At some point in your life, someone has probably told you that muscle weighs more than fat. Typically, this happens after we’ve been working out for a while, but still haven’t lost any weight. But, is that at all even possible? Can we actually turn body fat into lean and toned muscle by hitting it hard in the gym?
Sorry girls, the short answer is no! In fact, we’re not even sorry about it.
Hey, wait a minute! Don’t leave disheartened just yet. What we’re about to tell you about is an idea even better than the original. We’re going to debunk that useless myth and replace with an exciting fact instead.
Well, in reality, we’ll really be replacing unwanted fat with lean, strong, and awesomely toned muscle. Yes, you heard us right. You sure as hell can’t turn fat into muscle, but you can definitely exchange one for the other.
- Fat (Myth) Fighters -The science of body fat
- Building Muscle – Putting all the right shapes in all the right places
- Fact: Why fat can’t become muscle
- Out with the Old & in with the New – What really happens
- Challenge Accepted! – How you can do it yourself
- Summary: The Final Debunk
Fat (Myth) Fighters – The science of body fat
As much as we curse it sometimes fat is a pretty useful thing. In fact, let’s face it, without a little extra cushion on our bodies we’d be screwed. Possibly in more ways than you could even imagine.
Body fat, or as scientists call it Adipose Tissue, plays a pivotal role in keeping us healthy. We really shouldn’t bash it too much because it does so many amazing things.
Like the simple fact that fact surrounds and cushions many of our vital organs. Let’s face it, the clue here is in the word vital.
Then, of course, we know that fat helps insulate us from the cold. If you don’t care about that now, just wait until winter comes around, or the new boss relocates your entire department to Alaska.
One more thing we mustn’t forget is that fat is also an energy source! Once we were strong AF cavewomen who needed to rely on our bodily stores when food was scarce. Back then times were tough, but at least f*ckboys got eaten by sabertooth tigers more regularly.
But the problem for most of us today happens when we carry a little extra than necessary.
Because excess body fat can often be damaging to our health. Ultimately increasing the risk of illness, affecting our overall confidence and impacting the enjoyment of life…
Too much of a good thing?
Yeah, we guess you could put it like that.
Excess body fat is simply something that happens when small amounts of goodness mount up into something else entirely. Kind of like how a little rain can help a garden grow, but too much starts to cause problems.
This kind of body fat accumulation happens when we eat in a calorie surplus. Rather than waste the vital energy, our bodies decide to store it away just in case we ever go hungry.
As far as our bodies are concerned we’re still living in prehistoric times. Food was always a luxury back then and evolution hasn’t quite caught up with today’s Dominoes and drive-thrus.
So if we eat more calories than our daily energy burn, we carry on packing away those kcals as non-lean mass. Before you know it, those few extra Caramel Lattes last week are sticking to your butt and tummy. Not that there’s an issue with enjoying life, but we shouldn’t ignore the science for the sake of tasty treats.
Building Muscle – Putting all the right shapes in all the right places
Now more than ever women are empowering themselves by building lean mean bodies of muscle. They’re redefining what it is to be feminine – showing that strong is sexy for the whole world to see.
And because we’re not all trying to get skinny, whatever that means, we’re lifting weights. God damn heavy ass barbells that shake when they hit the floor and intimidate the dumb bros in their silly stringer vests.
For most of us, that means we’re building muscle too. Because all those hard reps create tiny microtears that grow back bigger, thicker, and stronger than before.
As the fibers get larger, our overall muscle size grows. Their cross-section and mass increases and suddenly we notice them begin to shape and sculpt our body. This phenomenon is known as muscular hypertrophy.
That’s why we can target specific areas in the weight room. We go ass-to-grass every time for a reason because we want the amazing legs and glutes we deserve. Effectively, by getting specific like this is how we put all the right bumps in all the right places.
Fact: Why fat can’t become muscle
If you haven’t worked out yet, fat could never be turned into muscle. Non, nein, and nada.
The only possibility could be if you were somehow transported to Hogwarts Fitness Academy, or took a time machine to the year 2525. We’d be totally down for some HIIT Quidditch or hyper-futuristic CrossFit workouts, but it’s not gonna happen, girl.
That’s because fat and muscle are just two completely different types of tissue.
According to assistant professor of exercise science Brad Schoenfeld from the City University of New York; “The best analogy I can use is, you cannot turn an orange into an apple.”
Boom, knowledge bomb dropped right there.
Actually, it’s more like an obvious truth reminder pleasantly posed by a friendly neighbor. Because at the end of the day, it all seems a little too crazy to start morphing fat cells into lean and powerful muscle. Come on, ladies, think about it…
Out with the Old & in with the New – What really happens
So now we know the science, what can we do about the whole situation?
Fortunately for us girls who love to lift, we’re already halfway there.
All we probably need to do is tidy up our dietary edges, neaten up our workout routines, and simply watch the sneaky scoops of Ben & Jerry’s melt away.
