Metabolism Myths And Truths

Here you will get the facts on your metabolic rate and understand a few basic metabolism myths and truths:

Dieting slows down your resting metabolic rate: Truth

For every pound of fat you lose, your basic metabolism drops by about 2 calories a day. So, if you lose 10 pounds of fat it is necessary to eat 20 less calories per day to maintain your weight, with no physical activity. Of course, it goes without saying that this metabolic drop will be so small only if you lose pure fat. In case you lose a lot of muscle mass, the reduction in your resting metabolic rate will be larger. To avoid that try to stay away from crash diets, which may lead to a greater percentage of muscle mass loss.

Drinking the right amount of water can help you burn more calories: Truth

All the chemical reactions in your body depend on water. If your body is dehydrated you can burn up to 2% fewer calories, according to researchers at the University of Utah. As you can see, the difference is small and occurs only if you are severely dehydrated.

Cold water burns more calories: Truth

But, before you get a headache from drinking too much cold water, let’s take a look at the actual effect on metabolism: you might have to drink 5 or 6 glasses of cold water to burn only about 10 more calories per day.

Spicy foods speed up metabolism: Truth

Capsaicin, the bioactive compound that makes peppers hot, can speed up your metabolism and at the same time enhance satiety by decreasing the feeling of hunger. Studies show that eating about 1 tablespoon of chopped red pepper, can cause a temporary increase of 23% in your metabolism and also reduce your total caloric intake by about 10 percent. However, even though a 23% increase in metabolism seems impressive, the truth is that it actually translates to a few extra calories per day.

Eating more protein accelerates the metabolism: Truth

Proteins provide a metabolic advantage compared to fats or carbohydrates, because the body uses more energy to process them. This is known as the thermal effect of food. Studies show that you can burn up to twice as many calories digesting proteins compared to digesting carbohydrates.

Lifting weights increases your metabolism more than aerobic exercise: Truth

Muscle burns more calories that fat (but not as many as you think), so any exercise that enables you to increase your muscle mass, can also help you increase your metabolism.

Celery is a "negative-calorie food" because the body burns more calories to digest it than the calories it contains: Myth

The thermic effect of food means that the body burns from 0 to 30 percent of the calories contained inside the food during digestion. The digestion of protein, for example, burns more calories than the digestion of fats or carbohydrates. A celery stalk of medium size contains about 6 calories, and its thermal effect is about half of one calorie. In fact, "negative-calorie foods" are nothing more than wishful thinking.

The food cravings before menstruation are linked to increased metabolic rate: Truth

It seems that the reason why you are really hungry before getting your period is that your body burns more calories. Your resting metabolic rate may increase by up to 300 calories a day during that part of the menstrual cycle known as the luteal phase (the phase between the day after ovulation and the first day of menstruation). Unfortunately, your appetite also increases during this phase.

Tea increases your body’s ability to burn calories: Truth

The catechins found in green and oolong tea can increase the body's ability to burn calories, but the effect is small so don’t expect any miracles.

So, these were some of the myths and truths about metabolism. As you can see, even the things that do work have only a small effect. The truth is that the only way to cause significant changes in your metabolism is to increase your physical activity and build more muscle mass.