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You may have heard lots of talk about how much your metabolism determines your ability to shed pounds. But is it true? The reality is, while your metabolic rate does have to do with how quickly you burn calories, it’s not the only factor contributing to the process.

Read on to learn about the 8 most common metabolism myths you shouldn’t believe.

We Can’t Alter Our Metabolism

Yes, your metabolism is partially genetic, but this doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the same metabolic rate for your entire life. You have more power than that! Many people already feel defeated when they have a slow metabolism.

They assume it’s just something they’ll have to deal with their whole lives and they can’t do anything about it. Simple things like drinking plenty of water, eating a low-calorie diet and getting plenty of sleep can all contribute to speeding up your metabolism.

Eating Late at Night Is a No No

We’ve all heard the warnings; when you eat late at night your body stores the food as fat. We’re not sure where this came from exactly, but it’s totally false. First of all, your body has no idea if it consumes its’ final meal at 7 pm, 9 pm, or 10 pm. How could it?

The issue is what you eat, not when you eat it. So sure, if you’re indulging in a sundae before you go to sleep each night, you’re likely to notice some weight gain. But this won’t be about your metabolism, it will be about the fact that you’re eating something fattening and loaded with sugar close to bedtime.

You don’t have any physical activity after that late night snack so the not-so-nutritious ingredients you just consumed sit there and they do nothing for your health in terms of restoring your body and getting a restful sleep.

On the other hand, if you had something healthy before bed like a hard boiled egg, a scoop of peanut butter or a piece of fruit, you wouldn’t likely see the same weight gain as you would with the unhealthy snack even though you’re eating them at the same time.

Eating later at night won’t change your metabolism. Just make smart choices about what you consume so you don’t gain unnecessary weight.

Certain Food Can Speed up Metabolism

You may have heard suggestions about certain foods to eat in order to rev up your metabolism. Many tout spicy foods like chillis or beverages like green tea as miracle workers that can give you a boost.

The reality is there is no magic food that can alter your metabolism. Of course, consuming fatty, high-calorie foods will ultimately lead to weight gain if they’re eaten in excess. But on the flip side, there’s no magic food that will do the reverse.

The key to getting a handle on your metabolism to keep it running smoothly and efficiently is to exercise portion control and make smart choices when it comes to what you put on your plate when it comes to mealtime.

Dieting Helps

Well, it depends what you mean by diet. Eating a nutrient-rich but low-fat diet can’t hurt.

Especially if you’re sure to get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

But be careful of crash dieting or fad diets that leave you seriously restricted when it comes to food.

If your calorie intake becomes too low, your body can become confused. Our metabolism is smart and adjusts to make sure you are able to function and have enough energy throughout the day. So, if you’re cutting too many calories, your body won’t allow you to burn too many calories.

This could leave you at a plateau when it comes to weight loss or even slow down your metabolism, resulting in weight gain. Don’t forget, a diet can’t last forever. So if you overdo it, your bound to bounce back in the opposite direction once you begin to add in more calories.

Your Metabolism Stops When You Get Older

While your metabolism may slow down slightly as you age, it doesn’t make for a huge portion of why you may gain weight down the road.

Weight gain as you age likely has more to do with how active or inactive you become and your ability to continue to exercise in a way that burns enough calories to make a dent. So be sure to keep moving!

Consuming One Large Meal per Day Revs Your Metabolism

This really just confuses your body and doesn’t make a difference in your metabolism. Some people abide by the school of thought that one large meal per day is enough and starving yourself the rest of the day will make your metabolism speed up.

The truth is, calories are calories regardless of when you eat them or how spaced out they are. If you have a huge meal in the middle of the day, your body is still consuming everything in it, regardless of if you deprive yourself for the other twenty-three hours.

This type of regimen is also likely to make you crash from hunger and consume more calories than you planned because you’re starving later on.

5 Small Meals Are Better Than 3 Normal Ones

While this kind of routine may work for people to keep their energy up throughout the day and keep them from gaining weight, it’s not going to speed up your metabolism. Eating smaller portions more frequently doesn’t actually change anything in your body.

There’s no reason not to eat three proper meals per day. When it comes to eating smaller meals throughout the day, many people overeat because they’re either eating when they aren’t truly hungry or they’re unable to control the portion of food they’re ingesting.

Doing More Cardio Will Give You a Boost

While cardio is great if it’s also accompanied by strength training and a healthy, nutritious diet, cardio alone isn’t going to boost your metabolism.

In fact, it is more likely to make you hungrier and eat more because your body is burning energy and therefore needs to replace it in order to keep going and feel satisfied.

Don’t Be Fooled by Metabolism Myths Again

These metabolism myths should help you understand how your body gains and loses weight and debunk some scary ideas that have you trying fad diets or over-exercising.

The best ways to boost your metabolism are to eat balanced meals, drink water, exercise and get plenty of sleep.

Be sure to check out our blog for more health and weight loss tips!

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