Losing Inches but Not Pounds On The Scale
Are you frustrated that you are losing inches but not pounds on the scale? Here are some questions for you.
Can you build muscle as you lose fat, thus changing your body composition and staying at the same weight?
Does this mean that body size reduction isn’t a good thing?
No. Because it is a very good thing!
It just means that in the short term you aren’t building new muscle as you burn fat.
What you can see as you shrink your dimensions is a reduction in visceral fat, inflammation, and a release of water from where it isn’t really supposed to be, mainly in the fat cells.
Muscle weighs more than fat by volume, more than twice as much in fact. We can restore muscle rather quickly, but new muscle comes on very slowly. Some refer to it incorrectly as muscle memory.
Weight loss gimmick groups BANK on the process of muscle restoration.
If you have ever seen a before and after pic of someone that is heavy and then seems to be very muscular after 6 or 8 weeks on their program, you can bet that they already had that muscle at some point in time before gaining the weight.
You will never see a computer desk worker who sat behind a screen all his life turn fat into muscle, and get ripped in his late 30s just like that. It may never happen at that point, but they can improve, but not like the “set up” ones that I am talking about.
As you drop fat and start working out again, you will pump up and the volume in the muscles can be restored since it’s mostly water and glycogen.
So, they find “Ex” athletes and gym rats who got fat and then have them crash diet and train for 6 to 8 weeks and restore some of their looks, but it isn’t new muscle.
New muscle is HARD to put on as an adult. We are saying that if a man gets 4 to 5 lbs. of new muscle in a year, he should be absolutely thrilled.
Even then, it isn’t new muscle fibers or fibers splitting. It’s mass and volume, again, mostly water and glycogen that come with increased use and training.
So, can you shift 5 lbs. in a week of muscle as you lose fat? The answer is potentially yes, but it isn’t “new” muscle.
The same goes in the opposite direction. People who think you “eat” your muscle when fasting are wrong. You won’t lose a single muscle fiber when you fast.
The muscle will in fact become denser from fasting and look tighter or leaner. The volume caused by the water and potentially glycogen will reduce. That’s a good thing.
When you start eating again after an extended fast, you will give the muscle you have an upgrade with new parts and mechanics. This is a very good thing but there will be no new muscle fibers.
The bottom line is that a positive shift in body composition is a healthier metabolic change than the number on the scale and will almost always precede the scale number declining when it is done correctly.
Turning a large pear shaped person into a smaller pear shaped person isn’t a great change. Making a pear shaped person into one that has less of a pear shape can save their life!
Don’t get discouraged, your body will save your butt before it loses your butt with fasting!
We can do better!