Does Muscle Change Into Fat When You Stop Exercising?
Have you ever seen a photo of a football player who, in his glory days of high school, was pure muscle but then years later his muscles appeared to have morphed into a padding of fat?
Maybe you thought, as I once had, that because he stopped weight lifting his muscles changed to fat?
Thankfully this is not true. Muscle and fat are two different types of tissue; you simply cannot turn one into another. The bulk of your fat sits right under your skin, on top of your muscle.
Muscle is what dictates our metabolism so the more muscle we have the more calories we will burn. If you stop strength training your muscles will shrink somewhat. If we start losing muscle our metabolism starts to slow down and we increase body fat. That is why strength training is so important to our everyday routine.
Also, people who exercise regularly tend to eat quite a bit more food than people who maintain a relatively healthy body weight without exercising. Once you stop exercising though, you instantly lose the need for the calories used during your workouts, which is often quite significant. If you don’t decrease your food intake when you stop training the extra calories that you would normally have burned up in activity will turn into fat.
So if our football player had kept up with a strength training routine and kept an eye on his food intake he could fare much better in his before and after photos.