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Metabolism Mythbusters

close up of man running up stairs

MilosJokic/iStock

In this Article:

  • Your metabolism provides your body with energy.
  • What you eat and exercise impact your metabolism.
  • Strength training can help boost your metabolism.

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:

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.

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