You’re not going to achieve optimal fat loss without putting in a good effort. That being said, you’ve likely read about various fat loss principles that you can use to speed your progress.
Mixed in with the useful information there’s a good chance you’ve come across at least a couple of metabolism myths that could be sending you down the wrong path. By getting it straight from the start, you put yourself in a better position to see results.
Here are some of the main metabolism myths you should know about.
1. Eating Before Bed Will Lead to Fat Gain
The first metabolic myth that many people fall for is that foods eaten before bed will automatically turn to body fat. The truth is that it’s the total calorie intake over the course of the day that determines whether a food will turn to body fat or not. It doesn’t matter when the calories are eaten, just that they don’t put you over your total daily calorie intake.
Spreading your calories out evenly throughout the day will help maintain a stabilized energy level, but from a fat gaining perspective, eating before bed won’t cause weight gain in and of itself.
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2. Eating More Frequently Will Speed Up Your Metabolism
Another common myth is that eating more frequent meals will boost your metabolism. If you’ve ever heard someone tell you that you should eat six times a day for a faster metabolism, you’re being given misinformation.
The point to remember here is that each time you eat a meal, your metabolism increases. This increase is impacted by how large the meals higher in carbohydrates and fats).
Assuming total macronutrient composition and calorie intake stays the same over two different diets, one consisting of three meals and one of six, both diets will experience the same metabolic increases. The only difference is the individual eating six meals a day will have smaller increases six times while the other individual will have larger increases three times a day.
Related: 10 Foods That Burn Fat Fast
3. No-Carb Diets Cause Faster Fat Loss
When you start up on a very low carbohydrate diet such as Atkins or a Ketogenic diet, you enter into what is referred to as ketosis, where your body switches from running on carbohydrates as fuel to using a source called ketones. Many individuals believe that there is something special about being in ketosis that speeds up the rate of fat loss you experience.
This is not the case. Low carb diets offer the benefit of hunger control, but in terms of actually changing the rate of the metabolism, they’re not going to have any influence. In fact, if you go without carbohydrates for too long, your metabolism could decrease because carbohydrates are the main macronutrient that influences the thyroid gland.
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4. You Shouldn’t Eat Carbohydrates and Fats Together
Individuals who follow food-combining diets tend to fall for this myth time and time again. They believe that in order to lose weight effectively, they should avoid eating carbohydrates and dietary fats together.
This belief stems from the fact that since carbohydrates are used for energy, if fats are consumed at the same time they will immediately get turned to body fat. Likewise, since the body can also use fats as fuel (it’s just not preferred), if you are eating fat in your meal, you should avoid carbohydrates.
The truth is that the body is more concerned with total energy balance. If you eat a meal and your body needs fuel, it will use whatever fuel is available to it — carbohydrates or fats. It’s true that carbohydrates will be used first, but if the carbohydrates do not meet the full energy needs, dietary fat is used as well.
The only time in the day when you really want to avoid eating fats with your carbohydrates is immediately before or after a workout since having fat in the body will slow down digestion, decreasing the uptake of the carbohydrates by the muscle cells.
5. Metabolism Slows Automatically as You Get Older
Finally, the last myth is that the metabolism will slow down with age. The primary reason the metabolism slows as you grow older is because you lose muscle mass. If you continue with your weight training you will largely prevent this, warding off weight gain.
You may see a small drop as time goes on, but if you’re weight training and eating properly, it will hardly be noticeable in terms of weight gain.
So, be sure you don’t fall for any of these metabolic myths. Choosing to believe them could lead you to select a diet that isn’t ideal for you and doesn’t offer any additional fat loss benefits.