Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Muscle Helps Burn Fat

Increasing Muscle Mass
The most important factor of metabolism is lean body mass. Muscle burns up to 90% more calories than fat. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn in a day. By adding three to five pounds of muscle you could actually burn 100 - 250 additional calories a day. Try adding a weight bearing activity 2-3 times a week such as lifting free weights, walking, or resistance training. Simply carrying your groceries home could be considered weight bearing! Lifting 5-8 pound hand weights while watching your favorite television show could go a long way towards burning calories.

Don’t Skip Meals!
The myth that skipping meals decreases your total calorie level and helps you to lose weight is not true. When people skip meals or decrease their calories significantly (<>

Regular Activity
Regular exercise routines such as biking, walking, or hiking will help raise your metabolism during the activity and for several hours after. Even simple movements such as taking the stairs, house cleaning, or simple yard work can help increase your burn rate.

Adequate Protein
Protein provides the building blocks for muscle. Without adequate protein you may actually lose muscle. You need about .4 - .5 gram of protein per pound body weight. For a woman weighing 160 pounds she would need approximately 64 - 80 grams of protein daily.

A 1999 University of Chicago study showed that sleep loss affects the way we metabolize carbohydrates resulting in glucose intolerance and possibly leading to increased hunger and a slowed metabolism. Lack of sleep also can interfere with our energy levels during the day and cause us to skip our exercise routine because we are “too tired”. How often have you told yourself that?

Decrease Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol may suppress your body’s ability to burn fat. Studies show that when you drink alcohol, your body burns fat more slowly than usual during that particular meal. Watch your alcohol intake.

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