Skip to content

Does Muscle Burn Fat?

    man's face

    You may know that muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat, and this helps you burn more calories throughout the day. More importantly, muscles are more metabolically active than fat, which means having more muscles in your body may further support weight loss by burning more calories (20, 21).

    Part of the reconditioning occurs because muscles are metabolically active and calorie-burning, so adding muscle by lifting should boost your energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate. The more muscles you have, the higher resting energy expenditure, meaning that your body is burning more calories when doing nothing. Or, in other words, even though the resting muscle metabolic rate is not quite as large as it was thought, the recovery muscle metabolic rate means that someone with a lot more muscle will burn a lot more calories during their recovery from an exercise session. With Super Slow Strength Training from Loyalty Fitness, you will build muscle and boost the metabolic rate of resting, which is what increases the amount of calories burned when not active.

    Building muscle increases your resting metabolic rate, which, in turn, causes your body to burn more fat, even when you are not doing anything. The more muscle you build, the more calories your body will burn naturally at rest every day. The human body will naturally burn more calories per day to support one pound of muscle than to support one pound of fat. If you are building muscle, it is not only the training itself, but also muscle growth, which takes energy and burns calories.

    There are studies to suggest that the more muscles you have, the more calories you burn following a high-intensity workout like resistance weight training . In addition to burning calories, going to the gym and doing resistance training (lifting weights) will also help you to lose fat and keep your body lean.

    This way, you will improve your body composition, which is losing fat and keeping — and perhaps even gaining — muscle. The point of body recomposition is to simultaneously lose fat and gain muscle, as opposed to the traditional “bulk and cut” approach where you deliberately bulk up first (muscles and fat) then do a heavy caloric deficit to shed the fat and expose the muscles beneath.

    Your body is smarter than you might credit it, and with careful monitoring of both your diet (specifically, when to eat what) and training, it is possible to lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously. Unless they are carrying around an enormous body fat load to lose, returning to training after taking time off, or simply starting a weight-training program, very few people are going to build lots of muscle and lose lots of fat all at once. While it is true that some people seem to be able to lose weight faster and easier than others, everybody loses weight when they expend more calories than they consume.

    Males typically have less body fat and more muscle mass than females at a similar age and body mass, meaning males burn more calories. As you age, muscle mass tends to decline, with fat making up more of your body mass, which reduces calorie burn. It sounds confusing to say you need to eat less calories than you burn in order to lose fat, but that you need to eat more calories than you burn in order to gain muscle.

    Building muscle while losing fat requires you to be in a caloric deficit (which involves eating less calories than you burn every day), to lift heavy weights a few times per week, and to eat enough protein (about 0.7 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight). To keep your muscles strong during your weight loss, make sure to eat plenty of protein and avoid large caloric deficits. However, a too-large calorie deficit may cause a rapid loss of lean muscle, since your body will break down the muscle for an emergency fuel source. You are going to be eating a lot more calories (and protein) on weight-training days, so the body uses these calories and nutrients to power muscle repair, which then leads to muscle growth.

    Which means, simply by building muscle, you are going to increase your metabolism dramatically and transform your body into a fat-burning, caloric-seizing machine…and this is going to improve your overall fat-loss progress, of course. The upshot is your metabolism is increased because your body composition is improving because your lean tissues are increasing, while your fat tissues are decreasing. This does not completely explain reconditioning, since adding muscle requires time and reps, whereas some of the metabolic effects of resistance training on fat stores appear to happen right after the workout.

    It is also true that working with lower intensities causes muscles to burn more percent of their fat compared with carbohydrates. Based on the data from the study, they estimated muscle tissue contributed around 20% of total calories burned per day, while fat tissue contributed 5% (for individuals at around 20% body fat). In at least one discussion about the amount of calories expended, researchers from the University of New Mexico explained that muscle tissue metabolism has been tentatively estimated at a rate between 4.5 and 7.0 calories per pound of body mass per day. If that is correct, then building 5 pounds of muscle will result in up to 500 additional calories being burned per day by your body, and this really would be a massive boost in your metabolism, which really would have a substantial positive impact on your fat burning abilities.

    You would need to build as much muscle as your body is capable of building over your whole life before the amount of calories burned gets anywhere near the insanelysignificant levels people are wrongly suggesting. If you want fat loss, you have got to work out, eat clean, whole foods, follow a high-protein diet, improve your body composition, and get into a small caloric deficit. The American Council on Exercise notes the differences are not enormous, so adding 3 to 5 pounds of lean muscle–the typical outcome of strength-training programs spanning months–only has a net caloric impact of burning about 15 to 30 extra calories per day.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *