Does Muscle Turn Into Fat?

Editor’s Note: This post was updated on July 31, 2018, for accuracy and comprehensiveness. It was originally published on November 13, 2015.

“I used to be fit, but then I stopped exercising and it all turned to fat.”

Sound familiar?

It doesn’t seem like it should make sense – that muscle can turn into fat – but everyone’s seen the retired professional athlete who got really fat.

Well, here it is in black and white (and in bold): No. Muscle does not “turn into fat.” Period.

There is no process in the human body by which muscle – which is made up of mainly protein, amino acids, and water – transforms itself into adipose (fat). The human body, no matter how amazing it can be at times, cannot magically turn one tissue into another.

So then, what’s going on?

It’s Not Magic – It’s Body Composition

The illusion of “muscle turning into fat” becomes believable for many people when they don’t see their weight change over time, yet see themselves get fatter. While muscle turning into fat is a myth, the possibility of your body fat percentage rising over time definitely isn’t, and that’s what’s actually happening.

So what’s actually happening? It is simply a negative change in body composition.

Specifically, it’s a loss of Skeletal Muscle Mass combined with a gain of Fat Mass occurring at about the same rate, at about the same time. How does this happen, and how can you avoid this? Let’s take a closer look.

Here’s what a 7-pound decrease in muscle and a 7-pound increase in fat would look like in someone who weighed 261.9 pounds with a body fat percentage of 13.0%:

Results completed on the InBody 570.

Notice how as Lean Body Mass drops, Skeletal Muscle Mass drops with it. Because the Lean Body Mass decrease matches the Fat Mass increase, this person’s weight doesn’t change.

However, this person’s body fat percentage increased from 13.0 to 15.7. The increased body fat percentage combined with the lack of body weight change creates the illusion that muscle is transforming into fat, when in reality it’s just an increase in body fat disguised by no change in scale weight due to muscle loss.

How do things like this happen, and why does it seem to happen to people who are or used to be very fit? It starts with muscle loss.

Muscle Loss

Although you may not realize it, you “lose muscle” every minute you are alive. That’s because your muscles, like any other tissue in your body, depends on cell turnover and protein synthesis. This means that your body is continually breaking down the protein in your muscles and rebuilding them. You want your body to do this – it’s part of what’s keeping you alive!

Skeletal muscle can be grown and developed through proper nutrition – which includes consuming sufficient protein to provide the necessary amino acids – and through physical activity. The converse is also true: if you become less physically active and/or your diet can no longer support the development of increased muscle tissue, you will enter a catabolic (tissue-reducing) state known as muscle atrophy.

Muscles that are partially used – using less than 20% of their maximum force – will start to atrophy over the long term. Complete disuse is even worse: muscles that are completely unused, such as when someone is bedridden and performs very little movement, can degrade by about 1/8 of their strength per week.

Of course, if you don’t have any major health complications, your muscles are not going to degrade at such a significant rate as someone who is bedridden. However, if your body was used to operating at a high, athletic level and you suddenly stop exercising, your body won’t see any reason to maintain your muscles at that level and will begin to atrophy.

And what takes its place instead? Fat!

Same Diet, Different Lifestyle

But where does the fat come from?

The same place it always comes from: an energy surplus – caused by eating more than you’re burning. Although for many people this isn’t exactly news, it can catch people by surprise, especially people who are used to being athletic and fit.

Athletes require massive amounts of energy in order to perform at a high level. And this energy demand requires large amounts of all major macronutrients. In order to get that energy, they need to eat – and eat a lot. According to an interview given by Susan M. Kliner, a nutritional consultant for the Seattle Seahawks, NFL quarterbacks required somewhere between 4,000 to 6000 calories, spread out over about 6 meals per day in order to be in ideal playing shape.

A major reason why high-performance athletes like NFL quarterbacks require so many calories is that they typically have higher-than-average amounts of Lean Body Mass as compared to average people at the same height. That’s significant because as Lean Body Mass increases, Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) increases. BMR is the number of calories a body needs at rest, not including what is needed for movement and digesting food.

