(Original post by The Troll Toll)
I'm gonna reply to you now because I just took a shower and was thinking about this thread. My thoughts led me to think that RollerBall will reply with something stupid (which happened) and HFerguson will reply with a lot of meaningless verbosity that takes the attention away from my points and onto how many medic words he knows. Maybe this is unfair. But whatever. I'm not disagreeing with anything you've said, I'm just ranting and I'm doing it to you because you'll probably have something intelligent to say about it.
First of all, isn't my trolling amazingly meta? When I troll in H&R they are too dumb to notice, but I can troll here just by saying things I think and people see my name and assume I'm trolling, which means I'm trolling by not trolling. Abed would be proud.
Anyway, you can view the body on a number of levels, right?
The first and most basic level is just as an organism (or even a population, but let's stick to talking about individuals for the sake of simplicity). You look at the body and observe basic things. Like it stayed the same weight, but grew a six pack and swoleceps. On that level you don't look at the detail and you'd probably say that body converted fat into muscle. This is what literally everyone means when they say it.
The second level is organs/tissues. This kind of merges with the first level, but you're cutting the body open. You can tell on this level that the adipose tissue got smaller and the muscle tissue got bigger. You can't really say it converted, but you can't say it didn't because again you're not looking at a tonne of detail.
The next level is individual cells. Now we're getting into the nitty-gritty, and the one place the technicality actually works. If you track one cell, you can see that the fat cell did not convert into a muscle cell. Fair enough.
But the body is also more complex than cells. They are full of molecules. So let's say we tracked a molecule through the process. There's a high chance it will get converted into another molecule, excreted, whatever. It may also leave the cell. A free fatty acid might get secreted by the cell, enter the TCA cycle of another cell (let's call it a muscle cell) and then be converted into an amino acid. This amino acid can be converted into a constituent of a protein (let's call it actin). Is it the same molecule? Not really. Was it an example of fat being converted to muscle? Arguably.
Molecules of course, are not the smallest level. They are made of atoms. We can hypothetically track them through the process, but since our bodies are not nuclear reactors we can have a much less woolly definition of when something is the same atom. Can a carbon, oxygen or even nitrogen atom that was once taking up space in an adipose cell, find itself taking up space in a muscle cell? Unequivocally, yes.
At this point we can go further, and talk about physical stuff and subatomic stuff, but that's not really relevant either. My point is that the oft parrotted comment which adds nothing to the discussion, and cannot have advice inferred from it is markedly less sophisticated and less useful than "SQUATZ AND MILK" or "CROSS BODY CURLS GIVE A BETTER PUMP". It relies on the entirely arbitrary definition of "convert" and serves only to make a self righteous dickhead who goes to a made up medical school look intelligent, until someone who is actually
intelligent comes along (which rarely happens on forums for some reason).
Ya get me?