your metabolism! Get Suckered!
BMR, or basil metabolic rate is the amount of calories
per hour you burn while in a resting state. For a 77 kg (170
lb) person, the BMR will be about 77 calories per hour or
1700 calories per day (1700 calories to lie in bed all day).
BMR accounts for 40 to 60% of the total calories burned in
one day, the rest is burned off moving around, walking, and
of course, exercise. A 170 lb. person who is active and does
one hour of moderate exercise may require 2500 - 3000+ calories
for the day. Lean muscle burns calories where fat mass requires
so little energy it is usually considered statistically insignificant,
so more muscle mass does mean a slightly higher BMR, but the
higher BMR does not result in a caloric deficit or automatic
to many; an overweight person will have a higher BMR than
a lean person because their muscles have to work a little
harder to carry the extra fat mass.
common promise from some supplement companies is that you
can increase your metabolism by taking a pill, and some fad
diet companies claim to do the same by following their special
eating regimen. So what does this mean? Since BMR is your
resting energy expenditure, the lure is burning more fat while
sitting around doing nothing with an increased resting metabolism
as a result of taking a pill.
this be done? Not really. Green tea, an over-hyped supposed
cure-all is dubiously claimed to increase human metabolism
and therefore be effective at losing weight (burning fat).
The kernel of truth in this bogus claim is that research does
show that consuming green tea increases metabolism by 4%.
do the math. BMR of 77 calories per hour + 4% = 80.08 calories
per hour. - Yawn... let's see, an extra 3.08 calories per
hour, 1 pound of fat has 3500 calories, so it would only take
1,136.36 hours to burn off one pound of fat drinking green
tea, that is of course if the extra 3.08 calories per hour
goes 100% to burning stored fat, which in reality it would
not. 10 Hours of moderate aerobic exercise done over two weeks
is enough to burn off 1 pound of fat. Hmm.. 10 hours compared
to 1,136.36 hours to burn a pound of fat.. I wonder which
one is more effective...
investigated, all claims of increased metabolism arrive the
same conclusion: it is impossible to "turn up" your
resting metabolic rate enough to result in significant fat
loss. The pushers of this claim are either shysters or extremely
naive. You see, to increase your BMR enough to burn off extra
fat (about a 40% increase in BMR is needed) your body temperature
would also have to increase. In fact, with a resting BMR of
over 100 calories per hour you would feel like you were in
a sauna. There is no other physical possibility: BMR cannot
be raised significantly without body temperature rising. Calories
are a unit of heat energy. More calories burned per hour =
more heat. That's why you sweat when you exercise.
activities increase BMR? Simply eating food, any food, increases
BMR by 10 to 20% for up to four hours after eating. Digesting
food requires energy. 10 to 20% of the calories we eat go
towards the labor of digesting those calories. This is referred
to as the thermic effect of food. The normal act of eating
healthily increases your BMR more significantly than any supplement
ever will, plus you get your nutrients and daily
caloric requirements at the same time. The increase in
BMR from eating and exercise is not considered "extra"
caloric expenditure, it is part of normal daily metabolism
and cannot cause fat loss. The focus for caloric deficit is
from eating less and exercising more.
can easily increase your metabolism to 600% above your BMR
- during exercise. Example: BMR of 77 calories per
hour X 600% = 462 calories per hour - equivalent to a light
to moderate jog or bicycle ride. After exercise BMR remains
increased by 5 to 15% for about 1 hour. Well trained athletes
who do intensive training have elevated BMR for 10 to 24 hours
after exercise. Hard exercise can elevate metabolism by over
1000% above BMR - but again only during exercise. And of course
exercise nets you all the additional benefits of increased
fitness, fat loss, disease prevention etc.. Obviously there
are no supplements that can compete with the total effects
of eating healthy food and taking part in regular exercise.
And no, the petite increase in BMR of 4% from some supplements
is of no "additional" advantage if you live healthy
AND down the goof-ball supplements.
fad exercise promoters try to entice people into their "special"
exercise program by claiming that their special high intensity
interval training will increase BMR by 10%, thus resulting
in significant extra fat loss. Unfounded, and unscrupulous.
It is a welcome side effect, the fact that your body keeps
burning a few extra calories at rest in the hours following
exercise, but this of course is not the purpose of exercise.
