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The three ways to burn calories.

Your metabolism is the rate at which your body burns energy.

Your body uses calories for energy, like your car uses gas for fuel.

You need calories to power your body’s systems, such as digestion and circulation. But you also need calories to move.

When you eat too many calories, you store them as fat. This is where things get complicated: Calories from sugar are more likely to be stored as fat because sugar tricks your body into thinking, “here come a lot of calories.” And it’s usually right: It’s easy to pack a LOT of calories into sugary foods.

You want a FAST metabolism, meaning your body burns a LOT of calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat. Obviously, you should eat less. But there are three ways you burn calories:

Basal metabolic processes: the number of calories your body burns when you’re not moving. This is measured as “basal metabolic rate,” or BMR. The more muscle you have, the higher your BMR will be. The less muscle you have, the lower your BMR will be. Muscle burns calories to stay alive. Our InBody Scanners will give you your BMR

Thermic effect of food: It costs a bit of energy to digest food. It takes slightly more energy to break down proteins and fats than to break down carbs. This is maybe 10% of your total daily intake, at best.

Energy expenditure from physical activity. The more you move, the more you burn. Walking and shopping don’t count for much. Despite what our government tells you or recommends, thirty minutes of light activity a day is not going to keep you fit. You will not lose weight mowing the lawn or taking one flight of stairs every day. Even an hour of intense aerobic exercise might only improve your daily calorie use by around 20%. (Remember my post about Beach Body)?

That’s it.

The real way to burn calories is to increase your muscle mass. That means lifting weights.

The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn doing anything. Orangetheory talks about the afterburn. This exists, but it is nothing compared to what a pound of added muscle does all day long.

Doing cardio is like working for an hourly wage. Lifting weights and adding muscle is like an investment property. It pays you while you sleep.

Creating a caloric deficit is the first step to losing fat. It’s not the only step. But if I were going to tell a person the first step to weight loss, I’d tell them to lift weights. The second step: Cut out sugar.

You can get your BMR from our Inbody Scanner at the gym. Scans are free with membership. You can get muscles by attending our gym in Rochester MN. We focus on strength a lot.

Get a scan, Get strong, watch your BMR go up.

Inspiration was provided by Chris Cooper at Catalystgym.com. 

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