking to obtain.
So, is all weight is equal? The answer is no. Depending on your metabolism, if you start to gain weight at a rapid pace and taking on lots of excess calories (not all calories are equal by the way but we will come to that later in this article) you’ll notice that your weight will go up at a steady pace. This is how obesity is taking effect as people aren’t considering what they are eating and as they consume fizzy drinks, sugars in processed foods, sweets, crisps and other foods which are very bad for the body, it starts to take its toll.
So how do we gain weight that is muscle and not fat? And more importantly, how do we lose fat whilst building muscle to have a leaner physique, a healthier body and a stronger core? Well, as we now know, not all calories are equal. 120 calories found in a chocolate biscuit will not have the same effect on the body as the exact same amount of calories that is found in a chicken breast.
This will affect the body differently and how the energy reaches your muscles too. Whole grains and protein will leave you feeling fuller for longer and shouldn’t affect your blood sugar levels. This is important as a sugar spike will eventually come crashing down (this is known as the sugar crash).
Although a pound of fat and a pound of muscle weigh the same when placed on a scale, the pound of muscle will take up considerably less space, around 18% in fact. Your body will look bigger with excess fat as opposed to muscle as an extra ten pounds of fat will cover your body but the muscles will grow strong and appear smaller.
Therefore eating unprocessed foods such as lean meat, fish, wholegrain and vegetables and also cutting out sugars and excess carbohydrates this will aid muscle grown whilst lowering your body fat percentage. Taking part in weight and circuit training is also essential for muscle growth as cardio alone won’t help build muscle.
The body fat percentage of any person can be measured by pinching the excess fat on certain parts of the body with calipers. This measures the skin in the right areas and the fat percentage can then be calculated. Most high performance athletes have considerably lower body fat. This enables them to move quicker and faster as they need muscle and strength to power through in professional sports.