One Pound of Muscle Does NOT Burn 50 Calories
One Pound of Muscle Does NOT Burn 50 Calories
By: Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

Add a pound of muscle and you burn 50 extra calories. What a myth. This myth
has been floating around for years, but is not true. You will NOT burn an
extra 50 calories per day just by gaining a pound of muscle.

Common sense shows us why this is not true, and I'll show you some examples
in a second...

But I just read another article about this myth today. It is so irritating.
Worse, the article was by a doctor, and gave this STUPID advice in a woman's

"An extra 10 pounds of muscle will therefore burn approximately 350 to 500
extra calories per day, or over 3,500 per week. In order to lose one pound
of fat you must burn an extra 3,500 calories. This means that if you
increase the amount of muscle mass in your body by 10 pounds, you will lose
a pound of fat every seven to 10 days, without making any other changes!"

And worse...

"Let's compare two 150-pound people. 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

That is the absolute WORST thing you can say to someone who wants to lose
weight - you are giving them an EXCUSE to eat MORE!

But that's the problem in the first place. Too much eating. Don't allow
someone to justify more excessive eating with physiological nonsense.

It is HUMAN NATURE to use this info to justify eating more...having a bowl
of ice cream everyday ("Oh it's okay, 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 pound 10 pounds and then I can have an extra
1000 calories per day."

Ridiculous advice.

So let's look at this with common sense.

Let's say we have a guy, 160 pounds, skinny. His resting metabolism is
probably 1800-2200 calories. We'll say 2000 for simplicity.

According to this stupid myth, if he gains 10 pounds, his resting metabolism
is now 2500 calories. When he hits 180, his resting metabolism is now 3000
calories? Or 3500 calories if he hits 190?

Anyone can see this logic is flawed. Gaining 30 pounds of muscle will not
add 1500 calories to your resting metabolism.

No adult is walking around with a resting metabolic rate of 3500 calories.

How IMPOSSIBLE would it be for athletes to maintain their bodyweight if
their metabolism increased by 50 calories per pound of muscle?

You do not increase your metabolism by 50 calories per pound of muscle
added. Period. So do not give people more excuses to eat extra calories,
because HUMAN NATURE guarantees that is exactly what they will do!

About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit

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