Five Metabolism Myths
There is no denying that when it comes to metabolism, everyone and their coach is an “expert”, and every bro in the gym will give you his stance on how to “work your metabolism”. This article will give you the who and what on your metabolism, and how you can make what you are given work for you.
For starters, let’s define metabolism. By its most basic definition, metabolism is the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life. For our purposes, Metabolism is 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.
Factors that can Influence and Impact your Metabolism:
First and foremost, your metabolism is largely the product of genetics, sex, and age. A man’s metabolism is faster than a woman’s, for example, and your metabolism tends to slow as you age. The amount of lean muscle mass you have, your size, how active you are, and your dietary intake all also play a role in your metabolic rate.
Now that we have our background sufficiently boosted, let’s discuss this article’s subject matter: Metabolism Myths. Here are facts that everyone thinks are true, but actually aren’t.
- “Skipping a Meal Slows Down Your Metabolism”
Your body does not go into starvation mode if you skip a meal or two. In fact, Intermittent Fasters do just that. This long-held theory being proved a myth is also good news for those who usually ditch breakfast - because that won’t slow your metabolism down, either. The thermic effect of food, a.k.a what your body burns in digestion also only accounts for about 10% of your metabolic burn. Eat when it’s convenient for you, because at the end of the day it isn’t about when you eat, but what you eat.
- “Don’t Eat Before Bed”
Everyone and their mom will tell you not to eat (especially carbs) before bed, because it will surely get turned into fat. That’s false, thankfully, as your body has no internal clock to tell it what time it is. Your body doesn’t care what time of day you’re eating, and will burn food for energy based on hormones, quality and content of your meals, and your overall energy expenditure for the day. A carb is a carb, no matter when you eat it.
- “Eating Small Meals throughout the Day is Better than Eating Fewer, Large Meals”
The idea that always eating and never till true fullness keeps your body burning is also a myth. As previously mentioned, the thermic effect of food is only a small fraction of total energy expenditure.
4. “You can Boost Your Metabolism by Eating Spicy Foods, Drinking Ice Cold Water, Engaging in HIIT Cardio, or Consuming Caffeine”
Sure, these things will temporarily bump up your caloric burn upon consumption, but the effects will sadly wear off quickly. Any “quick fix” tricks are just that - tricks!
- “Your Metabolism is Beyond Your Control”
Speaking of things that don’t boost your metabolism, here is what does: getting adequate sleep, drinking adequate amounts of water throughout the day, and consuming plenty of quality proteins.
When it comes to your weight, your metabolism is the be-all and end-all for your goals. Be informed, and make your metabolism work for you.