Three Myths About Your Metabolism
We’ve all heard the buzzword “metabolism” thrown around- as in, “oh, I have a fast metabolism, which is why I can eat whatever I want to, not workout, and still be thin”. Or, “Ugh, my metabolism is so slow. I can barely eat a carrot without it going straight to my thighs”. But what does it mean? What is your metabolism and what does it do? The Mayo Clinic defines metabolism as “the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. During this complex biochemical process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function.” So how does your metabolism aid (or hinder) weight loss? Well, below we’ve compiled a list of common myths about your body’s metabolism, as well as their factual counterparts:
Myth #1: People who are thin automatically have a faster metabolism.
Fact: Metabolism relies more on composition than type.
Surprisingly, it’s usually the opposite of what people tend to think: people who have little body fat tend to have a slower resting metabolism, since there isn’t a lot to burn. People who have higher amounts of body mass tend to actually have the higher metabolism. However, the highest metabolisms belong to those people who have a large amount of muscle mass, and they tend to burn the most calories throughout the day. Therefore, when beginning any sort of exercise and weight loss regimen, it’s important to include strength training in your routine.
Myth #2: Skipping meals can slow down your metabolism.
Fact: It has more to do with how much and of what you eat.
People tend to believe that the easiest way to ramp up your metabolism is by eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. And, if you do happen to skip a meal, your metabolism will plummet drastically. However, how often you choose to eat throughout the day actually has little effect on your metabolism. If you choose to eat one meal in the middle of the day, it’s going to have the same effect as if you were to eat four smaller meals periodically. The biggest impact on your metabolism actually comes from the number of calories that you consume throughout the day (whether it’s all at one time or not), as well as what you are choosing to eat (cookies versus whole grains, for example).
Myth #3: You can’t control your natural metabolism.
Fact: How you eat and what you do can affect your metabolism.
As it turns out, we weren’t born with a pre-disposed gene that determines a fast or slow metabolism. Instead, we actually have quite a bit of control over our own metabolisms and can speed them up by eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. While your genetics still play a role, you can’t use them as a metabolism scapegoat. Sorry.