Can I really boost calorie burning at rest?

Neal Spruce
Neal Spruce on behalf of dotFIT

Yes, adding lean body mass through progressive resistance training can help boost calorie burn at rest. Additionally, there are natural and synthetic compounds that can slightly increase resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is the amount of calories you burn while awake but sitting quietly. Caffeine is the most common compound used to increase RMR and has been shown to increase energy expenditure (EE) approximately 3-5% in the first 2.5 hours after ingestion. Comparable increases in EE have been shown with Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) a compound found it green tea. Combining caffeine and EGCG together, as found in some weight loss supplements, may have a synergistic effect on 24 hour EE. Note that some of the increase in the total 24 Hour EE may also come from the ability of caffeine/EGCG to induce more daily movement, whether it be through fidgeting at rest or simply from an increased desire to move more because of feeling more energetic.

Capsaicin from Cayenne fruit can may also increase RMR by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity, promoting the secretion of catecholamine (epinephrine and norepinephrine, which increases metabolic rate and temperature), and increasing the expression of the uncoupling protein (UCP) in many tissues leading to an increase in wasting calories as heat. These natural substances are the most well established for increasing REE and thus used in many weight loss supplements but not necessarily in the right doses. They need to be in the proper amounts (depending on a person's size) in order to be effective. A typical proper does is 150-300 mg of caffeine, 10 mg of capsaicin and 270 mg of EGCG. There are a few other natural ingredients that may increase RMR such as bitter orange, but it may pose greater risks. You shouldn't use any of these products if you have adverse reactions to stimulants.

Yes you can increase your metabolic rate at rest. Increasing your intake of lean proteins and eating several small meals a day has been shown to increase metabolic rate and calories consumed during the day. Increasing the amount of lean muscle mass you carry can also increase your calories burned at rest. If you suspect your metabolism has suddenly slowed down unexpectedly consult a physician to determine if there is any underlying health condition that may have caused it. 
Actually you can but it takes time.  The thing to remember is your muscle and the amount you have is the main factor in the amount of calories burned at rest (basic metabolic rate).  As you add muscle your body will burn more calories at rest and that mean you can naturally burn more body fat and get away with more food in your diet.  (everyone would like that)

Many people will feel intimidated by adding muscle because they feel they will get bulky.  This is not true because if you are building muscle and losing fat you will get significantly smaller and have a higher metabolism.

Also keep in mind that muscle takes up about half the space that a lb of fat does so if you are building muscle and losing fat and not losing weight your clothes size will go down.

Don't be afraid to add muscle and make sure you have a good coach that can keep you accountable with your nutrition and guide you with your training. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.