Here’s an example of someone whose body composition falls into the athletic profile:

The Lean Body Mass, SMM, and Basal Metabolic Rate was measured using the InBody 570.

Notice the high values for Lean Body Mass and Skeletal Muscle Mass. This contributes towards the BMR value of 2,602.

However, BMR is not the total calories you need a day. A more appropriate number is the Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), of which BMR is one part. In order to calculate TDEE, you’ll first need to determine BMR and then multiply it by a factor determined by how active you are.

Professional football players would fall under “extremely active” as their full-time job involves very high amounts of physical activity. Taking the BMR in our example and multiplying it by 1.9 would result in a TDEE of 4,943.8, consistent with the statements made by Dr. Kliner.

Extremely Active: 2602 (BMR) x 1.9 (Activity level) = 4,943.8 (TDEE)

What’s important to remember is that this number is the amount of calories that this individual needs to consume maintain his weight due to his Lean Body Mass, and critically, at his current activity level.

What would happen if this person stopped being so active and took an office job – jobs that are typically sedentary? TDEE would plummet quickly because the activity level would drop significantly.

Let’s say that this individual decided to continue being active while working at this office job and worked out enough to be classified as “moderately active.” Assuming that BMR remains consistent, this person’s TDEE would be 4,033.1. That’s a difference of 910.7 calories, or eating approximately 22 strips of pan-fried thick cut bacon on top of what you usually eat.

Extremely Active: 2,602 (BMR) x 1.9 = 4,943.8 (TDEE)

Moderately Active: 2,602 (BMR) x 1.55 (Activity level) = 4,033.1 (TDEE)

Caloric Surplus: 4,943.8 (Old TDEE) – 4,033.1 (New TDEE) = 910.7 calories

In the example above, if this person continued to eat at the same level they did when they were extremely active, they would be in a caloric surplus of 910.7 a day, or an extra 6,374.9 calories a week.

What happens when the body remains in a caloric surplus for an extended period of time? Fat gain!

So tying it all together, it isn’t that your “muscle turns into fat.” From a body composition standpoint, here is what is happening:

  • Your Lean Body Mass is decreasing due to a skeletal muscle mass loss
  • Your Skeletal Muscle Mass is decreasing because of disuse. Your BMR decreases accordingly.
  • Because activity level has dropped, your TDEE has also dropped.
  • Energy intake remains consistent, not accounting for TDEE drop. Caloric surplus created.
  • Caloric surplus leads to Fat Mass gain.

Now that we know what is happening, how do we make sure it doesn’t happen to us?

Who’s At Risk and What They Can Do

People who are at risk for gaining large amounts of fat are, somewhat ironically, people who are at their fittest right now. That’s because when you’re at your fittest, the amount of nutrients you are consuming is necessary fuel to help the body recover after a tough workout. You’re in balance.

The problem is, people become accustomed to eating a certain amount of food, especially when they have lived a certain way for many years. They develop a mental understanding of how much they can eat, and they often order and/or cook portion sizes that match this mental understanding of how much food they need.

Although it is a challenge, here are three steps you can get back on track.

1. Test your Body Composition

Testing your body composition regularly is the best way to ensure that you’re staying at the level you want to be.

By tracking your body composition, you will be able to track Lean Mass and Fat Mass gain or loss. With that kind of information, you’ll be able to make the changes you need to ensure that you stay as fit and healthy.

2. Change your Diet

You must adjust your diet to match your current activity level, or you will risk running a caloric surplus. That change might be more than you’d expect, too.

A great way to optimize your diet is to use BMR which will make sure you are getting enough nutrients to fuel muscle growth, but also lose that stubborn belly fat.

3. Find an activity that fits your new lifestyle

Find new ways to increase your activity level that works with your current lifestyle. Although you may no longer be performing at high levels every day, you can find new ways to be active on a schedule that works for you.

Two days of strength training a week has both great physical and mental benefits.

Remember the key is to maintain the balance between food consumption and exercise intensity that fits your current lifestyle. Once you achieve that balance, you lose the extra fat start getting your old athletic body back.

