FAT VS MUSCLE PART 1: Weighing It Out
“The excess calories we eat, and how we train, determines if our body is going to store our excess calories as fat or muscle, that can later be used as energy if the need arises.”
The purpose of this blog is to break down some of the controversy and myths about muscle and fat. I want to clarify the different factors our bodies experience in order to gain, or lose, fat and muscle. Also, we should understand the purpose of muscle and fat as it pertains to biological and metabolic function.
Before we can continue, I want to differentiate between a pound of fat and a pound of human adipose tissue, as well as, the difference in a pound of muscle and a pound of protein. But as we do, lets all agree that a pound is a pound is a pound. Yes? And science will tell us that 1 pound of anything will equal 453.59 grams when discussing gross weight.
It isn’t fair to say a pound of body fat is equal to a pound of pure fat. Body fat is also called adipose tissue and is comprised of about 80% pure fat. This is where the math finally works out. If one pound equals 453.59 grams, and 1 gram of fat yields 9.3 calories, then 1 pound of fat should yield 4,218 calories of energy. (1 pound=453.59g’ X 9.3-cal = 4218 calories) Yet, we know a pound of fat only gives us 3500 calories worth of energy. This is because the fat we are referring to is truly “adipose tissue” which is composed of other cellular derivatives besides just pure fat.
Here is why simple math just wont work. Again 1 pound of muscle is 453.59 grams, and if there are 4 calories in 1 gram of protein, 1 pound of muscle would yield 1814 calories of energy, yet it does not. The real numbers are much smaller and very controversial, but we can ball park it close to 1000 calories when talking about striated skeletal muscle. Mostly because 1 pound of skeletal muscle is comprised of more than just pure protein. Just as body fat is only 80% true fat, skeletal muscle is made up of more than just protein. Muscle tissue would include glycogen, fat ,and water. Muscle is also full of a circulatory network, as well as tendons and other structures that wouldn’t fall into “just protein”.
The good news is we don’t have to kill ourselves to figure all of this out. You are kidding yourself if you are trying to dissect your calories down to this microbiological level. Spend your energy on the big picture, which is: What are these two substrates purposed for in our body as they relate to metabolism and building a physically fit physique? FUEL!
FAT/PROTEIN = FUEL
Fat serves many purposes for the body from protecting our vital organs to providing energy, and muscle provides necessary hormones and cellular structures needed to live, even second to second. However, for this discussion, fats and proteins are nothing more than fuel sources. Any and all excess unused calories will be stored in your body. It’s up to you HOW they are stored. The excess calories we eat and how we train determines if our body is going to store our excess calories as fat or muscle, that can later be used as energy if the need arises.
A FAT BODY
When When you see a 250 pound obese person, do you think that extra adipose tissue is vital for his existence? Does his body need 100 extra pounds for warmth, digesting vitamins, or neural and cellular function? The answer is no…
A MUSCULAR BODY
Ok, what about when you see a 250 pound body builder, do you think his body looks at the excess skeletal muscle as vital for life? He surely doesn’t need 20 inch biceps to sustain life. The answer is still no. In each case, their respective bodies have stored the extra calories as either fat or muscle depending on the food and environment that organism has been subject to. And the muscle and fat, when needed, will be broken back down and used as life-sustaining energy… nothing more.
FAT VS MUSCLE: PART 2
My next blog will offer tips on how to make sure you store what you WANT, not what your body wants.
DISCLAIMER FOR HATERS:
This was written with the “big picture in mind and trying to stay under 1000 words, It would be impossible to site and discuss micro metabolic science within these parameters. So unless you find something butt-a#* wrong… don’t be a “douschtard”.
Posted on March 11, 2012, in NUTRITION, PFACT OR PFICTION, PFIT TIPS, PFUNDAMENTALS, Uncategorized and tagged body composition, body weight, energy stores, fat, fat vs muscle, fitness, fuel, muscle, storing calories. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.