Q&A


Menstuff® has compiled questions and answers on unusual topics concerning men.

September
Muscle Weights More than Fat


True. Among the explanations heard when the scale doesn't budge or even creeps upward, this theory is the "heavyweight" champ, just edging out "heavy bones." People say they exercise and exercise but because the muscle they're building weighs more than the fat they're replacing, their weight remains constant. Are they right? Perhaps this isn't the whole story.

Partially because he wanted to know, and partially to get me to let up on him at dinnertime, my husband asked Diane, a very knowledgeable trainer at his gym, what she knew about the subject.

"It's like the old question of a pound of bricks or a pound of feathers," she answered. "Muscle is muscle and fat is fat and a pound of each is a pound of each." But...

Here's the difference. Muscle is more dense and will weigh more than an equal amount of fat, just like a brick will weigh more than a stack of feathers the same size as the brick. But how does that all relate to weight loss?  Will a person who is exercising and building muscle actually gain weight? The answer is in the calorie intake.

Let's compare two people taking in 2,000 calories per day, one working out, the other not. The person working out will burn most of the calories while building muscle, so he or she will lose weight. The calories taken in, but not used, by the sedentary individual will build fat.

However, if the person who is working out increases his or her intake of calories, there will be less and less weight loss as he or she bulks up. This person will be building muscle but not burning enough calories, and those extra calories turn to fat. This is a general rule and, naturally, the two different bodies react to the rule at different rates. Source: Old Wives' Tales

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