RIDDLE: What weighs more, 1kg of fat or 1kg of muscle?
ANSWER: Neither, they're both 1kg!
This is an amusing myth many of us in the fitness industry hear all the time. A kg is a kg and a pound is a pound. The difference we are concerned with is weight per volume or the density of fat versus muscle. Giving a simple explanation, 1kg or 1 pound of fat takes up more volume or "space" than muscle. This is because muscle tissue is far denser than fat.
Now that we know this, lets talk about everyone's favorite tool for measuring physical fitness: the weigh scale. It's a device we're all familiar with and it has one purpose and that's to measure how heavy you are. Unless you're using a scale with advanced features (some have body fat measurement capability), it's only telling you one value. And as we now know, that number isn't giving you a complete picture of your fitness. The scale is great for one measurement of your fitness journey but its usefulness is over-accentuated. It gives us a good baseline of where we've started and helps us to make some decisions about which direction to go first.
Imagine two people weighing 90kg but of two different fitness levels and very different appearance. One will be muscled and the other "fat". This shows us again that the scale can be deceiving.
And because muscle is denser than fat, a person may see no loss in weight OR in some cases, gain weight, if they replace the fat with muscle.
My message isn't intended to discount the importance of weight loss. Obviously, if you're moderately overweight you significantly increase your chances of suffering from health issues and a scale is a good tool for noting general progress. My intention is to remind you that the usefulness of a scale has diminishing returns as you progress in your fitness journey and you will inevitably be able to gauge your successes by your overall feeling of wellness, energy, and appearance without struggling for kg or pounds.
We must make sure all factors are coordinating to bring about proper fitness success; proper dieting, good equipment, good coaching, recuperation, etc. As long as you're tackling each of these, you WILL reach your goals! Achieve them wisely and with every tool at your disposal. And remember, you don't have to go it alone, get support or guidance from a coach or trainer if you can.
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Live Strong. Live Healthy. - Calyx