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How Many Calories Does a Pound of Muscle Burn Per Day?

author image Nick Ng
Nick Ng has been writing fitness articles since 2003, focusing on injury prevention and exercise strategies. He has covered health for "MiaBella" magazine. Ng received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from San Diego State University in 2001 and has been a certified fitness coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2002.
How Many Calories Does a Pound of Muscle Burn Per Day?
Muscles burn more calories than fat tissues. Photo Credit: BONNINSTUDIO/iStock/Getty Images

Skeletal muscles are your body's natural fat burners, according to exercise physiologist William McArdle in "Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance." Muscles constantly use fat and carbohydrates to keep you warm and provide you with energy for movement.

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Calories Burned

One pound of muscle burns about 6.5 calories per hour. Muscles burn 5.5 times more calories than fat tissues, which burn about 1.2 calories per pound per hour.

Strength Training

You can increase your muscle mass by strength training, which stimulates your body to develop thicker muscle fibers. You can use various methods to increase muscle size, such as weight training, calisthenics, sprinting and jumping.

Basal Metabolic Rate

Your basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy you expend, or calories you burn, when you are at rest. The more muscles you have, the more calories you burn when you exercise and rest.

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  • "Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance"; William McArdle; 2001
  • "Ultimate Sports Nutrition"; Ellen Coleman; 2004
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