Friday, February 10, 2012


You may have heard that a pound of muscle burns 100 times as many calories as a pound of fat. You may have heard the stat as 50 times, because that was Dr. Oz's claim. Neither is true. The truth is that muscle burns 3 times as many calories as fat. That is an improvement, but won't help you lose much weight.


"The bottom line is that weight loss is 90% about diet," obesity researcher Dr. Sue Pedersen, a specialist in endocrinology and metabolism in Calgary, told me. "The studies show that exercise alone is not going to result in weight loss."


This does not mean people should avoid exercise and just watch their calories. Exercise has benefits beyond the scale. And you shouldn't avoid weights. The real benefit muscle has over fat is volume. Both the fat and the muscle in this image weigh one pound, but the fat takes up about 20% more space. Same number on the scale, but smaller waistband. Working out with weights may not make huge changes in your weight, but they may help with your size.

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