Post # 1
I’m really starting to ramp up my workouts in preparation for THE dress. I have some questions for you all and google isn’t helping me much with answers, so I thought I’d check with the ‘Bee. Can anyone help me with these?
1. I’ve heard the phrase “a pound of muscle weighs more than a pound of fat” about … a bajillion times. But it doesn’t make any sense to me. Isn’t a pound a pound? A pound of bricks weighs the same as a pound of feathers. So what’s the deal with muscle vs. fat. I get that it’s better to have muscle than fat in general, but why is my slow weight loss (but big improvement in strength, loss of inches, etc.) explained with “a pound of muscle weights more than a pound of fat.”
2. I’ve also been told that when working out and using weights, I’ll see a loss of inches before I see a loss of pounds. Is this true … or is this something I’m just hearing to explain away a less than expected loss in my first month of training?
3. I’ve recently discovered fitday as a food tracker and the thing I love most about it is the pie graph it gives to show what percentage of your food is carbs, fat and protein. What I can’t seem to find is what is “average” or ideal” in terms of percentages? All of the low carb diets of the last ten years have seriously warped my perception of what is normal. Can anyone give me a good breakdown of these — what I should be eating daily?
Post # 3
@cupcakesprinkles – hope this helps! I’m not a nutritionist, but I’ve heard some variations.
1. A pound is a pound. But it takes more fat to equal a pound than muscle. So, if you have a pound of fat and a pound of muscle on the table, the pound of fat is a larger pile. So, if you workout hard and get muscle and lose fat, you may weigh the same, but you’ll be smaller because muscle is denser than fat. I think that also answers your second question.
And if you get a good answer for question #3, let me know! I’m curious about that too!
Post # 4
A pound is a pound, but density is the key…a pound of fat is essentially larger than a pound of muscle, which is more compact.
you’re likely losing fat and trading it for muscle. Which is good! As long as you are losing inches, consider yourself losing FAT.
I saw a nutritionist awhile ago and here’s what he told me to eat:
8am: a carb, a protein, and a fruit
1130am: a carb, a protein, and a fruit/veggie
3-330pm: a protien snack (green yogurt)
dinner: (usually after the gym but really, whenever I can): a protein and a veggie or fruit.
He said as long as I don’t pile it on my plate, my body will get the proper nutrients, use them efficiently, and it’ll help me lose weight. I keep under 1500 calories a day and this is how i try to balance my carbs, proteins, and veggies. Also 8 glasses of ater a day. Not sure if that’s helpful for you…but it worked for me. Always complex carbs. Carbs get a bad rep, but you DO need them.
Post # 5
1. These ladies are right, a pound of muscle is more dense than a pound of fat, which means a pound of muscle is more compact (smaller) than an equal weight of fat.
2. The answer to number one is why you will lose inches before pounds. You are losing fat and gaining muscle, thus your body is becoming more “compact” for lack of a better word.
3. This is my personal rule for percentages, but is by no means scientific! Although when I eat this way it leaves me feeling full, awake, and not grumpy in the least:
50% (whole grain)carbs, 30% (lean)protein, 20% (healthy)fats
Post # 6
Agreed on the fat/muscle thing. Just think that muscle is like the bricks and fat is like the feathers! (Not quite, but you know what I mean).
I’ve read that a good ratio for weightloss is 40% protein, 30% carbs, 30% fat. I think people automatically think low-fat, low-carb, but it is really important to have enough protein, GOOD fats, and GOOD carbs!!
Post # 7
Ok so my question is what is considered good/ healthy fats? My husband and I have a problem finding healthy food for dinners with in our budget.
Post # 8
I’m a broke college kid, and the “healthy fats” I eat normally come through healthy oils, like Canola, First Cold Press Olive Oil and Safflower oil.
Like tonight for dinner, we had:
Whole-Wheat Pasta ($1.19 at Aldi)
Lean Chicken Breast (Giant bag at Target for $5.99, and I only used 2 little ones)
Pesto (Made w/ Canola Oil) ($1.29 for Simply Organic Pesto mix @ Target)
Zucchini ($1.00 @ Target)
So, that was like less than $3.00 per person when you add up all the costs. Super healthy, delicious and really budget-friendly.
Post # 9
Good fats: avocados, olive oil, and nuts all have healthy fats!
Post # 10
Most people have answered your questions fairly well; however, I am going to add a few points!
1. A pound of muscle DOES NOT equal a pound of fat. Obviously that doesn’t make sense and it is not true. A muscle cell weighs more than a adipose tissue (fat) cell. The saying is supposed to be “muscle weighs more than fat”.
2. It is common when you don’t have A LOT of weight to lose that you will maintain your weight (or even gain) and lose fat inches first. This is because even though muscle weighs more it is more dense and therefore takes up less space. So you should feel better and your clothes should fit better even though the scale is not showing a loss.
3 The documented balanced diet breakdown is 55% CHO (carbs), 30% fat and 15% Protein. I know it is shocking! In North America the general population consumes WAY TOO much protein (especially animal proteins). You don’t really have to worry about getting 30% fat in your diet it will naturally happen. However, you should consume and cook with vegetable oils as opposed to animal oils and solid fats (most of the time you can cook without either).
Good Luck with your new diet. FitDay is a great tool – I use it with my nutrition students for their food log projects!
