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MilkyWay's avatar

Is turning fat into muscle possible?

Asked by MilkyWay (13157 points ) July 30th, 2012

I don’t get the logic behind it, will some one please tell me if it’s possible and if so, then please tell me how it works. What is the process?

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17 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Muscle is always muscle ( amount changes ) Fat is fat ( samie samie ). You can exercise to increase the total amount of muscle and you stop eating as much, to reduce the total amount of fat.

TexasDude's avatar

No. It’s not possible. Anyone who says otherwise is factually inaccurate and woefully ignorant of the basics of human biology and physiology. Sorry.

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filmfann's avatar

Sometimes when you exercise, you notice that you are not losing weight. That might be because you are losing fat, but gaining muscle, and muscle weighs more.
This confuses some people, and the expression “turning fat into muscle” was born.

tedibear's avatar

And muscle does not weigh more than fat, which is another thing that you will here. A pound is a pound is a pound, whether it’s fat, muscle or feathers. This happens because people are trying to compare weight, and what they need to do is compare volume. The volume – or amount of space – that one pound of muscle occupies is less than the volume that fat occupies. One pound of muscle takes up less space, so while your body has become smaller, you may not have lost as much weight as you think you should.

Oh how I wish we could turn fat into muscle!

JLeslie's avatar

No. People use the expression all the time and in the reverse saying their muscles turned into fat. You hear it with x football players and other athletes who were fit in their youth and then as they aged gained weight.

The truth is, fat is fat, and muscle is muscle, two different tissues. You can lose fat and gain muscle though. Exercise can help you do that. But, it does not turn the fat into muscle.

If you have large muscles, but still a lot of fat on your body, you will basically still just look fat, since the fat is closer to the skin. So someone can be muscular and fat at the same time.

Nullo's avatar

Only poetically. Synechdote, I think. A person who was fat is now muscular. There was no biochemical alchemy going on.

ccrow's avatar

And lead doesn’t weigh more than feathers….:-P

Mariah's avatar

No, furthermore, you can never lose a fat cell. They shrink a lot, but outside of lipo, there’s no way to actually get rid of them.

I think when people say that muscle weighs more than fat, they just mean that it is denser, which is true. The same “amount” (volume) of muscle vs. fat will weigh more. Of course with any material, a pound is a pound is a pound.

JLeslie's avatar

I think muscle holds more water and so people weigh more when they have more muscle.

MilkyWay's avatar

Thanks everyone! :D
I was a bit confused as I heard some people actually ate more and tried to gain weight before “turning it into muscle”...
Now I know that’s a load of bull, haha.

Pandora's avatar

Well no. But fat is fuel for our bodies. So in a sense your can use and burn fat for our muscles so in a sense, your are making fat into muscles, but your not making fat suddenly become muscles. It just helps feed it. As someone already mention fat cells do not disappear. They just shrink and will not become actual muscles. Think of it like sugar. You use it also as fuel but it does not become a cell, just nourishment.

Jenniehowell's avatar

I don’t know the scientific answer but it seems to me that muscle & fat are two separate things & one cannot grow from or turn inti the other. Fat is fat & muscle is muscle & each grows or shrinks by totally different methods & actions.

I’m scared to imagine what I’d look like if it were possible to turn fat to muscle – I’d have a giant solid lump of muscle at my stomach area – I wonder what the benefit if such a chunk of muscle wound be – seems it would be comparable to a hernia – a lump of muscle out of place. Total weirdness batman! Glad to know my fat is shrinking rather than being converted into an odd solid muscle mass.

Shippy's avatar

But muscles help burn fat!

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JLeslie's avatar

Did you mean can fat cells fuel muscles as @Pandora interpreted? Muscle mostly grows from protien, which in it’s simplist form is amino acids, known as the building blocks for muscle. When protein is depleted the body goes to glycogen (sugar) and fat to fuel the body and it can convert the fat to be used as it needs, but it is much less efficient. Your muscle will actually begin to break down if the body needs protein you have not consumed and fats and carbs are not sufficient for what the body needs at the time. Fat gives us energy, but the body holds onto the reserve, very reluctant to give it up. First measures are to use protein and carbs/sugars in the blood, which are used in very specific ways. Carbs primarily give us energy, aid the nervous system (very important for the nervous system, which is why I don’t like no carb diets) and fat, when carb storage runs low, starts to be converted to glycogen to work like carbs do.

I’m no expert, that is just basics from my memory from nutrition class 101. Not someone’s diet book, nutrition class,

Shippy's avatar

@JLeslie Yes I have no idea but I felt that, that could have been the misconception in the question.

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