Busting The 5 Common Myths Around Metabolism (Episode 2)


Contributed by: Rachana Arya



Struggling with the numbers on the scale? Blame it on metabolism, of course!

Despite its obvious advantages, people often blame their metabolism and their genetic history for weight gain. Is metabolism really the culprit? The truth is that we move less, we eat more processed and junk foods, we eat and drink out a lot more, we have technologies that make our lives easy but make us more sedentary than we were years ago. Yet we use metabolism as a convenient scapegoat for ruining our fitness goals. 

Here are 5 truths about metabolism that may just be the key to reach a healthy weight – for good. In the earlier article on metabolism, we covered everything related to what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, and how much physical activity you need to be healthy. Check out the first post now!


Read on to put an end to the unfair accusations by debunking these metabolic myths.


Myth #1: Metabolism is all about burning calories


Many people think of metabolism as the rate at which someone burns calories. While it is true that breaking things down is an important aspect of metabolism, there are two basic components.

The most well-known aspect of the metabolism process is catabolism, or the breaking down of chemical bonds to release energy in the form of calories. Anabolism, the storage of energy in the form of chemical bonds for later use, including carbs and lipids, is just as important. A healthy metabolism is a complex balancing act of both processes and consists of both breaking things down and building things up; both are vital to health.


Myth #2: Skinnier people have a higher and speedier metabolism


People with lean, slim bodies appear to eat anything they want with no apparent repercussions. They undoubtedly have a speedier metabolism than ordinary people. Metabolism does play a role in body size, but not in the way most people imagine. While body size does affect metabolism, body composition has a considerably higher impact.

Skinny people nearly always have slower resting metabolisms because they have fewer calories to burn at rest. As a result, larger people typically have a faster metabolism (burning more calories even when they’re not moving) than their slimmer counterparts. It’s not simply any extra weight that speeds up your metabolism.

Muscle mass, in particular, has a significant impact on the amount of fat stored in the body. When two people of identical weights are compared, the person with more muscle mass will have a faster metabolism. This is only one of the reasons why any weight-loss regimen should be accompanied by a solid strength-training program. According to studies, having more muscle can help you lose weight far faster than just being on a diet.


Myth #3: There is little you can do to significantly change your metabolism


It’s very easy to blame a sluggish metabolism for your unwanted weight. However, the truth is that you have a greater influence over your metabolism than you can imagine. While genetics play a role in your metabolic rates, you can speed up your metabolism by increasing your lean muscle mass. As previously discussed, body composition has a significant impact on how rapidly the body burns calories. Building muscle by lifting weights is a simple approach to boost your metabolism.

Simple dietary modifications, in addition to changing your workout routine, can help you burn calories faster. That said, it is recommended that older people should undertake only those exercises that are easier on joints and tendons. In all cases, people should check first with their doctor and discuss what they would like to do before they start a new exercise program.


Myth #4: As you get older, your metabolism slows down


We all know the conventional wisdom about the trajectories of metabolism over the course of a lifetime. People gain weight year after year from their 20s onwards because their metabolisms slow down, especially around middle age. Women’s metabolisms are slower than men’s. As a result, individuals have a more difficult time controlling their weight. Menopause exacerbates the problem by slowing women’s metabolisms even further. ALL WRONG!

Recent research has revealed that a slowdown in adults doesn’t occur until after age 60. When it comes to weight gain, the issue is the same as it has always been: we do not move as much as we should and have unregulated meals. So that underlines the simple fact that staying active and eating smaller portions of healthful foods will help you lose weight.


Myth #5: Getting a full night’s sleep has no effect on boosting your metabolism


A good night’s sleep will not only affect your mood but also your productivity the next day. Researchers have found that it also speeds up your metabolism.  Sleep-deprived individuals have an increased ability to gain weight and also may find themselves hungrier for high carbohydrate foods. Make sure you schedule enough time for sleep in your life for a healthier metabolism. If you’re having difficulties sleeping, try to relax before bedtime and make your bedroom sleep-friendly. If self-care methods for better sleep do not help, speak with your health care physician.


Our Takeaway is this:

Eat less, eat smarter, move more.


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