Simply put, your body can’t turn fat into muscle. And the reverse is also true: Your body can’t turn muscle into fat, either.

The reason? Fat and muscle are two different types of tissue, and one cannot be converted directly into the other, said Brad Schoenfeld, an assistant professor of exercise science at the City University of New York’s Lehman College.

“The best analogy I can use is, you cannot turn an orange into an apple,” Schoenfeld told Live Science. What a person can do instead, however, is lose fat and gain muscle as two separate processes, he added.

To lose fat, you have to lose weight, Schoenfeld said, and losing weight requires burning more calories than you consume.

“It’s a basic extrapolation of the first law of thermodynamics,” Schoenfeld said, which states that energy, including the calories you eat, is conserved; it does not appear or disappear but simply changes form, whether it is burned to fuel bodily functions or stored as fat.

“That has been shown over and over again in highly controlled … studies,” Schoenfeld said.

But to lose fat without also losing muscle, you have to eat the right foods: If you cut your calorie intake and don’t eat enough protein, weight loss can result in a decrease in not only fat but also muscle.

“It’s been shown over and over that low protein intake leads to an accelerated loss of muscle,” Schoenfeld said. To make up for the lack of protein in the diet, the body burns not just stored fat but also muscle, which is made of protein. When this happens, your muscle cells shrink.

To prevent this from happening, Schoenfeld said he recommends that people who are trying to lose fat but not muscle consume about 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. For example, a person who weighs 150 lbs. should eat about 120 grams of protein per day, equivalent to the amount of protein found in about three cups of chopped chicken, or 3.5 four-ounce chicken breasts. (Of course, not all your protein has to come from one source!)This is the amount of protein required for anyone lifting weights, Schoenfeld said, an activity that is essential for losing weight without also losing muscle.

Lifting weights builds muscle

To gain muscle, you have to do two things: eat a sufficient amount of protein, and engage in resistance training (in which your muscles oppose a force), such as lifting weights, to tax the muscles and thus stimulate growth. In addition to weight lifting, other forms of resistance training include working with resistance bands and resisting one’s own body weight, through exercises such as squats and push ups, Schoenfeld said.

Resistance training is essential for gaining muscle while losing fat, Schoenfeld said. “You certainly should lift a minimum of twice a week, working all your major muscle groups, to any loss of muscle,” he said. (Always check with a doctor before starting a new exercise routine.) As your muscles get stronger, your muscle fibers get bigger in a process called hypertrophy.

While aerobic exercise is generally healthy, it’s not good for building muscle, at least not beyond the very early stages of working out, Schoenfeld said. “The only way, really, to keep gaining muscle is to push your body over time,” he said. During aerobic exercise, however, there’s a limit to how much a person can tax his or her muscles, and it’s not enough to make the muscles bigger, he said.

Muscle into fat?

You may worry that if you take time off from the gym, you’ll get flabby. And that’s a valid concern, Schoenfeld said.

But this doesn’t happen because your muscle is turning into fat. Rather, if you’re not lifting weights or doing some kind of resistance training, then you’re not combatting age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia.

Starting between ages 30 and 40, people naturally begin to lose muscle. More specifically, a person’s individual muscle cells, called muscle fibers, begin to die, Schoenfeld said.

So, as people get older, if they exercise less and continue to eat the same amount, or eat more, then they will also gain fat as they lose muscle.

However, age-related muscle loss “can be attenuated and completely obliterated if you lift weights, especially if you start lifting early,” Schoenfeld said. Other forms of resistance training can also counteract sarcopenia, he said. “It is a function of the use-it-or-lose-it principle, and if you use it, you will not lose it.”

Original article on Live Science.

Does muscle turn into fat as I age?

Fortunately, muscle cannot turn to fat as you age. What normally happens is a combination of muscle loss, decreased activity and increased caloric intake.

If someone stops training or being active then their muscles will atrophy, which simply means they will shrink over time due to the lack of physical activity. Sarcopenia, on the other hand, is the normal loss of muscle mass as we grow older, which is why it is important to be as active as possible.

