7 Metabolic Myths Debunked
If you have ever embarked on a metabolic journey, trying to lose weight, getting more energy, preventing diabetes or improving heart health, you have probably resorted to the internet and the media to research and find answers only to end up being confused.
This article reveals some myths that I want to debunk today to help you gain clarity on this subject.
Exercise Boosts Your Metabolism
Unfortunately, it is a myth, that you can boost your metabolism through exercise.
Recent data from a study with the remote and traditionally living Hudza tribe showed that the Hudza are active about 2 hours/day and walk between 13,000 - 19,000 steps each day, which is more than an average person living in the western world.
If we think that exercise boosts our metabolism, these people should have a very fast metabolism because they are so active each day. But there was NO DIFFERENCE in daily energy expenditure in the Hudza than in people of the modern world.
Because metabolism is dynamic. It adjusts, depending on your activity level to keep your daily expenditure in check.
So, it doesn’t matter how much you exercise, you will hit a plateau after which your metabolic speed won’t increase. Humans adapt to their environment.
Exercise is a Great Way to Lose Weight
That would be nice but actually; there are about 63 studies that showed that the longer you exercise, the less weight you lose. Again, here is the principle of metabolic adjustment.
Exercise Isn’t Working if You Don’t Lose Weight
Exercise is good for you.
BUT if you only exercise to lose weight, that’s not what it is for. Exercise is very good to improve overall health. Exercise decreases inflammation, it helps with stress management and lowers cortisol and epinephrine by 30%. Exercise helps with hormonal balance and increases testosterone in men and it has shown to help in reproductive cancer prevention.
Calories Don’t Matter
The mechanism of metabolism is like a combustion engine. Meaning, how much we put in, does matter from a physiological standpoint.
What we often fail to realize is, how much we actually eat. We often resort to high-density, nutrient devoid foods for convenience which provide a ton of calories that we eat mindlessly. If we count all those calories in a day, we would underestimate how much we actually eat.
Calories matter and where the calories come from does not matter, BUT…
for health and the functioning of the body, the quality of the calories DO matter.
Human Hunter/gatherer Evolved by Eating PALEO
Research has clearly shown that hunter/gatherer diets had a huge plant food component. Meat wasn’t always available, whereas plant food was. There were a lot of fiber/starches in those early diets, from roots, tubers, beans, legumes etc. which are all rich in carbohydrates. A good portion of the diet consisted of wild berries, tubers and honey.
Traditional diets consisted of a VARIETY OF FOODS and many were carbohydrate heavy.
A Slow Metabolism Dooms You to Obesity
How fast or slow your metabolism is, is not related to weight gain. Burning calories faster on a daily basis does not mean that you are slimmer than someone who burns slower. The metabolism does not determine your weight!
Your weight is more associated with gene expression, how your brain is wired and how diverse your microbes are in your gut.
Obesity is a Sign of Personal Failure
Obesity is not just related to willpower and conviction. Obesity is linked to cheap, energy-dense, ultra-processed foods that lead us to overeat and gain weight.
Hence calories do matter and behaviour around food even more. Recent studies have found that our current diet in North America (US + Canada) associates 54-58% of calories coming from these processed sources.
In conclusion, our metabolism is clever and dynamic by evolution. We couldn’t have survived if our metabolism wasn’t adaptable.
In order for us to maintain optimal weight, we have to be active every day to stay healthy and watch our diet to keep the weight.
Interested in finding out how I apply these principles with my clients? Go to www.metabolicenergysolution.com