Friday, March 25, 2011

Weight Vs. Inches and Muscle Weight Gain

Confessions of a Fit Girl
Hello fitness friends! I'm back with another post which I'm excited to bring to you because I think you will find it very informative and helpful on your weight loss journeys! But before I get into the subject of the post, can I take a minute to ask you if you notice anything different about my blog? The design perhaps? :) LOL! Well, unless this is your very first time coming to my blog (and if so, WELCOME!!!), I'm sure you've noticed that I've got a whole new design going on here! I told you guys there were going to be some big changes coming soon and this is one of them. I've been hinting around my big news for a couple of weeks now but if you're friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, you probably already know so I might as well spill the beans here. On April 1st (yes, April 1st and no, this is no April Fool's Day joke) I'll be launching my new fitness and nutrition website, Succeed At! (If you'd like to take a sneak peak, click here.) Combined with this blog, along with my other blog, Mind & Soul, I'm hoping Succeed At Fitness will be a powerful resource to help people totally succeed at fitness by achieving a healthy mind, body, & spirit through exercise, nutrition and positivity! If you're not friends with me on Facebook, why aren't you? Friend me please! :) And be sure to follow me on Twitter, too! I'll be announcing the launch of the site on those two pages, as well as my blogs.

Now that I've broken that news, on to the subject at hand... the title of this blog is "Weight Vs. Inches and Muscle Weight Gain". I know the whole "weight vs. inches" thing is something we all have to deal with in our weight loss journeys. I'm maintaining now, but I remember this being a hard issue for me to deal with while I was still trying to lose weight. Just imagine (you may not even have to imagine, this may be you now), you're eating right, faithfully exercising several times a week, and you've gotten used to doing your weekly weigh-ins and seeing the scale go down a pound or two (maybe more) each week, but now all of a sudden, it stalls. Or even worse, it starts going the other way!!! This has recently become an issue for me which leads me to the second part of the title, "Muscle Weight Gain". I'm currently working my muscles more than ever before through free weights and kettlebell training, and although I'm noticing some inches lost and all my clothes are still fitting great, the scale has gone up quite a bit for me and I have to admit, even though I know I know better, as a former fat girl who lost a lot of weight in the past and doesn't EVER want to go back, this has been somewhat troubling for me. So all this led me to write this post. I've digged up some great information that I think everyone will find helpful and encouraging! (I know I did!) So let's get to into it! 

Weight Vs. Inches - Losing Inches But Not Losing Weight

What do those numbers on the scale really mean?
Because so many of us want to lose weight, at any given moment, most of us know how much we weigh. Most of us even have a favorite scale, the favorite being the one that gives us the lowest number possible. (Don't deny it, I know I do! Lol!) We talk about weight, think about weight, and sometimes lie about weight, but how often do we think about what that number means? For too many of us, weight isn't just a number but something that can actually change how we feel about ourselves. But, what does your weight really mean and how useful is it when it comes to tracking weight loss progress? Learning the answers to those questions may just have you tossing out your scale forever! If not forever, you certainly won't let it be an essential thought in your everyday life.

Focus on FAT LOSS,
Focus on Fat Loss, Not Weight Loss
When you talk about losing weight, what you usually mean is slimming down, but slimming down doesn't always mean losing weight. It may sound odd, but it's possible to get thinner without actually seeing a change in your weight. This happens when you lose body fat while gaining muscle. Your weight may stay the same, even as you lose inches, a sign that you're moving in the right direction, but if the scale doesn't change, you may not even be aware that you're getting real results. Knowing the difference between losing weight and losing body fat can change how you get results and may even change how you look at your own body.

The Truth About Your Weight
What does your weight say about you? If you think about it, that number doesn't tell you a whole lot. The scale shows your weight, but does it tell you how much of that weight is muscle and how much is fat? Or how much of that weight is water, bones or organs? A bodybuilder's weight could be off the charts because of extra muscle, but does that mean he's overweight or fat? Most of us would say no because we know that weight doesn't tell the whole story. Knowing your body composition is crucial information if you really want to get results and, unfortunately, the scale doesn't tell you that. Another reason scale weight isn't so reliable is that it changes all the time. All of us experience weight changes throughout the day, sometimes by as much as 10 pounds depending on what and how often we eat and drink. (Did you get that? 10 POUNDS!) While the scale isn't completely useless, it may not be the best tool for people just starting a fat loss program. If it doesn't help you stay on track and reach your goals, maybe it's time to throw out the scale for good.

