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Why scale weight isn’t the most important for health and fitness

Sep 18, 2018

The weight on the scale might show a good number, but how much of that weight is fat and how much is muscle? Keeping your body fat at a low percentage is more vital to a healthy lifestyle than a lower overall weight. I’m sure you have heard that “muscle weighs more than fat” now obviously one pound is one pound, but the density is where they differ. Muscle is about 18% more dense than fat (Chapman, 2018), therefore one pound of muscle occupies less space (volume) than one pound of fat. Think of it like this, when a cubic inch of fat and a cubic inch of muscle are measured, the cubic inch of muscle will weigh more. So as you add compact muscle mass to your body, your body weight may increase.

Increasing muscle mass boosts metabolic efficiency. This means by increasing your lean muscle mass through exercise such as resistance training and weight training you can help your body burn more calories efficiently. For example, a pound of muscle will burn more calories at rest than a pound of fat. This means that even when you’re at rest you will be burning more calories by having more muscle. There is still benefits to cardio workouts such as jogging, cycling, and walking that are important for calorie burning and good health, but strength training is vital too. By increasing your muscle mass your body will also build a leaner physique, better your balance and mobility, enhance strength, stability, power, and endurance, reduce your risk of injury, and raise your confidence!

Let’s stop using the term “weight loss” and instead use the phrase “fat loss”. When we say “weight loss” we focus on the wrong things. Don’t let the scale get in your head, in fact ditch your scale and base your improvements off your day to day feel, how your clothes fit, and you’re your energy levels. Your fitness journey is a marathon, not a sprint!

Chapman, D. (2018, June 28). One Pound Of Fat Versus One Pound Of Muscle: Clearing Up The Misconceptions -. Retrieved from


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