Another factor to consider is the Principal of Reversibility, which simply means that you need to move it or lose it. Unfortunately, any of the gains your body has made through training will be lost over time if activity stops. This applies to aspects of strength, flexibility, cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle mass. Rest is necessary to ensure proper recovery, but extended time off will whittle away at your gains over time.

Please remember, the greater amount of lean body mass/muscle you have, the greater your metabolism will be. Simply put, more muscle means that you burn more calories. So if you stop training for long periods of time you are essentially slowing your metabolism and lowering the rate at which you burn calories each day.

The number of calories consumed daily is another concern. If you are accustomed to doing a certain level of activity and you stop, but you continue to eat the same or greater number of calories as before, then those calories will be stored as fat. In most cases it is probably a combination of the two, less physical activity combined with over-eating. Unfortunately, there are so many high calorie food options available that it is easy to eat too much if you don’t follow a balanced diet.

Key Points to Remember:

  • Don’t be fooled by the notion muscle can turn to fat
  • Weight training and cardiorespiratory activity help build and maintain muscle, while burning calories
  • Lean muscle mass increases the rate you burn calories
  • If you consume more calories than you burn they will be stored as fat
  • Remember the Principal of Reversibility, use it or lose it
  • Get out there and be active!

By: Heather Marr

Heather Marr is an N.Y.C.-based personal trainer and The Model Trainer Method creator, whose A-list client roster includes some of the world’s most famous supermodels. Ahead, she reveals if muscle can turn into fat.

Can muscle turn into fat? This is a very common concern many people have before beginning a new exercise program. They are hesitant to start, believing that if they begin training and their schedules and responsibilities become too much to continue, that their muscle will turn into fat. These fears are irrational; muscle will not and in fact cannot turn into fat tissue.

If you don’t use muscle, you lose muscle. It’s very simple. What would actually happen in this situation is the muscle would get smaller without use over time. The muscle would not turn into fat. The body would require less fuel (a.k.a. food) now with less muscle mass as well as decreased physical activity. If the person took in more than what their body was using, they would gain weight and body fat. Many times, what happens is a person ends their exercise program but doesn’t appropriately adjust their food intake. So now, while they’re dropping muscle, they’re also gaining body fat.

How to Combat Potential Weight Gain

While budgeting time for physical activity is important for both physical and mental health, it may not always possible. There may be circumstances in our lives that make training impossible for certain periods of time. Worrying that your muscle will turn into fat during these periods is not a valid reason to avoid exercising whenever time permits, however. Making smart choices with nutrition and reducing food intake to match the body’s current needs during these busy periods can prevent gaining unwanted body fat. Then when circumstances allow, simply begin incorporating physical activity into your life again.

Will Muscle Turn Into Fat if You Stop Lifting Weights?

By Murtaza Ahmed MD

One of the most damaging but commonly believed myths out there about exercise is the thought that if you stop exercising, all of the muscle that you have built or developed will be converted to fat. Several people who I have been involved with over the years had actually been using this as an excuse not to lift weights as they don’t want to get fat if they stop. We have already discussed the importance of incorporating resistance training into your exercise regime, and it is for this very reason that I feel we need to dispel this myth once and for all.

So Does Muscle Turn Into Fat if You Stop Lifting Weights?

I guess an important place to start would be in discovering from where this myth originated. I think the most likely place would have been from peoples perceptions after seeing their fit sporting heroes becoming fat and out of shape as they stopped training. You only have to look at former athletes such as Mike Tyson to see why people might have developed these ideas. In their prime they were tremendously built physical specimens, but now they are no longer active in their sports they, look quite the opposite. So what happened?

The first thought to come to mind is that all that muscle, once it became unused, broke down and turned into fat. This sounds like a reasonable assumption but when you look into the science, it has no basis. Muscles are made up of lots of small fibres, and each of these fibres are formed mainly from proteins and water. Muscles are developed in response to stress in the form of resistance training. It is true that once this stimulus is removed, the muscles sense they are no longer needed and the body breaks them down, but fat is not their fate!

