How much does muscle weighing more than fat really effect weight loss?

I’ve been working out for a little over a month now – weights and a treadmill, and I’ve noticed a slight different in my body and in the way my clothes fit, however the scale has been quite disappointing. It’s told me that I’ve lost 0.5lbs in about 3weeks. I’ve been eating well and working out 3-5 times per week. I know muscle weighs more than fat, but does it make that much of a difference on the scale, especially after only a month?

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2 Responses to “How much does muscle weighing more than fat really effect weight loss?”

  1. Matt said:

    It’s all about inches, NOT pounds. Your clothing tells the story. Yes, it’s that simple.

  2. Carl S said:

    Everyone knows that muscle is 8x heavier than fat. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

    Infact it’s far more subtle than that. 1 lb of muscle takes up 20% less space than 1lb of fat. The relative densities are 1.1g/cm^3 for muscle and 0.908g/cm^3 for fat. IE: Fat floats, muscle sinks. But one does not weigh 8-times more than the other…

    This being said… where is your weight loss going?

    Let’s investigate your question details a bit more and lets see where the weight has gone (I’m not pointing any fingers, but let’s do some kind of root cause analysis to find any culprits).

    “Ive been working out for a little over a month now”

    -Often times workouts and diet regimes take many months to show good results. However, it’s frequently the case that extreme exercise and diet shows the most profound chances in the first few weeks of starting a program and tend to taper off as your body becomes accustomed to the workout/diet. Perhaps in your case 1 month is not enough to show meaningful results based on the activities you are performing?

    “Weights and treadmil”

    -What % weights and what % treadmil? Are you doing 20mins of both? 1hr of both? 15mins cardio and 2hrs of weigts? Assuming you’re putting in an hour workout, what intensity level? Are you increasing the speed of the jog and increasing the weights/reps of your lifting. If you keep doing the same thing over and over, your body benefits less and less. In order to break that monotony you need to step it up at least once a week. Try writing down all the “levels” and weights/reps you’re currently using and then increase those number for next week.

    “the scale has been quite disappointing…lost 0.5lbs in 3 weeks”

    What did you weigh before? 100lbs? Because 0.5lbs from an already thin frame is impressive. What’s your sample size? Do you weigh yourself every day, first thing in the morning (but after you pee) in the same clothes or in the buff? Do you have a running month-long trend of your weight… it’s much better to use daily readings and chart them on a graph than to take two point instances (say day 1 and day 30) and compare. Better to see 115, 115, 114, 115, 113, 112, 113, 116, 113, 112, 112, 109, 114, 110, 109, 111, 114. If you chart that sequence it looks like you’ve been losing weight, but if you just compare the start/end… only looks like 1lb. Trends are more important than points.

    “Ive been eating well”

    Whats your diet? Are you counting calories/cutting carbs/vegetarian/ or just not eating junk food?

    “3-5 times per week”

    5 would be nice, but often times our daily lives make 5 exercises a week a challenge. Three, however, might be too few. Try to get 5 exercises in a week. If you miss a day, try jogging on a saturday morning.

    Ultimately, the other post is correct. If you’re seeing your clothes falling off you, then you’re definitely doing some good for yourself. But dont get all wrapped up about the weight-numbers. You know what you’re doing is healthy, so keep doing it. Perhaps some of my suggestions will make the weight loss better, but do it for your own well being, dont do it so you can say you’re XYZ pounds lighter. Fitness and exercise is a lifestyle, not a goal. It’s the journey which you should embrace, not the destination.




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