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Cheryl Smith, RN
Metabolism Myths
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Metabolism Myths

The “M” word. Metabolism. Its what determines the number of calories that you burn simply by being alive. Talk to your friends, search the Internet, or read through any fitness magazine, and youll find plenty of discussion about metabolism.
Being such a popular topic of conversation, its inevitable that a number of myths would start circulating on the topic of metabolism. How do you know which myths to believe? Test your knowledge on the six myths below. Are they fact or fiction?
Myth #1 Eating low-fat foods will make you lose weight.
Answer Fiction
Sure, its a good idea to limit your intake of saturated fats. In fact, your heart health will benefit from low-fat foods. But simply switching to low-fat foods will not cause you to lose weight. The only way that you lose weight is to burn more calories than you intake. Reducing your overall caloric intake and increasing your activity level is the only way to start shedding pounds.
Myth #2 Exercise stokes the metabolism.
Answer Fact
Strength training adds muscle mass, which in turn increases your calorie burn. If you add an additional two pounds of muscle to your body, then you will burn about 75 extra calories every day doing the same activities that you did before! So, be sure to add at least two days per week of resistance training into your regimen. Cardiovascular exercise does less to boost your metabolism, but dont throw out the cardio altogether. You need it for your heart health!
Myth #3 Spicy foods boost my metabolism.
Answer Fiction
Spicy foods taste great and cause a minimal increase in metabolism. But, this increase isnt enough to make a real difference. Relying on spicy foods to help stoke your metabolic fires is far less effective than the old-fashioned method of calorie counting and exercise.
Myth #4 “Negative calorie” foods like grapefruit and celery speed-up my metabolism.
Answer Fiction
Foods like grapefruit and celery are great because their water and fiber will help you to feel full, and you may eat less of the higher calorie foods on your plate. These foods do nothing to change your metabolism however, nor are they “negative” in calories.
Myth #5 Drinking ice-cold water increases calorie burn.
Answer Fiction
Technically, drinking 5-6 glasses of ice-cold water could help you burn about 10 additional calories each day. But, those calories only add up to a loss of one pound in an entire year. In other words, drinking ice-cold water versus room temperature water really doesnt make much of a difference. What is important is to drink water, period. It keeps you hydrated and helps keep your body feeling “full,” so that youre less likely to gorge on that bag of cookies in the cupboard.
Myth #6 PMS cravings are linked to a metabolic boost before your period.
Answer Fiction
Finally, theres a logical explanation for polishing off that banana split sundae the day before your period begins! Your resting metabolism actually increases prior to your period; consequently your appetite also increases.

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