“It’s my metabolism that’s to blame.” How many times have you heard this sentence or said it yourself? Blaming your metabolism for weight gain is a common habit and the interesting thing about the phenomenon is that many people don’t quite understand what metabolism actually is.
Metabolism can best be understood if thought of a process; basically a set of chemical changes which occur regularly within all living organisms, metabolism is what ensures that we grow, repair and reproduce correctly. It can be split into two categories; catabolism and anabolism. Catabolism breaks down organic matter and ensures cellular respiration and anabolism uses energy to build cells including proteins. Together these processes are always working to ensure we take the good stuff from what we consume and to leave behind the bad stuff…to repair and renew damaged cells and basically to keep us functioning.
The myths surrounding metabolism generally come from lack of understanding.
Thin people have fast metabolisms: Nope. Thinner people’s metabolisms are actually generally slower because there is less of them to burn off. Larger people’s metabolisms have to work much harder in order to keep things ticking over. Having said that though there is some truth in the myth but it concerns muscle and bulk rather than simply who’s thinnest. Muscular people have faster metabolisms in general whilst those with little muscle tend to have slower metabolisms.
Missing meals will slow down your metabolism: Not true. Some people can benefit from eating very frequent, small meals as this helps them to stave off cravings and to avoid the empty feeling which can instigate a binge but in general what really matters is the quality of the food which you eat. Even eating 2 spaced out meals a day won’t slow your metabolism down at all…especially if the meals are well balanced and contain all the nutrients you need.
Eating after 6 is bad for your metabolism: Another misconception. What you eat is what matter and not when you eat it. Our metabolisms don’t shut down at bedtime…far from it. You can eat a healthy and well balanced meal when you want to and relax safe in the knowledge that as long as you eat well and exercise regularly, it won’t suddenly morph into fat overnight!
Your metabolism is set in stone: This is completely untrue. Metabolism is not something which cannot be changed. If you want to get your metabolism working well, the best move you can make is to build up some muscle. Regular muscle building exercise will assist you in ramping up the speed at which you break food down.
The old advice stays true when it comes to your metabolism and your weight. Eat well…exercise well and be sensible about how much junk food you consume and you will reach or maintain the weight which you’re happiest at.