By hitting the gym hard we can blaze through calories like there’s no tomorrow. And once we safely overtake our daily calorific intake, our beautiful cavewomen bodies will do what comes naturally. Albeit with a little less hair, nicer smelling skin, and definitely fresher breath.
Eventually, we will pull energy from our fat stores to energize ourselves. However, we must consume adequate amounts of protein to ensure muscle catabolism does not become an issue.
Then once we begin peeling back the layers of body fat we leave behind an empty space. So why not fill it full with lean, toned, and strong muscle? Exactly, why wouldn’t you?
Imagine knocking down a shabby unflattering shack and building a shiny block of luxury apartments with an infinity pool on top. It just makes so much sense to us to make the most of that freed up space.
Challenge Accepted! – How you can do it yourself
As we have just mentioned, replacing fat with muscle requires you to get your diet and workouts on lock. Yes, you can get results by half-assing it, but guess what? You’ll get half-assed results.
But we know you’re the kind of girl who only ever gives it her all. So we at SpotMeGirl recommend you seriously consider getting a high-end transformation plan. The best one we’ve ever come across has to be Boss Workouts Shape & Burn, which you can check out our full in-depth review here.
Shape & Burn was written by none other than top bikini competitor, model, and trainer, Niki Zager. Alongside the expert team at Boss, she has created a total 12-week plan; complete with weekly workouts, a full diet program, recipe book, and even exclusive full HD training videos.
However, if you’re not quite ready to mix it with the pros yet, just keep reading.
What to eat
Focus your diet on tasty nutritious whole-foods. Ditch the quick-fix fast foods, and throw the sweet treats in the trash. Take control of your plate and be accountable for your food choices. Trust us, you will feel amazing for your absorbing so much nutritional goodness.
Aim to eat 1.4 – 2.0 g of lean protein per kg of body weight every day. According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, this is the right amount for maintaining and building muscle. By eating this way you’ll ensure you preserve and build lean mass, whilst still cutting fat.
Studies have also shown that high protein diets are great at supporting weight loss. That’s because satiety, our feeling of fullness, is positively impacted by protein consumption. Simply put, a lean chicken breast will satisfy you much more than a handful of sweets or a pop-tart.
Also, aim to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day. Varying up your fruit and veg attack will give you the best possible chance of bagging all the essential vitamins. Plus, you can pile natures goodness on your plate without feeling bad – vegetables are often incredibly low in calories.
Obviously, guys, this is just a short simple solution to help you clean things up. If in doubt, reach out to a professional nutritionist or dietitian. Knowledge is power, especially on the quest for a killer body – don’t be afraid to ask questions.
You’re a dedicated fan of SpotMeGirl so we’re not going to tell you how to work out. You’re a she-wolf in the weight room and could eat an entire spin class for breakfast.
Let’s face it, you kick the I want to be skinny stereotype in the ass and empower other women to become strong too. But we’re still going to mention a few things just to refresh your memory or help other less experienced female lifters.
Okay, first thing, cut out any jogging. It isn’t very effective for building muscle and at best will leave you skinny-fat. We’re here to build sleek and defined muscle, not just lose weight.
Instead, opt for quality time spent under the bar. Whether that be squatting ass to grass, ripping ground shaking deadlifts, or even completing your first bicep curl. Treat the barbell like your new best friend.
Why resistance training?
Remember, resistance training challenges the muscle, causing metabolic stress and forcing adaptations. Plus, according to studies, it’s absolutely awesome at torching through calories compared to steady state cardio.
When our muscle fibers experience trauma through lifting a torrent of chemical activity takes place. Satellite cells rush to the site to fix the torn tissue, rebuilding and adding contractile proteins to make our fibers extra resilient (bigger and stronger) for the future.
But this can only happen by forcing a reaction from the muscle. The most effective way to achieve this is to employ progressive overload.
Simply put, keep stepping up the weights or reps to push yourself to your limit. Force that change and watch the entire former you transform into a sleek, strong and toned woman. Become your own 2.0, girl.
Summary: The final debunk
Turning fat into muscle is a common misconception that is totally inaccurate.
Science states that because fat and muscle are two different tissue types, it is a physical impossibility. Simply put, it is a myth.
However, excess body fat can be replaced with lean and powerful muscle. This requires a number of protocols to be in place before it can happen.
Nutrition must be optimized for muscle growth without leaving behind extra calories to be stored as fat. This is best achieved by maintaining a healthy diet, often known as clean eating.
Lean protein and vegetables should make up the majority of this diet to provide nutrients essential for muscle building and general health. A helpful fat burning supplement may actually speed up your weight loss process, whilst also keeping energy levels topped up throughout the day.
Exercise is simply a must, with a high focus being centered around resistance training. Resistance training should take priority over steady state cardio such as jogging, as it specifically promotes muscle development.
Finally, go do it, girl! Just follow our advice, believe in yourself, and remember to have fun.
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