E ven when we are at rest, the vital organs of our body keep functioning. We burn calories during rest and the rate at which calories are burnt at rest is called the Basal Metabolic Rate [BMR]. This is closely related to Resting Metabolic Rate [RMR], i.e., the rate at which energy is expended daily by humans. The body only burns calories during rest to function properly. For instance, it takes energy, or calories, to keep your heart beating, your lungs breathing and your brain cells communicating.
You also burn calories at rest by digesting food; this is called thermogenesis, or the “thermic effect of food”. But the main source of calorie burning is physical activity.The number of calories burnt depends upon an individual’s physical and non-physical activities.
The non-physical activities include sleeping, sitting, eating and other sedentary activities. These sedentary activities still require energy and hence burn body fats and sugar. The number of calories burnt during rest depends on several factors such as weight, age, gender, body composition, metabolism and environment and hence it varies from person to person.
The best way to increase BMR or RMR is to build lean muscle tissue, which is very metabolically active, which means that the body burns a lot of calories just to keep the tissue healthy and functioning optimally. Poor nutrition, lack of sleep and less physical activity tend to slow down your metabolic rate.
Even while sleeping, a person with greater muscle mass burns more fat and sugar, compared to a person with lesser muscle mass. A single pound of muscle consumes 50 calories a day, while a pound of fat consumes only nine calories.
You can burn more calories while resting by following the tips given below:
1) Lack of sleep leads to weight gain. Hence you need to have sufficient sleep to burn calories.
2) Be an active person to build more lean muscle mass, which will help you increase your metabolic rate.
3) Avoid consuming alcoholic drinks before going to sleep or rest as it may slow down your metabolic rate.
4) Avoid stress while resting as it will slow down your metabolic rate by increasing the levels of the hormone cortisol, which lowers the metabolic rate.