Does Muscle Become Fat When You Stop Exercising?

When you plan for a health and fitness regime, often a common concern is – What if you discontinue with your daily exercise regime? Does muscle become fat once you stop your workout? This is actually a common myth, which many a times become a hindrance for you to start a daily health and fitness regime and thus your health and fitness is neglected because of a common myth.

Muscle Become Fat

Muscle Become Fat

Here I will give you the facts so that a common myth on the subject can be busted, and you can go ahead with your fitness regime and gain those admirable muscles without being worried about getting fat, if at some stage you have to discontinue with your exercises.

Does Muscle Become Fat When You Stop Exercising? – The Myth Exposed!   

First let’s tell you about Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR. Simply speaking your BMR is the rate at which your body burns calories to maintain itself. People who have a low BMR burn fewer calories, therefore they need to eat less food to maintain themselves than people who have high BMR.

Now when you do a regular workout and have a regular health and fitness regime, your body builds muscle and for this your body uses more calories and as a result your basal metabolic rate ( BMR ) goes up. Now since your BMR has gone up, your body need more calories to maintain itself. With an increase calorie requirement, your brain signals to eat more food and so you become hungrier and eat more food and as long as you maintain the cycle of exercising and eating appropriately, life is great and you enjoy gaining muscle and looking and feeling good.

Simply put, you exercise – gain muscle – for this you burn more calories – your BMR goes up – you need more calories to maintain your muscles and body – for this you eat more food to gain calories. And the balancing cycle goes on. This is to say you eat and gain calories, and when you workout and burn these calories you gain muscle, and to maintain these muscle you need more calories for which you again eat and the process continuous.

Now the problem starts when you stop exercising for a long period of time, due to inactivity your muscles begin to atrophy ( shrink in size ) and hence your muscle mass reduces and with reduced muscle mass, your Basal Metabolic Rate drop and your body needs fewer calories to maintain itself. Since your body needs fewer calories to maintain itself, the food intake should be reduced appropriately. But your brain is accustomed to signaling your body that it needs the same amount of food as before.

As a result, when people stop exercising as before and are cut off from their daily health and fitness regime, they don’t reduce their diets and food intake appropriately to match their reducing Basal Metabolic Rate ( BMR ). When people stop their regular exercise regime and keep eating the same amount of food as before, it creates excess calories in body, and as you know what happens when body accumulates excess calories – they get stored as FAT in the body.

So the myth stands busted, as its very much clear and evident from above, the muscle does not turn into fat, but it’s the extra calories that we consume which does not get burned up, gets stored up as fat in our body.

Hope you are well informed now and understand the relation between muscle and fat, so that next time someone tells you that the muscles turns into fat, you are in a guiding position to enlighten them about the facts about muscles and fat.

Now that you are equipped with this important piece of information, get to know your daily calories requirement in proportion to the amount of calories you burn daily under your health and fitness regime, and never ever gain weight and that ugly fat, and laugh your way up to a healthy and fit life.

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Ravi Kochhar

I write on issues related to various health conditions and fitness here on my blog. My endeavour is to bring out the most authentic and trusted information on the subject for the readers. You may catch up with me at Twitter, Facebook and Google+
Find Me On -

I write on issues related to various health conditions and fitness here on my blog. My endeavour is to bring out the most authentic and trusted information on the subject for the readers. You may catch up with me at Twitter, Facebook and Google+

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10 comments on “Does Muscle Become Fat When You Stop Exercising?
  1. You bring up some good points…I’d like to know what you would recommend in my situation. My goal is to shed about 15 pounds in the next couple of months and finally have six pack abs. But there are such a huge number of “systems” out there and I have no idea which one to trust. Can somebody point me towards a good plan for burning fat and packing on muscle?

    • RJSKOCHHAR says:

      @ I Want To Build Muscle – My advice to you would be to consult a professional physical trainer, since you are interested to build six packs. Get a proper diet plan laid down according to your body type and start with moderate weight training exercise gradually increasing it but under a proper professional guidance.

  2. fitness says:

    That’s what happened to me. All my hard work building muscle went to fat because I stopped.

  3. Looking through your articles gives me a chance to realize why I love reading things with so much ideas. It is nice to know that there are still great authors out there that can put fun into knowledgable information. Thank you for your input and eagerness to communicate your thoughts with us.

  4. Hi, I was flying through some sites when your blog caught my eyes. I was surprised to find how good you manage your views and write them accordingly.

  5. Turbo Fire says:

    The finest fat loss workout involves higher intensity interval training, a typical sense diet and plenty of rest.

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