Metabolism Myths: What Really Works?
Metabolism boosters are trendy especially as we are going towards the festive season. There are many quasi-scientific claims heralded in glossy magazines, and blogs, that relate the latest finds. When your metabolism functions you have clear skin, healthy responses, energy and positive feedback from a balanced body and mind. A metabolism in ’tilt’ makes you retain water, feel listless, and get black thoughts as your mind takes revenge on a malnourished body. There is no such thing as metabolic mysteries – it’s all rather plain and simple. Metabolism myths confuse us. Size myths are common: ‘Big-boned’ and slow metabolism are medically speaking incorrect statements. However, some very real tips can do wonders to your metabolism, health and energy levels at the same time. Busted or Boosted?
Metabolism: What Is it?
The scientific definition of metabolism:
Metabolism refers to biochemical processes that occur with any living organism – including humans – to maintain life. These biochemical processes allow us to grow, reproduce, repair damage, and respond to our environment. Christian Nordqvist, Medical News Today
Plainly speaking metabolism means everything the body does to keep us alive, which includes the proper function of the organs, reparation of the cells, the digestion of food and breathing. Age, gender, or even weight can be the factors that determine the metabolism rate – not in the way the metabolism myths lead us to believe though .
Metabolism: The Body’s Recycling Plant
Metabolism can be seen as the body’s recycling plant. Our body needs carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals to work properly. Any products that are unknown to the body will take longer to process and result in waste – which also leads to lower energy levels and mood swings. Proper nutrition is responsible for healthy metabolism in a large-scale. If you overload on processed foods, white sugars and alcohol the recycling plant goes into fault mode and doesn’t work as it should.
When the metabolism recycling works you have clear skin, healthy responses, energy and positive feedback from a balanced body and mind. When your metabolism is in ’tilt’ you retain water, feel listless, get black thoughts as your mind takes revenge on a malnourished body. Clean food is easily to recycle – nutrients and waste go to their compartments. Processed foods – on the other hand – is slow poison, along with white sugars, salt and trans fats. Your metabolism gets mixed signals and the whole recycling plant goes into slow motion and works much like an old 386 computer.
Metabolism Myths – Busted or Real Boosters?
‘Big-Boned’ Is A Myth
Bone weight depends on how much a person’s entire body weighs. Bones make up around 15% of a person’s total body weight. While people do have different frame size, most who weigh too much for their height do so because of excess body fat. The exception is if you have lots of muscles as you may weigh more but look thinner.
- Most of the time ‘Big Boned’ is a polite way to say that you need a healthier lifestyle, clean foods and exercise. The Metabolism recycling plant will work better and your bones will shrink too 😉 .
- If parents refer to their children as ‘big boned’ it is time to look at what lifestyle changes are needed to prevent so-called Metabolic Syndrome.
- Check out your health frame calculator numbers and read more in this great article from HealthStatus: Framesize, how does it affect your weight?
Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories the body uses to convert what you eat and drink into energy. Even when you are at rest, your body needs energy for functions such as breathing, circulating blood and repairing cells.
- Contrary to belief the more you weigh the more you burn as the body needs more energy to function. Overweight people are more likely to have a faster metabolic rate — not a slower one. Your can calculate your BMR and find out your needs.
- If you are a man, you probably have less body fat and more muscle mass than does a woman of the same age, so you burn more calories.
- As you get older, your muscle mass decreases, which slows down the rate at which you burn calories. Unless you do strength training, and keep a regular exercise routine you will find that you increase in weight as the body also needs fewer food calories as you grow older.
- Rather than slow metabolism, life style factors are more likely to contribute to a weight gain. Check out the tips below of what can help.
- A Doctor can confirm if you suffer from rare conditions that can cause problems with metabolism, such as hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome.
Age Means Getting Bigger Is Mostly Myth
As you grow older, your cells are not turning over as fast, and there is a decrease in muscle mass, reducing your calorie needs. Most people don’t tend to move less with age, yet eat the same portions as before. It is not necessarily the metabolism that slows down. Your body needs fewer calories with age, and if you also move less – your weight tends to creep up.
- To counteract the muscle shrinkage lift weights 3 times a week, and continue to exercise daily. Walking is excellent!
