Taken from the forums of the Born Fitness Community: Putting on muscle, as far as I can tell, increases metabolic rate. But I just read that that's not true. Is it true that exercising and building muscle speeds up your metabolism? By Phil in Vancouver
Regarding muscle and metabolism, there are two camps with very different views. Some argue that a higher metabolism and more significant caloric expenditure result from increased muscle mass, while others disagree. However, some say that building muscle has little effect on your overall calorie expenditure because it requires so much time and effort.
It turns out that both camps can claim victory.
Be calm; science has painted a clear picture of what's most beneficial for your body if you want to boost your metabolism and support fat loss or a healthy weight.
How Many Calories Does Muscle Burn?
There has always been the adage that you can expect a 50-calorie caloric expenditure increase for every pound of muscle you gain. It looks fantastic when put on paper. If you gain 5 pounds of power, you'll increase your basal metabolic rate by 250 calories per day, or about a pound every two weeks.
Those who subscribe to this theory tend to eat more than they need to in the hope that their muscles will prevent them from gaining weight.
Does Building Muscle Improve Your Metabolism?
Although having muscle and building muscle have metabolic benefits, they are not the same. Even though gaining 10 pounds of force may take years and result in a net increase in caloric expenditure of only about 60 per day, the effort required to build (and maintain) such muscle will benefit your body and metabolism in the long run.
The act of resistance training itself can keep your metabolism elevated for up to 48 hours after you finish your workout, which means that weight training burns more calories than we initially thought.
Is Exercise Necessary for Fat Loss?
You can use numerous activities to achieve this goal. And studies show that modifying your diet is essential for weight loss success.
The muscle you gain isn't going to be a constant calorie burner, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't work to earn it as part of your ideal fat-loss strategy.
Three-times-a-week cardio (aerobic exercise), exercise plus weight training, and no exercise have all been compared in studies.
What's the Best Metabolism Boost?
Your metabolism is a tricky and poorly understood system. The most critical factor in how many calories you burn daily is unrelated to your physical activity level. Most of the calories you burn (also known as energy expenditure) each day go toward maintaining your vital organs and brain.
Body size also plays a role in how your metabolism functions. The larger and heavier you are, the greater your caloric expenditure will be. The most critical factor in determining your basal metabolic rate is your body weight, making the myth that thin people have faster metabolisms less plausible.