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The Weight Loss Numbers Game

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February 5, 2015

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Blog, Weight Loss

Since January you’ve been better with food (I don’t like using the word “diet”) and nutrition and you’re exercising more. Your clothes are starting to fit a little better and maybe you’re even seeing a little definition in your body. And, during this time, you weighed yourself weekly, maybe daily. Some days were better than others. Some days the scale didn’t budge. Some weigh-ins showed that the scale read higher than your starting weight and you remember being told that “muscle weighs more than fat” and you relaxed. However, that statement is actually not quite true because one pound is one pound (basic math, right?).

Fat

Where the confusion comes in is that muscle and fat differ in density (muscle is about 18% more dense than fat) and one pound of muscle occupies less space (volume) than one pound of fat. When a cubic inch of muscle and a cubic inch of fat are measured, the cubic inch of muscle will weigh more. As you add compact muscle mass to the body, you are replacing the space previously occupied with fat with lean muscle. And, doesn’t that look better?

The numbers on the scale shouldn’t be your only indicator of progress in your nutrition and fitness program. How are your clothes fitting? Do you have more energy? Are you able to go longer or lift more weight? These are all signs of progress and eventually you will see a downward movement on the scale.

Don’t forget that by increasing your lean muscle mass through resistance and body weight training, you will help your body burn more calories. One pound of muscle will burn slightly more calories at rest than one pound of fat tissue at rest.

Remember, your total body weight represented on the scale may be the same as when you started your weight loss program, BUT if you are building muscle mass and losing fat tissue, your body composition will be much different. Remember, as mentioned before, muscle and fat differ in density. One pound of muscle is going to occupy less space (volume) within the body than one pound of fat.
When you have more muscle and less fat, you will look firmer and will lose inches from places such as your waist, hips, buttocks, thighs, etc. Seeing the same number on the scale is not always negative. Don’t get caught up in the journey but stay focused on the end goal.

 

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