“I have always believed that muscle increases metabolism and helps you lose fat. Then I discovered that this was not true. What’s the truth? Does increasing muscle mass actually increase metabolism? -Phil Vancouver
There seem to be two camps who disagree on the relationship between metabolism and muscle. Some people believe that building more muscle means your metabolism is more efficient and burns more calories. There are also people who believe that muscle does not consume as many calories so it has little impact on daily calorie intake.
Technically, both are correct, it turns out.
Research is the best way to know what your body needs if you want a healthier metabolism, healthy weight, and fat loss.
What Are Calorie Muscles Burned?
Since I can recall, people have said that every 1 pound of muscle your body gains, it burns 50 calories. This sounds amazing on paper. You’ll lose an additional 250 calories per day if you add 5 pounds to your muscle mass. This will result in you losing about 1 lb every 2 weeks.
Many people have adopted this philosophy to increase their food intake in the belief that increasing muscle mass will reduce weight gain. It’s false, unfortunately. Research shows that every pound of muscle burns approximately 6 calories per day.
You might be thinking, “Just 6 calories?” A pound of fat is equivalent to burning approximately 2 calories each day. This is not the best way to weight train. However, this is just a part of the metabolism picture. You must look at how muscle building affects your metabolism if you want to really understand its impact.
Better Question: Does Building Muscles Improve Metabolism?
It is important to distinguish between the metabolic benefits of building muscle and having muscle. Although adding 10 pounds to your muscle mass could take many years and only about 60 calories more per day, it would make a significant difference in your body’s metabolism and overall health. Research has shown that weight training is more effective than we thought. Resistance training can also increase your metabolism for as long as 48 hours after your workout.
Research indicates that 90% of calories burned from weight training may occur after you have finished your workout due to the “afterburn”. However, weight training can still burn lots of calories. Christopher Scott’s research suggests that a high-intensity 8-minute circuit can burn as much as 250 calories. This is just eight minutes. It also shows how many calories you could be burning if the afterburn increases that number.
Research suggests that building muscle increases insulin sensitivity. This means that carbs are processed more efficiently and there is less chance of developing diabetes. This is a fancy way to say that more muscle affects the way your body reacts with food. Your muscles require energy to repair, maintain or grow.
The more muscle you have, the more food and calories your body will process differently. This makes it less likely that the food you eat will be stored in fat.
Is Exercise Necessary To Lose Fat?
There are many methods to lose calories. Research suggests that you will need to change your diet if you want to lose fat. But, just because your earned muscles don’t burn calories every day doesn’t mean earning that muscle isn’t an important part of your ideal diet.
Researchers compared the exercise habits of people who did cardio (aerobic exercise), weight training and aerobic exercise three times per week, to those who did not exercise at all.
While the weight loss was similar in both exercise groups, people who lifted weights lost approximately 40 percent more. (The exercise time was equal between the cardio-only and cardio-and weights groups. Research comparing people who exercise to lose fat has shown that weight training can help you gain muscle or preserve your body’s fat. These benefits can change your appearance and how you feel once you have lost weight. They also increase your likelihood of keeping it off.
What Is The Best Metabolism Booster?
Your metabolism is complex and often misunderstood. Daily calorie intake has little to no relationship with exercise. Your daily calorie expenditure (AKA energy) accounts for 50-70 percent of your daily calorie intake. This is primarily used to sustain your body’s basic functions, like powering your heart, brain, and lungs.
Your body size is a key factor in the basic functioning of your metabolism. Your metabolism will burn more calories if you are larger than you are. It is a myth that slim people have a faster metabolism. Your body weight has the greatest impact on your daily calories burned. Your diet has a 10 percent impact on your metabolism. The “thermic effect” (or TEF) is the rate at which your body uses carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It’s why the amount of meals you consume doesn’t matter, and why protein can be helpful on how to lose fat.
Physical activity can influence the rest of your metabolism, which can range from 20 to 40%. This can be achieved by walking, doing daily movements (such as fidgeting or sitting down) and traditional exercise. You are more likely to gain muscle from your workouts the more muscle you have. You can also increase your metabolic rate by working out more.
Although exercise is not the main driver of your metabolism, science suggests that building and maintaining muscle can have a positive impact on your metabolism. This can help you lose fat.
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