Put most simply, metabolism is the term used to describe the chemical processes responsible for maintaining life.
There is a lot of information surrounding this subject – especially when it comes to exercise and nutrition. With that, of course, comes myths. Below are 5 common myths about metabolism, debunked!
Myth #1: Your metabolism stops working as you get older.
Due to possible loss of lean muscle mass, your metabolism can slow down slightly as you age, but the amount is very little. By building a lean and muscular body through diet and exercise, you can maintain a fast metabolism, even as you age.
Myth #2: Eating [insert “magic” food here] will boost your metabolic rate.
Unfortunately, no “magic” food will help speed up your metabolic rate. Yes, some studies have shown that green tea and hot chili peppers temporarily boosts them, but the boost is not great enough to show significant results physically.
Myth #3: Eating late at night after 8 PM can cause weight gain and slow your metabolic rate.
Very little evidence supports the fact that eating late at night can slow things down. However, many of us do not choose the best snack options in the evening. It is the excess calories and poor food choices that can lead to weight gain, not necessarily eating past 8 PM.
Myth #4: You cannot lose weight because of a slow metabolism/ you cannot gain muscle because of a fast metabolism.
Many of us believe we have a slow or fast metabolic rate due to previous success/failure of our goals. The best way to determine how fast or slow your metabolic rate is to complete a Resting Metabolic Rate test. This test will tell you the appropriate number of calories to eat daily. Even with calculators and apps out there to provide this information, many recommendations are inaccurate and only provide an estimate.
Myth #5: Very low calorie diets can jumpstart weight loss.
Eating fewer calories than your body burns each day is essential for weight loss. However, creating too large of a caloric deficit can be very harmful for our bodies. By severely limiting calories, your body begins to take energy from other sources. This can lead to your body burning more muscle than fat. Over time, it can also lead to a weakening of your bones.
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Post written by FFC registered dietitian Chelsea Rice.