Monday, November 21, 2016

5 Misunderstandings about Your Metabolism

The human body is pretty amazing and it continues to elude us even when we believe we may be "outsmarting" it by skipping meals while losing weight, not sleeping enough because "sleeping is for the dead" or eating too many empty calories without initially seeing weight gain. The following 5 misunderstandings about metabolism can be read about more thoroughly here, but, I've listed them below as well.

Our first metabolism myth? Going back to our amazing human body, we have a hormone called leptin that sends our brains an indication when we have eaten enough calories. When someone is overweight, it is likely that they have higher levels of insulin. Hence, insulin blocks or prevents leptin from working properly and fails to send the brain a signal of our "being full", so we continue to eat because our body believes it is still hungry.

"In order to fix your metabolism then, you have to fix the leptin issue," says, Robert Lustig, Professor at UCSF and president of the Institute for Responsible Nutrition. "It's not just a matter of cutting your calories, in other words; you have to reset your hormones over time, In fact, calorie restriction is associated with slower metabolic rate, so extreme diets tend to move your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) in the other direction. With slower metabolic rates, you'd need to decrease your calorie count even more to continue to lose or even maintain weight loss".

Metabolism myth number two: Eating late at night "messes" with your metabolism. This myth is not necessarily true as there appears to be no concrete proof that this habit affects resting metabolic rate. Also, it's more than likely the amount of calories eaten after 7 or 8 pm that can be the problem. It is quite simply easier to eat more late at night because we are distracted by the TV or we are just plain tired and hungry and not paying attention to what we put in our mouths.

Metabolism myth number three: No, metabolism doesn't quit working after a certain age. There is so much we can do to keep healthy. While yes, metabolism does slow even at the age of 30 or late 20s, it doesn't mean we can't do something about it. We can actually work on increasing our RMR number by strength training and eating a "cleaner" diet. Cleaner diet? Minimizing processed foods and eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and drinking plenty of water for starters.

Metabolism myth number four: Supplements! Simply put, check the labels before purchasing. There are many supplements that are sold -- approximately $121 billion worth -- that may not even show their efficacy, especially since many aren't regulated by the FDA!

Lastly, Metabolism myth number five: The only way to affect your metabolism is by losing or gaining weight. Certainly there are plenty of "thin" people out there that are naturally slim -- while appearance-wise, it may be good, there is a complete down-side to not exercising at all! There is no doubt that doing enough cardio and strength training is good and it stimulates our metabolism nicely!

To learn more about resting metabolic rate and ways to measure it as well as raise it -- go here.

Additionally, our body has both white fat (bad) and brown fat (good). To learn more about both types of fat, read about it here.

Lastly, as Andrew Carnegie once said, "Anything in life worth having is worth working for". And, frankly, isn't our health worth having? Let's keep this statement in mind before we give in to breaking our own good intentions of keeping healthy during this holiday season.

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