There are some popular myths surrounding the word metabolism or the energy production process in our body. A lack of proper understanding, leads people on to starvation diets, try harmful metabolism boosters or use slow metabolism as an excuse for their body shape. But before we debunk the common myths surrounding it, let’s get down to answering what is metabolism? It is the process by which the body breaks down food and rebuilds that into larger complex molecules and stores it in our body. The break down involves changing complex food molecules into simpler ones and releasing energy, and this energy gets transferred into the other process that involves rebuilding or wear-and-tear of our body. The simple golden rule of metabolism is that when energy release equals energy consumption, then the current body weight is maintained. Its simple, if the ying and the yang of metabolism are balanced, then you are not piling on any pounds! But this simple logic has been overly complicated and here are some of the most common myths undone:
Myth#1: Slow metabolism is genetic
This is an often-quoted excuse for being out of shape because even if your body’s basal metabolic rate (BMR) or the ability to burn calories while at rest is slower than other’s, you can definitely overcome that limitation by building more muscles in your body. While every pound of fat burns merely 2 calories per day, muscles burn 35. So weight training for muscle building and aerobic exercises like cardio training are full-proof ways of pumping up your BMR during your workout and afterwards. This means no more blaming your genes.
Myth#2: Eating once meal a day keeps you thin
This is a sure shot way of increasing your body fat and sinking your body’s BMR. Without sufficient nutrition the body cells learn to live on smaller dosage of energy, and store body fat in anticipation of starvation. When you don’t eat for over six hours your BMR drops by 15%. Then when you do eat, your body becomes too sluggish to break down the food and release energy at its normal pace and tries to play it safe by conserving it to fat. If you want your metabolism working hard along with staying healthy, eat 5-6 low-calorie mini meals a day focused on whole foods rich in nutrition.
Myth#3: When you eat late in the evening, everything turns to fat
Remember your body’s metabolic processes are on even when you are sleeping although operating at a slower pace. Therefore, feel free to eat if you are hungry but just stay way from raiding your refrigerator at night for unhealthy snacks and going on binges when you can’t get sleep. Since you will be going to sleep in a few hours anyways, don’t load up on refined sugars but a healthy snack especially when you have to work late or finish chores at home, won’t necessarily make you fat. Metabolism is about balance so starvation is as bad as bingeing.
Myth#4: Cardio workouts boost your metabolism better than weight lifting
Weight training is best when it comes to lifting your BMR… when you strength train enough to add 3 pounds of muscle, you increase your calorie burn by 6 to 8% meaning that you burn about 100 extra calories every day. Aerobic exercises, on the other hand, doesn’t significantly increase your body’s lean muscle mass. Ryan D. Andrews, a certified strength-training specialist suggests muscle training for the largest muscles in your body to build more lean mass. He suggests squats, push-ups, and any exercise that combines upper and lower body movements