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The Difference Between A Pound of Fat A Pound of Muscle

There is a huge confusion among many of us regarding a pound of fat and a pound of muscle. However, if you are into fitness, you will notice that you can’t lose an equal amount of weight every day through a workout. 

A Pound of Fat and A Pound of Muscle - a plate with the word fit and a pan with the word fat

On some days, you see the scale go down, but that’s not always the case. That’s because of your constant fat loss and muscle gain. I’m here to help you understand the process.

What is the Difference between A Pound of Fat and A Pound of Muscle?

Though one pound of fat and one pound of muscle weigh the same, there is a huge difference between them. 

Firstly, the formation of muscle and fat is not the same. Muscle contains numerous elastic fibers that bundle tightly together, whereas fat comprises fatty acid tails and glycerol backbones. 

Secondly, muscle is much denser in the formulation and takes up quite less space than fat. Hence, if you compare 5 pounds of fat with 5 pounds of muscle, the former will occupy almost four-fifths of extra space than the latter. 

Thirdly, when you work out or rest, your body muscles aim to oxidize fat. It means that daily exercise can help you boost your muscles while losing significant body fat.

Since muscle is denser in formulation than fat, if you compare equal size portions of the two, the muscle will weigh more than fat. Usually, the weight of 1-liter muscle is approximately 2.3 pounds, whereas the weight of 1-liter fat is approximately 1.98 pounds. 

For this reason, if you compare two people with the same weight and height, the one with a higher fat percentage will need a larger-sized outfit. 

Finally, when it comes to the calorie-burning capacity of the two, a pound of muscle tissue burns about 8-10 calories, whereas a pound of fat burns about 2-3 calories. If you want to gain 3-5 pounds of muscle within a span of 3-4 months through a daily strength training workout session, you need to burn at least 15-30 calories every day.

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What are the Health Benefits of Body Muscles?

Here are some health benefits of body muscles that you need to know:

  • The first benefit will be creating a more muscular physique.
  • The more muscle you grow, the risk of injury will reduce.
  • You will be able to boost more strength, power, and stability.
  • The energy levels and vitality will also start to increase.
  • The body balance and mobility will be improved gradually.
  • As you become fit and healthy, you will start feeling good.
  • Your athletic performance will improve drastically.
  • With more muscles, your metabolic efficiency will enhance.
  • Your blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity will also improve.

Check out this awesome video explaining what body weight is actually comprised of:

How will Muscle Gain Improve My Metabolic Efficiency?

Muscle gain can improve your metabolic efficiency to a great level. One pound of fat in your body represents almost 3,500 calories. Now, to lose one pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories of energy by either working out or eating fewer calories over a few days. 

When you follow this regime, the fats in your body will get reduced through your breath, perspiration, and urine. Now, if you develop lean muscles through resistance training exercises, you will get more advantages.

You can burn more calories when you grow healthy muscles because one pound of your body muscle is capable of burning slightly more calories. As you take rest, your one pound of body muscle will burn more calories than one pound of body fat. 

Hence, the process of losing weight through burning calories will be boosted. For example, one pound of muscle usually burns 6 calories each hour, whereas one pound of fat burns only 2 calories. Hence, one pound of muscle on average will burn almost 96 extra calories over a period of 24 hours.

Are Fats Harmful to Our Body?

It’s a myth that fat is absolutely harmful to our bodies. That’s because fats are important in our body as a fuel source. The main purpose of fat is to store energy in our body and supply it when needed.

For this reason, most nutritionists and doctors recommend a moderate amount of fat in our diet. However, since fats have several forms, it’s important to know how much fat is okay and which type of fat is healthy.

The three types of fat are monounsaturated, saturated, and polyunsaturated. Among all these three types, saturated fat is unhealthy for our body and can increase the chances of health issues such as heart disease.

In contrast, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered good or healthy because they have minimal disease risk. These are found in vegetable oils such as canola, olive oil, seafood, nuts, and seeds.

How Do I Know If I’ve Gained A Pound of Muscle or Fat?

The trick to understanding whether you’ve gained muscle or fat weight is simple. First, you need to measure your body weight to check how much you’ve gained.

Then, you need to try an outfit to see whether it fits you well or getting tight. If the outfit is getting loose or fitting you well, it’s a sign of muscle gain because muscle takes up very little space in your body.

Even if you’ve gained 1-2 pounds of muscle, your body will look firm and compact. Or, if the outfit is getting tight, it means you may have gained fat because fat is always voluminous and makes your body chubby.


Now that you know the difference between a pound of fat and a pound of muscle, I’m sure you’ll be able to implement the idea in your fitness routine. If you want to lose weight and maintain it for a long time, the best way to do it perfectly is by gaining muscles while burning fat. Also, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating habits are must things that you need to ensure.

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Noble Woods III

My name is Noble, I have a passion for fitness and all things related to healthy living. My mission is to share my story and help those who wish to make a healthy change. Follow me on socials.

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