This post on debunking metabolism myths by Rachel Berman is a part of our fourth-annual Guest Bloggers’ Week. (Check out all of the inspiring, informative, entertaining and life-changing posts here!) Rachel, RD and CD/N, a nationally recognized nutrition expert, has helped thousands of clients lose weight and improve their health. She is the author of Boosting Your Metabolism For Dummies and Mediterranean Diet For Dummies, both published by Wiley in 2013 and is a health editor for About.com. To find out more visit rachelberman.com.
You are probably bombarded with tips on how to boost your metabolism and lose weight fast pretty often. Unfortunately, most of that info is wrought with misconceptions and propagated by people who aren’t educated any better. Don’t be one of those people. The truth is that your metabolism is much bigger than something you can simply blame for your weight-loss woes. It’s how your body uses the food you eat for energy, how you absorb and process those nutrients, which are then used for all of your body’s functions. I’ve heard many myths over the years from clients, friends and family. Here are my favorite five — and the truth.
Metabolism Myth #1: The fewer calories I eat, the more weight I’ll lose.
Yes, it’s true that weight-loss is partly calories in versus calories out. If you eat less than your body expends during activity, you’ll lose weight … to a point. Your body needs calories at rest, when you’re sleeping, even when you’re sitting there reading this article. If you eat too little or exercise too much, your body won’t be getting the energy it needs and your metabolism will slow. In other words, you won’t be burning off calories as effectively and are more likely to hold onto them bringing your weight-loss to a halt. To find out how many calories your body needs for healthy weight-loss, gain or maintenance, use this calorie calculator. As a general rule, women shouldn’t dip below 1,200 calories and men below 1,500-1,800 calories, and even higher than that if you’re active.