By David Atkinson
This is a common question that is asked by clients and the general public and it’s a simple answer – no it can’t.
The fact is, muscle and fat are two completely different types of tissue and cannot convert to one another.
When we stop exercising our muscles decrease in size and fat cells can increase in size giving the appearance of muscle turning into fat. This is because after we stop exercising we have the tendency to forget about altering our diet to compensate for the lack of energy use and we continue consume the same amount of calories we had when we were working out. This means that we are burning less energy while consuming the same amount. Generally this puts us on the side of the energy balance equation (energy in (food) Vs energy out (day to day body functions & exercise!!)) that we do not want to be on with all the excess energy being stored in the form of fat.
When we do participate in regular exercise we increase the rate at which we burn energy and this effect can last for a few hours after we have been exercising, this means that we can burn off more fat even when we are resting. So if you stop exercising you will have to eat less or you will gain weight.
In the Human body there are lots of different cells and in this case we are looking at the skeletal muscle cells and fat cells, they have different structures and functions and during exercise they react in different ways.
Here are some facts about both muscle and fat cells.
– Muscle cells increase in size with strength training
– Muscle cells decrease in size without strength training
– Are larger than fat cells
– You always keep the same amount of muscle cells they just increase and decrease in size
– Unlike fat, each muscle can be targeted, so you can choose the area
– Fat cells are smaller than Muscle cells
– When we are aerobically fit they decrease in size
– Cells designed to store fat
– They store energy, but energy that is not needed straight away
– Fat insulates the body
– Fat can only be reduced if the number of kilojoules expended in a day exceeds the number of kilojoules consumed in a day
So remember that Muscle is Muscle and Fat is Fat!
By David Atkinson