It’s Time to Put These Popular Metabolism Myths to Rest
The entire debate about the perfect diet for oneself revolves around the metabolism of a person. Certain diets are recommended according to whether a person’s metabolism is fast or slow, in order to ensure a person is receiving the optimal level of nutrition all day round.
However, there are many myths surrounding the workings of our metabolic system. Do people with a slow metabolism truly gain weight very easily compared to those with a fast one? Does eating more fat in a meal slow it down? These are just some of the theories around which many nutritionists base the meal plans of their clients.
But maybe the problem is not with what we eat, rather how we believe our food intake impacts our metabolic system. Let’s try to assess some of the commonly believed perceptions about metabolism to see which ones are scientifically accurate and which ones are simply untrue.
It’s Possible to Slow down Your Metabolism?
There is a widely held belief that eating a large meal slows down the metabolic rate of a person, and the larger the meal the more effective it is in slowing down the system. Similarly, for those looking to reduce their weight, it is encouraged that they consume smaller meal portions and increase the number of meals they consume in a single day to increase the rate of their metabolism.
Truth is, the metabolic rate in our body does not change with the size or the number of meals we consume. Rather, it remains constant regardless, and the only thing that changes is the number of calories we intake. For example, when we consume a large meal, we intake a large number of claroies which we would otherwise not eat, and although it leaves us fuller for a longer period of time, more likely than not we do end up consuming more number of calories by the end of the day.
Similarly, when we consume smaller meals throughout the day, those meals end up making us feel hungry more often, and hence we indulge in snacks in between meal times. Often, these snacks deliver almost as many calories as a proper meal, which results in the cumulative number of calories we consume in a day to exceed our recommended daily intake by a much greater margin than we’d like.
Hence, what’s important is not the size of the meals we eat, but the number of calories which consume in a given day. It’s the calories we need to focus on to maintain our weight goals.
Skipping Meals Also Slows Down the Metabolism
If your goal is to lose weight, then you’ve probably skipped a few meals in the hope that doing so would result in you dropping a couple of pounds. It’s true that maintaining a low-calorie diet consistently does result in your metabolic rate to eventually slow down as your body tries to save you from starvation, skipping a meal every now and then will not achieve that purpose. In fact, it may actually prove to be quite detrimental to your weight-loss goal.
Although initially you do end up saving your body from all those calories you would’ve otherwise acquired from the meal now skipped, your body now encourages you to indulge in a much heavier meal to make up for the calories. In turn, the net caloric intake by the end of the day with a skipped meal ends up being much higher than what you would normally consume with no skipped meals, resulting in you actually gaining weight in the long term.
Caffeine Increases Metabolism
Sure, that cup of green tea you like to have after meals does increase your metabolic rate for a while, but it’s not the best thing for you to do considering other factors. For example, a high intake of caffeine has been linked to certain heart conditions, and can also result in jitteriness and messed up sleeping patterns in many individuals.
The best thing you should do is maintain the optimal metabolic rate for your body, and you can achieve that by simply drinking enough water. Dehydration is one of the causes behind a slower than normal metabolic rate, so more often than not the solution to maintaining optimal weight is as simple as maintaining an adequate water intake.
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