Most people adopt some kind of exercise regimen to lose weight; and they expect drastic weight loss, once they start working out. Even though their fit clothes become slightly loose, the weight scales do not show noticeable changes.
Some people may gain weight, instead of losing it. What is the reason behind this phenomenon? Most trainers give the explanation that exercises help in muscle-building and muscles weigh more than fat. This is partly true, as the real fact is either misunderstood or misused by the trainers.
Role of Fats and Muscles in Weight Loss
Many people still believe that fats can be transformed to muscles through exercises, which in turn can lead to weight loss. According to them, once you stop exercising, the muscles will turn to fat. This is incorrect, as fats cannot be changed to muscles and vice versa.
Exercises can help you lose fat or gain muscle. Some exercise programs explain how to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time. All these changes can affect your body weight.
Fat loss may lead to weight loss to some extent, but muscle gain can increase your weight. If your exercise regimen is aimed at fat loss only, it can lead to some weight loss in a fat person.
If it is aimed at muscle gain, even if you lose weight through fat loss, that will be compensated by the weight of the muscles, which you gain through exercises. Both these phenomena compensate for each other, resulting in no apparent change in the body weight.
Does Muscle Weigh More Than Fat?
Muscles do not weigh more than fat. The difference lies in the constitution. While muscles are leaner and denser than fat, the latter tends to be bulky and takes up more space than the former. Hence, one pound of fat can look heavier and bulkier than one pound of muscle. Even though, the weight is the same, fats appear more bulky.
This fact can be illustrated by an example. 'A' and 'B' have same body weight - 150 pounds, but 'A' looks leaner and healthier than 'B'. This is because, 'A' has a body fat of 20%, whereas in case of 'B', it is 35%. Fats needs more space to fit in, but muscles takes lesser space.
A person with more body fat will appear bulkier than the one with less body fat and more muscles. Above all, muscles help the body to burn fat, even when you are at rest. More lean muscle mass tissues means a higher rate of burning of calories.
Fat loss is compensated by muscle gain, and so there will not be any significant change in your body weight. Even though, the rate of weight loss is slow, it can be fruitful in the long run. If you want faster results, you have to opt for other types of exercises.
Rapid weight loss can be achieved through crash diets, regular aerobics and lots of exercises; whereas for quick muscle gain, you have to switch to a proper diet, increased calorie intake and weight training.
The routes to achieve both the goals are different, and cannot be gained through a normal exercise regimen. You can adopt an exercise regimen of your choice, and compare the results. Body fat can be measured with body fat scales or any other device, meant to serve the purpose. Compare it with the changes in your body weight.
However, it is always better to have more muscles in the body than fat; as the former burn calories, which would otherwise be stored in the body. It also strengthens the body and support the joints. All, exercises are good for the overall well-being.