Many websites, books and personal trainers claim that strength training will make body fat melt away. Fact or fancy? The experts at the University of California Berkeley Wellness Letter help evaluate the claims:
Muscle burns more calories than fat: Fact, but the impact on weight loss is small. One pound of muscle can burn five to eight calories a day, while a pound of fat burns about two calories. A woman who lifts weights three times a week for six months may expect to gain two to four pounds of muscle, resulting in 10 to 32 calories burned a day;not much considering it takes a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose a pound.
Lifting will rev up resting metabolism: Mostly fancy. Research is mixed on how much lifting weights boosts metabolism. Some studies suggest that resting metabolism may stay elevated for as long as 12 hours, while others show it goes back to normal within an hour.
Strength has health benefits: Fact! Whether or not it helps you lose weight, strength training provides many benefitsstronger muscles and bones as well as reduced blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.
From our sister publication Diabetes Focus Spring 2014