You’ve probably heard the word “metabolism” tossed around, especially when talking about gaining or losing weight. But what is it exactly and does it control what you see on the scale? Learn common myths and facts about metabolism to help keep your body on track.
Myth #1: You Have No Control Over Your Metabolism
Metabolism is the process your body uses to convert food into energy. It is determined partly by the genes you inherit, as well as your lifestyle. Even if a slow metabolism runs in your family, you can control other factors that can also affect your metabolism:
- Diet—Eating a healthy diet provides the energy and nutrition your body needs to keep your metabolism functioning well. Avoid empty calories, such as beer and pizza. Instead, eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Get tips on how to sneak fruits and veggies into your meals.
- Exercise—Muscle burns calories faster than fat, giving leaner and muscular bodies an advantage. Kick up your workouts with intervals and weight training to help increase your metabolism.
- Sleep—When you don’t get enough sleep, your body has a harder time managing blood sugar levels which can slow down how fast your body burns stored fat. Turning in early helps re-energize you and your metabolism to take on the next day.
- Water—Drinking water not only boosts your metabolism and energy levels, but also saves calories. Ditch soda and soft drinks for water. Figure out how much water you should be drinking.
Myth #2: A Slow Metabolism Is the Cause of Weight Gain
Although some people have a slower metabolism than others, what you eat and drink along with the amount of physical activity you do ultimately determine how much you weigh.
Gaining and losing weight is determined by the balance between the amount of calories you consume and the amount you use each day. You are likely to gain weight when you eat and drink more calories than your body uses. Learn how to reach your goal weight and maintain it with a healthy diet and exercise.
Myth #3: Your Metabolism Is Doomed to Decline as You Age
Can’t get away with eating like you did as a teenager? Although your metabolism tends to slow down with age, it is mostly due to declines in muscle mass and physical activity. Doing exercises that build lean muscle, especially strength training and weight lifting, can help keep your metabolism in tip-top shape.
Remember, eating right, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and drinking water is a great start to boosting your metabolism and living a healthy lifestyle.