How to Increase the Amount of Calories Burned at Rest

Burn more calories while resting.
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Metabolism is the process of breaking down food and beverages into energy, which affects the amount of calories burned per day. The total amount of calories burned daily is known as the total daily energy expenditure, TDEE. Exercise and nutrition affect your daily calorie expenditure, but your resting metabolic rate, RMR also plays a large role in your body’s ability to burn calories. According to Marta Montenegro, an exercise physiologist, your basal metabolic rate, BMR, a term often used interchangeably with RMR, accounts for 65 to 75 percent of the total amounts of calories burned daily. Genetics, gender and age are uncontrollable factors that affect the amount of calories burned. However, there are steps you can take to help burn more calories while resting.

    Build muscle through strength training. Muscle burns more calories than fat, even while resting. Add weightlifting or another form of resistance training, such as yoga, to your fitness routine. Perform strength-training exercises that activate each major muscle group between two and four times per week. There are a variety of tools to support building muscle: weights, medicine balls, resistance bands and machines at the gym.

    Exercise regularly. Cardio exercises, such as running, walking or bicycling, can lower body fat. Individuals who have a lower body-fat percentage have a higher BMR, which means more calories are burned at rest. After an intense workout, your body will continue to burn calories for several hours. The American Heart Association recommends exercising five days per week for 30 minutes. Exercising more often and at a more intense rate can increase your BMR.

    Avoid dangerous calorie-restricting diets. Your BMR can drop dramatically if you starve yourself or severely limit calorie intake. Digesting protein burns more calories than digesting fat or carbohydrates. Eat plenty of protein, such as chicken, fish or tofu, to increase your BMR. The USDA recommends 45 to 65 percent of calories should come from carbs, 20 to 30 percent from fat and 10 to 35 percent should come from protein. Talk to your doctor about adjusting your daily caloric intake based on gender, weight and physical activity.


    • Talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine or diet.

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