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If you’re unsure whether the weight you’re gaining is muscle or fat, there are a number of ways you can tell the difference. First, there are a few things you should know. Everyone’s bodies store fat differently. As we’ve reported on in the past, based on genetics, some people store more visceral fat — fat that’s around the organs within the abdominal cavity — and others store more subcutaneous fat, or the fat you can pinch with your fingers (you can read more about that here).
Another note? If you’re actively trying to put on muscle, chances are you’ll be able to tell if you’re getting leaner or bulking up, which we’ll touch on ahead. People also wonder, on the other hand, if building muscle will impede on their weight-loss goals, which we’ll discuss as well. We spoke to two experts on the differences between putting on muscle versus fat, why muscle can actually help with weight loss, and why you can’t necessarily go by the number on the scale to track your progress.