Muscle Myth Buster

You can burn an extra 50 calories per day just by gaining a pound of muscle – right? Wrong! That is a myth, one that won’t go away

I just read it yet again – in an article written by a doctor, no less. “Let’s compare two 250-pound people,” the doctor says. “Although they weigh exactly the same, person B has 10 more pounds of muscle mass than person A. That means that person B can eat an extra 350 to 500 calories per day without gaining any weight!”

This is the absolute worst thing you can say to someone who is overweight. You are giving them an excuse to eat even more.

“Oh, it’s okay,” they’ll say to themselves. “I boosted my metabolism by 500 calories because I gained 10 pounds of muscle. An extra scoop? Oh sure, why not? I’ll just gain another 10 pounds and then I can have an extra 1,000 calories per day.”

Nonsense! Overeating is their problem in the first place.

So let’s use some common sense.

Let’s say a man weighs 160 pounds. He’ll burn about 2,000 calories when he’s at rest.

According to this ridiculous myth, if he gains 10 pounds, his resting metabolic rate will increase to 2,500 calories per day. If he gains 20 pounds, he’ll burn 3,000 calories per day… at rest!

Anyone can see that this logic is flawed. Gaining 20 pounds of muscle will not add 1,000 calories to your resting metabolism. There are very few adults, if any, with a resting metabolic rate of 3,000 calories.

You do not increase your metabolism by 50 calories per pound of muscle added. Period. You lose weight by building muscle, yes – because it helps burn fat. But you ALSO need to eat well, which means cutting back on high-carb, high-sugar foods.

[Ed. Note: Losing weight and getting fit is a two-step process…

Step 1. Eat well.

Step 2. Exercise.