Have you ever wondered if you stop or start exercising, if your fat turned into muscle?
The answer is “no” it does not.
Fat turned into muscle is a myth. Fat and muscle are completely different cellular structures.
Muscle is a denser tissue than fat. One pound of lean muscle will take up less space than one pound of fat. Fat tissue is bulkier than muscle tissue, so it occupies more space under the skin. Thus, one pound of fat tissue has more volume (and will appear larger) than one pound of muscle tissue.
For this reason, a 170-pound woman whose body is composed of 25% fat tissue will appear much leaner than a woman weighing the same but whose body fat percentage is 45%.
Another significant difference to note is the metabolic activity of each tissue. Muscle tissue is highly metabolically active, which means even at rest it’s going to be burning up a very large number of total calories. Fat on the other hand hardly takes any calories at all to sustain itself, so will do nothing for your basal metabolic rate.
As we get older we tend to automatically lose muscle mass. It is called sarcopenia. The primary treatment for sarcopenia is exercise, specifically resistance training or strength training. This type of exercise will increase muscle strength and endurance using weights, resistance bands or body weight.
When we exercise hard enough to overload the muscle we build, define and tone our muscle tissues. All that exercise and those toned muscles mean a slightly faster metabolism. However, our weight may not change all that much because our fat mass decreased and our muscle mass increased. It is not because our fat turned into muscle.
If you have stopped exercising, the good news is muscle tone can and will return once you return to strength training exercise regularly. As will your energy, stamina and your ability to manage a wide range of health problems. Add to the equation a renewed interest in eating healthy and those health benefits increase exponentially.
I hope this helps to deconstruct the myth of “fat turned into muscle”.
If you are ready to get back in the driver’s seat with either healthy eating, a personalized fitness program or stress reduction, contact me. It is my pleasure to help women reach their goals using personalized programs that are more than just exercise, eating and stress reduction. I want “living healthfully” to enhance your life and not rule your life. If this sounds interesting to you, click here and let’s talk.