pounds of body fat vs. pounds of muscle

  • I don't know if this is somewhere else on the site, but I haven't found it. I just picked up the BFL journal and have a question about goals....

    It says goals should be specific, like lose 10 pounds of fat, gain 5 pounds of lean muscle.

    How do you measure/caluclate that? If I lose 5 pounds by the scale, how do I know if it's all fat, 50/50 or all muscle (yikes!)

    My scale does a body fat percentage calculation, but I don't have a clue if that's really accurate or not. It is probably like the tables you can check, just weight and height.

    I'm looking forward to starting tomorrow, and need to get my goals set tonight!





    Exercising, eating right are hard. Being fat, out-of-shape and unhealthy is hard.

    Pick your HARD! 

  • Hi Pat,

    I like to take multiple measurements.  For example, I weigh myself, I measure myself with a tape measure, I get a caliper test (for body fat) from a qualified person, and I measure myself with clothes.  If I am losing fat and gaining muscle, the scale may not move much, but my clothes might fit differently.  I don't use the scale as my only source.  I wouldn't worry to much about how much is fat and muscle right now.  As long as you are showing progress in one area you are moving toward your goal.  

    "It's not how many times you fall down that matters, it's how many times you get back up that counts."  


  • You can't actually calculate how much muscle you've gained. You can calculate your lean body mass. This is the weight of  your muscles, bones, organs, etc. Since the weight of your bones and organs should remain fairly static, any change in your lean body mass can be considered muscle gain or loss.

    You need to measure your body fat % and your weight. If your weight is 200lbs and your body fat is 20%:

    200 X .20 = 40 lbs of fat

    200 - 40 = 160 lbs lean mass

    Now say your weight is 210 lbs and your body fat is 10%:

    210 X .10 = 21 lbs of fat

    210 - 21 = 189 lbs lean mass

    189 - 160 = 29 lbs of lean mass (muscle) gained

    40 - 21 = 19lbs fat lost

    There is a good article here: www.naturalphysiques.com/.../415.html

    Every truly great accomplishment is at first impossible. ~Fortune Cookie~

  • Thanks, Molly and BigDog!

    I love it that someone here can answer my questions!



    Exercising, eating right are hard. Being fat, out-of-shape and unhealthy is hard.

    Pick your HARD!