Is it possible to convert fat into muscle, and how to lose fat and maintain muscle, and is it possible to build muscle after forty and fifty?

Can fat be converted into muscle?

The simple answer is no.

Converting fat into muscle is physiologically impossible, as muscle and fat are made up of different cells.

A good analogy is that you can't turn a banana into an apple, they are two separate things, according to a report in the health line.

The difference between muscle and fat

Muscles are divided into 3 types: skeletal, which are attached to bones by tendons and allow voluntary movement of the body, cardiac (cardiac) and smooth (mostly found in the intestines).

Skeletal muscle tissue is made up of bundles of muscle fibers known as myofibrils.

Myofibrils contain smaller fibers made up of long chains of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.

Amino acids contain a unique nitrogen group in their chemical structure.

Conversely, body fat - also known as adipose tissue - is made up of triglycerides, which are made up of glycerol and 3 fatty acid chains.

Because muscle and fat cells have different chemical compositions, neither can be converted into the other.

What changes during weight loss?

Weight loss is often a combination of loss of fat, muscle, and glycogen stores (water weight).

Ideally, most weight loss should come from fat loss.

To lose weight, you must achieve a calorie deficit (negative balance, deficiency) by eating fewer calories than your body needs per day, increasing physical activity to burn calories, or a combination of both.

However, a significant calorie deficit can lead to a rapid loss of muscle mass, as the body breaks down muscle for use as emergency fuel.

Therefore, it is recommended to create a caloric deficit of about 500 calories, or 10-20% of your total caloric needs per day, and during a moderate caloric deficit, body fat is used as fuel to support normal body functions.

Triglycerides stored in fat cells are broken down and sent to the mitochondria to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body's main source of energy.

As such, when fat is burned, it is not converted into muscle but rather usable energy.

How to lose fat and maintain muscle?

To maintain muscle mass during weight loss, it is recommended to do strength training exercises at least 2-3 times a week.

Furthermore, eating a high-protein diet has been shown to reduce muscle loss during a calorie deficit.

During weight loss, fat is converted into energy.

To maintain muscle mass, it's important to stick to a moderate calorie deficit, eat plenty of protein, and do strength training a few times a week.

How to lose fat and build muscle?

If you're looking to lose fat and build muscle, here's how to do it in a healthy way.

To lose fat, the body must be in a calorie deficit.

You can achieve a calorie deficit by increasing your physical activity, eating fewer calories, or a combination of both.

A modest increase in physical activity and a decrease in caloric intake is the best approach.

Consuming whole foods rich in fiber, healthy fats, and minimally processed protein will help you achieve a calorie deficit without feeling deprived or hungry.

It is recommended to combine cardio (for aerobic exercise) and strength training, such as lifting weights, using resistance bands, or Pilates exercises, 5-7 days a week.

Strength training helps maintain and build muscle and can increase the body's metabolic rate for up to 72 hours.

This means that even after a strength training session, your body will still burn extra calories.

What's more, muscle is more metabolically active than fat, which means having more muscle in your body can support weight loss by burning more calories.

How to build muscle

If you're trying to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, it's important to engage in strength training exercises.

Strength training combined with a high-protein diet helps build new muscle cells through a process known as muscle protein synthesis.

Most experts recommend at least 2-3 strength-training sessions per week targeting multiple muscle groups, along with enough rest days to allow muscle rebuilding.

Muscle is built from a diet rich in dietary nitrogen, mostly found in protein-rich foods, and protein from food is broken down into amino acids to support muscle building.

To maintain muscle while losing weight, be sure to eat enough protein and avoid a calorie deficit.

Most people should aim to get 0.6–0.9 grams of protein per pound (1.4–2.0 grams per kilogram) of body weight per day.

Types of exercise

Aerobic exercises, also known as cardio

These are the activities during which the body consumes oxygen to produce the energy needed to perform them, and they include walking, brisk walking, jogging, running, swimming, cleaning the house and playing with young children.

strength exercises

These are activities that involve resistance to another force, such as your own weight when doing push-ups, or dumbbells, or weighing vegetables when you're carrying a grocery bag.

In these exercises, the body usually activates the anaerobic respiration process to produce the energy needed for the muscles.

Strength exercises have important benefits for the body, as they work to maintain muscle mass in your body and resist its decline as you age. After the age of 30, we lose 1% of our muscle mass each year, and this means that we become weaker and our basic metabolic rate decreases, which is The amount of calories the body burns at rest to perform its basic functions.

With a lower basal metabolic rate, you burn fewer calories, increasing the risk of accumulating extra pounds of fat.

Therefore, maintaining and increasing your basal metabolic rate helps you stay at a healthy weight.

