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Delusional about muscle vs fat?

JunisahnJunisahn Posts: 166Member Member Posts: 166Member Member

I'm near my goal weight already, but started counting calories and upping my game to drop the 5 lbs I gained 2 years ago when I quit smoking and the 3 lbs I gained 3 years ago when I quit exercising (long story about that).

Three weeks ago, I started running again after a year of trying off and on after a knee injury, and I've been running 3 times a week and walking 3 times a week for a total of about 15-20 miles a week. I've been tracking my calories M-F, but not on the weekends when I just eat "normally" and throw in a beer or two. So this past week, I added strength training to my regime.

And the scale has moved half a pound. In 3 weeks. My jeans seem to fit better, and I think I look better in the mirror, but I never thought I looked too bad to start, so... is it possible that my running and walking has built a little muscle and that's why I haven't lost any weight? Or is not tracking on Saturday and Sunday holding me back? I lost 10 lbs in 10 weeks 10 years ago by following this same method, so I thought I'd just jump back in and lose 5 or 6 in a few weeks and be done with it.

Thanks for any advice...


  • BootCampCBootCampC Posts: 689Member Member Posts: 689Member Member
    you can definitly increase your muscle weight when you start to increase excercise , the muscle will become more dense and hold more blood and nutrients , you can tell by the hardness of the muscle along with the size.
  • fdlewensteinfdlewenstein Posts: 180Member Member Posts: 180Member Member
    One of the toughest lessons I've learned is to be patient while being consistent. There are times when I look at what I've been doing eating and exercise wise and think "I'm doing everything I should be doing" and the scale isn't moving. Be patient. If you are consistent the scale will move. Of course, the scale isn't the other measurement you can look at to see that you are making progress. Keep in mind that the last few pounds may be slower. I would also recommend that you log all your food choices everyday consistently. This way you can be sure you are eating right. I hate to see it, but its mostly about what you eat. Good luck!
  • steveko89steveko89 Posts: 1,520Member Member Posts: 1,520Member Member
    well, there really is a bit of magical thinking in that last post, Junisahn.

    You don't know exactly what you were eating and exercising back 10 years ago, you may have just been eating a little less, and moving a little more.

    It's still about the calories in and out over the long term, but three weeks isn't the long term.

    Plus: You only have five pounds to lose. That's a lot of worrying over vanity weight that very well could be a couple of too-salty meals or a little bit of stress or not enough sleep, or time-of-the-month.

    I mean, five pounds is well within the normal daily fluctuations for anyone.

    ^This. If you weigh daily it's easy to see some big swings. I dropped 1.2 lbs from yesterday and my record swing since starting to weigh daily in 2017 is a +5/-8 swings on consecutive days. Full post I made about that here:
  • JunisahnJunisahn Posts: 166Member Member Posts: 166Member Member
    These 5 are definitely not a swing. Pretty steady for 2 years since i quit smoking. But yes, 3 weeks isnt long enough to see a trend line going down, so patience and once a week weighing is probably in order. And yes... it's vanity weight. Vanity weight that i've ignored for 2 years to make sure my nicotine quit is solid, and now I want it gone.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 4,503Member Member Posts: 4,503Member Member
    Junisahn wrote: »
    Maybe 114 was artificially low from nicotine and my body just wants to hang at 119 now? Of course, at 114, I was a ball of muscle and now I'm a ball of flab.

    As others have noted, it's not that your body wants to hang onto the weight, but that it's easy to be at an equilibrium for a time if you are at a set activity and eating level.

    More significantly, given this comment (about muscle vs flab) and that you do have a small goal, I'm wondering if it would be easier to be patient -- as this close to goal weight often comes off slow and can so easily be masked by water weight changes -- if you changed the focus from losing weight to getting fitter. Not saying not to keep tracking as you are or aiming for loss, but to mark success based on your activity goals too. Ultimately, 5 lbs is not going to make as big a difference as overall fitness level (my own goal is to get to 120, when I seem to feel comfortable maintaining between 125 and 130, but I also know that if I just get leaner I will have the look I prefer even if my actual weight is higher than 120).
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Posts: 6,537Member Member Posts: 6,537Member Member
    Sounds like recomposition may be a better goal.

    TBH, given previous issue with counting and given stable weight/intake for a coupke of years, I will be a rebel and ask: why are you even counting calories in your case?

    Your issue is "ball of flab" as opposed to muscle. While I'm willing to put money that your self perception of flab is quite likely to far exceed the reality others see, it is still clear to me that your win would be to favorably change your body composition as opposed to your scale weight.
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