Turn fat into muscle w/out losing weight?

urbancurlurbancurl Posts: 980Registered Users
Is that possible? The number on the scale is fine (113 at 5'5''). But I am soft and fatty rather than lean on my back, stomach, and upper arms. My calves are scrawny looking and when I lose weight there I get called anorexic by strangers. :roll: My thighs are fine and my butt is barely there and more flat than round. So basically I want to firm up but I don't want to appear any smaller.

For the past few months, I have been doing cardio (usually eliptical step machine, sometimes jogging or swimming) 3 or 4 times a week and weight machines 2 or 3 times/week. I also just orderd a Callanetic tape. Any advice? Should I cut down the cardio and crank up the weights and Callanetics? Or am I stuck with this combo of fleshy and too-thin looking?

Oh, and I have noticed no difference in my body so far from working out. Is this because I don't have much weight to lose or because I'm doing the wrong exercises? Thanks for any thoughts!
"It is wrong to use moral means to preserve immoral ends." MLK, Jr.

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Comments

  • soon2bcurlysoon2bcurly Posts: 6Registered Users
    You can't turn fat into muscle. It sounds as if you hit a plateau. I would suggest that you cut down on your cardio and lift heavier. Make sure that you lift free weights and do some body weight exercises as well. Lunges will help make your butt appaer rounder but you have to do them in proper form . Make sure that you eat properly and get enough protein in your diet. Also change your workout every 4-6 weeks so you won't get bored and your body doesn't hit a plateau.

    Good Luck : )
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  • curly_keltiecurly_keltie Posts: 791Registered Users
    Have you considered hiring a personal trainer for a few sessions? Sometimes the last few steps to your personal fitness goal are the hardest.
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  • urbancurlurbancurl Posts: 980Registered Users
    You can't turn fat into muscle. It sounds as if you hit a plateau. I would suggest that you cut down on your cardio and lift heavier. Make sure that you lift free weights and do some body weight exercises as well. Lunges will help make your butt appaer rounder but you have to do them in proper form . Make sure that you eat properly and get enough protein in your diet. Also change your workout every 4-6 weeks so you won't get bored and your body doesn't hit a plateau.

    Good Luck : )

    Thanks! You can't turn fat into muscle. That's so disappointing since that's all I really want to do. But I like your ideas. I will be switching my routine starting this weekend because I'm moving and won't be able to afford a gym for a while. So it'll be swimming in the ocean and the Callanetics tapes. I think the Callanetics use your own body weight for toning. And more protien is a good idea.
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  • urbancurlurbancurl Posts: 980Registered Users
    Have you considered hiring a personal trainer for a few sessions? Sometimes the last few steps to your personal fitness goal are the hardest.

    That's a good idea too. I saw one a few months ago when I first started out, but she really just taught me how to work some of the weight machines. She did suggest I add more calories to my diet, specifically protein. I guess if switching to my Callanetics tape and swimming doesn't help, I'll pay for another session.
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  • curly_keltiecurly_keltie Posts: 791Registered Users
    Pilates may also help you out too. I have a DVD - Pilates for Dummies. I got it rather inexpensively at Wal-Mart.

    I hadn't considered that you may need to eat more. I guess it makes sense. Your body may be holding on to body fat because your caloric intake is low.
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  • urbancurlurbancurl Posts: 980Registered Users
    Pilates may also help you out too. I have a DVD - Pilates for Dummies. I got it rather inexpensively at Wal-Mart.

    I hadn't considered that you may need to eat more. I guess it makes sense. Your body may be holding on to body fat because your caloric intake is low.
    The body does that?
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  • StormCloudCurlyStormCloudCurly Posts: 116Registered Users
    I know the question wasn't addressed to me, but yes, if the body feels like it's in "starvation" mode, it will hold on to body fat. If you don't eat enough, I *think* your body will turn first to muscle for fuel before it turns to fat.
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  • urbancurlurbancurl Posts: 980Registered Users
    I know the question wasn't addressed to me, but yes, if the body feels like it's in "starvation" mode, it will hold on to body fat. If you don't eat enough, I *think* your body will turn first to muscle for fuel before it turns to fat.
    Oh gawd, I could see that happening to me. Through no fault of my own (I have crohn's disease), even when I do eat well, I have absorption difficulties.
    "It is wrong to use moral means to preserve immoral ends." MLK, Jr.

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  • StormCloudCurlyStormCloudCurly Posts: 116Registered Users
    Urban, I think if you make sure you are eating enough protein (maybe more to compensate for the effects of crohn's?), as was suggested to you, you should be fine, and if you continue with strength training, it should help with toning and such.
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  • urbancurlurbancurl Posts: 980Registered Users
    Urban, I think if you make sure you are eating enough protein (maybe more to compensate for the effects of crohn's?), as was suggested to you, you should be fine, and if you continue with strength training, it should help with toning and such.
    Ok, thanks. I'll do that and give my new routine of more strength training/less cardio some time. :)
    "It is wrong to use moral means to preserve immoral ends." MLK, Jr.

