how can you tell its muscle youre gaining?

posted 3 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
Member
744 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@souza_2005:  I think you should take measurements and compare those numbers rather than the numbers on the scale.

I am in the same boat as you and I keep my food diary on an app and I know if my weight goes up by a pound that unless I have eaten an extra 3500 calories it is not a pound of fat.  Depending on how many carbs you eat can impact your water retention and you may have gained muscle and also my weight fluctuates based on my cycle.  But, if you have your diet in check you should not gain fat.

Post # 4
Member
633 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

@souza_2005:  If you’re eating less than 1200 calories a day your body may be storing excess fat because it thinks it’s starving! 1200 calories is pretty much the bare minimum you need to eat. It’s okay to have less NET calories, say, if you eat 1500 calories in a day but burn 400 calories on a treadmill, you have a net total of 1100 which is conducive to weight loss. 

If you’re doing any sort of strength or resistance training – yoga, pilates, weight machines, etc. – you’re likely gaining muscle. I notice I’m gaining muscle when I look more “solid” and if I poke my core, legs, arms, etc. they feel harder than they used to. You can also measure the circumference of each leg and arm and around your waist and hips to track your progress. Losing inches while your weight stays the same = gaining muscle.

Keep up the good work but please eat more to up your calories! Under 1200 can be very dangerous.

Post # 6
Member
4998 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

There are very few ways you can gain muscle when losing weight (generally it’s all but impossible) but weight gain is also unlikely to be fat gain if you’re eating at a deficit.

The usual culprits are hormones or salt causing water retention (or that you need to visit the ladies loo for an extended visit).

Measurements are good, though.

Post # 7
Member
110 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

@souza_2005:  Like a PP mentioned, measurements are your best bet. You would need to take circumference of the following:

  • Bicep flexed
  • Bicep relaxed
  • Natural waist
  • Hips
  • Thigh
  • Bust

Different people lose fat first in a different place so you would need to take these measurements weekly and track how everything is changing together with your weight. I have found that for me, my waist and thighs are the ones that are usually an indication of how my body is changing even when my weight remains the same.

I also agree with a PP that 1200 calories is really not that healthy especially if you are working out as well. I think the trick is to change your diet to something that you can sustain even when you no longer want to lose weight. You should google one of those calculators that tells you how many calories you need to eat to lose weight and how many you need to maintain your goal.

Like Special Sundae mentioned, you could be holding water as well. 

Post # 9
Member
4998 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@souza_2005:  Not every week, but it has happened. I’ve seen my weight spike by that much overnight, stay there for a month and then drop off in a few days.

I’ve dropped four dress sizes (UK 16 to 8/US 12 to 4) eating at 2000 calories with MyFitnessPal so you don’t HAVE to eat 1200 calories a day to lose weight, you just have to be active and accurate.

Post # 10
Member
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

You can only tell by how your body looks, your clothes fit, and if you are taking measurements. This is exactly why you should not rely on a scale if you don’t have a decent amt of weight to lose, and are doing weight training. But it’s also why people give up, because they expect the scale to drop.

Your body will be whatever weight it needs to be but as long as you are getting some results and working hard you’re doing the right things! You can make a goal of being a specific weight all you want but you may never reach it if you’re healthy. 

Post # 11
Member
664 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@souza_2005:  Definitely track by measurements not the scale!

Even set a certain day of the week or every other week, say Saturday mornings, to take full body pictures in the same clothes, in the exact same spot in your house. Comparing progress photos has helped me realize how much improvement I’m making without weighing myself.

Also, if you’re lifting, while your muscles are rebuilding from increasing your weight (that you lift) your body may retain a little bit more water all over than usual.. which may effect the scale but not individual measurements as much.

Post # 12
Member
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@souza_2005:  Do NOT get discouraged EVER, technically you aren’t supposed to weigh yourself but twice, once at the very beginning of when you start working out, and then at the end of about a three week interval. You get discouraged seeing the weight drop slowly if you check it all the time. My husband worked at a gym and tells me the same thing (he’s my personal fitness trainer), also don’t LOOK for muscle right away (aka critiquing your body in the mirror every day), if you don’t see it right away, again a lot of people get discouraged. Trust me, I’m just now beginning to see my nice little muscle definition starting and I’ve been training for about a month and a half. It takes time, just wait for it and don’t stress yourself out by trying to see if the weight loss and muscle gain are there, they will come in time.

Post # 13
Member
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Take into account though, your weight won’t drop that much, because muscle weighs more than fat, so wmuscle gain may make you think you aren’t really having any fat loss!

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