There are myths about fat and muscle that have been circulating for a while. They confuse and discourage people trying to lose weight because they don’t see the results they’re expecting. Below are two myths and facts that will help you understand what muscle and fat are.
Myth #1: Muscle can turn to fat (or fat can turn into muscle)
Muscle and fat are two totally different things. Technically, body fat is adipose tissue. They are necessary to help cushion and insulate the body. The problem with body fat comes in when too much calories are taken in and not exercising. Muscles are made up of connective tissues that hold muscle fibers together. Muscles atrophy (get smaller) when not used. They hypertrophy (get bigger) when used. Bottom line is that you need to use your muscles so you don’t lose them. And you need to challenge your muscles with exercise to tone or make them bigger.
Myth #2: Muscle weighs more than fat
A pound is a pound. Simply put, a pound of muscle is smaller in size than a pound of fat. So naturally, muscle will take up less space in your body than fat will. If you look at pictures of fat and muscle that weigh the same, you’ll see the difference. This myth erroneously leads many women to think that if they gain muscle they’ll bulk. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Gaining muscle helps burn more calories, prevent injury, and increase bone density. It also improves appearance and increases confidence.
When on a weight loss program, a routine that includes resistance or weight training as well as cardio will help you lose fat AND gain muscle at the same time. The muscle gain is what will help keep your metabolism going long after you stop exercising. So when you’re losing weight, your fat tissues are diminishing and your muscle tissues are getting stronger.