We live in a world whereby information is so easily spread, that just about any kind of hearsay can become concrete facts with the simple tap of a button!
The health and nutrition sector is certainly one area where a number of myths and misconceptions have been conjured over the years.
One particular subject of interest is to do with our metabolism. While it’s true that our metabolism varies from one person to the other, most people will be heard complaining about how slow their metabolism is, and how they are looking for tips to bring it back up to pace.
Nevertheless, could we be going about metabolism the wrong way? Here are some of the most common misconceptions about metabolism that have surprisingly gained a considerable following among health-conscious individuals.
Massive Meals Slow down Our Metabolism
So most of us believe that eating a big mac, two sides of fries, and a large coke in one sitting will stall our metabolism.
While it might not be the healthiest thing to do merely on a caloric principle, doing so has no adverse effect on slowing down our metabolism.
In fact, according to RDN Maggie Michalczyk, it is total hogwash that eating a series of small meals throughout the day is more beneficial than eating three square meals for our metabolism.
Indeed, this regimen does not affect one’s metabolism or the thermic effect that food has on the body just because the meals are smaller.
As a matter of fact, eating a series of small meals can actually cause one to binge more because of the frequent insulin spikes and crashes the body undergoes.
Evidently, the total calorie input of these small meals could be much higher than the three square meals combined!
Skipping Meals Stalls Our Metabolism
Though skipping a meal may not be ideal because of the calories and fuel that the body misses out on, skipping one meal will not cause a metabolic catastrophe as we’ve been led to believe!
In fact Michalczyk affirms that the only way for metabolism to slow down is by consistently consuming a low-calorie diet. This way, the body signals to the brain that it is in starvation mode and hence slows down metabolism.
That being said, we shouldn’t make skipping meals a regular thing. That’s because the temptation to binge later might be too strong for some of us, and we might gain a few pounds in the process!
Caffeine Beverages Elevate Our Metabolism
There’s no doubt that a cup or two of coffee will cause our metabolism to elevate. Nevertheless, this isn’t a definitive method for boosting your overall metabolism and curing all your metabolic issues.
In fact, the likes of green tea and coffee have been shown to elevate metabolism only for a short time frame.
Indeed, consuming them on a regular basis might actually cause us more harm than good depending on our current health frame.
For example, when we ingest excess caffeine, it makes us moody, heightens our heart conditions, and even messes up our sleep patterns!
One factor that does affect our metabolism though is dehydration. When we’re dehydrated, our metabolism slows down. So it’s vital that we stay hydrated to keep our metabolism at optimum levels.
We’re born with our Metabolism
While it’s proven that our metabolic rate is highly influenced by our genetics, gender, and age, we have the power to alter and increase our metabolism in certain ways.
For example, when an individual incorporates physical activities such as strength training to their regular routine, it results in muscle building, which then brings about a higher metabolic rate for fat burning.
So how does this work? When we increase muscle, our bodies will automatically begin to burn fat during rest periods as a result of increased muscle mass.
Which means that when we put on some extra muscle, our metabolism will automatically rise.
Long periods of cardio too (such as 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous aerobic work outs) will increase one’s heart rate, thereby increasing metabolism.
Adding Hot Peppers to Your Food
Perhaps the biggest misconception floating around is that peppers boost our metabolism. They might add flavor to our food and increase overall heart health, but adding peppers isn’t going to suddenly take our metabolism to the desired level.
So if someone’s been eating more than 5 chilies a day, stop with the torture already!