Question

Exercise For Weight Loss

How does building muscle help me lose fat and stay slim?

A Answers (8)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    We all know that muscles give us the power to lift boxes and babies. They give us the power to walk around the mall and sprint for the 5:32 train to Schenectady. And depending on your tastes in movie-star muscle, they have the power to make your tongues wag faster than a golden retriever's tail. But you don't have to be an appliance deliveryman, an Olympic shot-putter, or an oiled-up Spring Breaker to benefit from muscle. When it comes to helping you slim down and keeping your slim, the real power of muscles lies in their ability to work like an anatomical pack of wolves. While your hormones are responsible for a large portion of your metabolism, your muscles can expedite the process of burning extra calories.

    That's because muscle serves as a primary energy consumer for your body. Think of it as a raging fire. Toss a log into it and it'll burn it up pretty quickly. But your fat is more like one lit match—it would take years for that match to burn the log. In your body, muscle can fry up that cheese dog a lot faster than your fat—thus reducing the amount of fat you store. Add just a little more muscle and you'll use more energy and store less fat. And that makes it an even more efficient exercise for burning fat than cardiovascular training.

    While muscles give us the metabolic ability to burn calories every time we move—during exercise, during gardening, during sex—their true advantage is that they constantly feed on calories, even when you're moving about as fast as a skateboard with a busted wheel. See, every pound of muscle burns between 50 and 150 calories a day just to sustain itself, while every pound of fat only feeds on 1 to 3 calories. Day after day, that's a huge difference in your metabolic rate and your daily calorie burn. When you add a water bottle full of muscle to your body, you're able to burn a refrigerator full of fat.
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  • AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered

    Adding muscle to your body burns fat because, well, muscle needs energy to survive. A pound of muscle uses between 75 and 150 calories a day (remember, it's working and using energy), while a pound of fat only needs 3 calories a day (fat does nothing to help your body, the ingrate, so it doesn't need energy to maintain itself). Maintaining that friendly, fat-burning muscle mass only takes a few minutes—10 minutes, three times a week, to be exact.

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  • Adding muscle mass will help your body burn more calories at rest. When combined with a proper diet, this will increase your metabolism and help you burn off excess body fat at a much faster rate. One pound of muscle takes up about 20% less space then a pound of fat, so building muscle will also help give you a lean and toned appearance that many people desire.
  • Building muscle will help you burn more calories at rest. When you do cardio you will burn many calories during your exercise and a little while after. When you lift weights and build muscle those muscles will constantly be burning calories while at rest to stay alive. It is to your benefit to build muscle and get rid of the fat.
  • When you build lean muscle mass, the additional muscle requires additional energy. In turn, this raises your resting metabolic rate, or the amount of calories your body burns while at rest. This increased bodily demand for calories can aid in keeping you slim when combined with sound eating habits.

  • ABrian Guidry, NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered

    This is a really simple concept to understand if you know how your body works.

    Muscle EATS Fat.

    The more you work on building lean muscle in your body, the more fat you will burn.

    That means while working out and doing all the other things in life you do.

    Everything you do takes energy. You walk, talk, blink your eyes, think, breath, your heart beats constantly....are you following me on this?

    Your body is CONSTANTLY burning calories as energy for EVERYTHING you do. Yes even sleeping takes energy.

    Now.... the more muscle mass you have on your body, the more food your muscles need.

    And what do muscles eat? MUSCLES EAT FAT.

    So if you have more muscle, you will burn more fat.

    In addition to that, going to the gym and doing resistance training (lifting weights) will burn calories and help you to lose fat and stay slim.

    So the bottom line is...

    If you want to win the war against fat, get started with an exercise program where the main focus is building lean muscle.

    When you do this, you will not have to worry about losing fat. The new lean muscle mass you build will take care of this for you.

    The fat is the food your newly acquired muscles will feed on.

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  •   When one builds muscle it decreases the fat cells, and increases caloric burn throughout the day. The more lean muscle tissue that is accumulated the more fat elimination will happen, and help one to stay consistently fit, and slim.
  • Muscle is part of your BMR or what is called your Basal Metabolic Rate.  The more muscle you have the more calories you will burn per day.  On average the person burns about 50 calories per pound.  This is how muscle can help you lose weight by putting on muscle.  Now don't be scared by this since muscle takes up less space than fat does.  So you can still weight the same but look skinnier if you lost 5 pounds of fat and gain 5 pounds of muscle.  So bottom line muscle is one part of what keeps you slim.
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