Understanding how to healthily and sustainably lose weight can be difficult if you believe in quick weight loss diets. But understanding metabolism can be tough for just about everyone.
That lack of understanding can lead to misconceptions about metabolism. The problem is that those misconceptions can make it more difficult to lose weight.
What is Metabolism?
Metabolism is the conversion of the energy in the food you eat into the energy your body’s cells need to perform their functions. That energy is measured in calories.
When you hear about a ‘fast’ or ‘slow’ metabolism, it refers to the speed at which the energy is converted, or your metabolic rate. The speed of your metabolism is determined by your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. Your BMR is how many calories you burn over a 24-hour period to fuel your body’s functions, while you are at rest.
In a set amount of time, a faster metabolism will burn more calories and a slower metabolism burns fewer calories.
The Metabolism Myths That Might Be Stopping You From Losing More Weight
Your metabolism can seem like a fairly simple thing, but it’s surprisingly complex. Doing something that you think speeds up your metabolism can actually slow it down.
Those misconceptions and the complexities have given birth to a number of metabolism myths. Myths that can make it difficult for you to lose more weight.
Myth #1 – Cutting Down on What You Eat Speeds-Up Your Metabolism
This goes hand-in-hand with the myth that cutting calories is a good way to permanently lose weight. It seems to make so much sense. If you cut down on your calories, your body will need to burn more of the energy you have. Being stored in fat cells, burning more of that energy will help you lose weight.
Except the opposite happens. When your body detects that you’re regularly eating fewer calories, it automatically slows down your metabolism to suit how many calories you’re eating.
So you may not be ‘burning more than you’re eating’ if you simply cut calories to lose weight.
Myth #2 – Cardio is the Best Way to Increase Your Metabolic Rate
You’ve seen them on the Biggest Loser. Whether on treadmills, or running cross country, contestants get their heart and metabolic rates up so the can burn more calories and lose more weight. With all the sweating they do, they must be losing lots of weight.
Yes, they are. But once the cardio workouts are over, their bodies return to normal and so does their metabolic rate. So cardio generally increases your BMR only for as long as you’re doing the cardio.
To increase your BMR even when at rest, you should work on some strength training. Muscle cells burn more energy than fat cells. That means more muscular people will usually have a higher BMR.
Myth #3 – Working Out Harder Will Make Your Metabolism Faster
Again, here’s where you think you have it figured out, but it’s not that simple. It sounds like, if muscle cells increase your metabolic rate, then a crazy workout schedule will help you lose weight.
Except too much working out, especially if you don’t have a plan designed for you, can stress your body and increase inflammation. Think about how you react to added stress and not getting enough rest. Your muscles are the same. Except they don’t get irritated, they get inflamed. And then any activity hurts.
Again, everything about your metabolism is more complex than it seems. Even saying it’s ‘fast’ or ‘slow’ can be misleading. Everyone’s metabolism is different. It all adds up to mean that, if you want to successfully, healthily and sustainably lose weight, you need a weight loss plan designed specifically for you and your goals. One like the nutritional consultants at the closest Herbal One Centre can create for you. And they’ll help you make it a success too.