Everyone who wants to lose weight tries to outsmart their metabolism. In fact, metabolism is one of those words you hear getting tossed around all of the time in lots of different places, from personal conversations to the press to advertising campaigns.
Some have become millionaires by selling people on supposed cures for slow metabolisms that will make the weight just fall off of them.
The thing with all of this metabolism information out there is that many times, it is just plain wrong, and not being able to separate fantasy from reality about metabolism could harm your diet, your health and your wallet. Take a look at these common metabolic myths so you can achieve diet success easier in the future.
1. Metabolism Cannot be Changed
Myth number one is that you are born with your metabolism, and there is nothing you can do about it. This is simply not the case.
Some of your metabolic characteristics are predetermined, as is your body type to a certain extent, but you can control the vast majority of it through the choices you make in your lifestyle.
Don’t sit back and throw in the towel because you think that it is just in the cards for you to be overweight. That’s an excuse. Some people may find it hard than others to lose weight, but everyone CAN drop the pounds. But they also do have to work at it.
2. The Cardio Myth
Think you need to do 90 minutes of cardio exercise a day to increase your metabolism.? Although cardio is important to your overall health, when it comes to metabolism, it is not the most effective kind of exercise you can do1.
If you really want to give your metabolism the fuel to burn calories, you need to concentrate on lifting weights. Weight training exercises build lean muscle while helping you drop fat.
That muscle you build will burn more calories even when you’re not doing anything at all than you body could without it. Muscle building translates into metabolic rate increases.
3. Low Calories
Myth number three is that you should restrict your calories as much as possible to lose weight. Completely false!
In fact, your metabolism requires more calories than you might think to run properly.
When you skip meals and drastically cut calories, you put your metabolism into starvation mode. It will start holding on for dear life to fat you have and turn as many of the calories you do consume into fat as possible.
Your metabolism likes to eat. Give it the healthy foods it needs.
4. Goes Downhill with Age
Another untruth that is around is that your metabolism slows with age, and you’re stuck with it. Like myth number one, this is only partly true.
A slowing metabolism is part of the aging process, and when you pass 30, your metabolism can slow down considerably. Your response to this change makes all of the difference in the world.
5. Green tea and hot chilies Raise your Metabolism
Hot chili peppers, it is true, contain Capsaicin. This active component of chili peppers produces a sensation of burning in any tissue it touches. In other words, it puts the hot in hot peppers.
According to some studies, it can help you burn more calories immediately after a meal.
There is no evidence showing that weight loss is directly correlated with ingesting capsaicin, but there is a positive correlation between ingesting capsaicin and a decrease in weight regain.2
Even though ingestion of capsaicin does in fact cause thermogenesis, the increase in body temperature does not affect weight loss.3
As for green tea raising metabolism, although the catechins found in green tea are thought to be effective in preventing certain obesity-related cancers such as liver and colorectal cancer4, the evidence suggests that green tea’s effect on weight loss is more through its dampening effect on appetite than any raising of metabolic levels5.
Eat right and exercise, and you can keep your youthful metabolism for as long as you want.
2. Lejeune, Manuela P. G. M., Eva M. R. Kovacs, and Margriet S. Westerterp- Plantenga. “Effect of Capsaicin on Substrate Oxidation and Weight Maintenance after Modest Body-weight Loss in Human Subjects.” British Journal of Nutrition 90.03 (2003): 651.
3. Lejeune, Manuela P. G. M., Eva M. R. Kovacs, and Margriet S. Westerterp- Plantenga. “Effect of Capsaicin on Substrate Oxidation and Weight Maintenance after Modest Body-weight Loss in Human Subjects.” British Journal of Nutrition 90.03 (2003): 651.
4. Shimizu M, Kubota M, Tanaka T, Moriwaki H (2012). “Nutraceutical approach for preventing obesity-related colorectal and liver carcinogenesis“. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 13 (1): 579–95. doi:10.3390/ijms13010579. PMC 3269707. PMID 22312273.
5. The University of Chicago Medicine: Green Tea Derivative Causes Loss of Appetite, Weight Loss in Rats