Metabolism Myths and Facts

Updated at: Sep 23, 2011
Metabolism Myths and Facts

Diet Basics - There are a lot of myths about metabolism and how one can influence it. This article dispels some of them.

Vatsal Anand
Exercise & FitnessWritten by: Vatsal AnandPublished at: Sep 23, 2011

Metabolism Myths and FactsMetabolism is the total of the chemical processes that go on inside your body to sustain the vital body functions daily. Breathing, pumping of blood, extraction of energy from food and keeping the brain functioning. Your metabolic rate is also determined by the number of calories used up by the body at the time you rest, apart from the muscular composition of the body. People often believe in some misleading notions about metabolism which are myths.


Myths of Metabolism and the Real Facts

  • One cannot possibly alter his metabolism for the better – Some people are stuck with the idea that their metabolism is given and that there are some “lucky” people who have a naturally better metabolism than them. The fact may be that such apparently lucky people have natural inclinations for low fat food, or the inclination to move around a lot in office or stretch frequently when sitting at their desk. That is exactly what you should start doing, having decided to boost your metabolism.
  • Having spicy food can boost metabolism – Foods such as ginger, hot pepper, green tea and others can speed up your metabolism but they are not a healthy choice of food. Research has shown that spicy foods can increase metabolism for a short period of time, around 30 minutes or so, but the best effect is noted when high fat foods accompany the spices such as hot pepper. So, it will not help you lose weight as the high fat food would be high in calorie content. Even green tea, which has become quite popular of late as weight loss drink may not be effective enough in boosting metabolism to result in weight loss.
  • Since cutting calories slows metabolism, why bother as it will not burn more – This view is only partially correct. It is correct that having less calories will also bring down rate of metabolism, but by adopting a more active lifestyle, you can still hope to lose weight. You need to strike a balance between an active lifestyle and controlled diet to improve your metabolism.
  • I only need to stop eating high calorie foods at night to lose weight – This idea is based on the right information that metabolism slows down at night. The flip side is that you may swallow down more calories in the day itself and that would not help to lose weight. The bottom line is that to lose weight, you need to consume lesser calories than you burn in a day.


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