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Stop With the Muscle Weighs More Than Fat Myth...

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  • IronMikeFox
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    OMG, I can't believe there is another thread on this. It's like a freaking Hydra - cut one head off and two more grow in it's place! LOL Just to add my own geeky spin on it ... The force of attraction between any two bodies known as gravity is equal to G(m1*m2)/(r*r) where G is the universal gravitational constant, m1 and m2 are the respective masses of the two objects and r is the distance between the center of masses of the two objects. G, as it's name implies, is a constant. One of the objects is the Earth (let's say m1) and is obviously constant assuming our measurements are taken on the same planet. The distance between the center of mass of the Earth and the object is essentially identical if the two objects are in the same proximity. Indeed the equation for weight is generally reduced to W = gm where g = Gm1m2/(r*r) which turns out the be the acceleration of an object due to gravity. So given that g is assumed to be the same for two objects in the same proximity, the only variable that comes into play in determining the weight of an object is that object's mass. So 1kg of fat will indeed weight the same as 1 kg of muscle. However, given that the density of muscle is greater than that of fat, 1 kg of fat will occupy more space than 1 kg of muscle. So it could be said that it takes less muscle to make up a pound that it does fat. Hence the common saying "muscle weighs more than fat".
  • penrbrown
    penrbrown Posts: 2,685 Member
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    OMG, I can't believe there is another thread on this. It's like a freaking Hydra - cut one head off and two more grow in it's place! LOL

    LOL!!!!!!

    This comment made my day. Thank you.
  • FullOfWin
    FullOfWin Posts: 1,414 Member
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    homophones are brutal amiright?
  • LiftAllThePizzas
    LiftAllThePizzas Posts: 17,857 Member
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    OMG, I can't believe there is another thread on this. It's like a freaking Hydra - cut one head off and two more grow in it's place! LOL Just to add my own geeky spin on it ... The force of attraction between any two bodies known as gravity is equal to G(m1*m2)/(r*r) where G is the universal gravitational constant, m1 and m2 are the respective masses of the two objects and r is the distance between the center of masses of the two objects. G, as it's name implies, is a constant. One of the objects is the Earth (let's say m1) and is obviously constant assuming our measurements are taken on the same planet. The distance between the center of mass of the Earth and the object is essentially identical if the two objects are in the same proximity. Indeed the equation for weight is generally reduced to W = gm where g = Gm1m2/(r*r) which turns out the be the acceleration of an object due to gravity. So given that g is assumed to be the same for two objects in the same proximity, the only variable that comes into play in determining the weight of an object is that object's mass. So 1kg of fat will indeed weight the same as 1 kg of muscle. However, given that the density of muscle is greater than that of fat, 1 kg of fat will occupy more space than 1 kg of muscle. So it could be said that it takes less muscle to make up a pound that it does fat. Hence the common saying "muscle weighs more than fat".
    Sure, go ahead and use Newtonian physics, if you're willing to settle for an approximation. :laugh:
  • megsta21
    megsta21 Posts: 506 Member
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    It's easy to see where the confusion comes from.

    If you take a pound of muscle and a pound of fat, and set them in a bath tub, the pound of fat will float and the pound of muscle will sink. So, obviously, the pound of muscle is heavier.

    denser.

    a lb of fat is identically as "heavy" as a lb of muscle.

    Is there water in this bath tub you speak of? Or am I gonna float away?! :)
  • saxmaniac
    saxmaniac Posts: 1,133 Member
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    It's easy to see where the confusion comes from. If you take a pound of muscle and a pound of fat, and set them in a bath tub, the pound of fat will float and the pound of muscle will sink. So, obviously, the pound of muscle is heavier.

    That's why a pebble weighs more than a battleship.
  • 3foldchord
    3foldchord Posts: 2,918 Member
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    I actually don't see people here telling others they are turning fat into muscle or muscle into fat. I do hear people tell other they are probably losing fat and gaining muscle. Odd that one would conclude that based on the statement they must mean the lost fat had turned into muscle.

    I do hear the fat-muscle thing outside of the MFP world sometimes.
  • alyssamiller77
    alyssamiller77 Posts: 891 Member
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    How about this: Stop with the posts telling people to stop spreading the myth. Personally, I'm tired of folks like you who want to start an argument over being pedantic about terminology when you know full well that people who say Muscle weighs more than Fat are speaking in terms of the weight of each for a given volume. Just get over it already. Everyone understands the pound of feathers versus the pound of brick riddle so quit rehashing it.
  • megsta21
    megsta21 Posts: 506 Member
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    It's easy to see where the confusion comes from. If you take a pound of muscle and a pound of fat, and set them in a bath tub, the pound of fat will float and the pound of muscle will sink. So, obviously, the pound of muscle is heavier.

    That's why a pebble weighs more than a battleship.