Should You Throw Out the Scale?
"Don't step on it... it makes you cry."
You now know that focusing on fat loss is much more important than focusing on your weight. When you lose body fat, you're making permanent changes in your body, shifting your body composition so that you have less fat and more muscle. When you lose weight, you could be losing water or even muscle. It's impossible to know if you're seeing real results or just the product of your daily habits, hormonal shifts and changing hydration levels.
When you first start a program, you may need extra encouragement to keep going, proof that what you're doing is working and the scale may not give you that. Other ways the scale can work against you:
  • It measures everything: The number on the scale includes everything - muscles, fat, bones, organs, fat, food and water. For that reason, your scale weight can be a deceptive number.
  • It doesn't reflect the changes happening in your body: If you're doing cardio and strength training, you may build lean muscle tissue at the same time you're losing fat. In that case, the scale may not change even though you're getting leaner and slimmer.
  • It doesn't reflect your health: As mentioned above, the scale can't tell the difference between fat and muscle. That means a person can have a low body weight, but still have unhealthy levels of body fat.
  • It isn't always a positive motivator: If you step on the scale and you're unhappy with what you see, how does that make you feel? You may question everything you're doing, wondering why you even bother at all. Focusing on weight may overshadow the positive results you're getting such as fat loss, more endurance and higher energy levels.
One way to measure your success,
other than the scale,
is to take your measurements
Even if you're not ready to stop weighing yourself entirely, using other ways to measure progress can keep you motivated and help you realize that you are making changes, no matter what the scale says.
  • Go by how your clothes fit. If they fit more loosely, you know you're on the right track
  • Take your measurements to see if you're losing inches
  • Get your body fat tested or use an online calculator
  • Set performance goals. Instead of worrying about weight loss or fat loss, focus on completing a certain number of workouts each week or competing in a race
If the scale is making you crazy, taking a break from weighing yourself may just open your eyes to other possibilities. Your weight isn't the only measure of your success. Put away the scale and you may just see how far you've really come! 

Muscle Weight Gain - The Positive Side of Scale Increases

When replacing body fat with
muscle, gaining a few pounds is
a good thing!
If you have increased your workouts and you have noticed a higher number on the scale, it is probably do to muscle weight gain. Muscle is heavier than fat, so as you tone up and build more muscle, and number of pounds you weigh is likely to increase. This type of weight gain due to muscle mass DOES NOT mean you are out of shape. The more fat you lose and the more muscle you gain, the healthier you will be and the better you will feel.

Muscle also burns calories more quickly than fat, so your metabolism will speed up as you build more muscle. When you are replacing body fat with muscle, gaining a few pounds is actually a good thing. To gain lean muscle mass, you’ll need regular workout routines with weights, machines or strengthening exercises. Your workout routines should be modified each time you work out to work different muscles (so your entire body will be balanced). If you are bodybuilding or weight lifting regularly, make sure you allow yourself enough recovery time between workouts. Working out with weights for about 45 minutes every other day is the ideal for gaining muscle. Low impact aerobic workouts, or cardio exercises and relaxation exercises, are healthy for you to do on your off days. The cardio exercises will help you to burn fat in between weight lifting workouts, which will help you build muscle.

So with all that being said, I'm no nutritionist, dietitian, or expert, but I do know a few things about fitness and nutrition, and I am constantly making an effort to educate myself more and more everyday. Do I recommend giving up the scale completely? Hmmm... that's a hard one... I think that's a personal choice, I do know that regardless if you ever look at that scale or not you will be able to easily visibly tell if you are losing weight just by inches lost and dress/pant sizes going down, so to be honest, a scale is never really necessary. While I was losing weight, I used my scale as a source of motivation. To continually see the scale go down encouraged me to do more! Now that I'm maintaining (and not to mention the fact that my scale isn't exactly cooperating with me lately), I actually think I'm going to give the scale up. But like I said, it's a totally personal choice. (And if you're worried about not being able to tell if you've gained weight if you don't weigh yourself, don't worry, the theory that weight can "creep up on you" is a myth. We all can tell when we're gaining weight! When our pants don't zip anymore, we can't get into the same dresses or shirts, we look in the mirror and see the beginning of a double chin... these are all visible signs that a lot of times we choose to ignore.)

I found all this information to be very useful and I hope you have, too! I hope if you happen to have been discouraged about your progress before reading this that you are now encouraged! Knowledge is power and you'll never succeed without. I hope this blog enlightened you so we can all succeed in fitness together!

Sources: and


  1. Muscle does not weigh more than fat...a pound is a pound the world around. Muscle is denser and thus takes up less space. A pound of fat takes up more space than a pound of muscle...but it is still a pound to a pound.

  2. Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I'm kinda paranoid about losing everything I've worked hard
    on. Any suggestions?

    my page

  3. Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an
    established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog?
    I'm not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.

    I'm thinking about creating my own but I'm not sure where to start.
    Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Appreciate it

    Also visit my web page; 1285 Muscle and Elevate GF

    1. Actually I didn't find it hard at all using Blogger which is what I would recommend and is what this blog has been set up with. There are more options (design wise and technical) on Wordpress which is what I'm eventually going to switch to but I would recommend using blogger, it's very easy to start and learn.

  4. Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been
    blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is magnificent, let alone the content!

    Here is my website - Buy Max Robust

  5. Hey There. I found your blog the use of msn. That
    is a very smartly written article. I'll make sure to bookmark it
    and come back to read extra of your useful info. Thanks
    for the post. I will certainly comeback.

    Also visit my weblog :: Nuvocleanse Weight Loss ()

  6. Nice weblog here! Also your web site quite a bit up very fast!

    What host are you the use of? Can I get your associate hyperlink to your host?
    I want my web site loaded up as quickly as
    yours lol

    Also visit my web-site - Muscle Extreme review

  7. Hello it's me, I am also visiting this site regularly, this
    site is actually good and the viewers are in fact sharing
    pleasant thoughts.

    Check out my blog :: Lean Muscle X Supplements

  8. What's Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It positively helpful and it has aided me out loads.

    I'm hoping to contribute & aid other customers like its helped me.
    Good job.

    Feel free to visit my site :: Lean Muscle Formula REviews