Speeding Up Metabolism: Facts and Myths

There's plenty of information out there about speeding up metabolism and not all of it is true. Probably everyone wishes they had a faster metabolism. After all, increasing your metabolism means burning more calories throughout the day even while you sleep. So what are the secrets to turning your body into a high-metabolic calorie burning machine?

Let's go over some facts and myths about speeding up your metabolism.

Fact: Dieting reduces your metabolism. When you cut calories from your diet, your body comes to believe it is being starved and responds by slowing down your metabolism to conserve energy. The catch-22 is that most people going on a diet would prefer to increase their metabolism, but cutting calorie intake unfortunately has the opposite effect.

Myth: Metabolism is genetic. The role genetics play on metabolism is not as important as one's diet and exercise.

Fact: Men have higher metabolism than woman. This is actually true and it's largely because men have a higher density of muscle tissue than women. However, the average man's basal metabolic rate is only about 10% higher than the average woman, so by training to speed up metabolism, a woman can achieve a BMR of a man.

Myth: Cigarettes slow down your metabolism. In fact, the opposite is true. Smoking increases your metabolism by causing your heart to beat faster. However, the metabolism increasing effects of cigarettes are only temporary and are more than offset by the damage caused from smoking.

Fact: Metabolism is slower near bedtime. It's advisable to stop eating a few hours before going to sleep as your body's metabolism begins to slow down towards the end of the day. Weight gain can occur as a result of eating too much food before bed as your body's slower metabolism has a harder time burning off calories while you sleep.

Myth: Metabolism cannot be improved. The defeatist mentality that you are stuck with the metabolism you are born with is untrue. We have considerable control over our metabolism based on our diet and activity level.

Fact: Exercise can increase metabolism. Indeed, the best thing you can do to increase your metabolism is to exercise regularly and engage in high-intensity weight-training exercises. There is no better substitute for increasing your metabolism than to pick up some weights and lift them!

Myth: Dieting should be avoided since it decreases your metabolism. While it's true that cutting calories from your diet causes your body to slow down its metabolic rate in order to conserve energy, one should not confuse this as an excuse not to watch what they eat. In truth, you can increase your metabolism and lose weight by cutting calories and exercising daily. It's a win-win approach to getting the body you deserve.

Fact: Spicy foods increase metabolism. This is true, spicy foods as well as green tea have been demonstrated to increase one's metabolism for about 30 minutes following consumption. Spicy foods can be a great addition to a diet since ingredients used to make foods spicy are often very low in calories and help to boost your metabolism at the time you need it most: right after consuming a meal.

Fact: Drinking water supports a high metabolism. Keep your metabolism running at its maximum capacity by making sure your body is hydrated and has all of the water it needs for bodily functions to be firing on all cylinders.

Fact: Protein speeds up your metabolism. A diet high in protein is fantastic for increasing your metabolism. The benefits are multi-faceted. First, protein requires as much as two times the amount of energy to digest as fat or carbohydrates do. Additionally, consuming protein promotes the growth of lean muscle mass which is the stuff that revs up your body's metabolic engine to keep calories burning efficiently throughout the day.

Myth: Eating a big meals will boost metabolism. The opposite is true. Your body is capable of digesting only a certain amount of food at a time. This is why it releases signals telling you its full and also why if you eat too much you feel full to the point of feeling sick. You've overloaded your body which causes metabolism to slow down.

Fact: Grazing on smaller meals is best. Keep your body running as a lean, calorie-burning machine by aiming to consume several small meals throughout the day. This prevents your body from going into starvation mode where it attempts to store all of the extra energy it can get ahold of since it knows there's always going to be a steady stream of a manageable amount of calories to digest.

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