Mireille's Journey To Health


When You Lose A Pound, Make It Fat

bathroom scale

A pound is a pound right?  Ever heard the riddle, “What weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of lead?”  A pound is a pound.  However, a pound of feathers has more mass than a pound of lead.  A lot more!

Have you ever gotten excited about weight you lost because you were ill and couldn’t eat anything?  Like, “Oh yeah, Baby!  4 pounds, and I didn’t even try!”  I’ll be honest, I used to do this.  I had no real comprehension of what was really going on.

Feed your muscles to keep your muscles!

Feed your muscles to keep your muscles!

Your muscles need food, not only to grow, but even to maintain size.  The bigger the muscle, the more food it needs.  Preferably protein.  Muscles prefer to feast on protein.  They also burn through body fat!

(image from www.dietclipart.com)

(image from www.dietclipart.com).

Don’t starve yourself.  You will lose muscle mass. Your body will basically feed off the muscle.  You may drop a few pounds, but it will be muscle.  That muscle you lost, also means less fat burning.  Remember, muscle burns through body fat.

A pound of fat is a much larger mass than a pound of muscle.

A pound of fat is a much larger mass than a pound of muscle.

As you can see in the picture above, a pound of fat is significantly larger than a pound of muscle (in the picture we’re looking at 5 pounds).  Lets walk through a scenario real quick.  So, you want to lose “size” (you say weight, but as you’re learning here, it’s more complicated than that).  You decide to follow a starvation diet.  You’re miserable, hating life, and tired.  You check the scale after a few days, and you’ve lost 3 pounds.  You get excited.  Well, if we look at what really happened, you weren’t feeding yourself, your muscle broke down, and your body used it for fuel.  You now have less muscle mass.  This means less fat burning.  Ultimately, the starvation diet was counterproductive.

I have distinct memories of times I starved myself, eating very little, or nothing at all.  I was always proud of myself.  I loved seeing the scale go down.  I would get jealous of people who got real sick and dropped weight.

When I started working out and learned I had to eat in order to build muscle and burn fat, I had a really hard time.  Here I was trying to build a leaner physique, and they wanted me to eat more.  I’d associated food with body fat for so long. It took me a while to get comfortable with this.  When I finally did, I started to see more muscle gains, and my body fat was melting off.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was eating and losing body fat!  I’m to the point, I worry about making sure I get enough protein when I’m sick.  I don’t want to lose muscle mass.

Put in the work and eat right.  Celebrate fat loss! Don’t settle for muscle loss via a starvation diet.

For more on this topic:

No quick fixes.  Slow and steady wins the race.


7 comments on “When You Lose A Pound, Make It Fat

  1. Karen
    April 9, 2015

    Thanks for the insight, learned something

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lucydanvers
    April 9, 2015

    This was very interesting, and very informative. Definitely did not know that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • mireillesjourneytohealth
      April 9, 2015

      I think a lot of people don’t. It’s definitely I didn’t know until I really got into health and fitness.


  3. Pingback: Slow and Steady Wins the Race | Mireille's Journey To Health

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This entry was posted on April 9, 2015 by in Fitness, Nutrition and tagged , , , , , , .
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