A very common thing that we hear and often say is, “muscle weighs more than fat”. Muscle does not weigh more than fat. They actually weigh the same. Hang with me for a second I’m going to explain why this is common to think.
What people typically mean to say is “muscle takes up less space” or “muscle is more dense”.
Then, why do our clothes feel TIGHT!?!?! Why does it seem like I’m running out of clothes to wear????
THAT IS A GREAT QUESTION!!!!!!
This is where the Ah-hah Moment happens. 🙂 Our clothes might feel tight because of three reasons:
- Because Muscle Does Not have “Give” to it like Fat does.
- That you have built muscle in an area that makes your clothes fit differently since now that area does not have much “give”
- and third is my hypothesis. Fat does not have glycogen stores like muscle do.
With that being said, we can store more glycogen (sugar) into our muscles (glycogen stores within the muscles) and depending on how saturated (hydrated with water) our muscles are they can get bigger/swell depending on what we are doing.
Fat can not fluctuate like that! Here is an easier way to digest what I just said , think about when you are in the gym and you get a “pump” that is what I am talking about. When we get a pump we are rushing blood, water and nutrients into the muscles at that time to have energy within the muscles to lift.
Another thing to consider, when our muscles are sore we draw water into our muscles to recover, repair and rebuild them. The take away is that when we have more muscle the size of the muscle can fluctuate based on our training, our recovery, our nutrition and supplementation.
AKA: More Muscle that does not have much “give” that can fluctuate in size may mean your clothes can feel tight from time to time.
Now!!!! Let’s quickly explain why clothes feel looser when we have more bodyfat. Like I mentioned earlier fat has a LOT more give. Think of fat being like play-doh and our muscle being like a baseball. If we try to fit them both (although they weigh the same) into a cardboard paper towel roll which one do you think could actually fit???
The play-doh (like fat) that has the same exact weight as the baseball can squish and squeeze into the paper towel roll just like we can squish and squeeze into a pair of pants. Whereas, the baseball (muscle) will not ever be able to fit through the paper towel roll. That same analogy applies to how our clothes might fit differently.
This might me why I wear a lot of stretchy jeans! haha! ;p
I know that might be a funny example, but as our body composition change our clothes (especially our dress pants, nice button up shirts and jeans) may start to fit us differently.
I do not want you getting discouraged while trying to be healthier because in one situation you might feel better in a pair of smaller jeans (with more fat and less muscle) but in the other scenario (with more muscle and less fat) you will
FEEL BETTER NAKED!!!! That’s what we all want, Right?!?!?
Keep in mind though for those who might have a lot of bodyfat to lose this may not be the case for you based on where you are at in your fat loss journey. If you are not losing bodyfat but you are building muscle no matter if you are small or a bigger person you will be bigger.
This applies to those who are working at losing bodyfat, have lost a good amount of bodyfat and are at a place where they are building muscle. It is really easy to get super focused on the scale that we lose sight of what is actually happening.
The most important thing that we can do for ourselves and the people we care about is to learn ourselves fully and to be consistent with the things that make us feel good/happy.
We all will have days when we lose sight and want to throw the scale out the window. I say, DO IT! Focus on your FEELS and the momentum will carry you much farther.