You’ve probably heard a lot of people say that lifting weights and building muscle can help you burn fat. But, is this really true? And if it is, how does that work?
It is absolutely true and happens a couple of different ways. Before I can explain why, I first need to explain how the body burns calories.
The Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the baseline number of calories your body burns simply by being alive. Your heart, brain and organs take energy (calories) to survive. Everyone’s BMR is slightly different. Ideally you want this number to be on the higher end so you can eat more without gaining weight, right? Active people tend to have a higher BMR than less active people. People with more muscle have an even higher BMR, meaning their bodies naturally burn more calories without doing extra work.
Basically, the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns when at rest. This is also true when you are active. The more muscle you body possesses, the more calories are scorched when you are active.
This in turn makes your cardio workouts more effective. When you have more muscle, you will burn more calories in your cardio sessions. Your body is always going to burn more calories when it has a higher muscle mass, no matter the activity.
So muscle is pretty cool, right? But that’s not all!
There are also many bodily responses that get set off during resistance training. Lifting weights promotes blood flow to the muscles. Having that constant blood flow allows for better nutrient delivery to those muscles. So your body will use those carbs you ate at breakfast to help fuel and build your muscles instead of storing them as fat.
The more muscles you activate during your workout, the easier it is for your body to find places to send those nutrients. So don’t be afraid to challenge those muscles!