METABOLISM IT’S TEMPTING TO BLAME WIGHT GAIN ON SLOW METABOLISM, BUT THIS IS THE BIGGEST MYTH OF ALL. FACE THE TRUTH. YOU CAN MAINTAIN A HEALTY WEIGHT BY BURNING MORE CALORIES THEN YOU EAT. WHAT IS IT? Metabolism is your body’s process of converting what you eat and drink into energy. It’s a complex system that breaks down carbohydrates into sugar, fats into fatty acids and proteins into amino acids. It involves hormones, genetics, diet and your level of activity. Your metabolism is like the speedometer of your car. It’s the rate at which your body consumes energy, whether by burning calories on a treadmill or using energy for such basic life processes as breathing, thinking, digesting food and pumping blood. And you do have the ability to tweak it, says Dr. Vijay Shivaswamy, an endocrinologist and associate professor at Nebraska Medical Center and the Omaha Veterans Affairs Medical Center. “People ask how to boost their metabolism,” Shivaswamy says. “I would say any kind of physical activity and exercise.” BALANCING ACT After carbs, fats, proteins and other substances are absorbed into the blood, they rebuild cells that are broken down during activity. If not needed by cells, energy sources are stored in your liver, muscles and body fat for future use. This see-saw process of nutrition building up in your body –anabolism- and its breakdown during activity –catabolism- is the essence of metabolism. Hormones play a part, including insulin to regulate glucose; when insulin levels are out of whack, diabetes can result.
THE MYTHS THE TRUTHS 1. THINNER PEOPLE HAVE HIGHER METABOLISMS. 2. YOU CANNOT CONTROL YOUR METABOLISM. 3. GREEN TEA OR SPICES CAN SPEED UP METABOLISM. 4. MISSING MEALS SLOWS DOWN METABOLISMS 5. EATING 500 CALORIES A DAY IS A GOOD WAY TO LOOSE WEIGHT 6. BREAKFAST REVS UP METABOLISM. 7. EVERYTHING EATEN LATE AT NIGHT TURNS TO FAT. 8. SIPPING LEMON WATER INCREASES YOUR METABOLISM 9. SEVERAL SMALL MEALS A DAY ARE BETTER THEN ONE OR TWO LARGER MEALS 10. METABOLIC PROCESS IS ONLY ABOUT BRAKING DOWN FOOD. 1. In fact, a larger body has a higher BMR, because there is more body surface to work while at rest. 2. While genetics play some part in your BMR, you can still alter your metabolism through diet and exercise. Lean muscle burns more calories than body fat does. 3. No food on its own amps up metabolism in any significant way. Some studies have suggested a small amount of weight may be lost over a limited time due to capsaicin in hot peppers and catechins (EGCG) in green tea. 4. Skipping a meal may reduce calories at that point; it won’t slow your metabolism. 5. This is not a good plan. You can’t sustain that for a long time, and your body may go into “no-starve” mode in which metabolism actually slows down. 6. Eating breakfast does not spark an increased metabolism for the day. 7. If the best foods you eat is healthy, it generally does not matter what time you eat. A bowl of cereal has the same impact whether eaten at 10am or 10pm. 8. Lemon juice contains vita C, less sugar, and fewer calories than orange juice, and squirting it into water may help you stay hydrated during the day. But there is very little evidence that lemon water alters metabolism.