Don't let misinformation come between you and your body goals.

By By Kelly Mickle
May 30, 2017

You've probably done a bit of research on how to build muscle and burn fat, but there's a good chance you ran into some myths along the way. Let's put those misconceptions to rest once and for all, so you can build a healthy, toned body without wasting time on BS.

Muscle Can Turn Into Fat, And Vice Versa

The two are entirely different tissues and can't magically morph into each other. However, if you stop working out, your fat cells will get bigger and your muscle fibers will shrink which is why you may notice some extra jiggle.

Muscle Weighs More Than Fat

A pound of fat and a pound of muscle weight exactly the same. But-and this is where the confusion comes in-the volume of muscle is denser and more compact. "It would take four pounds of muscle to fill the space of one pound of fat," Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Auburn University Montgomery, says. That's why you may see yourself becoming slimmer without the number on the scale dropping. (Here's why you should shed the scale.)

Eating Fat Makes You Fat

The opposite-healthy fat helps keep you lean. People eating a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil and nuts lost more weight than those on a low-fat diet, The Lancet reports. "These foods, as well as fish, avocado, and olives, contain omega-3 fats, omega-6 fats, and monounsaturated fats that are heart-healthy and fill you up so you don't overeat," Olson explains. Just watch your portion sizes. "Eating more calories than you use each day will lead to fat storage," says sports medicine physician Jordan Metzl, M.D.

You Can Spot-Reduce Fat

When your body needs energy, it pulls from all of your fat cells, not just the areas you want to target," Olson says. In other words, to lose fat from any place, you have to lose fat from every place. Another sad truth: The first place where you gain fat typically is the last place you'll lose it. "When you put fat on easily in one area, it means your body is best able to store it there," Keith Baar, Ph.D., says. The good news: If your backside starts to shrink, you can always make it curvier by building muscle (hello, squats!). (Try this 30-Day Squat Challenge That Will Totally Transform Your Butt)

You Can't Gain Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time

To shed fat, you have to burn more calories than you take in. But when you do that, your body also burns some muscle. As a result, it's common to lose muscle mass as you lose weight. The way to prevent this is to eat more protein, say scientists from McMaster University. Their study found that people who did so while on a high-intensity weight-training regimen were able to gain muscle mass and ditch fat. "Getting enough protein provides your body with the amino acids it needs so that it doesn't have to break down muscle for them," says study author Stuart Phillips, Ph.D. Based on his research, a 140-pound woman would have to consume at least 25 grams of protein at breakfast, lunch, and dinner to maintain muscle mass while losing weight (that's about 0.4 grams of protein per kilo of body weight at each meal).

Comments (7)

February 20, 2019
Regarding the "myth" that muscle weighs more than fat. DUH! I am certain no one has ever said that a POUND of muscle weighs more than a POUND of fat. Obviously. So yes, technically it is more dense and not heavier, per pound. But by your logic, a pound of elephant weighs the same as a pound of cotton balls. Technically correct, but what a ridiculous "myth" you are one was in any way enlightened by that one.
January 13, 2019
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November 4, 2018
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October 28, 2018
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June 16, 2018
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June 2, 2017
Definitely some misconceptions that people need to realize. Focusing on what you eat though, I think it's more important than people realize. Eating healthy is definitely a plus. I didn't believe it until after I started using this anabolic cookbook a friend recommended to me. 100% the best recommendation I've ever gotten. If you're looking to gain muscle and lose fat, it's definitely worth a look:
June 1, 2017
Couldn't agree more on it... when we try to burn fat our body also tends to lose muscle, to gain muscle we can include proteins in form of soya, tofu and meat. In ayurveda also its believed that burning fat means to burn calories. I have compiled a list of Ayurvedic herbs that can boost the fat burning process may be it would be helpfull below is the list