Pound Of Fat vs. Pound Of Muscle

Get ready to debunk the gym myths. Muscle may burn more calories when at rest, but the level of this activity is often overstated. Another common claim, 1 pound of muscle weighs more than 1 pound of fat – 1 pound is 1 pound no matter how you spin it…


Muscle is denser, therefore, it weights more than fat if you compare the same-size portion. The density of muscle is 1.1 g/mL on average, while the density of fat is 0.9 g/mL. Using these averages, 1 liter of muscle weighs approx. 2.3 lbs, while 1 liter of fat weights approx. 1.98 lbs. Exercise Physiology by William D. McArdle says this could vary due to race, being extremely lean or being extremely obese.


The truth is that muscle tissue will burn 7 to 10 calories daily per pound, while fat will only burn 2 to 3 calories per day. Therefore, you can burn an additional four to six more calories each day if you replace a pound of fat with a pound of muscle. The best way to benefit from the calorie-burning muscles is to actually use them in daily living. Your basal metabolic rate typically accounts for 60 to 75 percent of daily caloric burn.

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Fat is less dense is muscle, which means it takes up more space than muscle. Muscle takes up approximately four-fifths as much space as fat. Two people could be the exact same height, but the person with more fat would be wearing larger sizes.


Stay healthy and live an active lifestyle. Swapping fat for muscle might not burn all the extra calories you had hoped for, but it’s still a good idea to remain lean. Higher body fat percentages are connected with a raised risk for obesity-related diseases, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, gallstones, certain cancers and breathing problems. Women should shoot for a body fat range of 18 to 30 percent, while men should aim for 10 to 25 percent. Obesity is a woman with 30 percent body fat or greater; for a man, obesity is 25 percent body fat or greater.

Written by Chief Health

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