The Metabolism Myth

We’ve all said it to provide ourselves with another excuse as to why our bodies haven’t changed. If enough people have said it, then it must have gained some momentum by working for some people, right? Correct. The metabolism myth started with one of the two groups that have done more damage than anyone to the current state of fitness across the country. That group is the bodybuilders.

The quickest way for a novice or beginner to fail is to look at an expert and immediately begin to do everything the expert does. This failure took place repeatedly when bodybuilders began advocating for people to eat every few hours in order to keep their metabolism “fast." I’m sure I don’t have to tell you but the bodybuilders work out...a lot. They are professionals. Their job is to show up at the gym 3 times a day and spend at least 2 hours in there just tearing down muscle.

Now, let’s look at this with just some simple logic. If you take your car, go to a race track, and drive it fast for 2 hours, 3 times a day, what’s going to happen? Well, first of all, you're going to need to make some frequent trips to the gas station. It’s also going to require some tire changes, oil changes, and just general upkeep more frequently, right? Well, this is why the bodybuilders have to eat so often. They’re constantly tearing down muscle, if they want to keep it, they have to repair it by constantly providing it with fuel sources. You and I, however, are not going to the race track for 2 hours, 3 times a day. We don’t require THAT much food. Does eating small meals often actually “speed” up your metabolism? No. It just makes it more active. If you’re going to eat that much, you better have good reason to, otherwise, the only thing you’re telling your body is more food is coming so no need to burn fat or muscle to fuel me.

Weight loss deals with ensuring that your insulin levels stay low. If you’re constantly eating, that’s not going to happen. When your insulin levels are low, neither your body, nor your brain, like that. This is where the other half of insulin comes in. Glucagon is another hormone in your body that is basically the opposite of insulin. Glucagon gets released by your pancreas as well and it tells your body, “Hey, we gotta start using some fat cells or muscle cells to provide the body with some energy. No food has come in a while so we need to make it ourselves.” Your metabolism is the action of your body either breaking down food or making food into energy. It’s not like some people are born with an updated metabolism that works faster and better. We are born with different genetics, absolutely. But, the major functioning processes of our bodies are all similar to one another. Genetics simply determine what your hair, eye color, and height will be. Weight is completely within our control, you just have to decide that it actually is.

 

If you have more questions about metabolism and the true formula of weight loss, fitness, and nutrition, email me at jobie@crossfitvirilis.com.

 

Jobim Zapico