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Will Muscle Become Fat?

August 29th, 2008 · 12 Comments ·


Many people has this misconception – muscle will turn into fat when they stop doing weight training. In fact, many women are avoiding pumping iron because of this belief.Banana will not turn into papaya. Lead will not be gold. Muscle will not turn into fat and vice versa.

Muscle and fat are both cells. Human body also has other types of cells. The type of muscle we can see is the so called skeletal muscle whereas a fat cell store fats which they get it from the blood stream.

When you stop lifting weight, the muscles will get smaller. You still have the same amount of muscle cells but they have got smaller. At this stage, if you continue to eat the same amount of food, the existing fat cells will now expand. However, the muscles are still there. In other words, as muscles shrink because of inactivity, fat has filled up the space where the muscles used to be, giving a false impression that the muscles have become fat. To make things worse, with less muscle, the metabolism is getting lower making fat is easier to be accumulated.

In short, muscle is muscle and it is not fat; fat is fat and it will not become muscle.  Hopefully, this “urban legend” has been cleared after you read it.



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Category: Weight Loss

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12 responses so far ↓
  • Tom Parker // Aug 29, 2008 at 7:27 AM

    Great post Mun. I really do think this issue needs clearing up with a lot of people. A lot of people I’ve talked to think that you can turn fat into muscle by lifting weights. Most of the time I feel like banging my head against a wall after hearing this.

  • foongpc // Aug 29, 2008 at 11:16 AM

    Yes, it’s a common misconception. Another misconception is targeting a certain part of the body to slim down – I think there’s no logic to that either.

  • Angie Tan // Aug 29, 2008 at 2:35 PM

    Thanks for clearing it up. :-)

    We build muscle but lose fat… :D As what a friend said, input also counts. So, if we take foods which help build muscle, it will help, rite? ;-)

  • Angie Tan // Aug 29, 2008 at 2:36 PM

    Ooopss.. Got to add on.

    I meant that if we work out, lift weights to build bone and muscle, eating the right foods will help that too, right?

  • Iris // Aug 29, 2008 at 4:32 PM

    Haha, i must admit i am one of the naive ones:P
    Thanks for the enlightment.

  • ASE // Sep 1, 2008 at 12:00 AM

    if you stop doing workouts yes those muscles that you have built would turn into fat. look at schwarzenegger today he is full of fat.

  • Angie Tan // Sep 4, 2008 at 6:24 PM

    As an update, I found this explanation from Shawn Phillips about muscle and fat –>

    Hope that this will explain stuff… ;-)

  • Sally // Sep 8, 2008 at 7:43 AM

    You answer some great questions here! Thanks Mun.

  • 2Fit4You // Sep 9, 2008 at 2:06 AM

    Well, I guess the problem is that most people who stop working out still eat the same. So they get the same amount of calories but burn less of them… so they become fat.

  • smartelder // Sep 20, 2008 at 2:19 AM

    I have to say that the best thing you can do is speed up your metabolism. It’s like getting a big raise at work. It just makes everything better. With a sped up metabolism, you feel better, have more energy, burn more calories, and you can even eat more.

  • Lily // Dec 11, 2008 at 11:18 AM

    I think you’re a little confused about the cell section of your post; cells do not expand and shrink unless they are exposed to excess amounts of water or salt (tonicity) and when this happens, the cell will either burst, or shrivel and die. When muscle and fat accumulate, it is indeed new cells that are formed through cell reproduction.

  • chandra // Jan 9, 2009 at 4:15 AM

    hi iam looking very lean, i need some tips to became fat

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