Can muscle turn into fat?
Muscle and fat are 2 different type of tissues, so muscle never degenerates into fat and fat cannot transform into muscle. The components your body uses to make each are not the same, they are two totally different processes.
Here’s how the body composition process works:
How fat is gained and lost…
Fat is made up of thousands of unique cells that hold onto water and they respond to conditions in the body in three ways; shrink when there is less food energy available, stay constant when they have adequate calories or grow when there is excess. Food energy does not have to begin as fat to be stored as fat. Your body must break everything down into pieces to get into individual cells. Carbs go through multiple processes to become glucose, protein gets broken down to amino acids and fat will eventually get broken down to fatty acids. Your body does not typically lose fat cells unless surgically removed and your body won’t usually produce more fat cells past puberty unless you gain a very large amount of weight as an adult.
How muscle is gained and lost…
Each muscle cell is formed together by hundreds of muscle fibers, and each individual fiber can get bigger and packing more material into the same space. Muscle cells become more efficient through improved signaling and coordination in the body, which happens when the muscle is challenged out of its comfort zone. Muscles hypertrophy (grow bigger) by experiencing stress: only the muscle being used must undergo modification. Muscles atrophy when they are no longer under the same stress and subjected to the same demands. Muscle building can be location-specific, whereas fat storage and loss you cannot spot reduce.
While you cannot physically transform fat to muscle or vice versa, your nutrition and exercise can dictate how much fat or muscle you maintain and can help you change your body composition!