Everyone loves a good scapegoat. If work sucks, you can blame the boss. If the room stinks, you can blame the dog. And if you can’t lose weight? Blame metabolism, of course.
When it comes to ruining your health goals, metabolism is an easy culprit because it can’t really defend itself. It's time to put an end to the unfair accusations by debunking these metabolic myths.
It's just a matter of genetics
The mother of all metabolism beliefs: it’s just your genes, so there’s nothing you can do about it… right before you drown your sorrows with another cheeseburger. While certain studies using identical twins have indicated that genetics play a small role in metabolic rate, the findings by no means establish that metabolism is set in stone. On the contrary, endocrinologist Dr. Michael Jensen says that in his 30 years of practice, he’s “never seen anyone with a truly low metabolic rate.” And "never" is a pretty damn strong word.
More commonly, studies have found that overweight individuals tend to underestimate how many calories they consume, and overestimate their physical activity level. There may be certain genetic dispositions or stress factors that lead to excess calorie intake, but this is unrelated to metabolism -- in fact, obese individuals actually have higher resting metabolic rates than their skinny counterparts. Ever notice how people on The Biggest Loser can drop 10 pounds in a week while you fight to lose one? Larger bodies require greater energy (calories), and a stronger engine (high metabolic rate) to process them. When that energy is reduced, so is the body’s energy storage (fat), while the high metabolic rate sticks around for a while.