Does Muscle Burn Fat?

If you’re serious about getting into shape, you’ll always be looking for ways to optimize your physique and keep fat gain at bay. That’s where muscle building comes in. 

For many people, the idea of building muscle has always had quite a masculine connotation – but it doesn’t need to be. Developing muscle mass has many benefits to your body for both men and women – from preventing disease to helping you cultivate a more defined physique. Plus, the most important benefit for some, associated with muscle building, is the burning of more body fat. In this article, we aim to find out just how it helps. By the end, you should know the answer to the question: does muscle burn fat?

So, let’s look into how muscle works in your body compared to fat, how it can benefit your health and why you should start prioritizing muscle development in your workouts in order to achieve your best physique yet! 

What’s the difference between fat tissue and muscle tissue?

Firstly, in order to understand the benefits of muscle growth to our body, it’s important to decipher the difference between fat tissue and muscle tissue.

For many of us, stepping on the scales regularly is a satisfying way of documenting your progress. But the more you work out, you may start to hit a wall and, despite your best efforts in the gym alongside a clean diet, your weight seems to remain the same. Don’t worry! It’s perfectly normal.

Fat cells lie on top of your muscles and take up more space under the skin, appearing bigger than muscle cells – for example, a 170-pound woman with 25% body fat compared to 45% body fat would wear a bigger dress size and look larger because muscle cells are that much denser than fat. Therefore, even though your weight seems to have stopped shedding so quickly, you might actually still be on track to achieving your ideal physique.

So, a top tip for you if you want a more accurate way of documenting your progress is to measure yourself around the bust, waist, thighs and arms so you can see how much you’re losing.

One of the other major differences between fat and muscle is that muscle cells burn calories, whereas fat cells tend to store them.

This is because muscle requires more calories to stay up and running so, technically the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be and the more calories you’ll burn through – even when resting1. Studies have shown that weight training, for example, led to up to 9% increase in resting metabolism after 24 weeks of undertaking it2.

5 Benefits of Building Muscle

Whilst there are a whole host of reasons why muscle building is important, we’ve chosen 5 of our favorite benefits to prove that you definitely need to put your muscles at a top priority!

  1. Increases fat burning

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the more muscle mass, the more your body has to work harder to maintain it which causes an increase in your metabolism – even after exercising3.

Research shows that if you focus on muscle-building exercises like weightlifting during your workout, you could elevate your resting metabolic rate for up to 38 hours after exercising4. According to some experts, 10 pounds of muscle would burn 50 calories in a day spent at rest, while 10 pounds of fat would burn only 20 calories5.

That being said, you can optimize your fat burning even more by doing a combination of both muscle building and cardio training in your workouts.

One study followed 119 overweight participants for eight months who were split into three groups – cardio, weights and cardio with weight-training. The results showed that the third group who combined the two into their exercise regime lost the most weight6 so if your priorities lie with losing weight, try a variety of exercises to achieve the best results!

Did you know? One sure-fire way to optimize your fat burning is adding Instant Knockout Cut to your weight management plan. The all-natural fat burner works as the perfect training partner – fueling you like a pro athlete, curbing hunger pangs and igniting calorie burn so you can really maximize your training results.

  1. Makes daily activities easier

Because our muscles are responsible for our entire body’s movement, it’s only logical that mobility and balance benefit more from maintaining stronger muscles. By developing muscles, you can make day-to-day activities much easier.

For example, most daily movements involve your abdomen – from picking up your shopping bags to jobs around the house. By strengthening your abs, you can make life much easier for yourself as you’ll have better balance, more control and be able to take on tasks you previously may not have been able to7!

Overall, though, increased strength throughout your body can help contribute to almost every aspect of your life.

  1. Helps to prevent injury

As well as making it easier to complete day-to-day tasks, building muscles can also protect your entire body from potential injury.

Muscles are important for building and strengthening your bones and tendons, minimizing the chance of breaks, fractures or torn ligaments from working out. By having that additional support, you can confidently push your body further and take on exercises or high intensity activities that you previously might have shied away from, without the risk of injury.

Core strength is also key to preventing injury as it can improve posture which helps you avoid stiffness and achiness from muscle fatigue8, as well as supporting balance and coordination which minimizes the chance of accidents happening.

With a better core, you’ll feel completely in control and less likely to fall or hurt yourself when doing the activities you love to do9.

Does muscle burn fat

  1. Helps promote definition and optimizes your shape

Because muscle tissue is denser than fat tissue, you’ll not only notice you’re getting physically slimmer in size the more muscle you develop, but you’ll also see a stronger definition in your physique too.

As you burn off those bulky fat cells, you can move towards a firmer shape, with an enviably shredded body. Whatever your size or shape, you can use muscles to really show off your best features.

Obviously, there are levels of definition but it’s up to what you want to achieve as to how far you go with the muscle building process. Whatever your goals, muscles will always look better than fat!

  1. Improves mood and confidence

Whilst any exercise can help contribute to better cognitive performance, building strength has been linked to boosting your mood, energy levels and even helping get your sleeping patterns in order10.

Strength training helps increase the endorphin levels in your body which essentially lifts your mood and energy levels together11. By keeping your spirits high, you’ll be more motivated to keep achieving results – and less likely to fall off the wagon.

The more goals you reach, and the better your body looks will automatically bring with it a newfound confidence to show off your hard work and let the compliments speak for themselves!


All in all, building more muscle can give you a multitude of benefits – including promoting weight loss. Whilst muscle does not directly burn fat, the process of developing muscles and maintaining them lead to a higher metabolism, greater fitness and a leaner physique.

Whilst you’ll see a huge difference in your clothing size the more muscle you build and the less fat cells you have, it’s important to remember that weighing yourself may not always give you a good indication of your progress since muscle tissue is denser than fat so can sometimes weigh the same – or more.

Instead, make sure you’re measuring your limbs and torso regularly – and buying new outfits every few months to get a true reflection of your progress.

Further to the body-defining pros of strength training, you could also improve your day-to-day life from stronger muscles – with less chance of injuries, more energy and revived confidence overall.

Whether you’re looking to go ultra-bodybuilder or are just keen to tone up, make sure you start including those muscle-boosting workouts within your weekly exercise regime and start reaping the benefits – both physically and mentally!

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