Significant fat loss comes from the extra calories burned
during exercise combined with consuming less calories.
hour of moderate exercise may burn off between 300 and 800
calories for the moderately fit, more for athletes. The extra
50 to 70 calories expended over the 1 hour following exercise
from increased BMR are real, but it is just plain dumb to
focus on this very small contribution of calories burned.
The focus needs to be on the exercise its self and on dietary
the math; reducing your caloric intake by 200 - 300 calories
per day plus burning off another 300 or so through exercise
is clearly where the significant contribution to fat loss
is going to occur - not in the extra 60 or so calories per
day from increased BMR.
goofy training tactic that fad exercise promoters push hard
is convincing people to gain large amounts of muscle mass
fast because extra muscle burns extra fat at rest - the claimed
benefit is that you can sit around doing nothing and burn
fat if you have more muscle. Again, a severe misdirection
from the where the focus should be. Claims that each pound
of muscle will burn 30 to 70 calories per day to maintain
its self are common.
lb lean male may have between 70 - 100 lb. of muscle. 70 -
100 x 70 is 4900 - 7000. No human on the planet weighing 170
lb. will have a BMR of 4900 - 7000 calories - or 3000 calories
(100lb. muscle X 30 calories/ day). The average resting BMR
for a 170 lb male will be 1700 calories. If our 170 lb male
has 100 lb. of muscle that works out to about 17 calories
per pound of muscle per day, but muscle is not the only tissue
that uses energy, your brain uses about 500 calories per day,
and your organs use energy to. Even though fat mass uses very
little energy it still uses energy.
It is generally accepted that one pound of muscle burns between
5 and 15 calories per day depending on how active a person
is. So where does the 30 to 70 calorie per pound of muscle
reference come from? Perhaps people who don't know any better
are confusing the rate of calories burned during exercise
for calories burned during rest. - That's being polite. Most
likely the reference is simply made up to make whatever it
is they are selling sound more attractive. That tactic is
called "the promise of hope", and it is the most
widely used underhanded tactic in the diet and fitness business.
you gain 10 pounds of muscle you may burn off another 150
or so calories per day. WOW! Sing me up, that sounds fantastic.
But wait, there's more.. To sustain that muscle mass you have
to eat more (150 calories more), canceling out what at first
glance looks like a caloric deficit. Chances are the misanthrope
that told you extra muscle burns more calories failed to tell
you that this requires consuming more calories. Where
do these people think the extra calories burned with extra
muscle mass are coming from? The calorie fairy? Certainly
not from fat alone as muscle does not burn fat exclusively;
muscle requires protein, carbohydrate, and fats to
I mention that gaining 10 pounds of lean muscle mass requires
about 1 year or more of very focussed, very challenging weight
training? This training is too hard for a person just starting
an exercise program.
about this; Have you ever seen a football player with extra
fat mass? Of course. Does that football player also have a
lot of muscle mass? Yes - HUGE muscles. So how can a person
with so much calorie burning muscle mass be overweight? They
shouldn't be according to the goofy claims I've been referring
to here. The answer is simple: extra muscle does not mean
fat loss. Burning more calories than consumed equals fat loss.
one year of diet and aerobic exercise you could lose an outstanding
amount of body fat - the average successful fat loss is about
5 pounds per month - that's 60 pounds of fat lost in one year.
Clearly if your goal is fat loss, diet and aerobic exercise
is far more productive - and physically easier - that training
your brains out for a year to gain several pounds of lean
muscle for the ill-gotten purpose of sitting around doing
nothing to burn fat. Of course lifting weights should be part
of a healthy exercise routine and the calories burned weight
lifting can contribute to fat loss - but not in the extreme
way depicted by many "certified personal trainers".
lean muscle mass can be important for many people, but the
reasons would be to increase strength, correct postural problems
and for sports performance. It is a nice side effect that
more muscle equals burning more calories, but keep in mind
that to maintain extra muscle you have to eat more food, and
the two most significant factors that influence fat loss are
how much you eat and how much total exercise you do with a
focus aerobic exercise. Don't be sidetracked by focussing
on irrelevant variables.
article ends the same way most do on this site; You want to
be fit and healthy? You want to lose weight? Do what fit and
lean people do: eat less exercise more. You want to lie to
your self and get the sucker of the year award? Go for the
supplements and fad exercises with the "get something
for nothing" promise.
2003-2006 Rhino Fitness