Can building muscle burn fat?
The human body wants to move. In fact, there are over 600 muscles in the body to help you get around each day. But can building muscle burn fat?
Muscles consist of tiny muscle fibres, each on average is about the size of a human hair. Your body has over six billion muscle fibres, and they all need feeding. They need fuel to work, and the fuel is either carbohydrate or fat.
Even when resting, your muscles need fuel. At rest, your body will get 60-70% of its energy from fat and 30-40% from carbohydrate. At rest, muscles consume about 20% of the energy that you need to stay alive and fuel the brain and other organs.
But when we exercise, muscles demand a larger share of the fuel stores. This can be up to 80% in hard physical activity more than double your daily calorie expenditure.
The average male may need 2,500 calories per day. You can find out your exact calorie requirements with something like the Breezing metabolism tracker. But a very active man could burn more than 4,000 calories a day to sustain a high physical lifestyle.
How building muscle affects metabolism
The body has different types of muscle fibres known as Fast-twitch and slow-twitch. We use fast-twitch muscle fibres for rapid and powerful movements, such as sprinting.
Slow-twitch muscles for more prolonged movements such as walking at a moderate pace. These are often termed ‘aerobic’ activities.
Fast-twitch fibres use carbohydrate as their primary source of energy. While slow-twitch fibres use a mix of sugar and fat depending on how hard they work.
At high intensity, muscles use 90% of the energy from glucose and only about 10% from fat. BUT as you exercise more your muscles ‘grow’ creating more fat-burning furnaces.
Your body also ‘learns’ how to burn more fat, during exercise and also at rest over the next 24 hours following.
So, while your daily energy requirements may be around 2,500 calories. Research indicates that regular exercise will supply more of these calories from fat. Good news for long-term weight control and fat loss.
So as part of a health diet and exercise programs it is possible to use your muscles to burn fat.
While tracking fat loss is important, following changes to muscle is too.
More muscle = more calories burned at rest and during exercise. Over time this will equate to greater, fat loss.
BodyMetrix utrasound can track changes to muscle increases and fat loss to ensure you become a fat burning machine!