Post 95: How Do I Know If I’m Gaining Muscle Weight or Fat Weight? from Livestrong: Passover Creamy Caramelized Onion and Babaganoush Tart

Everyone likes to see the scale go down. What happens if the reverse occurs?

How Do I Know If I’m Gaining Muscle Weight or Fat Weight?

Last Updated: Feb 03, 2014 | By Elisha Ryan

How Do I Know If I'm Gaining Muscle Weight or Fat Weight?
A scale can’t differentiate between muscle and fat. Photo Credit Bine Å edivy/iStock/Getty Images

When you weigh yourself, the scale cannot differentiate between muscle, fat, water, bone or internal organs. In fact, a scale doesn’t know if you are human being or a bag of rice. If you have recent weight gain, it’s important to know if it’s muscle or fat. Look for several signs to recognize fat or muscle gain; there are also tests that can be done to give you an accurate measurement.


If you consistently perform resistance exercises and see a small, slow weight gain, chances are you are putting on muscle. Muscle is important because it increases your metabolism, gives your body shape and firmness and keeps you strong. According to ExRx, a pound of muscle can burn up to 50 calories in a day, which is why muscle improves your metabolism and is so important to your health and wellness. If you gain weight but do not exercise regularly, it is most likely an increase in your body fat percentage.


If you have put on a small amount of weight but your clothes are getting looser, this is a tell tale sign that you are gaining muscle. Muscle is dense, firm and takes up less room than fat. On the other hand, fat is voluminous and takes up more space, which results in clothes that are tighter. Also, a rapid or significant weight gain is an indicator of an increase in body fat.

Body Composition Testing

Most gyms offer their members free body composition testing done by a fitness professional. Skin fold measurements are taken on specific areas of your body and are used in a mathematical formula along with your age and gender. If you gain weight that is muscle, your body fat percentage will go down; if your weight gain is fat, your body fat percentage will go up. If possible, have this test done once a month and preferably by the same person for accuracy.

Hydrostatic Weighing

The American Council on Exercise says that hydrostatic weighing is the gold standard for body composition testing and is considered the most accurate way to find out what your body fat percentage is. The lab determines your body fat by seeing how buoyant or heavy you are in water. You’re weighed on dry land first and then submerged in a tank of water. After blowing all the air out of your lungs, hold your breath for one minute while the lab weighs you while you’re submerged.


Passover Creamy Caramelized Onion and Babaganoush Tart


  • Prep Time : 15 min
  • Cook Time : 1 hour, 40 min
  • Chill Time : 20-30 min
  • Ready Time : 2 hour, 15 min



For the Tart

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour or 2 tablespoons potato starch
  • 1 3/4 cups almond flour**
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold margarine or coconut oil
  • 1 egg

For the Filing

  • 2-4 tablespoons. olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup Sabra Babaganoush (one 8 oz. container)
  • 1 teaspoon plus more to taste kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus more to taste freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses* or omit.
  • 1-2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed plus more for garnish1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
    Zest of 1 lemon
    2 eggs plus 1 yolk
    1/4 cup coconut milk or almond milk
    For the Topping (optional)
    1 onion
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    Cooking SprayDirections
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Process the pine nuts and tapioca flour in a food processor until you have fine flour. Add the almond flour, salt and margarine or coconut oil and pulse to combine. With the motor running add the egg through the shoot and process until a dough starts to form.
    3. Gather the dough with your hands and place it in the center of a lightly greased 9-inch tart pan pressing it out evenly to the edges and up the rim of the tart pan using your fingers and the palm of your hand. Prick the dough all over with the tins of a fork and refrigerate to firm for at least 20 to 30 minutes or place in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking.
    4. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until lightly golden and set.
    5. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack while making the filling. Keep the oven on to bake the filling.
    1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low flame.
    2. Add the onions in to the pan and caramelize them for 35-45 minutes until they become a deep caramel color. Stir every few minutes to ensure they do not burn. (Do not do this over a high flame. It will burn the onions.)
    3. During the last ten minutes of caramelizing add the garlic and allow it to soften and brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the onions from the heat.
    4. Mix together with the Sabra Babganoush, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, pomegranate molasses, olives, thyme, lemon zest, eggs and “milk”.
    5. Pour the onion mixture over the baked tart shell and spread so that the filling is even.
    6. Add the onion topping, if using, in a pretty circle or in your preferred design on the surface of the tart.
    7. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees F or until the filling no longer jiggles.
    8. Cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the tart shell. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm.
    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
    2. Slice the onion in half but do not slice the ends so that the layers stay together. Then, slice the onion very thinly into semi circles.
    3. Lay the onions on a cookie sheet, spray with cooking spray and then sprinkle with the brown sugar
    4. Bake for 15 minutes or until the onion slices start to brown.
    5. Remove from the oven and allow the onions to cool before topping the tart. Handle with care as they are very delicate.
    *To make your own pomegranate molasses, boil 4 cups pomegranate juice, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 tbsp. lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved. Then, simmer for about an hour or until the mixture is reduced to 1 cup. The remaining molasses can be stored in the fridge for 6 months.
    **If you cannot find Kosher for Passover almond flour, pulse the necessary amount of blanched almonds in a food processor until it becomes a powder/flour.
    Sabra Tart


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