Much of muscle mass is made of water, and this is just urinated out along with the other excess fluid in the body. So what happens to the proteins? Firstly they are broken down into amino acids (the molecules that make up proteins) and from here they have a few different fates. Some amino acids will be recycled and used to repair and replace different tissues in the body, the same fate as much of the proteins you eat. A few will be oxidised to provide energy, and the rest will simply be broken down and flushed out of the body in the urine by the kidneys. A very small amount, if any, of the broken down muscle tissue will be converted into fat.

So if this isn’t the reason these muscly athletes end up overweight and out of shape, what is? Well luckily there is an answer that can be simply explained. Athletes are remarkable physical beings, capable of intense, prolonged training sessions. These bouts of training along with the subsequent recovery, require a tremendous amount of energy in the form of calories. It is not unknown for athletes to consume upwards of triple the normal daily allowance of calories in order to fuel their training.

This energy requirement demands large volumes of food on a regular basis, and with this comes a large appetite. Over time these athletes get used to eating all the food they like, but unfortunately for them when their training stops sometimes their appetite doesn’t follow. This results in them continuing to eat like they are training, even though they are not, and as a result they put on weight and get out of shape!

So the reason some people get fat when they stop lifting weights is because, quite simply, they eat too much. And as we all know this is the same reason anyone who puts on weight does so. People who were once muscly often find it hard being fat and they create excuses that remove the blame from themselves, which can then sadly have the effect of stopping others exercising. The sad fact is that those who refuse to lift weights for this reason often end up fat and out of shape anyway, so gained none of the benefits of resistance training but still became what they feared. Luckily however, you now know otherwise!

So In Conclusion – Will Muscle Turn Into Fat if You Stop Lifting Weights? – Quite Simply – NO

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Can You Turn Fat Into Muscle?

That is the dream, right? Turning fat into muscle. If only you could find that magical formula to turn fat into muscle… but is it even a real possibility? Can you turn fat into muscle?

Not so fast…

The Biology of Turning Fat Into Muscle

Or lack thereof… there is no process in the body that turns fat into muscle. Fat cells and muscle cells are completely different, and one doesn’t turn into other. Yes, your muscles don’t turn into fat when you stop working out either.

What is happening then? How does a fat person turn into a muscular stud? More importantly, how can YOU turn into that muscular stud?

Let’s deconstruct the process that turns a fat person into a muscular person.

How I went from fat to fit.

How Fat Burning Works

Fat burning occurs in the body constantly. Fat is an energy source for your body. Another energy source for the body is carbohydrate. However, the body doesn’t pick one or the other 100% with some exceptions.

If there is a need for urgent energy, it is much more efficient to turn carbohydrate into glucose to use for energy. For example, if you are sprinting or lifting a really heavy weight, body taps into carbohydrate almost exclusively for energy.

On the other hand, if you are just walking at a leisurely pace and you haven’t eaten any carbohydrates recently, your body prefers to burn fat. However, just because you are burning fat at a given time, doesn’t mean you are losing weight or fat.

Over the course of 24 hours, if you end up replacing the calories you burn with food, you will replace the fat your body has burnt.

In order to get rid of your body fat, you need to live in a calorie deficit and let your body use your body fat for energy instead of foods you eat.

How Muscle Building Works

As opposed to the popular belief, muscle cells don’t divide. Instead, they grow in size as a response to overload. (1) When muscle fibers get damaged due to exercise, cells around the muscle cells, called satellite cells are recruited for muscle damage repair. As a result, muscle grows, which is called hypertrophy.

The ideal way to maximize muscle growth is still a debate (2) but a positive nitrogen balance and muscle damage due to resistance training are the requirements for muscle growth. I am not going to go into much detail about the different views on muscle building, as it takes a whole book to discuss the different views and arguments. All you need to know for now is positive nitrogen balance plus muscle damage equals muscle growth.

Can You Burn Fat and Build Muscle at the Same Time?

