There are probably as many myths about how the metabolism works as there are truths. Some of the erroneous information has been around so long and so widely promoted that many believe it to be true.
Here are four myths commonly accepted as truth about metabolism:
- Never skip breakfast.
- Hot peppers burn more calories.
- Caffeine boosts your metabolism.
- A pound of muscle burns 100 calories per day.
1) Never Skip Breakfast
The advice here has always been to eat breakfast within an hour after arising to get your metabolism revved up from your night of fasting. The truth is it is not as important that you eat as it is what you eat.
Make sure your breakfast consists of fiber, lean protein and other nutrients. The cold hard fact is if you have to choose between a doughnut and nothing, choose nothing.
You do not need the saturated fat and sugar found in most baked goods. The spike in calories burned by your metabolism from eating a doughnut isn’t enough to offset the additional calories ingested.
2) Hot Peppers Burn More Calories
While it is true that hot peppers burn calories, a presentation from a recent study from Experimental Biology suggests mild peppers have the same calorie potential without the mouth-stinging agony.
Mild peppers contain the compound dihydrocapsiate (DCT) while hot peppers have capsaicin in them. The study found the group eating mild peppers had about the same metabolic boost as the group eating hot peppers and about twice of the placebo group.
Mild peppers include bell, banana, rellenos and pimentos. Use them in stir-frys and salads.
3) Caffeine Boosts Your Metabolism
This is mostly true, but it is highly dependent on the source of your caffeine. Drinking black coffee and tea provides a small caffeine boost, but if you get caffeine from energy drinks, you are better off not getting any boost at all.
Energy drinks are loaded with sugar. In fact up to 1/4 cup per drink in some cases. When all that sugar hits your bloodstream, abundant amounts of insulin are released and what your body can’t use at that time is stored as fat. Belly fat! One of the most dangerous kinds of fat.
If you want to burn more calories, drink more water. Increasing your water consumption can burn an additional 17,400 calories per year, or about 5 pounds.
4) A Pound of Muscle Burns 100 Calories Per Day
This myth has been greatly over-exaggerated. Actually while at rest, muscle burns about six calories per pound of muscle per hour.
However that is still three times the amount that fat burns in the same amount of time which is just two calories per pound.
So it still pays to lose body fat and gain muscle through exercising. It is just that the number of calories burned won’t be as great as reported in the media.
These are just four of the more popular myths that have perpetuated themselves over the years.
To increase your metabolic rate, it still comes down to eating healthy foods in the correct portions consistently at the same times, along with cardio and strength training exercise.