Metabolism is a common word regarding diet and healthy living. Since everyone is talking about it, misinformation gets passed around often by well-meaning people. It’s hard to tell which metabolism myths are real and which aren’t, but learning about them can help your weight loss efforts.
Many of the myths have been in existence for decades, making most people believe they are real. Once you know the metabolism myths to stop listening to, you can ditch the ideas that hinder weight loss. For more ideas, you can read about intermittent fasting here. Then, you can work toward hitting your goals, as you won’t waste time or effort on incorrect rules.
Metabolism is a series of chemical reactions that allow your body to burn calories. It includes your resting metabolic rate, physical activity’s thermic effect, and feeding’s thermic effect. These concepts are a lot to understand, which is why they are often misunderstood and have many associated myths.
Seven Metabolism Myths That Can Harm Your Weight Loss Efforts
Without debunking the myths, you’ll waste time and energy worrying about things that don’t matter. It’ll prevent you from reaching your weight loss goals and interfere with your overall health. While it’s impossible to debunk every metabolism myth, here are seven to get you started.
1. Exercise can Increase Your Metabolism, and You Don’t Have to Eat Healthily
Many people believe that their metabolism will increase if they work out enough. People assume that they’ll lose weight if they burn more fat than they take in each day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way, and working out won’t eliminate the effects of a poor diet.
One of the reasons that exercise alone won’t boost your metabolism is that there isn’t enough time in the day. Most people don’t have enough time to burn more than a few hundred calories, and junk food will put you well beyond that. Even if you plan to work out that day, you must consciously choose healthy eating.
Eating unhealthy foods takes a toll on your body and weight loss efforts. While exercise is essential, you can’t count on it alone. Pay attention to your eating habits and daily dietary intake to see if you’re hindering your weight loss efforts. You must get a healthy mix of physical activity and essential nutrients daily to fulfill your metabolic needs.
2. Eating Breakfast Boosts Your Metabolism (myth alert!)
Most people have heard that breakfast is essential daily and boosts your metabolism. However, experts say breakfast might not have anything to do with speeding up your metabolism.
The myth comes from the thermic effect of food, which occurs when your body uses energy to break down food. This process happens no matter when you eat your first meal, so it doesn’t have to be breakfast. You can eat whenever it works best for your lifestyle and schedule.
3. Cardio is Better for Your Metabolism Than Strength Training
This metabolism myth is common because cardio burns more calories than strength training. However, burning more doesn’t always mean it’s better for your metabolism. Instead, a higher metabolic rate requires more muscle mass.
Studies show that resistance and strength training reduce fat while increasing muscle. Cardio only reduces fat without doing anything for your muscles. So, speeding up your metabolism requires more than just cardio; strength training is the way to go.
Additionally, cardio will only boost your metabolism for at least one to two hours. If you opt for strength training, the boost can last up to 24 hours, helping your weight loss efforts all day. You’ll get more out of your workout by implementing strength or resistance training daily.
It’s essential to note that any physical activity helps burn fat. Don’t skip out on cardio altogether because it reduces the risk of health conditions. The best option is to combine strength training and cardio each day.
4. Eating After 7:00 PM Ruins Your Metabolism
A long-held metabolism myth is that you shouldn’t eat after 7:00 PM or you won’t lose weight. However, it doesn’t matter if you eat late at night or not because it doesn’t affect your weight either way. The only thing that matters regarding late-night snacks is what you choose to eat.
If you choose a healthy snack after 7:00, it won’t harm your weight loss efforts. It will help keep your metabolism going overnight, regulate your blood sugar, and help you meet your protein goals. Choose something healthy, like a low-fat cheese stick or Greek yogurt.
However, if you choose an unhealthy snack, it could hinder your weight loss efforts. Junk food and desserts can cause weight gain, but eating them early in the day or late at night affects your outcomes. So, enjoy your late-night snack, and don’t assume you have to eat your treats early, either.
5. Many Small Meals Throughout the Day Boosts Your Metabolism
One myth that can hinder your weight loss efforts is that eating many small meals is better than three big ones. Eating small meals doesn’t boost your metabolism at all, and it can do more harm than good. Most people struggle with portion sizes, so eating many small meals leads to overeating.
People believe this myth because frequent eating throughout the day can curb cravings but doesn’t boost metabolism. However, there’s nothing wrong with this eating schedule as long as it works for you and doesn’t lead to overeating.
As further proof that eating many small meals doesn’t boost metabolism, you can skip meals and lose weight. Your body won’t suffer from skipping a meal unless you’ve missed multiple meals. However, skipping meals can cause you to miss out on essential nutrients that keep you energized throughout the day.
If you eat three full meals a day, you can eat snacks in between. Eating healthy snacks can help curb your cravings the same way eating many small meals does. Snacks can prevent you from getting too hungry, helping you resist overeating.
6. Some Foods and Drinks Boost Metabolism
Many people believe that caffeine, green tea, and spicy foods boost metabolism, but that isn’t accurate. These foods and drinks can give your metabolism a jolt, but it isn’t enough to make a difference. Plus, the jolt doesn’t last long, either.
The only foods that can truly boost your metabolism are those with nutrients and vitamins. You must consume more than one food to receive adequate nutrition for improving your weight loss efforts. Don’t focus on adding something specific to your diet, but ensure eating many nutritious but low-calorie foods daily.
To add a variety of nutritious, filling, and low-calorie foods to your diet, look for the following:
- Low-fat dairy
- Lean meats
7. Metabolism Slows with Age (the most surprising of these metabolism myths!)
A common myth is that your metabolism slows down as you get older, so people think there’s nothing they can do about it. However, this decline only occurs if you become less active. If you continue being active as you get older, your metabolism won’t slow down.
Three Ways to Boost Metabolism Naturally (Without Relying on Those Debunked Metabolism Myths!)
So what can you do to increase the metabolic process?
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Your body needs water to function, including processing the food you eat. If you aren’t drinking enough water each day, it slows your metabolism down. Studies show that those who drink water throughout the day burn more calories than those who don’t.
If it’s hard for you to drink enough water, start drinking a glass of water before every snack and meal. You’ll get used to drinking so much water and consume more than you did in the past. Water also helps suppress your appetite, making it highly beneficial for weight loss.
2. Get Enough Sleep
You’ll be more energized and focused during the day when you get enough sleep. You’re more likely to make better food and movement choices with energy and focus.
You won’t feel as sluggish, giving you the energy to move whenever the opportunity arises. Plus, you can make nutritious choices with a focused mind rather than reaching for a sugar-filled treat.
3. Take Time to Move During Your Workday
If your workday takes up a significant portion of your day, finding time to move regularly is essential. Schedule short breaks throughout your day, making sure to get out of your chair and move around.
Taking short breaks to move around isn’t only beneficial for weight loss. It also helps boost productivity and concentration, allowing you to work more efficiently.
Final Thoughts on Metabolism Myths That Can Harm Your Weight Loss Efforts
Knowing the truth about metabolism myths can make all the difference in your weight-loss efforts. You can adopt new and eliminate old habits, guiding you closer to success.
Don’t hold up your progress by believing the myths you’ve heard all your life. Do research to see what will work best for your weight loss efforts because these aren’t the only metabolism myths you’ll find. Aim to eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, move frequently, exercise, and get plenty of sleep.