What are the differences between muscle and fat?

In this article, we’ll focus on the search query: “What are the differences between muscle and fat?” Also, we’ll explore how you can build muscle, what the effects of having too much fat in your body are, and what are the health benefits of being lean. 

What are the differences between muscle and fat? 

Muscles and fat have many fundamental differences. For example, their functions, constitution and other traits. 

Function-wise, muscle differs from fat because muscles are metabolically active (they consume energy) and they are necessary for our bodies to carry out movement. They’re attached to tendons, which in turn, fix our muscles to our bones. 

Fat, on the other hand, constitutes adipose tissue, which serves as insulation (protection) for our organs, as an energy store, and helps our bodies carry out different processes at a cellular level. Additionally, fat is essential for us to assimilate nutrients that are not water-soluble. 

In terms of constitution, muscle is made up of fibers, that in turn, are made of proteins strands, called myofibrils. These proteins are special in the sense that they require oxygen and energy to carry out movement (contractions) and as a result, make us mobile. 

Fat on the other hand, is made up of cells called adipocytes (fat cells), and these store fat; which are lipo-soluble molecules made of fatty acids. Unlike muscle cells, fat cells don’t require as much energy, but rather, they store it.

It’s important to note that muscle is more dense than fat. This means that one pound of muscle will take up less space than one pound of fat. This also accounts for why some lean individuals are heavier than they may seem at a glance. 

How can I build muscle? 

Muscle can be built by carrying out aerobic exercise, and through the intervention of hormones such as testosterone, HGH (human growth hormone), and insulin growth factor. 

A person’s body type also determines how effectively he or she will be able to build muscle, as their body type will influence how the body assimilates and then builds proteins, how tissues grow and how muscles develop.

When an individual carries out strenuous exercise, and then allows their muscles to rest, their muscle cells will go through a process knowns as hypertrophy–which means that muscle cells suffer damage, but in the process of repairing the damage, new fibers will fuse and as a result, increase the size and mass of muscles. 

For this process to occur at an ideal pace, it is important for muscle cells to have readily available building blocks to make more proteins–amino acids,  Therefore, a diet that is rich in protein is also recommended to those who wish to increase their muscle mass, and the most common components include: 

  • Red meat
  • Eggs
  • Poultry
  • Nuts
  • Pulse crops (legumes), Etc. 

What are the effects of having too much body fat? 

Having too much body fat is a metabolical condition that is known as obesity. When this happens, a person has excess stores of energy in the form of adipose tissue. 

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, circulatory disorders, cancer, type 2 diabetes, problems in joints, insulin resistance, and many other diseases. 

For this reason, we encourage our readers to be mindful of their caloric needs, avoid overeating, and incorporate aerobic exercise into their lifestyles. 

We urge our readers to eschew foods that are high in sodium, added sugars, empty calories, saturated fat, and other types that are overall, unhealthy. 

Obesity can drastically shorten a person’s lifespan and we encourage readers who are above their ideal weight to consult with a doctor and/or a nutritionist, who can provide tailored guidance and help them achieve their weight goals. 

What are the health benefits of being lean? 

The health benefits of being lean include being in better physical shape, being able to carry out physical tasks with more ease, and overall, being healthier. 

Being in your ideal weight group can help an individual preserve his or her health, and reduces the risk of various degenerative diseases. 

In the case of women, those who are in a healthy weight group have a lower risk of developing gestational diabetes, and by extension many other complications during, and after their pregnancy. 

We encourage our readers to consult with a professional if they wish to embark on a diet or introgress lifestyle changes that’ll help them achieve better fitness and phyisiques.

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve focused on the search query: “What are the differences between muscle and fat?” Also, we’ve explored how you can build muscle, what the effects of having too much fat in your body are, and what are the health benefits of being lean. 

References

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319151#rest-and-muscle-growth

https://www.nigms.nih.gov/education/Inside-Life-Science/Pages/what-do-fats-do-in-the-body.aspx

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/know-the-facts-about-fats#:~:text=%22Fat%20helps%20give%20your%20body,of%20what%20it%20needs%20most.%22

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/19089.htm#:~:text=A%20tendon%20is%20a%20fibrous,move%20the%20bone%20or%20structure.

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/21887-muscle

https://www.healthline.com/health/does-muscle-weigh-more-than-fat

https://www.iowaweightloss.com/news-and-events/blog/2016/02/10/a-pound-is-a-pound-the-difference-between-muscle-and-fat#:~:text=While%20one%20pound%20of%20muscle,to%20maintain%20or%20lose%20weight.&text=Fat%20is%20essential.

https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/cellular-microscopic/fat-cell3.htm

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/food-types/different-fats-nutrition/

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-does-it-take-to-build-muscle#strength-training

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/calories-in-a-pound-of-fat

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319151#diet-and-building-muscle

https://www.healthline.com/health/obesity

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