How do you know if you have gained muscle and not fat? – Janet
If you’re gaining weight intentionally (other than pregnancy!) and your waistline isn’t expanding, chances are the weight increase is due to muscle. Gains in muscle mass are more likely to be based in the extremities rather than the torso or belly where fatty tissue tends to accumulate.
It’s unlikely with gains greater than 10% of starting body weight that the added tissue is pure muscle, especially if over a short period of time. The extra calories needed to build muscle can easily be used for fat production if timing of intake is off, or you’re not doing as much resistance training as you truly think [actual time doing muscle work vs. time on the gym floor].
Of course, if you’re gaining weight unintentionally, it’s most likely to be fat accumulation. That is, unless your physical activity has changed dramatically and you’re doing more weight-bearing exercise or serious resistance training.
A great way to assess changes in body composition are to have a ProResults trainer measure your body fat percentage every few weeks and weigh yourself weekly.
– Debbie J., MS, RD
Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition?