- Muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat, but they’re denser, which means they take up less space.
- Building muscle can help you lose weight over time as it boosts your metabolism and helps burn more calories.
- To build muscle, you should do resistance exercises, weight training, and eat plenty of protein.
- Check out Insider’s Insider Reference Library for more advice.
Many people who are on a weight loss journey track their progress using the numbers on a scale. While you probably know exercise is beneficial, you may be skeptical about adding extra pounds of muscle as it will only seem like it will only make you gain more weight.
But it’s more complicated. In fact, building muscle can help you lose weight in the long run. Here’s why.
Does the muscle weigh more than fat?
Muscle weighs no more than fat. The difference is in the density. Muscle is denser than fat, says Me Ali, MD, Bariatric Surgeon and Medical Director of the MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.
This means that because of its density, a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. You would weigh the same weight if you gained a pound of muscle or a pound of fat, but a pound of muscle would make you look leaner – and it would be a lot healthier for your body.
“When you build a lot of muscle, it doesn’t interfere with your organs. It’s on the surface of the skeleton itself. When you deposit a lot of fat, it can be more clearly perceived and also deposited on organs inside.” Belly, “says Ali.
Muscle versus fat: understanding the differences
Muscle and fat serve different purposes for your body:
muscle helps your body move, mainly within the skeletal systemby attaching it to tendons, bones, joints and ligaments. Having muscle is very beneficial because it helps you burn more calories and helps maintain bones and other organs in the body, Ali says.
What does your metabolism do and how does it determine the calories you burn?
In addition, the muscle influences your metabolism. According to Ali, muscle has a higher metabolic rate than fat. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn even when you are at rest.
The ratio between the number of calories a pound of muscle burns and the number of calories a pound of fat burns is almost two to one, Ali says. For example, a pound of muscle can burn 50 calories over an hour at rest, while a pound of fat would burn about 20 calories.
Important: Building muscle can actually be helpful for weight loss as you increase your resting metabolism and burn more calories even when you are not active.
fat mainly serves as a reserve of fuel in your body, Ali says. It Likewise keeps the body warm and protects your organs.
However, there is a risk of having too much fat. Ali says that excess fat can build up on your organs, which can negatively affect their function.
How to measure your body fat percentage – and what is considered healthy
Measurements like body fat percentage can be a good indicator of your overall health. Ali says that having too much body fat increases your risk
Tips for building muscle
5 Essential Steps To Building Muscle And Its Many Science-Based Health Benefits
Steps to building and maintaining muscle mass are one of the most important ways to improve your health over time. You can do this by incorporating some simple diet changes and exercise routines into your daily life.
According to Ali, here are some tips for building muscle effectively:
Insider to take away
It is a myth that muscles weigh more than fat. The difference is that muscle is denser than fat. A higher percentage of body fat puts you at a higher risk of health problems, while more muscles are good for your health and help you burn more calories. If you’re having problems losing weight and building muscle, speak to your doctor.