Muscle v. Fat and What That Means For Your Metabolism.
A pound of fat burns about 2 calories a day. While there are some wild claims out there about a pound of muscle burning 50 calories or more a day, the most credible studies indicate the number is closer to 5 – 10 calories per day more than fat. Doesn’t sound like much, huh?
For the purposes of this analysis, let’s assume muscle burns 6 calories more per day than fat does. A few years back, slowly but surely over about 18 months, I lost around 40 lbs of fat and gained 30 lbs of muscle. So even though I lost 10 pounds of net weight, my metabolism actually increased by about 160 calories a day (it was lowered by 40 lbs of fat X 2 calories a day and increased by 30 pounds of muscle X 8 calories a day, for a net effect of an increase in metabolism by around 160 calories a day.). That means that over a 12 month period I was burning an extra nearly 60,000 calories just from my new body make up. I didn’t have to do a thing (other than maintaining my muscle/fat composition).
To put it in perspective, 60,000 calories represents around 17 lbs of fat that I was NOT gaining just because my muscles were working for me to burn fat. You know how much better you’d look – and more importantly feel! (and how much healthier your internal organs would be) - with 17 lbs less fat! You can argue the numbers – does muscle burn 10 calories more a day than fat or three? It burns more, that is all that matters. That is the point. Recognize it and use it to your advantage.
To hammer home the point, think of muscles as dividend paying stocks, and fat as high interest credit card debt. Replace five pounds of fat with five pounds of muscle (which you can do easily in a couple months – actually you can lose about 10 lbs of fat and gain 5 lbs of muscle in 3 months if you are focused and disciplined…and smart), and your fiscal fitness starts looking very attractive. Muscle is an asset for you, fat is a liability. It is time to restructure your body’s balance sheet and de-lever. When it comes to muscle, the rich do get richer. Compared to the average male at around 20% body fat who weighs the same as I do, (with my body fat around 6%), I am burning more calories when we are both sitting at work, sleeping, watching a movie…not doing anything…24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Wouldn’t you like your body working for you just like you have your money work for you while you sleep (literally).
The attached picture is of actual 5 lbs of fat vs. 5 lbs of muscle – not only does muscle burn far more calories than fat, it occupies less space (among many other beneficial things). Isn’t it time you replaced some fat with muscle?
The % of US males who are obese has tripled since 1975. Yet there are more books, magazines, online articles, etc than ever covering fitness/diet/weight loss. The issue is not about information, it is about execution (which starts with a mindset, not a mind full of often useless information). I will be releasing a book revealing specific, simple tips on how to become part of the top 1% of physically fit and healthy American males. In the meantime, watch for more practical information you can apply immediately in my weekly newsletter. Your feedback is always appreciated!