If you have spent any amount of time watching television or surfing the web, then you’ve probably had at least one or two adverts pop up for diets or exercise grimes.
This is particularly the case if you are looking to make some improvements to your health.
We’ve all seen the adverts where someone, usually someone very fit and healthy, tells us about a brand-new exercise routine that you can add to your daily life.
Alternatively, they could be promoting a new diet, either some type of supplementary or dieting course.
In both examples, you may hear something along the lines of the phrase ‘turn that fat into muscle’.
This is by no means an idea that is limited to the world of health professionals.
Many ordinary people often ask experts with help of how they can turn any sitting amount of fat on their body into muscle material.
But is this the case? Can muscle be made from fat, or is this due to a misunderstanding of the science behind these two substances?
This is the question that we are going to answer in this guide. We are going to explain what exactly these two substances are, what they are made from, and explain to you why fat cannot be turned into muscle.
What Is Fat?
Before we go any further, we should probably first explain what exactly these two components of the human body are exactly, and what makes them different from each other, starting with an explanation of what fat is and what it is made from.
Body fat, also known more scientifically speaking as ‘adipose tissue’, is a kind of loose organic connective tissue that is made of adipocytes, also known as fat cells.
The main role of adipose tissue is to store lipids in the body when they are not being used up by their usual functions.
Rather than letting that energy go to waste, the body simply converts it into a form that can be used for releasing it when the body does require it later.
Lipids themselves contain plenty of triglycerides, including fatty acids and cholesterol.
What Is Muscle?
So, now that we have explained what fat cells and tissues are, we can move on to explaining muscle tissue is.
Muscles as we know them, also known as skeletal muscles, are one of the three main types of muscle tissue that you will find in your body, and consist of thousands of muscle fibers that wrap around each other from tissue sheaths to create fasciculi.
Their main function, when connected to bone tendons as they should be, is to allow different parts of the body to move by contracting and relaxing, as well as providing the body with structural support and posture.
Why You Can’t Turn Fat Into Muscle
So, from this information, we can start to see why health experts will often correct people when they are asked how fat can be turned into muscle. Because it simply can’t.
As we have shown, the components that make up each type of body part have very different.
With fat tissue being composed of lipids, and muscles being made up of smaller muscle fibers, these two types of tissues share very little if any common chemical makeup, meaning that it is pretty much impossible for fat to become muscle tissue and vice versa.
What Happens During Weight Loss?
Many people often wonder what exalt the process of weight loss entails if it doesn’t include turning fat into muscles.
Well, the main principle behind weight loss is the burning or using of various tissues of the body.
By achieving a calorie deficit, where, either through consuming fewer calories, doing more physical activities, or even both, the body is using more calories than it is consuming.
If this is the case, then the body starts using up other stored reserves of energy.
The ideal amount of calories that should be lost is around 10-20% of your daily recommended calorie intake, which will vary from person to person.
This process will burn up fats, muscle tissue, and water weight, although ideally, you will be burning mostly body fat during this calorie deficit.
The right amount of calorie deficit will mean that you slowly lose more body fat than you do muscle tissue.
Often this is also combined with activities that help build muscles too, keeping the balance of your body’s organic tissues healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Does the Myth Around Fat Turning Into Muscle Come From?
So, if the myth isn’t true, why and how did it become such as widely held belief?
Whilst the exact origins are a little difficult to understand, there are several reasons why this may have been believed by many people for quite a while.
On a purely physical level, losing fat will often also mean that there is less fatty tissue surrounding muscles, sometimes giving them greater definition.
This may have led to the belief that the fat cells are being converted somehow into muscle mass, an issue that is often further exacerbated by the fact that many people achieve their caloric deficit by doing muscle-building exercises.
This would mean that a person’s muscle mass would increase a the same time that their body fat amount was dropping, further lending to the myth.
On a biochemical level, rather than fat turning into muscle, the body would simply burn the energy that was stored in the lipid-containing fat cells into fuel for the muscles of the body.
So, there you have it. Fat cannot be turned into muscle, and it is simply a myth that has built up as weight loss has become a popular endeavor for people around the world.