- Eat clean nutritious foods while keeping tabs on your portion sizes. For information about calorie needs by age and activity level read here from WebMD: How many calories should you eat?
- Many tend to get surprised as their formerly slim stature grows bigger. They blame age, but in fact thin people tend to be more fidgety and more around more. As you get older you also tend t become more sedentary. It’s not age – simply less movement.
Speed Up Metabolism Is Not A Myth
YES – you can, if you are willing be totally successful in speeding up your metabolism. How? Check our 10 Metabolism Boosting Tips below.
10 Metabolism Boosting Tips
You can speed up your metabolism. Not by eating pills, or only sipping green tea all day long. You have to bear in mind that no magic wand will make your metabolism happy overnight. No – what you need is a few lifestyle change tips. The rule of thumb is a big picture attitude. A commitment to be the change you want to see: A healthier, cleaner lifestyle inclusive of clean foods, exercise, mindfulness and overall positive outlook.
- # 1: Eat clean healthy foods. As a thumb rule – if your great-grandmother would have eaten it so can you. Skip or reduce processed foods, and enjoy real, clean foods from all food groups, and learn what a portion is.
- # 2: Exercising is a sure way to boost metabolism apart from good eating. Walking, swimming or any other aerobic exercise combined with lifting weights to keep the muscles in shape will burn calories and get up energy levels up.
- # 3 Stress makes for bodily changes as your mind takes revenge on your body. Stress is a difficult and brain changing condition. Stress makes you reach for sugar, salt or acid as comfort – so cake, crisps and wine slink in way too easily. Less stress doesn’t come by itself, but you can learn how to counteract it.
- # 4 Hydration is key to a healthy metabolism as it flushes out toxins, and helps the metabolic recycling plant to feed back vitamins, nutrients and building blocks as well as feeds the skin. Plain water, green tea and raw juice is excellent for you. 6-8 glasses a day will make you energy filled, and also get less wrinkles :). Alcohol is not that great from a metabolic stand point, so moderate intake.
- # 5 Spice up your life with metabolism boosting chill, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. Adding herbs and spices to your meals make them zing and increase their natural goodness. They also have chemical compounds that improve your metabolic rate and anti inflammatory properties. Of course you cannot expect that adding a chill to your fresh fries will make a difference. The truth is rather choosing foods that are packed with nutrition, knowing what your portions should be, and incorporating these spices makes for a tasty dish that research has shown can help up your burn rate and improve your health.
- # 6 Setting your body clock is a real helper. Eat food, go to bed and get up the same time every day (even weekends) as this sets the so call circadian rhythm. This internal clock will work for you as it tell you when to eat, sleep and rest. It also balances your energy levels – and your metabolism will start clicking with renewed speed.
- #7 Do not eat ‘A little, a lot’. Although this is a common way for many to boost blood sugar levels, it does not help your metabolism. The scientific facts are clear as there is no metabolic boost to eat so often. It can lead to miscalculating portion sizes, and quality of foods. If you do ‘a little, a lot’ your food balance can be thrown off course and you start craving extra chips, cakes and chocolates when you are in fact just hungry for real nutritious foods. Healthy snacks are super especially after a workout – but try to avoid the processed kinds as these are not friends with a healthy metabolism.
- # 8 Portion control is as important as exercise. Knowing how much to eat at every meal is a great health booster. Learn your portion sizes and make sure to eat healthy foods is the simple and plain way to boost your metabolism.
- # 9 Finding time for me, myself and I to think, clear your head and counting your blessings is an unusual but very crucial tip as it brings calm to ensure that your mind cooperates with the metabolism recycling plant.
- # 10 Step by step does it. It is not realistic to jump-start healthy eating and extreme exercise one day and hope for great results. Take it step by step. Don’t cut out all your snacks, but choose different ones. Take the stairs, jump on a bicycle, walk to work, and play with the kids. Do things that you enjoy and increase the health factors day by day. You can speed up your metabolism step by step — and get healthier in the process.
Metabolism Recycling Plant Success
A healthy metabolism is as much about learning what is good for you and not. Changing the way you have been used to eating, moving and thinking takes time. Give yourself time to unlearn the faulty myths, and enjoy catching on to new energy filling foods, exercises and mindfulness techniques. You can change, if you are willing.