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Looking to feel healthy, energized and (maybe) lose some weight? Myths are rife in the fitness industry, so I am here to bust the most common myths around metabolism for you.

First of all, your metabolism as we are referring to here, is the fire that burns through food and drink. The higher it is, the easier it is to lose weight. Chronic dieting down regulates your metabolism, which makes it HARDER to lose weight. So, believing these myths will keep you from achieving your goals, and that is why we are covering them 🙂

Let’s start with the most common one;

Myth 1: I’ve tried everything and can’t lose weight 

Metabolisms simply adapt to your lifestyle. Anyone can lose weight, they just need to take a metabolically friendly approach. (if you want to learn more about this, check out my Nutrition course where I cover it, and help you fix it, in detail.)

The issue with most women, without getting too deeply into it, is that most women don’t eat enough calories, or enough nutritiously rich food on a daily basis, to create the foundations of a healthy metabolism.

When daily health targets aren’t met, cravings come in and we often over-indulge in hyper-palatable foods, pushing daily calories over the top into a surplus (more than you need). Fad diets are often leaned on too, when women find themselves believing this, as they want to get the ‘diet’ out of the way as soon as possible.

It’s not possible to just ‘get it out of the way’. Eating well and eating well regularly needs to become a lifestyle, not just a one-time thing for a period of time. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you start to feel leaner, stronger, healthier, and more energized.

Additionally, most women who say this, have never tried a measured, slow-going health-focussed approach, approved by a professional. What they mean by ‘i’ve tried everything’ is that they have tried every fad diet, trendy group challenge, or extreme methods.

Always keep in mind, the truth is a hard sell. It’s not romantic, fancy, quick or easy. You may have noticed this by now though with the content I’ve shared with you so far!

 

Myth 2: Your metabolism slows as you age 

 

The great news is that this is totally false, IF you continue to remain active.

Your metabolism is a reflection of your lifestyle. Generally speaking, as people age, they become less active and after age 30, they start to lose muscle. In women, it’s been suggested that this could be up to 15% by the age of 50, further declining after that.

If you remain active, continue (or start) weight training to maintain muscle and continue to fuel your body, with a nutrient rich diet, your metabolism simply will not slow down all by itself, it will respond to what you’re teaching it, and require it to do. End of story.

 

Myth 3: Exercise boosts your metabolism

 

Ok, so there is some truth in this one. Post exercise, there’s something that we call EPOC (excess post-exercise energy expenditure). This refers to the increase in energy (caloric) demands after a workout and essentially, the harder the workout, the greater the EPOC. But we’re only talking about around 60-extra calories over a 16-hour period, not a whole bucket of hot-chips worth 😉

When you have a sluggish, highly adapted metabolism and your body is under stress, this kind of intense exercise will actually just cause more stress on your body.

So it’s better to look at it like this:

Exercise increases the amount of energy you expend on that day only. For example, you burn 250 calories on the stepper, it hasn’t ‘increased’ your metabolism, it has simply burned through more calories than you would have had you remained sedentary that day. That means, you can eat 250-calories more that day, if your goal is to maintain your weight. 

 

Myth 4: Weight training increases your metabolism 

This is true, but it’s not dramatic. Increased muscle mass from weight training has been shown to have an effect on improving metabolism, but it’s not a huge amount when it comes to building muscle naturally.

For example, it’s been estimated that one kilogram of muscle can burn up to 12 calories while at rest. 1kg of fat burns around 4 calories per day. If over time you were to increase muscle mass by 10kg, this means you’ll be burning 120-calories more per day. Keep in mind this may take you a few years to achieve, so the effect is slight. You will look and feel a lot different though, that is for sure, due to changes in body composition resulting from your training efforts.

Look at it like this; weight training improves the quality of the body overall, and when more muscle is built, performance improves and training sessions are more effective. This has an impact on how we can transform our bodies over time, but not so much an ‘overnight’ effect on the quality of your metabolism

 

Myth 5: Metabolisms ‘break’ 

False. Refer to myth 1 – ‘I have tried everything and can’t lose weight’. 

Your metabolism isn’t ‘broken’, it’s just efficient. Remember that an efficient metabolism is one that adapts really well to its environment.

If your metabolism is sluggish and you’re gaining weight easily, it is not doing what you want, it’s doing what it thinks you need. It’s protecting you from a famine, keeping you as safe as it possibly can.

Why does this happen? There are generally three reasons; 

  • Your body is under stress, be it physical or emotional.
  • You aren’t consuming the right kinds of health-based foods
  • You are under-eating regularly and on purpose
  • You aren’t training in a way that optimizes your health (over-training)

Fun-fact – it is actually rare that someone with anorexia reaches a skeletal body composition. This is a genetic factor, and many who are treated with anorexia aren’t that skeletal at all, they’re just undernourished. So simply not eating does not help everyone lose weight. 

 

Myth 6: I can boost my metabolism with (insert food or drink here) 

This is true, but not in the way you think. We hear a lot about spicy foods, caffeine, and pre-trainers causing an increase in metabolism, but all they really do is speed up your heart rate, or increase body heat. This doesn’t ensure that your metabolism will speed up!

You could say this statement has some validity, due to what we call the ‘thermic effect of food’ (TEF). These foods require more energy to break down, with protein, and particularly animal protein, being the primary example.

Foods that are high in nutritional quality can also have a more positive impact on metabolism than processed, under-nourishing foods, as they are less-likely to inflame and damage the gut lining, or maim your healthy and helpful gut bacteria.

Healthful, whole foods are metabolically nourishing, and fast-foods can be destructive. Note also, that how destructive it can be is relative to the individual, their current state and stress levels, so for some people junk food is fine in moderation, and for others it is the last thing they need. 

 

Myth 7: Multiple meals per day will speed up your metabolism 

This is false, and studies have shown that your metabolism will remain the same whether you eat 6 meals per day, or just one.

In saying that, I believe it makes a difference for women to have a few meals per day to prevent blood sugar crashes, and increase the chance of adherence. Women’s bodies are most often more prone to stress, and when you spend many hours without a meal, it can heighten that stress, especially when your metabolism isn’t particularly healthy.

So if you’re stressed, or if feeling hungry makes you feel stressed, stick to more frequent meals. If you’re not stressed, eat however you like!

 

Myth 8: You should eat ‘fat-burning’ foods

Sorry, but fat-burning foods don’t exist. Calorie-control is the only way to make the most out of a weight loss journey. As mentioned above this means fat burners, coffee, and berries won’t make your metabolism speed up and body-fat to drop off

Fat-burning occurs when your body has a low enough amount of food coming in from healthy sources, without it feeling unsafe. When this happens, in order to make up for the deficit in energy your body will tap into fat cells and use them for fuel instead.

So, the optimal ‘fat-burning’ foods for you are, the ones that are most nourishing and least stressful for your body overall. 

 

Myth 9: Carbs are the enemy when it comes to a healthy metabolism

False, false, false.

Although we can survive without carbs, it’s very hard to thrive without them. Especially if you’re physically active.

There are no short-cuts. You can’t bypass your body’s physiology with a simple trick. The basics work time and time again, you just need to be consistent and patient!

Ignore the influencers, your mum, your friends (who aren’t qualified), and trust the methods that have been working for years on end.

Save your valuable time and energy for getting results!

 

 

 

 

 

Transformation is yours for the taking. 

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