Will Lifting Weights Help You Lose Fat? (Part 2 of 3)

Weight Training Builds Muscle

Muscle is “expensive” to maintain. That means a muscular 150-lb. person will burn more calories at rest than a 150-lb. person who has very little muscle. Fat doesn’t burn a lot of energy, but muscle does. So if you add a little muscle to your frame, you’ll increase your “resting metabolism.” That means you’ll burn more calories simply by being alive. 

The number of extra calories burned over the course of a day isn’t extreme, but it’s still significant. Researcher Christopher Wharton estimated 10 lb. of muscle would use up 50 calories on a day without training, while 10 lb. of fat would use just 20. The numbers add up fast: If two people weigh the exact same but one has 30 lb. more muscle, that person will burn 90 calories more during the day than the person without the muscle.

So adding muscle means you’ll burn more calories without doing anything—that’s a huge deal when it comes to losing fat.

And here’s another important consideration: If you don’t use resistance training during a weight-loss program, there’s a risk that you might lose muscle, too. Almost no one wants to lose hard-earned muscle, so resistance training is important to help preserve as much lean tissue as possible while you drop fat.

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