How Many Calories Does 1 Pound of Muscle Burn?
goal is to get as lean as possible. I'm currently on a fat loss
plan and want to know how important weight training is for reaching
my goals. For every pound of muscle you build, how many extra calories
does your body burn a day?
is an old myth that many people still hold true and it states that
for every pound of muscle you gain, your body will burn an extra
50-60 calories per day, even at rest. This means that if you pack
on 10 pounds of brand new muscle, you will burn an extra 500-600
calories every day. That's like burning off a cheeseburger and fries
without even working out! Sounds amazing, doesn't it?
Unfortunately, this is a misconception that we only
wish were true! It is a fact that muscle does increase the number
of calories you burn, however, realistically you only burn an extra
six calories for every pound of muscle gained, per day at rest,
while one pound of fat burns about two calories per day at rest.
The theory is that the human body works harder to
maintain a pound of muscle than it does to maintain a pound of fat.
Even at rest, our bodies need energy to continue to work and burn
calories. This is called your resting metabolic rate (RMR). Your
RMR has a large part in determining how many calories you should
consume each day and according to the National Strength and Conditioning
Association (NSCA), the RMR is highly dependent on several different
aspects like physical activity, gender, genetics, lean body mass
and other factors. No two people in this world are the same, therefore
everyone's RMR is always going to be a little different.
However, you can positively affect your RMR by increasing
your body's physical activity or lean body mass. You can get a rough
estimate of your RMR so that you can determine how many calories
you need in order to maintain your current weight by multiplying
your weight, in pounds, by 10 if you're female, or by 11 if you're
a male. You can also use our calories
per day calculator to get a more precise calculation (select
"sedentary" under activity level for RMR).
Now, the only way to ensure that your muscles are
burning more calories is by using them. So, why is it that there
are so many different answers to this question? It's because there
are so many different mechanisms involved that we may never really
know how much exercise influences the metabolism. Whether you believe
that muscle burns 6 extra calories or even 50 extra calories per
pound doesn't change the fact that building muscle is important
for a strong and healthy body. There are numerous benefits you will
gain from strength training and building lean muscle tissue. These
benefits include strengthening your bones and connective tissues,
improving your coordination, preventing loss of lean body mass and,
of course, burning calories, just to name a few.
In terms of fat loss, strength training is the best
way to increase your lean muscle mass and burn calories. Muscle
works harder than fat, and calories are used to activate, contract
and repair your muscles after use. Most forms of resistance exercise
will increase your calorie expenditure, even in the hours post exercise.
In one study, researchers found that regular weight training boosts
basal metabolic rate by about 15%. This is because muscle is "metabolically
active" and burns more calories than other body tissue even
when you're not moving. Adding muscle is just as important as working
the muscles you already have on the body. Loss of lean mass can
reduce the amount of calories you burn when dieting and working
Last but not least, set realistic goals for yourself.
A well balanced exercise regimen consists of eating the right foods,
getting plenty of physical activity (strength training and cardio)
and most importantly getting plenty of rest. Losing about one to
two pounds per week and maintaining your lean body mass will ensure
you are losing body fat and you're on the way to transforming your
body to achieve a lean, more muscular physique!
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