By Lisa Marie Conklin, Reader’s Digest
If your struggling to lose weight, it could be because you’ve been thinking about your metabolism all wrong. Once you know the truth behind these common myths, you’ll be able to boost your metabolism and get your weight loss back on track.
Myth: Fasting amps up metabolism
Sure, you can lose weight by following any of the hundreds of fad diets out there but studies show the results will be short-lived. “Drastic diets don’t work and lead to weight gain, not loss, and can decrease your metabolism,” says Ellen Albertson, PhD, of South Burlington, Vermont. In addition, Albertson cautions that dieting increases stress and the hormone cortisol, which is associated with weight gain around the belly. Learn about 50 easy ways to lose weight naturally.
Myth: Metabolism slows down at night
Sounds logical. After all, your body isn’t doing much, right? Turns out there is no truth to the rumor, says Marc Leavey, MD, a primary care specialist in Lutherville, Maryland. “It turns out that the way your body handles the food and the calories contained within that food has a lot to do with what you’re eating, your body’s own unique physiology, and your level of activity,” says Dr. Leavey. Still, Leavey says chowing down on fatty food isn’t a good idea before bedtime.
Myth: Superfoods boost metabolism
Superfoods have loads of healthy benefits for overall health, but boosting metabolism isn’t necessarily one of them. Eating too much of any food, super or not, could mean excess calories that aren’t being used for immediate energy and end up as stored fat. “The secret for is successful weight management is calorie restriction without hunger or fatigue,” says Barry Sears, PhD, author of The Mediterranean Zone. “That is achieved by hormonal balance created by the ratio of carbs and protein at every meal and doing moderate exercise for the rest of your life.” Don’t miss these other 42 easy ways to lose weight fast.
Myth: You have no control over your metabolism
In fact you do, says Carolyn Dean, MD, of drcarolyndean.com. “What you eat, how you exercise along with mineral stores in your body has a lot to do with how efficiently your metabolism functions,” says Dr. Dean. One of those important minerals is magnesium. “Magnesium is required for the body to produce and store energy and yet 75 percent of Americans do not get their dietary reference intake (DRI) of this important metabolism boosting mineral,” says Dr. Dean. Unfortunately, not all forms of magnesium are easily absorbed in the body. She recommends a magnesium citrate powder that can be mixed with water to sip during the day. Learn how this one sugar substitute can help prevent metabolic syndrome.
Myth: Eating six meals a day keeps metabolism revving
Eating frequent meals is a great way to prevent hunger and avoid binging later in the day but the quantity of food consumed in six meals is something to keep any eye on. “Eating frequent meals without looking into the total caloric consumption may lead to weight gain instead of weight loss,” says Karen Lau, RD, in Boston.