Here is another hot debate in the fitness industry. Can you burn fat and build muscle at the same time? Anytime this question comes up, heated arguments and name calling ensues.

I know I am going to upset some people no matter what I say. So instead of telling you my own opinion, I am going to bring in the scientists to tell us.

In a clinical trial by Antonio, et., al., subjects consumed high protein diet lost fat mass while increasing their lean body mass (3)

Another study by Campbell, et. al., shows similar results (4)

A detailed article about body recomposition by Eric Helms can be found here

Long story short, you can burn fat and build muscle at the same time. Maybe not in the exact same second, but over a period of time.

Who Can Build Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time?

Technically, almost anyone can burn fat and build muscle at the same time. However, for trained individuals with low body fat percentages, this is extremely difficult. These people use meticulous nutrition and exercise strategies to achieve this, albeit at a very minimal level.

Both fat loss and muscle gain look something like this over time:

The rate of muscle growth and fat loss over time…

The more fat you have to lose, the easier it is to lose it. On the other hand, the less muscle mass you have, the easier it is to build muscle. So if you are a beginner in both aspects, meaning you have a lot of fat to lose and a lot of muscle to gain, losing fat and building muscle at the same time is possible and easier for you.

Follow these steps to lose fat and build muscle at the same time:

  1. Stay in a moderate calorie deficit: %20-25 or 500 Calories/day should be enough.
  2. Eat a high protein diet: All the studies referenced above show that subject following high protein diets lost fat and gained lean body mass at the same time. (5) Start with 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, and increase as needed. Make sure you read my post on how to increase your protein intake.
  3. Lift heavy weights: As shown above, your muscles need resistance to grow. (6) The most efficient way to stimulate muscle growth is challenging your muscles with weightlifting. The argument about the optimum rep range for hypertrophy is still ongoing, but you don’t need to worry about that. The more sets you do close to the failure, the more muscle growth you will experience. Reaching that failure at 3 reps vs 15 reps don’t differ much in terms of hypertrophy.
  4. Limit cardio: Yes, you read it right. Doing hours of cardio will only hinder your muscle building. Be active, but limit the amount of cardio you do to a minimum.
  5. Experiment with carb timing: I am not really into giving too much effort to things that make only a little difference. And I must confess, I am not totally convinced about meal timing and carb timing. But I believe it may be beneficial to give this a try. Eating your carbs around your workouts, before and after may make a difference. The idea is that, eating carbs before a workout will increase your performance, thus you will workout harder. This way, you will get better results. And eating carbs after a workout will replenish your glycogen stores and help with recovery. This way, those carbs will be used to fill your muscles instead of being used as energy or being stored as fat. Again, I am not 100% convinced, but give it a try.

About Post Author

Serdar Tuncali

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Serdar Tuncali is a science-based fitness enthusiast. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Pharmacy and a Master’s of Science in Clinical Research Management. He works at Mayo Clinic as a Sr. Research Technologist and authored several publications in top scientific journals.

(Last Updated On: April 20, 2019)

Do muscles turn to fat when you stop exercising? Some people think so – especially when they see the finely developed muscles of a weight lifter turn to mush once they let their health club membership expire. There’s little doubt that physiques undergo a noticeable decline when a person goes from gym rat to couch potato. But, do muscles really turn to fat?

Does Muscle Turn to Fat?

In reality, it’s impossible for muscle to turn to fat, no matter how often you lay on the couch. Although you’ll become noticeably “flabbier” it’s not because muscle has changed to adipose tissue – but because you’ve put on more fat to cover the underlying muscle. It’s physiologically impossible for muscle to turn to fat since they’re two distinct types of tissue.

When a person who exercises regularly stops exercising but continues to eat the same amount of food, there’s a good chance they’ll put on weight – and it won’t be muscle tissue – but loose, jiggly fat. The total number of fat cells doesn’t increase significantly with weight gain, but the existing fat cells become larger in size. The effect is the same – an increase in body fat.

At the same time, once resistance training is stopped, the muscle cells start to shrink and the muscles that took so much sweat equity to build start to atrophy. The overall effect is an increase in the ratio of fat to muscle – and a flabby appearance.

