My trainer recently told me the more muscle I have, the more calories I’ll burn throughout the day. True or false?
This is true, but there’s a caveat here. Resting muscle tissue burns about 6 kcals/lb./day at rest, so yes, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. However, if the muscle is continually at rest, you can see that you aren’t going to burn THAT many more calories. For example, if you added 10 lbs. of muscle to your frame (which is admittedly quite difficult), your resting metabolic rate would only increase by about 60 calories per day. However, if you commit to moving that newfound muscle consistently via exercise, then you can increase its calorie-burning potential exponentially. This is obviously true of the muscle mass you already have as well. So it’s not just accruing new muscle that’s important, it’s making that new muscle work. And just for comparison, note that fat tissue burns about 2 kcals/lb./day, the brain and liver burn close to100 kcals/lb./day, and the heart and kidneys burn close to 200 kcals/lb./day. It’s clear that organ tissue burns a ridiculous amount of calories, but keep in mind, it makes up a relatively small percentage of your total body mass. On the contrary, though muscle tissue doesn’t burn as many calories per pound compared to organ tissue, it makes up about 40% of your total body mass.
I keep hearing about detoxification diets, and how they can help with weight loss and other health-related issues. I’m looking to jumpstart my own weight loss, so is this something I should consider?
No—you do not need to resort to detox diets to lose weight. They might be popular right now, but in my humble opinion, they’re definitely not the answer you’re looking for. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that think detoxification is a reasonable path to take to better health. So-called experts claim that detox diets can flush toxins from your body, strengthen your immune system, improve your skin’s complexion, and help you get rid of excess fat fast. They even point to famous Hollywood starlets who, as we all know, are willing to try anything and everything to get “the look.” Thankfully, most real experts, including doctors, dietitians, and trainers, agree that these regimens do more harm than good, often resulting in unpleasant, and sometimes dangerous, side effects. These can include vitamin deficiencies, electrolyte abnormalities, blood sugar problems, excessive diarrhea, muscle breakdown, and a suppressed immune system. Not bad for an overly restrictive liquid diet, huh? Hopefully it’s not a surprise to you, but your body is perfectly capable of detoxifying itself, and it does an excellent job. Your kidneys, liver, lungs, skin, and several other organs all contribute to this process. If you really want to lose weight, and do it in a healthy way, speak to a registered dietitian and/or certified personal trainer, so they can help you develop a safe and effective plan.