The main difference between fat and muscle is that muscle is denser than fat. In other words, one pound of fat tissue has more volume than one pound of muscle tissue. Furthermore, fat tissue utilizes less amount of calories while muscle tissue utilizes a higher amount of calories.
Fat and muscle are two types of tissues in the body. They are important in the metabolism and maintenance of a healthy body.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Fat
– Definition, Types, Importance
2. What is Muscle
– Definition, Types, Importance
3. What are the Similarities Between Fat and Muscle
– Outline of Common features
4. What is the Difference Between Fat and Muscle
– Comparison of Key Differences
Calories, Density, Fat, Metabolic Rate, Muscle, Volume
What is Fat
Fat is a type of oily tissue present in the body. It has a softer touch due to the less density of fat. Two types of fat occur in the body. They are subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. The subcutaneous fat sits under the skin while visceral fat surrounds the internal organs. The development of both types of fat in the body depends on lifestyle factors and genetics of a person. On the other hand, subcutaneous fat plays a vital role in the body, helping in the maintenance of body temperature as it insulates the body. In addition, it serves as an energy source. Also, both subcutaneous fat and visceral fat protect internal structures of the body including muscles, organs, blood vessels, nerves, etc.
Furthermore, due to the low density of the fat tissue, it is bulky as well. Hence, it takes more space in the body. Therefore, a person with 14% of body fat will appear slimmer than a person with 22% of body fat. Generally, >32% of body fat in women and >25% of fat in men are considered obese. Also, the metabolism within the fat tissue requires fewer calories.
What is Muscle
Muscle is another type of tissue in the body. The three types of muscle tissue in the body are smooth muscle, heart muscle, and skeletal muscle. Here, smooth muscles occur inside the walls of internal organs including blood vessels, stomach, intestine, etc. The heart muscle exclusively occurs in the wall of the heart. Also, the skeletal muscle occurs attached to bones. Out of the three, the third type of muscle is important to provide structural support to the body and aid in locomotion. As a percentage to the total body mass, an adult male should contain 42% of skeletal muscles and adult female should contain 36% of skeletal muscles.
Significantly, muscle tissue is denser than fat tissue. Therefore, a unit weight of muscle tissue has less volume when compared to the same weight of fat tissue. The second important difference between muscle and fat is that muscle tissue is more metabolically active. This means muscle burns more calories when compared to the same amount of fat tissue. Therefore, muscle tissue has a high impact on the basal metabolic rate while fat has no influence on that. However, when a person does not use his muscle for working, it eventually gets reduced and space is replaced by the fat.
Similarities Between Fat and Muscle
- Fat and muscle are two types of tissues in the body.
- Both are important to maintain the shape of the body.
- Also, both are important in the metabolism and burning calories as well.
- Besides, the measurement of both fat and muscle in the body is important to measure health.
Difference Between Fat and Muscle
Fat refers to a natural oily substance occurring in animal bodies, especially when deposited as a layer under the skin or around certain organs while muscle refers to a band or bundle of fibrous tissue in a human or animal body that has the ability to contract, producing movement in or maintaining the position of parts of the body. Thus, this is the main difference between fat and muscle.
The color of fat can be brown to yellow while the color of the muscle is usually red.
The two types of fat in the body are subcutaneous fat and visceral fat while the three types of muscle tissue in the body are smooth muscles, heart muscles, and skeletal muscles.
Density is also a difference between fat and muscle. Fat tissue is less dense while muscle tissue is denser.
Moreover, fat tissue has a more volume while muscle tissue has a less volume. Hence, this is one difference between fat and muscle.
Calorie usage is another difference between fat and muscle. Fat tissue uses less amount of calories during metabolism while muscle tissue uses a high amount of calories.
Fat is important to maintain body temperature and to maintain healthy skin and hair while muscles are important to provide structural support, movement of body parts, and to store glucose. Thus, this is an important difference between fat and muscle.
Generally, the body should contain 10-30% of fat while 30-55% of muscle.
Types of Exercises
A lot of cardio exercises will reduce body fat while strength training exercises will increase muscle mass. This is another difference between fat and muscle.
Types of Diet Plans
The low-fat diet, ketogenic diet, etc. will reduce the amount of fat in the body while the high-protein diet and low-carb diet will increase muscle mass. Hence, this is one other difference between fat and muscle.
Fat is a type of tissue found in the body. Body fat mainly occurs under the skin and around internal organs. Due to low density, fats are bulky and take more space. The high amount of fat in the body leads to obesity. In comparison, muscle is another type of in the body. Significantly, it has a high density. Therefore, a person with a high muscle mass may look slimmer. Also, fat is important as an energy source and it helps to regulate body temperature. On the other hand, muscle provides structural support and mobility. Also, the metabolic rate of muscles is higher than that of fat. Therefore, the main difference between fat and muscle is their importance, density, and the metabolic rate.
1. Bolduc, Martin. “Gaining An Understanding Of Muscle Versus Fat.” Labrada, Available Here.
1. “5 lbs of muscle and 5 lbs of fat. They both weigh the same.” By Rocky Mountain High (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
2. “Skeletal muscle” By The original uploader was Jeremykemp at English Wikipedia. – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons. (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia