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Old 12-09-2012, 11:06 AM   #16
Mike2023
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Originally Posted by GAN View Post
I think you should add "By Volume" -then you would be correct. I believe that is where the disconnect is over this issue.
"by volume" is implied.

When you say a rock weighs more then feathers you're not expected to say "by volume".

The reason for this is because saying "a pound of Muscle weighs more then a pound of fat" would be dumb and incorrect.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:18 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mike2023 View Post
In the same way; if I were to say "humans weigh more than pigeons". You wouldn't argue I was wrong because 200lbs of humans is the same as 200lbs of pigeons (or maybe you would).
Certainly I'd agree that one human weighs more than one pigeon.

When you say, however, "muscle weighs more than fat" you are leaving out a vital detail - volume or quantity. Without that information, the statement is meaningless.

The bottom line will always be that in order to lose weight, you must have a caloric deficit in your diet. Do that and you lose weight. Don't do that and you don't lose weight. It doesn't matter what else you do. Work out or not, lift weights or not, if there is not a caloric deficit, you will not lose weight. If you are gaining weight or even staying the same weight, it is not because muscle weighs more than fat. It is because you haven't created a caloric deficit.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:46 AM   #18
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The bottom line will always be that in order to lose weight, you must have a caloric deficit in your diet. Do that and you lose weight. Don't do that and you don't lose weight. It doesn't matter what else you do. Work out or not, lift weights or not, if there is not a caloric deficit, you will not lose weight. If you are gaining weight or even staying the same weight, it is not because muscle weighs more than fat. It is because you haven't created a caloric deficit.
This I 100% agree with. It really is that simple.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:51 PM   #19
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If you are gaining weight or even staying the same weight, it is not because muscle weighs more than fat. It is because you haven't created a caloric deficit.
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This I 100% agree with. It really is that simple.
Great. Maybe I didn't articulate it clearly enough in my OP but this is really the point I was trying to make.

It just isn't true when someone says, "I'm dieting but not losing any weight but that's because I've been working out so I'm converting fat to muscle and muscle weighs more than fat."
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:35 AM   #20
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Thanks, Steve!

I read this article in the Reader's Digest a little bit ago and it puts the fat cell discussion in quite simple terms. I think it is rather clear in the article that the fat cell won't ever turn into anything else and at the end of the story, it gets to Dr Steve's point of eating less to lose weight...

http://www.rd.com/health/diet-weight...of-a-fat-cell/
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:44 PM   #21
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I know exactly what Steve means. There are a lot of misconceptions about weight loss with two of the biggest being those mentioned here. The pound of fat and muscle thing is by volume but I don't think it is implied, I think people heard the statement and repeat it without thinking. The same goes from turning fat into muscle. It is physiologically impossible.

Some other misconceptions are that a calorie is a calorie (nutritionally, not as a unit of energy), you can get rid of fat cells without having liposuction, large calorie deficits are better than small ones, cardio is better for burning calories than resistance training, and that walking burns a lot of calories.

I think more people know more incorrect information about fitness and nutrition than they do correct information. Even the statement "eat less and move more" is only part of the equation. What you eat and how you move is just as important as the amount of each you do.

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Old 12-13-2012, 12:50 PM   #22
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Great. Maybe I didn't articulate it clearly enough in my OP but this is really the point I was trying to make.

It just isn't true when someone says, "I'm dieting but not losing any weight but that's because I've been working out so I'm converting fat to muscle and muscle weighs more than fat."
I also have to add, and I agree with all you have said, that most people have NO idea what it actually takes to add muscle. It don't just happen by doing a small work out a few times a week. It takes an awful lot of doing an awful lot of things right. The most important of which is fueling a workout properly; one thing most people never do when "dieting".

Sorry folks, in 99% of the cases, you aren't gaining any muscle. You might SEE more of it due to the fat eventually going away, but unless your on a true plan to add it, you'll be lucky, very lucky, to add even a few pounds of it a year.

(Former fanatically body builder here, who eh, gave it up years ago)
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:58 PM   #23
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I also have to add, and I agree with all you have said, that most people have NO idea what it actually takes to add muscle. It don't just happen by doing a small work out a few times a week. It takes an awful lot of doing an awful lot of things right. The most important of which is fueling a workout properly; one thing most people never do when "dieting".

Sorry folks, in 99% of the cases, you aren't gaining any muscle. You might SEE more of it due to the fat eventually going away, but unless your on a true plan to add it, you'll be lucky, very lucky, to add even a few pounds of it a year.

(Former fanatically body builder here, who eh, gave it up years ago)
Very good post, especially the bolded. Muscle hypertrophy is what builds muscle and you need to fuel that hypertrophy. That is one aspect of what I mean when I say what you eat (not to mention how and when) is as important as how much.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:11 PM   #24
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I see people correct this "myth" frequently, and it always strikes me as an absurd waste of time and effort. I mean, is there anyone that is actually confused by what this statement is actually intended to mean? Same thing with "turning fat into muscle," when no one actually thinks that happens and really mean "shedding fat and gaining muscle" or "replacing fat with muscle."

It's picking apart a colloquialism to make a point that doesn't really need to be made -- particularly in the case of "muscle weighs more than fat" which is only inaccurate if you assume that the speaker intended to add "a [unit of measure] of" before both "muscle" and "fat," which would be ridiculous.

Just seems a silly discussion to have -- arguing for the sake of arguing.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:52 PM   #25
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I see people correct this "myth" frequently, and it always strikes me as an absurd waste of time and effort. I mean, is there anyone that is actually confused by what this statement is actually intended to mean?
Yes, I think there is a huge number of people who don't understand this statement. The whole reason I started the thread was because of a comment made on the DIS podcast that perpetuated this myth and I wanted to chime in and correct the misinformation.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:55 PM   #26
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It takes an awful lot of doing an awful lot of things right. The most important of which is fueling a workout properly; one thing most people never do when "dieting".
True. It is nearly impossible to build muscle while maintaining a caloric deficit. So losing weight and building muscle are two separate endeavors that really can't be occurring at the same time.
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