This is what strength exercises that maintain and increase muscle mass do as well.

When your basal metabolic rate increases, it means that you burn more calories even when you're sitting, because your larger muscle mass needs more calories even when you're at rest.

It's like earning cash while you're sleeping in bed.

Stretching exercises

Activities that give joints and muscles the flexibility needed for exercise and other daily activities.

Is it possible to build muscle after forty?

Yes, you can gain muscle after the age of 40, but you have to exercise a certain way, and eat a healthy diet.

First and before starting any exercise or diet modification, you should consult your doctor, especially if you suffer from chronic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, who will tell you what exercises you are allowed to do.

Exercises to build muscle after forty

To build muscle, strength exercises must be practiced, noting that with age, the body becomes more susceptible to injury, so the following must be followed during exercise:

  • Always warm up for at least 15 minutes before lifting weights.

    This will increase your body temperature and help with blood flow for exercise.

  • In weightlifting, the repetition range should be in the medium to high range, 8-12 repetitions for upper body exercises and 12-20 repetitions for lower body exercises.

  • Use light to medium weights, this will stimulate your muscles enough to grow.

  • Do not use heavy weights, as heavy weights put extreme stress on joints and ligaments.

  • Use machines more than free weights. When you're young, your body is able to use a lot of free weight exercises, but as you get older, your balance muscles begin to weaken, which can leave your ligaments and tendons at risk of injury.

    The use of a machine reduces these risks.

  • Ask your trainer about the correct way to exercise. Your body is no longer as flexible as it was in your youth, so doing the wrong exercise can easily lead to injury.

  • You can go to the gym 3 days a week, with age your muscles need more time to recover, so going 5 times may not suit you.

    Therefore, consult a doctor.

Aerobic exercise after forty

Aerobic exercise is critical to anyone over 40 for several reasons.

And once you reach 40, your metabolism isn't as fast as it used to be, so aerobic exercise will keep your body fat in check.

Second and most important is that your heart is middle-aged, and keeping it strong will help you live a longer life.

3-4 sessions of 20-30 minutes of low-intensity cardio per week are recommended.

This means walking or light jogging, and you should stay away from any kind of running because this can be very strenuous on the knees and joints.

Nutrition to build muscle after forty

At the age of 40 your metabolism slows down, so you have to change your diet a bit, you need to get rid of extra carbs and calories, and the goal is to maximize muscle gain with minimal fat gain.

Cholesterol is also another big problem for many people over the age of 40.

Your diet should be rich in healthy fats.

Check out my Shopping List article to show you which foods to choose from when you're at the supermarket.

Is it possible to build muscle after fifty?

Yes, and as we mentioned in the previous section when you gain muscle after the age of forty, you can gain muscle after the age of fifty, but you have to exercise in a certain way, and eat a healthy diet.

First and before starting any exercise or diet modification, you should consult your doctor, especially if you suffer from chronic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Which will tell you what exercises you are allowed to do.

In addition to the instructions in the previous section when gaining muscle after the age of 40, the following are recommended:

  • Do exercises such as walking or brisk walking, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration.

  • Do strength training exercises 2 to 3 times a week.

    In addition to increasing muscle mass, resistance exercises provide benefits such as improved flexibility, help people with diabetes control blood sugar, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, help avoid obesity, and improve appearance.

  • It can be hard to build muscle mass when you're over 50, so check with your doctor first.

  • Do movements like squats and pushups. You can apply pressure to the wall, not the floor.

  • Warm up before each exercise session.

  • Pay attention to your rhythm as you go through each movement.

  • Focus on your breathing and exhalation as you push or pull and inhale in a return motion.

  • Gradually increase the amount of weight you lift as you get stronger until you continue to challenge yourself.

  • Give your muscles enough time to rest between exercise sessions so that your body has time to repair itself and increase mass.

Foods that increase muscle building

The Turkish Aksam newspaper published a report on healthy foods that should be eaten and particularly effective in increasing the proportion of muscle in the body. These foods include:

the banana

Although bananas are high in sugar, they are very supportive of building muscle;

Where you can eat bananas before and after training.


Fish is important to your body, and it supports muscle formation by aiding in protein synthesis.


It is an important source of protein and fat, and it contains vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant, in addition to helping in the formation of muscle tissue, it also contains essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fat molecules that the body needs.


Thanks to its high nitrate content, it is very effective in building muscle.

cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is very rich in protein, and gives a feeling of satiety for a long time.


Each egg contains between 6 to 8 grams of protein, and eggs contain vitamins and minerals.

Lentils and chickpeas

You don't have to eat meat to get protein;

Vegetarians also turn to these nutrients for protein.