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8 Myths and Facts About Your Metabolism That Will Help You Understand How You Burn Calories

Supplements and Metabolism

Myth: Supplements can speed up your metabolism.

Over-the-counter products that claim to boost metabolism often don’t have calories, don’t directly impact your metabolism and have well documented potentially dangerous side effects and interactions with prescription drugs. Natural alternatives such as spicy foods do boost your metabolism, leading to more calories being burned, although not for long. 

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8 Myths and Facts About Your Metabolism That Will Help You Understand How You Burn Calories

8 Myths and Facts About Your Metabolism That Will Help You Understand How You Burn Calories

https://www.health.com/weight-loss/metabolism-myths

health.com

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Key Ideas

Supplements and Metabolism

Myth: Supplements can speed up your metabolism.

Over-the-counter products that claim to boost metabolism often don’t have calories, don’t directly impact your metabolism and have well documented potentially dangerous side effects and interactions with prescription drugs. Natural alternatives such as spicy foods do boost your metabolism, leading to more calories being burned, although not for long. 

Skinnier People

Myth: Skinnier people have faster metabolisms.

It’s more about body composition than body size when it comes to metabolism. Metabolism depends on the composition of protein mass you have—muscle is more metabolically active, meaning the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn when you’re resting. This is why lifting weights is one of the best ways to speed up your metabolism, it adds muscles. 

Metabolism and Genetics

Myth: Metabolism is genetic, can't be changed.

Your genes do influence your metabolism, but, unusual genetic conditions aside, lifestyle habits affect it more. The amount of exercise you get and the choices you make when you feed yourself are more important factors.

Those With Fast Metabolism

Myth: Those with a fast metabolism can eat freely.

People with faster metabolisms don’t necessarily put weight on as quickly as those with slower metabolisms. But a balanced diet comes with seriously consequential health benefits unrelated to weight maintenance, including good heart health and the prevention of certain cancers.

Multiple Smaller Meals a Day

Myth: multiple smaller meals a day are better than 3 regular meals.

Some research is coming out saying maybe it’s better to eat two or three modest meals a day. People often miscalculate the calories in the smaller meals resulting in a higher caloric intake than they would consume with three regular meals.

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Skipping Breakfast

Researchers say breakfast doesn't kickstart the metabolism and may not be the most important meal of the day. Different studies have found that skipping breakfast doesn’t lead to weight increase an...

"Hot" Workouts

They won't really help you lose weight. Research suggests regularly sleeping in colder temperatures may be optimal for weight loss as they stimulate the production of brown fat, the "good" fat. Brown fat keeps us warm by burning through "bad" fat stores.

Turn down the heat at night. You'll trim your belly and your heating bills.

Tongue-Scorching Peppers

Hot sauce can boost your metabolism. But research suggests that more-palatable, mild peppers may have the same calorie-burning potential.

Pack your salads and stir-fry with sweet peppers-including bell peppers, pimentos, rellenos, and sweet banana peppers. They're just as effective as the hot stuff.

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Your metabolism

It is in every cell in your body. It refers to a series of chemical processes in each cell that turn the calories you eat into fuel to keep you alive.

The body's major organs — th...

How we burn energy

There are 3 main ways:

  • the basal metabolism, the energy used for your body's basic functioning while at rest
  • the energy used to break down food (also known as the thermic effect of food)
  • the energy used in physical activity.

Most of the energy you burn is from your resting metabolism.

Metabolism variations

Metabolism can vary a lot between people, and researchers don't understand why.

2 people with the same size and body composition can have different metabolic rates. One can consume a huge meal and gain no weight, while the other has to carefully count calories to not gain weight.

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Calories In Calories Out Principle Is Out
Calories In Calories Out Principle Is Out

This myth is usually followed with “X makes you fat, not calories”. That X is usually a macronutrient such as carbs or fat. Sometimes it’s a chemical found in the foods.

Eating Small Meals And High Metabolism

The rationale behind this myth is the fact that when you eat, your energy expenditure goes up during digestion. 

The problem with this myth is that the amount of extra calories you burn during digestion is directly correlated with the calories you consume. That means eating ten 200 Calorie meals increase the metabolism at the same rate as eating two 1,000 Calorie meals.

Diet Sodas And Weight Gain

Although there are many potential health effects of diet sodas and artificial sweeteners, weight gain is not one of them. Your body can’t store fat out of nothing.

For some people, consuming certain beverages may trigger a craving for another food. If you know when you drink diet soda, you are going to crave some other food, avoid it.   

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