Can we please put this argument to rest? I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard people try to make the argument that muscle does not weigh more than fat, because “a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat.”

Well, yes, that is true. A pound of anything weighs the same as a pound of anything else. By the above rationale, one could say that lead does not weigh more than cotton balls.

Clearly, the argument is flawed.

The question is really one of weight by volume. If you were to take an equal amount (volume) of fat and muscle — say, 1 liter — the muscle would weigh more. Or put another way, that pound of cotton balls takes up a lot more space — or volume — than the pound of lead.

The picture above shows 5 pounds of fat and 5 pounds of muscle. Clearly, the fat has more volume. Specifically, 1 liter of muscle weighs 2.3 pounds, while 1 liter of fat weighs 1.98 pounds. So yes, the same amount (volume) of muscle weighs more than the same amount (volume) of fat.

Yes, muscle weighs more than fat.

This is why you shouldn’t focus too much on the number on the scale when you’re trying to lose weight — provided you are working out and building muscle. Two people can both weigh 150 pounds but have very different body compositions: one could have a lot of fat while the other is lean and muscular.

Instead, look at the shape of your body and your muscle definition. Pay attention to how your clothes fit and how much energy you have. In fact, instead of thinking about needing to lose weight, change your frame of mind to losing fat and building muscle. And please don’t ever say that a pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle.

Photo from Fit Moms for Life Facebook page. If you know the original source, let me know!