    No, Silly... this is obvious! The ship weighs more cause it doesnt fit IN the bath tub.... which btw is now a pancake.
  • Mads1997
    Mads1997 Posts: 1,494 Member
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    You've been on here all of 4 months and *you* are sick of it already?

    THIS ^^^
  • jofjltncb6
    jofjltncb6 Posts: 34,415 Member
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    This reminds me of a hilarious joke.

    Okay, what weighs more, a pound of...
    Everyone understands the pound of feathers versus the pound of brick riddle so quit rehashing it.
    Oh. I see. Hmmm. Never mind then.

    :indifferent:
  • ModoVincere
    ModoVincere Posts: 530 Member
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    It's easy to see where the confusion comes from. If you take a pound of muscle and a pound of fat, and set them in a bath tub, the pound of fat will float and the pound of muscle will sink. So, obviously, the pound of muscle is heavier.

    That's why a pebble weighs more than a battleship.

    No, Silly... this is obvious! The ship weighs more cause it doesnt fit IN the bath tub.... which btw is now a pancake.

    someone needs a bigger tub,.
  • hypotrochoid
    hypotrochoid Posts: 842 Member
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    Know what weighs more than both muscle and fat? Awesome. The more you work out, the more awesome you get, which is why the scale may not change or even go up.

    It sucks being awesome. It truly does.
  • jstout365
    jstout365 Posts: 1,686 Member
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    Know what weighs more than both muscle and fat? Awesome. The more you work out, the more awesome you get, which is why the scale may not change or even go up.

    It sucks being awesome. It truly does.

    Crap, what exercise helps you gain Awesome?!?!?

    I have actually been asked how big a gallon of root beer was and how long a foot long hot dog was. My answers....the same size as a gallon of milk and 12 inches.
  • 91MoreRep91
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    A lb of muscle looks a helluva lot better than a lb of fat :)
  • FullOfWin
    FullOfWin Posts: 1,414 Member
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    A lb of muscle looks a helluva lot better than a lb of fat :)

    Strong first post
  • Feisty_Red
    Feisty_Red Posts: 982 Member
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    But what will make someone slide faster? Fat or Muscle?

    slip-n-slide-dude_zps86f4a45f.gif
  • NavyKnightAh13
    NavyKnightAh13 Posts: 1,394 Member
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    I am an editor and this annoys my inner pedant too but I keep it to myself because I know I am being ridiculous. In colloquial writing (such as on an internet forum) people will use words and phrases that they wouldn't in formal writing. As long as people understand it doesn't really matter.

    I understand how you feel. I'm a sports correspondent and it is driving me nuts too.
  • debdelilah
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    Ok I'm so sick of hearing this... 1 pound of muscle weighs the same as 1 pound of fat. A pound of anything is the same as a pound of something else. 1 pound of feathers weighs the same as 1 pound of lead.

    Would it be equally rant worthy if someone said "feathers are lighter than lead"? The whole concept of "heavier" vs "lighter" and the point of having those words in our language would be negated if we weren't allowed to say that anything was heavier than anything else based on the rationale some quantity of one and some quantity of the other would have an equal weight on the scale. If ten packages of copier paper weigh the same as one car battery it doesn't mean that a piece of paper weighs the same as a car battery, even if you phrase it "15 pounds of copier paper equal 15 pounds of car battery". It goes without saying that a pound is a pound, the same way as I am I, you are you, and the rain is the rain. :)

    Edited to add: I think the real myth you are getting upset about might be that sometimes as a polite comment, when we talk about weight to friends or colleagues who are criticizing themselves, we might say, "muscle weighs more than fat" as an encouraging response to "I'm 40 lbs over my healthy BMI and I'm trying to exercise" for instance. And it might come hand in hand with "you look good the way you are" or sound like an encouragement for self-acceptance without weight loss, which could be discouraging if a person really needs to lose weight for optimal heath. While muscle weighs more than fat objectively(see link to the exact numbers) http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/576481.html, and you can legitimately say a liter of muscle is heavier than a liter of fat, it is also true that for most Americans with an unhealthily high BMI, the greater contributer to their BMI being high is their fat, not their muscle. For the muscle to be the greater contributer, they would have to be dedicated athletes, and most Americans are sedentary or lightly active. So the whole "muscle is heavier than fat" frustration is caused not because it isn't true, but because it is used sometimes to soothe feelings where the real meaning of it isn't coming into play much. Just because muscle weighs more than fat doesn't mean that people are overweight because they have too much muscle.

    But to give another example with units...A liter of muscle and a liter of fat take up the same volume in the same way a pound of muscle and a pound of fat have the same weight. A liter is a volume measurement and a pound is a weight measurement, so saying a a liter equals a liter or a pound equals a pound has no real meaning....It's really the same as saying rain is rain.
  • BellydanceBliss
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    There is some kind of truth to this...because when i was 245 before gallbladder surgery then i gained weight and lost it again i am 253 r whatever ut us and people tell me i look thinner now then i did then and better...