Like me, your ears probably pricked up the first time you heard someone say 'muscle is heavier than fat'. Hearing this always makes me laugh - it reminds me of a friend of mine who gets driven completely nuts by it.
Hmm... he has a point. A kilo is a kilo, no matter how you look at it! So what’s with the saying?
It’s the standard good-friend response (“don’t worry hun, it’s all muscle!”) to offer a friend who tearily reports that after having ‘spent all week busting her butt at the gym’, was devastated to have the scales confirm her worst nightmare - she’d put on 2 kilos. Disaster.
And while the ‘it’s all muscle’ theory is comforting to hear, it’s somewhat unlikely the 2 extra kilograms gained in one week were purely muscle.
Now muscle weight is one thing, density is another. Although muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat, it does have a different density, meaning it will take up less volume, or space, than fat would. So when we’re talking about the appearance of muscle verses fat, this is where muscle comes up trumps.
This is particularly useful information for anyone trying to lose weight because if you weigh, say 70kg, and have a body fat percentage of 30%, your body will look completely different to your friend who weighs 70kg and has a greater amount of lean muscle, but only 22% body fat.
Put simply, 1 kilogram of lean muscle looks a whole lot prettier and takes up a whole lot less room on your frame than a blubbery kilogram of fat – (click on bottom right of the image above to see the photo illustrating this)
If you’re trying to lose weight, ditch the sclaes and focus on the measurements – this is where the results are! Keep in mind, if we only did things to make ourselves weigh less, we wouldn’t necessarily be healthier, or better looking.
Amanda is a registered personal trainer and certified boxing instructor who specialises in fitness for women. Her goal is to inspire women of all ages to enjoy living an active, healthy life!
As a Mum of an active boy and baby girl and owner of Perth-based personal training company She’s a Knockout, Amanda is dedicated to empowering women to be fit, strong and confident in themselves.