Because our fitness level is a key contributor to our health and our looks, most of us have tried or heard about different training approaches to get various physical results.
Having accurate information helps us choose the most effective ways to reach our goals and stay healthy. So let’s take a look at the basic facts and myths about body fat and muscle.
Myth: Turn Your Fat Into Muscle
Science has long known that it is simply not possible to magically transform one type of body tissue into another type of tissue altogether. As with the concept that your fat becomes muscle, or the old notion that when muscular people stop working out, their muscle turns to fat. It can’t happen.
Fact: You can add muscle, and lose fat. You can lose muscle, and gain fat, too. It isn’t the easiest thing to do both at the same time (since you need extra calories to build muscle and a deficit to lose fat) but it’s completely doable for the first few months of your program. Later on, with the right nutrition and workout routine, you can continue to maintain muscle as you shed pounds of body fat, or maintain a lean body while you pack on muscle.
Myth: Muscle Weighs More Than Fat
As soon as you think about this, you realize it can’t be true. Of course, one pound of muscle weighs the same as one pound of fat. However, the volume of that pound is what makes all the difference.
Fact: Muscle is denser than fat, so it is more compact and takes up less space. That means the look of five pounds of fat is more like a big, fluffy, squishy pile than the look of five pounds of muscle, which is more like a couple of bricks.
Fact: You Can’t Spot-Reduce Body Fat with Exercise
Adding muscle is a good way to improve your metabolism and combat overall body fat, but it’s not the solution to fatty deposits in specific areas of your body. In fact, when you are losing fat, your body will decide where it will drop it from first, and last. Not you.
Myth: Although it seems like working our abs or legs should whittle the fat from our bellies or thighs, the truth is, when you work particular body parts, you’re most likely making them stronger, shapelier, or even bigger. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s important to remember that it will be what and how much you eat that will make the most difference with your fat stores.