Calorie Requirements Drops When You Stop Exercising

This is the biggest reason that the ratio of fat to muscle changes when you stop exercising. Not only do most people continue to eat the same way they did when they still exercised, but the loss of muscle tissue decreases their metabolism making weight gain even more likely. Needless to say, dietary adjustments must be made if you stop exercising.

Do Muscles Turn to Fat?: The Bottom Line

It’s a myth that muscles turn to fat once your gym membership expires, but keeping the fat off can be a challenge when you’re no longer burning lots of calories and building muscle. Better to keep exercising. If you can’t, at least cut back on how much you’re eating.

Oxygen’s Ultimate Beach Body. Page 112.

Related Articles By Cathe:

3 Keys to Preserving Muscle Mass When You Lose Weight

When You Lose Weight, How Much is Fat & How Much is Muscle Loss?

Does Meal Frequency Have an Impact on Body Composition?

Does Too Much Cardio Lead to Muscle Loss?

Can a High-Protein Diet Help Older Adults Lose Weight and Be More Functional?

New Study Suggests More Protein is Better for Building Muscle

Can Consuming Protein after a Workout Help You Build More Muscle?

6 Common Protein Myths & Facts That Too Few People Get Right

Will Protein Before Bedtime Help You Build More Muscle?

Exercise During Middle Age Protects Against Muscle Loss Later

5 Common Myths About Protein – Busted

What’s the Best Type of Protein for Boosting Muscle Protein Synthesis?

Why Leucine is Key for Muscle Growth

Today, misconceptions and healthcare goes hand in hand. The fact of the matter is that there are tons of people out there seen pursuing their fitness goals without backing themselves with adequate knowledge on health and wellness. The issue has grown over a period of time, and the confusion has simply magnified amongst people looking to get back in shape. Let’s talk about a common notion that had its share of misunderstanding over the years.

Many individuals out there believe that muscle turns into fat when a person stops training. The irony lies in the fact that some untrained fitness instructors are also seen spreading the same misconception amongst beginners and others. Interestingly, most people believe this notion because that’s what they tend to see in real life. It’s not uncommon to see a ripped guy possess a bulky structure once he stops training. But, does that mean that his muscles have turned into fat because of lack of training?

To be pointblank over here, muscle does not turn into fat when you stop working out. Remember, our body is made up of different cells. Muscle cells are completely different from fat cells, and they do not have the physical capability to interchange into one another. Claiming that muscles will turn into fats is defying body’s anatomy or science. Such, a thing doesn’t exist nor will ever exist. Your muscle cells are very much hard working and alive, whereas your fat cells just sit there doing absolutely nothing.

Most people out there might be eager to know more about this absurd myth that has engulfed the fitness industry for all these years. Let me throw some extra light into this matter so that you get to know why people tend to easily believe that muscle turn into fat when one stops exercising. When an overweight guy starts training with weights, he tends to build muscles. When muscles pave way into our lives, fat vanishes. As such, a healthy diet accompanied with good exercise regime and adequate sleep can help anyone out there lose body fat. When we see the “once” overweight guy flaunting his six pack abs and newly achieved muscular body, we start believing that his fats have turned into muscles.

Now, if the same guy decides to quit exercise due to any reason, he won’t be able to maintain that muscular structure for too long, especially if he switches to his old eating habits. Over a period of time, you will see him regaining the lost body fat and losing out on his muscular structure. When we see such a change in an individual, we start believing that his muscles have turned into fat. However, this is not the case as the biology of muscle and fat does not permit this to happen in any human being. Had that guy made some dietary changes, he would not have put on those excess pounds, even after quitting workout. Those who don’t understand the science of bodily functions are the ones who actually make and spread misconceptions.

In conclusion, let me again highlight the fact that muscles do not turn into fat, no matter how you train or what you eat. Goes without saying, you have to make some dietary adjustments if you decide to stop exercising. This is the best way to keep body fat at bay once you quit training.

Last Updated on January 6, 2020

Muscle turns to fat

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