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  • curly_keltiecurly_keltie Posts: 791Registered Users
    When I was on Weight Watchers a couple of years ago, I had problems eating all my points. And they encourage you to eat all your points because you will have better results in terms of weight loss. Anyway, the group leader said that I didn't need to make sure all my foods were non-fat.
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  • eccentric_kurlzeccentric_kurlz Posts: 4,151Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I would cut down on the cardio. My FBIL is a trainer, and I was told that if you do strictly cardio, you are not only losing fat, but you lose muscle. I would up weight training(mixing in light weight work w/your cardio), and increase protein intake.
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  • superrach3superrach3 Posts: 40Registered Users
    OMG! you are describing me exactly! :shock: 110 lbs, 5'4". same thing, i want to get more muscly without getting smaller.
    keep us posted on your results.....i could use some ideas!
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  • urbancurlurbancurl Posts: 980Registered Users
    superrach3 wrote:
    OMG! you are describing me exactly! :shock: 110 lbs, 5'4". same thing, i want to get more muscly without getting smaller.
    keep us posted on your results.....i could use some ideas!

    Well, yesterday when I went to the gym, I changed it up. Instead of 25 or 30 minutes of cardio and 10 mins weights/mat, I only did 10 minutes on the elliptical trainer, and spent 20 minutes on weights and the mat. Interestingly, I was able to increase the weight on the row machine for the first time in a couple months. After this workout, I definitely still had that tired, "worked-out" feeling. I didn't think I would since I did so little cardio. It felt food.

    Tommorow I will try the AM/PM Callanetics tape, if this tv in my new apartment works...
    "It is wrong to use moral means to preserve immoral ends." MLK, Jr.

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  • ShrekLoverShrekLover Posts: 2,551Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I think the Callanetics will help. I also think you MAY need to eat more. 113 for 5'5" sounds a little low to me.

    Don't forget the Callanetics may seem a little slow, but once you see some results and know the form get the 10 Years Younger tape or DVD. It really is more fun and moves faster.
  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Posts: 2,954Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    You shoud be able to burn off the fat and replace it with muscle. Usually what happens is muscle builds under the fat and slowly replaces the fat. I would definitely cut back on the cardio and lift more. I too found that I was not losing weight or fat doing all cardio. I lost more fat by lifting.

    I agree with the calories too. Start logging all your eating and get an idea of the amount of calories you eat. Find out what you need to maintain your current weight and try to up your calorie intake.

    Remember once you do start putting on muscle...that muscle weighs more than fat. You might put on a few pounds but they will be good pounds.

    :) Good Luck and let us know how it goes.
  • curlicious3bcurlicious3b Posts: 458Registered Users
    Adding on to the burning fat/replacing it with muscle thing: When you start to lift heavier weights and gain more muscle, you'll automatically burn more fat since muscle burns calories. By just adding 5 lbs of muscle, your body should automatically burn calories, even if you aren't working out that much. HTH :D
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  • urbancurlurbancurl Posts: 980Registered Users
    Adding on to the burning fat/replacing it with muscle thing: When you start to lift heavier weights and gain more muscle, you'll automatically burn more fat since muscle burns calories. By just adding 5 lbs of muscle, your body should automatically burn calories, even if you aren't working out that much. HTH :D
    I like that! :D
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  • Who Me?Who Me? Posts: 3,181Registered Users
    urbancurl wrote:
    Adding on to the burning fat/replacing it with muscle thing: When you start to lift heavier weights and gain more muscle, you'll automatically burn more fat since muscle burns calories. By just adding 5 lbs of muscle, your body should automatically burn calories, even if you aren't working out that much. HTH :D
    I like that! :D

    Yes, but if you don't want to lose weight then you should really be eating more too, to keep yourself at your current weight.
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  • solangesolange Posts: 2,539Registered Users
    Urban,

    I'd recommend doing Windsor Pilates Cirlce program. You can find this on Ebay for $20 or so. Pilates is a great way to strengthen and tone your core.
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  • StrawberiCurlsStrawberiCurls Posts: 424Registered Users
    Pilates is awesome for toning. It sounds cliche but i absolutely love it. I'm a college cheerleader and we have to lift weights regularly to stay in shape, and i find that pilates is great for toning all parts of the body....especially the midsection.

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  • urbancurlurbancurl Posts: 980Registered Users
    Thanks for the suggestions!! After I get sick of my Callenetics tape and can afford to take classes, I want to try Pilates.
    "It is wrong to use moral means to preserve immoral ends." MLK, Jr.

    Password= urban
  • Kgrl17Kgrl17 Posts: 137Registered Users
    I wanted to know this also. I finally gained some weight (up from 94 pounds from medical problems) and I want to keep the weight but look toned at the same time.
  • ChrematisaiChrematisai Posts: 85Registered Users
    I've heard myself that to get rid of fat, and keep it off, strength training is better by far that cardio. Muscle, even at rest, burns more calories, so by increasing your muscle tone, it should automatically help with getting rid of fat. I almost prefer strength training myself, for the sheer fun of doing it - it makes me feel so powerful :D

    Some body types seem to have trouble maintaining muscle tone - for example, I've still got pipes from working a construction job last summer, and a friend of mine just cannot keep the tone to save her life. Within a month, it goes to seed. So a consultation with a nutritionist or a personal trainer would probably be extremely informative, in terms of what excercises to do and what to eat.

    Good luck!
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  • Hairblogger â„¢Hairblogger â„¢ Posts: 564Registered Users
    treadmill, stationary bike and pilates will help you with lean-muscel mass as oppossed to bulking up.
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