Special Report

The Worst Myths About Boosting Metabolism That Just Won't Go Away

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Losing weight speeds up metabolism

“Less weight needs less energy,” Nadler said. A smaller body needs less energy to function and it will not burn as many calories as before, thus slowing down metabolism. This also explains why it’s harder to continue to slim down after the initial amount of weight lost, she added. “At a lower body weight, a person would burn fewer calories because they don’t need as much energy.”

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Hot sauce helps you burn fat

Hot sauce does not burn fat. “It may feel as if you are working out because you may be sweating for a few minutes,” Nadler said. “But this is not weight loss.” What the body burns also depends on what else you consume with that hot sauce. If you have rice, which has a lot of carbs, your body has no reason to burn fat, Nadler added. The body first burns simple sugars and carbs for energy because they are easier to break down. After that it goes to its fat reserves, she explained.

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Energy drinks are good for the metabolism

Energy drinks are aggressively marketed with the claim that they give people an immediate energy boost and keep them stay focused. That boost, however, is short-lived, Nadler noted. Energy drinks are not helpful for general health or metabolism in the long run. They have a lot of caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and sugar, which combined may increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

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Cardio is the best workout to boost metabolism

You need more muscle to burn more energy at rest, and you build more muscle by doing strength exercise such as lifting weights, Nadler explained. The body starts to burn fat after about an hour of moderate aerobic activity when it’s used up all the energy from sugar and carbs.

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Skipping meals helps with weight loss

Skipping meals may help with weight loss in the very beginning, but it’s a terrible idea in the long run, Nadler explained. After the initial weight loss, the body needs less energy because it weighs less. “But to keep losing weight you still need a calorie deficit,” Nadler said. “And that means you have to eat even less than what you’re eating after skipping meals.” This is not a sustainable eating plan. “Eventually you’re going to have to start eating,” and this is when people gain the weight back and then some, Nadler noted.

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