The biggest chunk of your calorie burn (aka your metabolism) happens just to keep you alive – it’s known as your BMR, your basal metabolic rate. BMR can vary a LOT between people.
Some things that impact your BMR are things you can’t control – genetics, gender, and more (we’ll get into some of this later).
But there’s actually a lot you CAN do to turn up your metabolism, and it has to do with your body composition.
We like to think of these ‘metabolic boosters’ like compound interest … it’s not going to make you rich overnight, but over time, it adds up in a big way!
Here it is …
Add more muscle to your body through your workouts. And we’re not talking about giant Hulk muscles, btw. We simply mean strong, flexible, and supple muscle!
Scientists estimate that every pound of muscle you have burns about 6 calories a day while you’re resting. That’s triple the amount of a pound of fat, which comes in at about 2 calories a day.
So, 10 pounds of fat would burn 20 calories a day, while 10 pounds of muscle would burn 60. Not that impressive.
But over a year, 10 pounds of muscle burns 21,900 calories (a little over 6 pounds), while 10 pounds of fat burns 7,300 calories in a year (around 2 pounds).
That means workouts that build your muscles – whether it’s old-school bodybuilding workouts or fitness workouts that include weights – have a double-whammy effect!
Not only are you burning calories WHILE you’re doing them, but you get a BONUS burn in the future as you build muscle! Pretty cool, right?
Beyond your workouts, it’s important to get enough protein (between 10% and 35% of your daily calories) to help build, repair, and maintain your muscle.
Want to get even MORE tactical?
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that if you want to build muscle, on top of adding resistance training to your workouts, you should eat 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day – which equals 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight.