The more muscle mass you have on your body, the more calories you will burn. This does not mean that you have to have bulky muscles, or lift heavy weights in order to lose weight. Simply working to reduce the amount of body fat and increase your muscle tone through moderate exercise will benefit you greatly.
When you exercise to tone your muscles, you will:
- Reap the benefits of weight loss
- Achieve weight maintenance
- Reach a higher caloric expenditure at rest
- Have the ability to eat more
Our muscles burn energy in the form of calories during:
- Daily use
- During exercise
- Daily bodily processes
The more muscles mass you have on your body, the more calories that you will burn, both at rest and when your body is working. This is true for men and women, even though men are physically built to have more muscle mass on their bodies than women. It might seem too good to be true, but for every pound of muscle that is added to the body, an extra 60 calories are burned each day.
Larger muscles will burn more fat than the smaller muscles. Therefore, you should do exercises that help increase the mass and tone of those larger muscles, such as the quadriceps (the large muscle on the front of the thigh) and the gluteas maximus (the rear end muscle). Doing simple and moderate exercises such as walking, running, biking, or rollerblading on a regular basis will all help to shape those areas. Those activities will also provide a good aerobic workout, which will help burn even more calories, as well as aid in weight loss.
The more muscle your body has, the more caloric intake your body will require to function. While this does mean that you can eat more, it does not mean that you should eat anything and everything. The best way to achieve a balance between caloric intake and energy consumption is by:
- Eating several smaller meals each day (like 5 or 6)
- Eating foods high in fiber and protein
- Eating foods low in fat and sugar
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, it is very important that you increase your muscle mass. The more toned your muscles are, the more efficiently your body burns calories whether you are moving or resting. This translates into weight loss, weight maintenance, more energy and more self-confidence.