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Can you convert Fat into Muscle?

Fat into Muscle.  Myth or fact?

When a client says they want to turn their fat into muscle what they are really saying is that they want to lose fat and gain muscle!

Now, there are really two goals in that sentence;

1. Reduce fat

2. Gain muscle.
This is a great goal and losing fat and gaining muscle is the fastest way to improve your body composition. But can it be done at the same time? Well the question is what you need to do to:

1. Loose fat

2. Gain muscle

To lose fat, you need to be in a caloric deficit.

For muscle gain, you need to be in a caloric surplus.

Weight gain or weight loss is essentially calories in vs calories out. When we burn more than what we consume, we lose weight & when we consume more than what we burn, we gain weight!

So you can see that these two goals are in opposition to each other and after 7,500 DEXA scans we know that for long-term body composition changes it is best to lose fat first and then build muscle! So how many calories do I need to be consuming to lose fat, and how many calories do I need to gain muscle? Well, this is a very individualised and person-specific question.

Factors that affect your ability to lose fat and to gain muscle, include:

  • your age
  • amount of lean tissue mass
  • hormonal profile
  • gut health
  • visceral fat levels
  • current fitness levels and
  • your gender

The most accurate and reliable method to understand your metabolism is with a “Metabolic test”. This test takes the guesswork out! It measures your metabolism accurately, based on where you are at today! It’s quick and easy and the results are given to you on the spot.
To summarise. You cannot directly convert fat into muscle (or muscle to fat) and the best way to improve your body composition is to know exactly how many calories to eat for fat loss and how many calories to eat for muscle gain. The best way to know this is to come in and get a metabolic test, and have your results explained with one of our sports scientists at Body Measure.

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Measure your Motivation

“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.” H. James Harrington

Harrington was writing about business, but his words ring just as true when it comes to your health and wellbeing. We wholeheartedly believe, and the results that our clients achieve reinforce this every day, that measurement is the first critical step towards taking charge of your health and maintaining motivation on your journey to reaching your ideal weight with more muscle mass.

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Starting is easy, it’s keeping going that’s the trick

And it is maintaining motivation that is key. Starting to make better food choices and exercise more is easy. You can see that in action in the first week of January as everyone heads to the gym and stocks up on supplies for salads and green smoothies. But by late February (if it’s even that long!), life starts to get in the way, excuses are made and before you know it, you’ve not been to the gym for four weeks and you’re having takeaway pizza for dinner for the second time in a week.

Improving health and fitness doesn’t come from New Year resolutions and January detoxes. It comes from consistent actions and choices all year round. A DEXA scan to determine your starting point and periodic scans throughout the year to track the changes in your body composition can do wonders to keep you on track. Visibly seeing the reduction in your body fat percentage and an increase in muscle mass really reinforces your commitment to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight with a good proportion of lean tissue.

Knowledge is power

Certainly, this was the case for Paula Beckton when she appeared on Channel 7’s Bringing Sexy Back. As Paula says:

“The DEXA scan revealed the true me. Knowing and facing the damage I was doing inside was really important and a pivotal point as you don’t actually know that when you weigh yourself on the scales at home. Seeing the amount of fat I had on my body was quite confronting.”

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Paula Beckton confronts her DEXA scan results on Channel 7’s Bringing Sexy Back

But the DEXA scan didn’t just provide motivation at the beginning for Paula. As she was having regular scans to review her body composition, Paula was able to bypass the frustration that many people have when they are trying to improve their health and lose weight, but the number on the scales just isn’t shifting as much or as quickly as they might have hoped for.

“When you lose weight, you sometimes don’t see yourself how much weight you have lost. You might think, oh, I’ve only lost 12 kilograms, but when a scan can show you what that loss of 12 kilograms actually means in health and not just weight, it can really give you a mental edge to continue to work towards your goals,” says Paula.

Consistent action does get results

Don’t let your motivation to change your life and achieve your health goals fizzle out by the middle of February. Don’t let yourself become demoralised by the small changes you see on the outside, when there could well be much more significant changes to the very dangerous visceral fat on your insides. Come in for a DEXA scan, get a true picture of your health and how that IS changing as you get leaner and reduce your body fat percentage. And by this time next year, you really will see the results of making all those small actions and choices throughout the year.