PM me if you have any further questions!
Post # 11
I’m not a nutritionist but I was a nutrition minor, so hopefully I can help!
Obviously a pound is a pound. What people really mean is that Muscle is more dense than fat, and therefore, given an equal volume of fat vs. muscle the muscle will weigh more.
It’s legit that you might not see as much of a decrease on the scale when your doing a lot of weight lifting. However, that’s kind of missing the point. I’d measure your progress based on measurements, not on the scale.
The percentages you want to go for are based on your goals. If your trying to be healthy conventional science says you’ll want no more than 30% of calories from fat (and no more than 10% from saturated fat), 40-60% of calories from carbs, and there’s a formula you use to figure out the percentage from protien which I can’t find right now, but it tends to be in the neighborhood of 20%.
If your goal is to lose weight on a low carb diet (not considered healthy, but effective for weight loss) those numbers will be way off. Also, a lot of things these days seem to be pointing to the idea that we should stop trying to break things down and define them by their micro/macro nutrients and focus instead on eating whole “real” foods to maximize health.
Post # 12
when i first signed up for 24 hour fitness years ago, the personal trainer that came free with my membership showed me this massive blob (a prop they had) about the size of a large loaf of bread and said “this is 5 lbs of fat.” then he held up his fist and said “this is 5 lbs of muscle.” or maybe he held up two fists, i can’t remember. but that hit it home for me that muscle looks waaaay better on you than fat does.
i subscribe to dr. david williams ‘alternatives’ health newsletter because i think his health “discoveries” traveling the world for healthy, natural solutions, and one thing i read that stuck is that studies show that if you drink green tea or oolong tea with your meals (with no sugar added), your body eliminates a lot more fat than if you didn’t drink the tea. something about the tea works with the fat cells so it passes through your body instead of being absorbed… plus you get all the health benefits of the tea (antioxidants).
good luck! 🙂
Post # 13
- Wedding: April 2011 - AnthonyÃ¢Â€Â™s Fine Dining
Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to #3 (but I’m learning a lot from what these lovely ladies have written!) but I DO know that I too have heard that “muscle weighs more than fat” a lot. More of your total body weight is made up of muscle than it is of fat. However, MOST of that weight is water, so I wouldn’t think about it pound-for-pound. This does mean, though, that if you’re starting a new weight lifting routine, you’ll see a weight GAIN before you lose weight. Don’t panic, you’re just putting on muscle mass before you start losing fat. Good luck! 🙂
Post # 14
About the muscle/fat thing, as other posters have mentioned muscle is more dense than fat. So if you have say 10 lbs of fat it’s going to take up more room in your body (and thus you’ll look bigger) than 10 lbs of muscle. So since muscle is more compact you are smaller but the scale doesn’t always reveal it, especially if you’re loosing the bulky fat and gaining the dense muscle, make sense?
Here’s a visual : http://img440.imageshack.us/i/fatvmuscle.jpg/
About eating healthy on the cheap (I’m not a nutritionist), but it’s hard to eat healthy and cheaply and get prepackaged ready-to-go foods, often prepackaged foods are neither healthy or cheap. You have to break it down to the basic ingredients. We’ve really shopped around for the cheapest suppy of nuts and chickpeas, fruits, peanut butter and rice and well any bulk supplies we can find. You have to wean yourself off prepackaged foods slowly because it does take time at first to learn to cook quickly and everyone’s busy but our grocery bills have dropped dramatically by using basic, homemade sauces (usually vinegar or tomato based) and soaking our own beans (and now we even make our own bread, crackers, beer and yogurt) and managed to do it while working loooooong hours (but just puppies for kids). I love allrecipes.com for recipes. Also snack foods are often costly (even though they only seem like $1 here and there) but the calories and cost in potato chips and jelly beans and soda add up and don’t have much nutritional benefit. Everyone likes to snack differently, I love bread and cheese and a piece of fruit for a snack, but for some that’s just way to bland, my husband prefers a mix of peanuts, sunflower seeds, raisins and chocolate chips.
Post # 15
I have been doing an intense work out 3 days a week since december and (usually) eating a lot better at least since the holidays.. I started tracking my weight on an excel sheet but quit because i have gained 3 pounds! however i feel slimmer and people have been commenting.. so just remember to not focus on the numbers whether is is pounds or calories…
Little thing i have been doing instead is once a week i put on my bathing suit (haha, little embarrassing but im making a good point) and just take a look at myself in the mirror… i can tell that i am SLOWLY looking more and more okay in it. I feel better about that then weighing less! besides, i dont want to be a stick.. ill take some curves with my toned muscles any day!!
Post # 16
I agree whole heartedly with cbgg. Muscle is more dense.. so it takes up less room than fat, but a pound is a pound.. regardless of the substance. This also explains why as you lift more weights and build more muscle, you will see a loss of inches as opposed to a lost of weight.
Keep in mind that weight training has been shown to increase your metabolism, helping you to combat fat as well as toning muscle.
I use a daily food journal to log in all my food. Despite working out, it has been shown that your diet has more of an effect on your weight than does exercise. In other words, you could work out non stop for 6 months and not see a change in weight, but after you start checking your diet, weight loss can be immediate.. it’s importatant to keep your calories in check.
My food chart says the following about healthy percentages:
Those are percentages of daily calories.
Hope this helps!