Can You Turn Fat into Muscle

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Turning your fat mass into muscles, it sounds like a dream. Many people have to convert fat into muscles as a goal. But is it actually possible to do this? A short answer to this question? No, this is not possible. No process can turn fat into muscles or vice versa. The fat and muscle cells are two completely different cells. And these can’t turn into one another. If you ask the question differently, I can lose weight and build muscle at the same time. It becomes much more difficult to answer this question. This depends on your training level, fat percentage and how consistent you have been so far in the gym.


So converting fat into muscles is not possible.

So you can’t turn fat into muscles or vice versa. However, you can lose weight and build muscle simultaneously, but unfortunately, this is not for everyone.

So you will often have to choose one of the two goals. For best results, I recommend first focusing on bulking and then dry training. Or of course, the other way around, depending on your current body composition and goals. Once you’ve made a choice, you can read below how best to do this. When you choose to lose weight first, you can, of course, focus on building muscle mass and vice versa!


Different physiological processes

Building muscle mass and breaking down fat mass are, therefore, two completely different processes. Both consist of different building blocks.

Muscles are made up of amino acids; these are found in proteins. Whatever your goal, it’s important to get enough protein to facilitate muscle building. Fat is therefore made up of something else, namely fat cells. Fat is stored in your body when you get too much energy (tip: calculate your daily energy needs). This should then be stored, and the body does so in the form of fat reserves.

As you can see, it’s two different things that are really separate from each other. Therefore, converting fat into muscles is a utopia. However, these two physiological processes can take place separately in the body.


At the same time lose fat and build muscle mass

.Converting fat into muscles is not possible, but you can lose fat at the same time and build muscle mass. Losing weight while building muscle mass is also called body recomposition. This means that you want to change the ratio of your fat percentage and muscle mass. So it may be that you don’t lose weight because you lose fat but create muscle mass. This process is mainly for people who are just starting or who have not trained optimally.

People who have not trained optimally have not followed a (good) schedule, have not been to the gym regularly or have not (enough) paid attention to their diet. Also, overweight people can do this. These people have a high-fat percentage and have, therefore stored a lot of energy; their insulin sensitivity is lower. [1]

These groups will benefit most from a body recomposition.


Body Recomposition

During a body recomposition, both your diet and your training are essential. If you fall into one of the groups that can benefit from this, you can read here how best to approach this.


A good distribution of carbohydrates, fats and proteins is always important. It would be best to have carbohydrates as your main source of energy, fats for your hormone balance, and energy source and proteins because they provide amino acids. These are indispensable in building muscle tissue.

Try to eat 2.5 – 3 grams of protein per kg of body weight. Besides, it is best to sit 25% below your energy needs. [2]

Example: you weigh 70 kilos, and you have a daily energy requirement of 2000 calories. Then it’s best to eat 175 to 210 grams of protein and consume 1,500 calories a day. If you are already a bit lower in your fat percentage (tip: calculate your fat percentage here), you can choose to eat 15% below your calories.

Training at Body Recomposition

As a beginner, it is advisable to start slowly in the gym. Try to make sure that you teach yourself the correct execution of an exercise. This will reduce the risk of injury in the future!

Once you have mastered the execution, you can focus on progressive overload. This means that you do a little more every week or training than last time. This can be done by lifting more weight, doing more reps, or adding a set.

Besides, you can also increase the time under tension (the time your muscle is under stress in an exercise) or reduce the rest time. These two methods are only difficult to keep track of, and therefore you better choose one of the first three. Try going to the gym at least 3 times a week. If you go 3 times, you can best opt for a full-body schedule.


Building muscle

If you can’t take advantage of a body recomposition, you have to make a choice. Below you’ll find what to do if you’ve chosen to build muscle first!

The two most important factors in building muscle are your diet and training. The period that you build muscles is also called bulking.

Nutrition in muscle building

Nutrition is an important aspect when bulking up. You should pay the most attention to two things: your calorie intake and your protein intake.

During training you create tiny cracks in your muscle fibres, these, of course, have to recover. Proteins can be seen as the building blocks of our bodies. The amino acids contained in proteins allow your muscles to heal.

Building muscles is an energy-rich process. So you will have to eat above your calories to do this as effectively as possible. For starters, you can eat 200-300 calories above your needs. This will make you arrive slowly and find that it becomes easier to progress with training.

When you find that one of these two things has reached a plateau, you can increase your calorie intake again. This way, you can continue until you reach your goal.


Losing weight is a different process and therefore requires a different approach. You don’t try to build anything up during weight, but instead, try to break it down. The period of weight loss is also called cutten.

Unlike the other two goals, training is less important here. You can lose weight without having to train at all.

Nutrition in case of fat loss

To lose weight, you need to eat under your energy balance. Here you can start with 500 calories below your need to eat. You will notice that your body will lose weight. This is because you get less energy, your body has to start looking for energy in other places. It will then have to break down fat to get energy. [3]

After a while, you will find that you will no longer waste with your current calorie intake. It’s time to start sinking again, the best you can do with steps of about 200 calories.

It is also important to pay attention to your protein intake during weight loss. You want to prevent your body from breaking down muscles as much as possible to release energy. Unfortunately, you will inevitably lose some muscle mass during the cut. But you can make sure that you prevent this as much as possible due to a high protein intake.



So you don’t have to train to lose weight. However, training can facilitate weight loss. Make sure you are below your calorie requirement using nutrition and not by exercising.

It is much easier to get energy in than to consume, so it is much easier to create an energy deficit by looking after your food than by burning it.

If you only create an energy deficit through training, you will run into the following problems. You will only have an energy shortage on the days you train; it is much more effective to be under your needs every day. Or you have to train every day to achieve this, but what are you going to do if you can’t train for a day? Or if you get an injury?


Do you want to lose fat and build muscle mass?

  • Converting fat into muscles is impossible.
  • Losing weight and building muscle (body recomposition) is best for overweight people, beginners and those who have not trained optimally.
  • High protein intake is important, regardless of your goal.
  • If you are already more advanced in training, you will benefit most from a period of bulking and cutting.
  • Base your calorie intake based on your goal.

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