Most of us have heard the statement that “muscle burns more calories than fat”, but just how many more calories does muscle burn than fat, and what does that mean?
Let’s start with the numbers:
Calories burned per day by fat: 2 calories per pound of fat
Calories burned per day by muscle: 6 calories per pound of muscle
Alright, so muscle burns 3 times more calories than fat does!
According to Livestrong.com, with the proper exercise and diet, you can put on 1 pound of muscle per week. So let’s say that you start a 12 week challenge to put on 1 pound of muscle per week, that’s an extra 12 pounds of muscle, which means you’ll be burning an extra 72 calories per day, 504 calories per week.
But it’s safe to assume that as you’ve been putting on muscle, you’ve been losing fat. Again, according to Livestong.com, it’s safe and average to lose about 2 pounds per week. So over your 12 week challenge, we’ll say that you lost 24 pounds of fat. And since fat burns 2 calories per day per pound, that’s a total of 48 calories for the week no longer being burned.
The net here, the extra calories per day that your body is burning from your fat lost, and your muscles gained, is 456 calories per week.
It doesn’t sound like a lot, but when we consider that it takes a 3500 calorie deficit to lose 1 pound of fat, an extra 456 calories a week is really helpful. This means that every 2 months, 1 extra pound of fat is gone, with no extra work, just from being alive! So get lifting!
If you like this sort of post, you might also be interested in my post analysing the statement “Muscle Weighs More Than Fat”