Muscle Vs Fat

Muscle vs Fat:  The Great Debate

If you look at a picture of five pounds of muscle vs fat, you will notice that the muscle is about half the size.  This is why you can actually lose five pounds of fat and gain five pounds of muscle, weigh the same, yet appear smaller.  An average scale only measures overall weight loss, not fat loss.

Why You Need Muscle

It is common to hear women saying that they do not want to build muscle because they are scared of getting bulky however, it is actually a lot of work for a woman to even get bulky.  Lifting weights and building muscle speeds up your metabolism faster than just simply losing fat so it is quite hard to get bulky because you are burning so many more calories.

It is a fact that women naturally lose 10 pounds of muscle per decade.  That being said, six calories are burned per one pound of muscle while only two calories are burned per one pound of fat.  The result is a significantly slower metabolism.

The Metamorphosis Of Muscle

When comparing muscle vs fat, it is important to understand that one does not turn into the other.  Many people assume that they are turning fat into muscle however, muscle and body fat are two entirely different tissues.  Both of them have different functions and structures and they both react to exercise in different ways.  Therefore, it is simply a myth that one can become the other one.

Body Fat

In the muscle vs fat comparison, it is helpful to be aware that body fat is spoke of in relation to calories and the overall amount you have is influenced by how many calories are consumed and burned.

Any type of exercise whether it is resistance training, running, taking your dog for a walk, mowing your lawn and even cleaning your house, all use energy, burn calories and are better than simply not doing anything at all.  It is also important to understand that individual fat cells that are gathered at your hips, thighs, love handles and anywhere else have three options, being:

  1. To shrink in size
  2. Rest as is
  3. Grow and divide

What they do ultimately depends on how many calories you burn and how many you consume.


Now, when comparing muscle vs fat, you need to realize that the two are very different.  Muscles are made up of thousands of fibers which cannot increase in quantity, only in size, efficiency and density, which all translate to an overall strength increase.

Strength gains in muscles have nothing to do with calories.  Changes in your muscles are a direct result of stress that is put on them.  The key thing to remember is that muscle only reacts when the stress applied to it actually exceeds the stress that it is accustomed to receiving on a daily basis.



A common topic that often arises when discussing muscle vs fat is cellulite and how to get rid of it.  Basically, cellulite is enlarged fat clumps lying within supported loose skin.  Similar to a slightly deflated water balloon, it can become unshapely and bumpy and it is always more noticeable when muscle is lost and body fat is gained.

When you lose body fat, the clumps decrease in size, leaving the skin to appear more firm and smooth.  This is why some of the thinnest women can actually have cellulite because just because they are thin, does not mean that they are toned.

Many women complain that their cellulite actually looks like it increases when they start an exercise and diet program but that is just because the skin that was holding the fat is just a bit looser because the fat is not packed in there.  Given a little time, your body will catch up and you will lose a bit more fat and gain muscle to eliminate this problem.