This series will look at common myths or misconceptions in the fitness & nutrition industry and provide you with the facts.
By:  Leanne Henwood, Fitness Coordinator, North Campus

"If you stop exercising, your muscles will turn into fat."

Wrong!

Muscle is muscle and fat is fat - one does not turn into the other.  

What happens in reality?  When you stop training, over time, your muscles will shrink or atrophy and what may happen is that your body gains fat. This is where the misconception happens - the muscles shrink and the fat cells get bigger and so many believe their muscle turned into fat. 

Here are some facts:

  • muscle is denser than fat - 2kg of muscle takes up less space than 2kg of fat
  • muscle tissue uses more calories to keep it alive than fat does
  • muscle is muscle and fat is fat - they are not the same and one can not turn into the other
  • muscle atrophy can make a once toned body part look "flabby"

Myth Busted: Muscle vs. Fat - Movement: Physiotherapy & Fitness

Building muscle can help you to reduce fat on your body - but it is not turning fat into muscle.