If you’ve been a while into fitness for some time, then you might come across the concept of ‘turn body fat into muscle’ or even ‘lose fat gain muscle is possible’.
I’m happy with social media has been promoting this amazing idea and changing how we view fitness. At this time, weight loss is no longer the main trend in fitness, and we are more into lifting weight. This is great, because we know that we can reserve muscle and still lose fat.
It’s a great idea to spread such a great idea on social media, infact, I personally thank a lot with the help of social media because we had become more accessible with tons and information than the era before social media. We save time, and are able to achieve our goal faster than ever in the past time.
But here’s a counterproductive fact, when there are more social media spreading the message, what we sees is the end result, therefore we emerge the idea of ‘turn fat into muscle’ but we still did not know how it actually works.
That’s why in this post, I will be talking about the truth behind the results of ‘turning fat into muscle’, I think that is a thing that most of us skipped through.
You’ll get to know why as I decipher what happening under the recomp process.
Muscle is muscle, fat is fat
I believe most of us had forgotten this truth when we started to get more concepts about body recomposition. Me included.
Our muscle and fat work differently, so that’s the says of spot reduction is just a myth. Muscle speaks different and works differently with fat. And the amount of fat we have also did not directly associate with the amount of muscle we have.
A person can be still considered ‘fat’ even he has a lot of muscle mass if he also has high body fat. A person with less muscle mass also doesn’t mean they have more fat. That’s how skinny fat exist right?
Then you will ask: But Alyssa, your post are always talking body composition is the way to lose fat. I will lose fat when I increase my muscle mass. So this turns out to be a lie?
Nope. Still’s, muscle is muscle, fat is fat. Yes, you will still lose fat through body recomposition, but you might get confused about what happens in the background.
Our fat doesn’t just decrease because it senses that our muscle is increasing. The relationship between fat and muscle isn’t opposite, nor co-relate, they are entirely unrelated.
The Reason For “I Gained Weight But I Look Leaner”
There are people that able to lose fat while they start their recomp journey. But their progress seems much more impressive than yours, and you make surer that you also did it right. That’s okay, not everyone is the same. In fact, recomp is a long progress, you just at the middle of the path.
There is someone among us with the ability to lose fat during their journey of increasing muscle mass. ANd just able to achieve the results like those fitness influencers. Here are a few factors for that:
This had nothing to do with how they train or eat, there are just gifted with great genetics. Chances are they are already lean and doesn’t have much body fat. Because of the lower body fat percentage we have, the accumulation of fat is slower compared with those with high body fat.
They are actually building muscle with ‘just enough’ calories
They actually not building much muscle (at least not much as it supposed to be). When they started their weight training, their body needs more energy to build muscle. There would be muscle that had been built, definitely, and also cause of the new training stimulus, this time muscle will grow because of the demand. But they did not eat enough. Also account together they might have a higher metabolism, that extra calories just burn off too fast.
I had been in this phase before, it isn’t too bad. But if you seriously wish to build solid, serious muscle. This could be counterproductive because you will soon find you unable to lift heavier and might plateau your progress.
What You Sees Is Actually The ‘After’
They are literally showing you the ‘after’ picture. No Doupt!
The reason is that, the muscle gaining process is not so pleasure to look at, even discouraging. Most of the time we just look at how others show their results, but you did not get to know the process.
Here is it, in order to let muscle grow we need some of the surplus to let it do so, and that means, gain fat. The matter here is just, if you do control the amount carefully, you can make the fat gain gradually and controllable.
They can’t just start training, eat more protein and directly lead to the lean figure that you sees. At least all of these doesn’t happen all at the same time. Here’s the breakdown of what they had gone through.
Increasing metabolic by gaining muscle
In this phase, the focus is just to gain muscle in the first place. It is because if you are skinny fat, chances are you need to elevate your metabolic rate. Then adding muscle mass could effectively increase the metabolic rate.
The time between the muscle gaining rate depends on your condition. If you wish to gain more muscle and you are quite lean, then the process could be longer. The benefit is that you can maintain more muscle and secure future loss of muscle as possible.
Reverse dieting is important in this phase, it is to make you able to get used to a higher calorie. Also, those increased calories could help in building strength and muscle.
Take about a few weeks to go through the stabilizing phase. This is to let your body get used to the high metabolism and maintain the muscle that you gained. For this week, just go on a normal training routine and don’t make more alterations to the diet.
Muscle burn more calories than fat, therefore it will slowly form the phenomenon that you found you become leaner because you have more muscle now compared with before.
In this phase, it is easier for you to lose fat. By cooperating heavy lifting sessions you could maintain muscle while cutting fat at calories deficit.
The cutting process isn’t necessary if you are happy with your body fat. In fact, in the first years when you start lifting weight. Chances are you will gradually benefit from the ‘newbie’ gain, not much serious cut is required.
But for those individuals that found they had gained pounds during the muscle-building process, cutting is fine because it keeps you on track. However, if one isn’t a competitive bodybuilder, try not to let the cutting phase last more than 8 weeks.
Someone might notice that looks like the typical bulk and cut cycle in bodybuilding. That’s it. But not as hard as you think. In fact, normal people can go through lots of mini cut and bulk phases to achieve their goal.
The benefits of this approach by splitting things into multiple phases is, we get stronger over time with the muscle-building phase, then reset the fitness level to where we started(cutting), and continue building. As an overspan muscle building isn’t working after a long time, so is a long term cutting programme.
I think the most important thing in fitness is to be healthy and feel good. Whatever I had written above, the most important thing here is to choose and figure out the most sustainable way for you.