Metabolism Myths

We’ve all been told things about our metabolism, what speeds it up, slows it down and so on. Would it surprise you to find out that most of us have been misinformed on this information? Last week in our office we talked about common myths with our metabolism.

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True/False – Your metabolism slows down as you age? While many people would say “Yes!” the fact that you’re getting older isn’t what slows your metabolism. When we get older we tend to change our activities. We get busy with our career, taking care of the kids and house that we forget to take time for ourselves. We skip the gym, and generally don’t get out an exercise at much. Many of us gradually get used to a sedentary lifestyle. As you get older, your muscle mass usually decreases, which consequently slows down the rate at which you burn calories. So when we notice a few more pounds on the scale, it’s easy to blame our age, but more likely it’s lack of movement. So this myth is FALSE.

True/False -Breakfast the most important meal of the day? “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” is a myth that is very pervasive in our society. Breakfast is perceived as healthy, even more important than other meals. Even today’s official nutrition guidelines recommend that we eat breakfast. So is there a link between breakfast and being healthy? Some people claim that eating breakfast “kick-starts” the metabolism, but this is a myth. However, what matters for metabolism is the total amount of food consumed throughout the day. Whether you eat or skip breakfast has no effect on the amount of calories you burn throughout the day. This myth is FALSE. Read more on this.

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True/False – Five small meals a day boost your metabolism more than three square meals. “Years ago, we all believed that you needed to eat multiple times a day to keep your metabolism stoked. … You had to keep feeding the fire and keep the furnace burning. But that theory goes back and forth, and newer research is showing that it really doesn’t slow metabolism if you’re not eating multiple times a day,” said Martha McKittrick, a nutritionist in New York City who has provided weight-loss counseling for over 20 years.

True/False – Cardio speeds your metabolism more than strength training. All cardio and no strength isn’t just monotonous, it may cause you to burn fewer calories long-term. Strength training helps you to build lean muscle mass, which increases your metabolism and decreases fat. You’ll burn more calories on a day-to-day basis with the more muscle you build. Read more.

True/False – Skipping meals slows your metabolism. Many people think they’re going into starvation mode when they skip a meal or fast for a day, and that’s just not the case. While there doesn’t seem to be a specific caloric threshold or length of time for starvation mode to kick in, it isn’t lurking around the corner, ready to sick in after skipping a meal or two. A larger concern for some would be overcompensating at the next meal. So, your metabolism will not slow down after missing a meal or two, which means this myth is FALSE.

True/False – Eating “low fat” foods keep your metabolism at high speed. “It is claimed that certain foods and drinks can increase your metabolism by helping the body to burn more calories and aid weight loss. There is little scientific evidence for this. Beware that some of these products may contain high levels of caffeine and sugar. To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume” Read more.

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