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At some point, you’ve likely wondered: does fat turn into muscle?

If you’ve ever seen visible results from your exercise routine, that may seem to be the case.

And while you can lose fat and build muscle in the same workout… one does not become the other.

It turns out, there are TWO separate mechanisms taking place.1

1. The “Building Muscle” Mechanism

If you’d like to build muscle or strength, two things can help you.

You’ll want to incorporate resistance training into your exercise routine, and you’ll want to be sure you’re getting the right amount of protein in your diet.

Pump It Up

Resistance training — or strength training — can take many forms. Some common resistance training workouts involve:

  • Lifting weights (either free weights or weight machines)
  • Resistance tubing
  • Body weight exercises (think pushups and pull-ups)

Research shows resistance tubing can be just as effective as other forms of resistance training.And body weight exercises are also very effective, even at relatively low intensity.3

Either way, all these exercises can help you to build strength in the major muscle groups.4 And they may also help:5

  • Boost bone density
  • Lower your risk of injury
  • “Speed up” your metabolism

How (and How Often) to Train

Strength training 1 to 3 times a week — working out all of the major muscle groups — is an ideal amount to start seeing results.6

The more you increase the load and intensity of your workout, the stronger you’ll get. And depending on your baseline strength level, you may also see a significant gain in muscle size as well.7

There’s only one catch: you have to eat enough protein to keep up!

You Are What You Eat (At Least, Your Muscles Are)

does fat turn into muscle | LCR HealthMuscles need protein. In fact, your muscles contain 50-75% of all the protein in your body.Resistance training breaks down muscle tissue, which in turn stimulates more muscle growth. But that only happens if you take in more protein than you break down.9

That’s why what you eat is such a crucial factor in muscle growth.

Your muscles need the amino acids in dietary protein in order to support muscle repair.10

So, if you’re engaged in resistance training, you should be eating a high-protein diet to keep from losing muscle. At least 1.35 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is ideal, especially if you’re just starting a resistance training program.11

Will Those Extra Calories Cause Weight Gain?

As you increase muscle mass, your body tends to burn more calories. Resistance training can help raise your resting metabolic rate. So, as long as you don’t consume more calories than you burn, you shouldn’t gain weight from fat.12 To actively lose weight, though, you may want to take another approach.

2. The “Fat Burning” Mechanism

There are two basic routes to fat loss:

  • Aerobic exercise
  • Diet

Feel The Burn

Studies have shown that aerobic exercise is more efficient than resistance training when it comes to fat loss.13

But it may also reduce muscle as well as fat. So, even if your focus is on weight loss, you might still want to work some form of resistance training into your fitness routine.

does fat turn into muscle | LCR Health

Eat Well

Eating well doesn’t always mean eating less. Everyone’s body is different, and calorie restriction shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach. When it comes to weight loss, paying attention to the foods that suit your particular nutrition needs can be just as important as how many calories you eat.14

Remember, your muscles need food to stay strong!

The good news is that even with a calorie-restricted diet, resistance training can help keep you from losing muscle, even as you lose fat.15

What Should You Do Now?

Whether your goal is weight loss, overall strength, or just general fitness, your diet and exercise program should match your individual needs.

Even if you don’t want to build up extra muscle mass, you might still engage in some resistance training to help stave off atrophy of your major muscle groups — especially as you get older.

So, does fat turn into muscle? Unfortunately, no.

But with a well-designed, personalized fitness routine, you may see results so convincing that you’ll believe it does!

Learn More:
Can Walking Help You Live Longer?
5 Ways To Combat Belly Fat
Chinese Cupping Therapy: Helpful or All Hype?

Sources
1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3544497/
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5844202/
3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29247985
4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18059595
5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4836564/
6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30076500
7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4215195/
8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25294644
9 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5401959/
10 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23899757
11 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1400008
12 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25293431
13 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3544497/
14 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5639963/
15 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3337037