If you’ve been trying different tactics to help speed up your metabolism for weight loss, you may be wondering how much building lean muscle might assist with your efforts. Though some sources say that increasing muscle mass is one of the best ways to naturally boost metabolism, is that really true? And if not, is strength training still worth exploring for other reasons?
Read on to learn how lean muscle and your metabolism are intricately connected – and how gaining more muscle can help you age more gracefully, plus maintain a healthy weight as you get older.
Is Muscle Really a Metabolism Booster?
In order to grasp how lean muscle affects your metabolism, you need to understand how your metabolism works. When people refer to their “metabolism”, they’re usually talking about their basal metabolic rate (BMR) – or the number of calories you burn when you aren’t physically active.
Although there are things you can do to boost your metabolism, there are also many factors that affect it, that are out of your control. Some of these factors include your age, sex, genetics, physical activity level, and current weight.
Therefore, when people ask if having more muscle can increase their metabolism, what they’re really wondering is how muscle affects their basal metabolic rate – or how many calories the body burns at rest. And the answer is, not as many as you might hope… but still enough to make a difference.
Basically, the muscle in your body burns more calories than fat… Exactly how much more? Every pound of muscle burns roughly six calories per day at rest (about three times as many calories as a pound of fat, which burns about two calories per day). This will look different for every person, but as a generic example, if you were to gain 10 pounds of muscle and lose 10 pounds of fat, that theoretically may result in an extra 40 calories burned per day.
Can Muscle Increase Calorie-Burning During Exercise?
Even if muscle doesn’t drastically increase how many calories you burn at rest, there are still plenty of reasons to add strength-training to your weekly routine. One of which is because having more muscle will allow you to burn more calories while exercising! More muscle will allow you to work longer and harder, and turn your body into a calorie-burning machine.
Plus, if you’re goal is weight loss, the way you strength train can make a big difference in your results. To get the most benefits, work at least three strength-training workouts into your weekly routine. In addition, do large, compound movements that use multiple muscle groups at once, over more isolated exercises.
For instance… squats, deadlifts, shoulder presses, lunges, rows and bench presses work well to stimulate as much muscle growth as possible with every rep. In addition, how much you lift can also make a difference. Your goal should be to lift weights that are relatively heavy, so you can only do 6 to 12 reps per set – for the most benefits.
Muscle Also Helps Maintain a Healthy Metabolism
Another factor to keep in mind when it comes to your muscles and your metabolism is that you lose muscle as you age, and as a result, your metabolism naturally slows down. How much? It’s said that you could lose as much as 3 to 5% of your muscle mass every decade, starting in your thirties!
But, if you keep maintaining lean muscle mass, you’ll keep your metabolism going at a steady rate. This is great to prevent weight gain as you age, and help maintain a healthy weight. It can also help you keep your calorie-burning on track and allow you to feel your best and most energetic, even as you age.
Strength Training = Muscle Growth + Healthy Weight
So, now that you know how important strength training is and that it absolutely can help with weight loss – plus weight maintenance as you age – try to fit it into your weekly schedule. Know that you don’t have to attend a gym to get strength training benefits! In fact, there are plenty of things you can do to build and tone your body, even in the comfort of your own home.
Strength training doesn’t have to mean weights! Instead, it can be anything that gives your muscles resistance – even your own body weight. At-home workout equipment like a yoga mat, yoga ball, resistance bands, and more can help you perform exercises that allow you to build lean muscle. There are a ton of different workouts and exercises you can try. In fact, if you only have a short period of time, you can still see results.
Research shows that high-intensity workouts lasting just 4-15 minutes can be just as beneficial as much, much longer workout sessions. These types of fast yet powerful workouts have been shown to have numerous benefits for your heart and brain – along with helping to fight the effects of cellular aging within your body. In addition, some research shows that by benefitting your overall wellness, they may even help you live longer!
How Protein Shakes Can Help
In addition to strength training, know that there are also other steps you can take – in conjunction with your weekly exercise routine – to keep your internal thermostat turned up (aka boost your metabolism). One of the best ways, which works hand-in-hand with physical fitness, is protein-packed diet shakes.
One of the main ways that diet shakes work for a fast metabolism diet is that they contain 15-20g of protein; and protein is known to be a major metabolism booster. In fact, studies show that people who increase their protein intake to 25-30% of daily calories have an easier time dropping pounds.
In addition, meal replacement shakes contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and superfoods which help to naturally increase your energy; This, in turn, can help increase your metabolism by helping you move more outside of regular physical activity. Plus, they taste great and support enhanced fitness performance when taken before or after a workout.
We hope you enjoyed this article on how to speed up your metabolism using strength training… To learn more about diet shakes and how they can assist with your weight loss goals, check out our in-depth diet shake reviews here!