Fitness & Equipment Guides > Fitness Myths: Turning Fat into Muscle

Fitness Myths: Turning Fat into Muscle

12th Jul 19

It’s fair to say fitness comes with its fair share of myths. Everything in life does, but when something is as diverse as your health, it’s bound to have a few white lies and old wives’ tales thrown into the mix. Most of it is harmless, but sometimes, it can really be misleading. We’re here to help cut that out. One of these myths is that you can turn excess fat into muscle mass with the right workout. Sadly, we have bad news. That is just not the case.

Muscle tissue and fat tissue are made up entirely differently. The two have entirely different purposes and are made entirely individually. They have very few parallels. So you need to know that before you start anything.

Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

First Things First…

It’s good to start with the basics:

Fat is excess energy stored in your body by consuming more calories than you need. Muscle mass is built through your body using calories to build tissue. That’s the very barebones explanation and why turning fat into muscle is just bizarre.

Fat Needs A Calorie Deficit

Close up of weights

So, as we’ve brushed over, you need to burn calories to lose fat. Just fewer than you need to maintain your current weight, specifically. That’s one of the fundamentals of weight loss. Ultimately, to lose weight, you need to be having an overall calorie deficit of around 200-500 calories per day, ideally through exercise and through diet.

It’s sometimes easier said than done, but avoiding high-calorie foods is the best way to go about it. Eating smaller portions where needed and even less often can help too. It really depends on your starting point and what eating habits you have.

Muscle Needs A Calorie Surplus

The next thing to look at with the myth of turning fat into muscle is how you actually build muscle. Building muscle works on a completely different mechanic from fat cutting. You need to be consuming more calories than your daily needs so that your body has the material to build.

To do that, you need to be consuming a lot of good foods like healthy fats, carbs and protein. The issue is that a lot of these things make burning fat harder. That’s where this myth comes unstuck.

The Best Way To Do It

Close up of woman lifting dumbbells

If you want to cut fat and build muscle, you will have to set your sights a little differently. More specifically, one goal at a time. That’s the only way this can really work. The most common way to do it is by cutting fat and then building muscle so that you can see the fruits of your work and the progress you made; that’s all well and good.

Another great way to go about doing it, though, is to build muscle first. As you eat more, you may increase your weight and build a little fat while building muscle, but you’re, of course, building muscle mass. That sounds obvious but stick with us.

When you have this increased muscle mass, you’re raising your resting energy expenditure. That means you’re going to burn more calories in your everyday life, and it will make burning fat a lot easier in the long run. On top of that still, you have the afterburn effect. When you finish working out, your body continues to burn calories to get you back to your resting heart rate and burns more calories as you build muscle. Talk about efficiency, right?

Overall, that’s the best way to do it. Turning fat into muscle is a myth. Tissue doesn’t just transform, and there’s no such life hack. That doesn’t mean you should lose motivation, though. Plan your workout and diet the right way, and you’ll see your results in the long run, one step at a time!

Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.