Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Losing weight - fat vs. muscle


A thread on Gab provided these pictures.  They certainly made me think!  Click either image for a larger view.

The sheer volume of fat, compared to the same weight of muscle, illustrates why it's so hard to shed fat.  Also, one now understands why one's weight seems to remain stable when exercising, rather than dropping.  One is replacing fat mass with muscle mass, so that even as one loses inches, one's muscles weigh more through being better developed.

Not pretty images, but they certainly explain a lot!



nick flandrey said...

This is why the Atkins diet forbids exercise during the first couple of phases. You are losing fat, but if you build muscle, you won't see as much difference on the scale. Which is a terrible way to measure health and fitness, btw.

(you generally don't feel like exercising during the first phase of Atkins anyway, you feel miserable as you start breaking your addiction to sugar and carbs.)

We've all seen pix of skinny models with no muscle tone too, they're thin, weigh little, but aren't healthy either.

Raising two teen girls, body image, dieting, healthy diets, etc are always front of mind. And there is SO MUCH toxic BS out there online and in person.


Andrew Smith said...

So I'm reading this as I am 15 mins away from heading out for my one hour early morning walk. Ever so much as I had expected.

Beans said...

Yet you need fat to protect your organs, to store vitamins, to have proper brain function, to help regulate temperature.

It also provides counterbalance when moving and helps pad the muscles when moving.

Some fat is good. Some people are far healthier when fat than when not-fat. Subtle clue - genetics.

Like my mother's mother's family. Fat. Rounded dumplings. Live to 95+ and only get whacked by cancer or other non-survivable issues. Fat and somewhat jolly, unlike my father's side of the family who dies at 65+/- while fit and trim.

Genetics is the key.

boron said...

first flense then render
what is "long pig" fat called?

Old NFO said...

Nice to 'see' an actual comparison... not pretty, but accurate!

oldvet1950 said...

I'll never forget being ridiculed by a supposedly college educated person about this very thing. When I said muscle weighs more than fat, he looked at me like I was an idiot and told me that 5 lbs of fat weigh exactly the same as 5 lbs of muscle....and yes, he was a liberal.

PeterW. said...

Currently dropping 200-250g/day and doing it consistently.
Zero-carb diet and 2x45minutes of walking, with and without pack, depending on how I am feeling.

It’s easy to underestimate how much fat the average person is carrying. Even a “fit” person is probably carrying more than 10% of their body-mass as fat, so there is no reason to be concerned about being “under-fat” unless you are genuinely anorexic and emaciated. For men, “essential” fat is well under 10%.
I’m currently running at about 15%.


Feral Ferret said...

Your friend was accurate that "5 lbs of fat weigh exactly the same as 5 lbs of muscle". Five pounds is five pounds. The difference is in the density/volume. Five pounds of fat takes up a lot larger volume of space than five pounds of muscle.

A cup of fat weighs a lot less than a cup of muscle due to muscle being more dense.

PeterW. said...

Looking it up, muscle is usually between 15-20% more dense than fat. The difference is nowhere near that shown in the accompanying pics.

……. Aaaaaaand there is no way I would buy meat from any butcher who claimed that a piece of steak that small, weighed “5 pounds”.

Ironically, the Orang in the lower pic, eats the kind of diet that some want to tell us is “healthy”, but for which the human gut is not designed. That pot-belly is the fermentation vat that lets it break down fibre that for us is indigestible.