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Article by Sylvie Martin

Surprising truths you don’t know about your metabolism

Updated on 25 January 2024.

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Apple, tape measure and calculatorWould you like to speed up your metabolism?

You probably know that when this process malfunctions, the body can start to suffer from certain health complications such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or overweight. But before you start looking for solutions to boost your metabolism, are you sure your knowledge of this biochemical process is correct?

Everyone thinks this process is either fast or slow. And that’s just not true! And it’s not the only one, because there are many prevailing myths that need to be debunked, starting with the concept itself.

First and foremost, we’re talking about hundreds of metabolic pathways, in other words, hundreds of factors that affect it.

In this article, we’ll look at the most common misconceptions about metabolism.

1. The way people talk about metabolism is wrong

metabolismInstead of calling it fast or slow, it would be wiser to use the terms inefficient and efficient.

The one that people consider fast should really be called inefficient.

It’s inefficient because a person with a fast metabolism has variations in their receptor cells that prevent them from storing food as energy in the body.

On the contrary, a metabolism perceived as slow is actually the one that functions most efficiently because the body, in this case, converts the food consumed into stored energy.

Yes, this can lead to weight gain, but it’s not because of something that’s malfunctioning.

The human body is supposed to transform food into stored energy. By learning more about how your body metabolizes food and drink, you’ll be able to determine what and when to eat to optimize its functioning without storing too much.

2. If you’re an athlete, you need a slow metabolism

athleteYou might think that having a fast/inefficient metabolism would be ideal for you, especially if you’re an athlete. Well, think again.

If you’re an active person, you’ll want the opposite to boost your performance.

Indeed, people with an inefficient metabolism will have trouble conserving energy when it comes to endurance. Whereas someone with a more efficient metabolism will be able to store energy for longer.

That said, choosing the foods that are actually good for getting the right kind of fuel remains decisive.

3. Any type of regular exercise can maintain metabolism

To have a healthy metabolic rate, strength training is necessary because the more muscle you have, the more sugar you burn. As a result, you’ll be more immune to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Experts advise opting for exercise that ensures a post-workout effect.

To achieve this, it’s advisable to opt for HIIT exercise, in other words, high-intensity exercise.

The energy expenditure resulting from 30 minutes of intense interval training is very different from that recorded after 30 minutes of low-intensity exercise.

And while low-intensity exercise will improve your posture and flexibility, HIIT training will give your metabolism a real boost.

4. Thin people have faster metabolisms

Not necessarily. You can be of normal weight and still have a slower metabolism than a heavy person of your size.

This is because it’s not the weight that determines it, but the amount of muscle in the body.

And if you’re thin with little muscle, your metabolic rate is probably fast.

5. Overweight people don’t have much muscle

This is a complete misconception. These people develop muscles that are not visible because of the fat that surrounds them.

When they lose weight, they also lose muscle. As a result, their metabolism slows down, making weight loss even more difficult.

6. Physical activity burns the most calories

Most of the calories we get from food are used by our bodies for the basic processes of life (breathing, digestion, organ function).

However, exercise burns extra calories, which justifies the weight loss that follows.

7. Your metabolism inevitably slows down as you age

aging-and-metabolismCellular aging is something we can’t do anything about.

But if you maintain the habits you had when you were 20, age will have no major impact on how your body metabolizes energy.

Taking age as a reference point is a mistake.

When you were young, you were really active. You used to play team sports regularly, you cycled, ….

Today, you’re chained to your desk all day, you drive around, and you only exercise when it fits in with your schedule.

So don’t blame age!

Keeping the same active mode of your youth is enough to keep your metabolism from changing.

A final word …

So, how do you harness these lifestyle advantages to act on this vital biochemical process?

You need to prioritize healthy, unprocessed foods, stay active, get enough sleep and limit the effect of stress.

These habits are all you need to keep your metabolism working properly.

And if you’re looking for a way to maximize results, don’t forget to practice HIIT exercises.

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