Does fat turn into muscle?
During consultations with fat-loss clients, many people express a common goal – “My weight is too high; I just want to convert all this fat into muscle.”
Though I understand their intention and what they want to achieve – shedding weight and attaining a toned, muscular look.
They are not at fault, as they may lack technical knowledge, which is why they’re seeking professional guidance.
Unfortunately, they are often not properly educated, leaving them without basic fundamental awareness regarding fitness and nutrition.
However, it’s encouraging to note that there has been a sudden spike in fitness influencers educating people and creating awareness, which is a positive thing.
But back in 2018-19, when I wrote blogs, most were mainly focused on building bodies, flaunting them, and selling supplements. But better late than never.
My job as your fitness nutrition coach and blogger is to educate you that –
“Fat Cannot be Turned Into Muscle.”
Fat and muscle are completely 2 different tissues, with different structures and functions in the body.
Fat cells (adipocytes) in the adipose tissue specialize in storing energy in them as “triglycerides”.
These cells have a lipid droplet nucleus that expands or shrinks depending on calorie intake and expenditure.
On the other hand, muscle tissue has specialized cells called “myocytes” that have contractile properties which allows them to make movements.
Muscle tissue is responsible for movement and provides support to the skeletal structure.
Myocytes have many mitochondria, which are the powerhouse of the cells (remember school science?).
So mitochondria provide power and energy to the body for muscle contractions.
As fat and muscle cells are biologically different, it’s simply not possible for adipocytes to change their basic identity and function into myocytes. Fat tissue cannot be converted into another type of tissue i.e. muscle tissue.
Fat Loss and Muscle Gaining are completely two different scenarios.
Fat loss happens when you burn more calories than you consume or vice versa.
So the body gets into the calorie-deficit state where it starts using your stored body fat as an energy source.
This leads to the reduction of the size of the fat cells.
Factors like diet, physical activity, NEAT, the thermic effect of the food, and metabolic rate influence this process.
Muscle gain, or hypertrophy, happens from resistance training and adequate protein intake.
Weight training stimulates muscle fibers, causing them to break, adapt, and grow in size.
Protein becomes important for the repair and recovery of muscle tissues, providing the necessary building blocks (amino acids) for synthesizing new muscle tissue.
While in some scenarios, it is possible to lose fat and build muscle at the same time.
This is known as “Body Recomposition or Body Recomp”.
This also requires a very well-crafted approach in terms of your nutrition, strength training, and cardio.
Does Fat Turn Into Muscle? – The Bottom Line
Fat cannot be turned into muscle – they both are different tissues.
You can do 3 things:
- Lose fat and then build muscle.
- Build muscle and then lose fat.
- Do a body recomp – which is only possible in some scenarios.
To lose fat you need to be in a ‘calorie deficit’.
To gain muscle you’ll need to be in ‘calorie surplus’ along with resistance training and adequate protein intake.
Body recomposition needs a well-crafted approach in terms of your nutrition, strength training, and cardio.