Can I convert fat into muscle to lose 9% body fat?

ask our dietitian your question todayreduce your body fat today


My goal is to convert body fat to muscle. I am female, 59 years old, 120 lbs.  I want to eat for energy and not be hungry.  My current body fat is 33% and would like to be 24%. –Lola M.


It is important to note that our bodies do NOT actually “CONVERT” fat into muscle. This is a common misnomer in the world of health, fitness and weight loss. Fat and muscle must be understood as two separate parts of your body; likewise, reducing body fat and building muscle are two separate processes.

Obviously food alone will not accomplish your goal no matter how healthy your diet is.  Burning fat requires an energy (Calorie) deficit whereas building muscle requires a caloric surplus.  Having both processes occur simultaneously is quite the challenge, regardless of age, gender and body weight because one contradicts the other.

Muscle tissue only grows in response to a stimulus greater than it presently handles.  This is called the principle of overload. Resistance exercise such as weight training is the primary means to accomplish this.
Fueling your workouts appropriately will get you the most results from your workout efforts.  The rest of the day you need to maintain a negative energy balance or Calorie deficit.  To skim Calories without being hungry, you’ll want appetite sustaining foods, such as lean proteins and complex carbohydrates complemented by a little plant fat like avocado.

Timing may be the trick to get Calories to support muscle growth and not fat maintenance.  Avoid eating within 2-3 hours of bedtime and break meals into smaller snacks to consume every few hours.  Have the bulk of your Calories mid-day when you are most active.  Follow your workouts with a recovery snack as suggested in our article Eat Like This to Help Maximize your Recovery and Results. Good Luck, Lola!   – Debbie J., MS, RD

Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition? Ask our dietitian by submitting your question to or simply ask it in the COMMENTS section below.

To learn how to follow the “Ask Our Dietitian” Q&A CLICK HERE!

Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.


Posted on November 7, 2013, in Ask Our Dietitian, Health, Helpful, Nutrition, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Omega-3 fats help you burn fat by helping your body respond better to a hormone called Leptin.Brown fat’s main job is to burn fat calories for energy to keep your body warm but usually brown fat is not as active in overweight people and that’s why You need GLA so you can “turn on” Brown fat so it can help you burn off the ugly “white” fat. Fats only need to be 10-to-30% of your diet if you’re trying to lose weight or build muscle.

  2. gonzalesjorge954

    Informative article thanks for sharing and one more thing I would like to that you write so well.

  3. demrtre ellison

    Appreciate it, Ample knowledge.

  1. Pingback: What should your MACRONUTRIENTS intake be? | LA Fitness | Official Blog | Living Healthy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: