Unfortunately, there are more myths about igniting your metabolism than tactics that actually work. And often, believing these misconceptions backfires and puts a damper on your slim-down success. Let’s put an end to the bad-metabolism-advice cycle once and for all: Here are three common metabolism myths that you need to stop believing ASAP—so you can finally achieve your weight loss goals.
Myth #1: Certain foods will boost your metabolism.
Eat this mixed with this topped with this to kickstart your metabolism! Hold up. Before you start blending that funky metabolism-spiking smoothie, hear this: While it’s true that some foods, like green tea, caffeine, and spicy foods, may give your metabolism a tiny jolt, it’s not enough to tip the scales in a meaningful way. Instead of putting effort into eating random foods just because they stoke your metabolism, focus on filling your diet with wide variety of nutritious, filling and low-calorie foods, like fruits and veggies, low-fat dairy, and lean meats.
Myth #2: Eating small meals all day will keep your metabolism humming.
While it’s true that eating frequent mini meals throughout the day may keep you from getting too hungry (and noshing on unhealthy eats later), there’s very little evidence on how small meals actually affect metabolism. A better bet? Pay attention to hunger cues and only eat when your body needs it—whether it’s six times a day or three.
Myth#3: You’re doomed to gain weight since metabolism slows with age.
Sure, your metabolism may not be the same as it was in your junior high days, when you could eat Taco Bell for breakfast, lunch, and dinner without a dent in the scale. But middle age weight creep is actually more likely to be from the combo lack of exercise and overeating (because, you know, life happens), rather than a slightly slower metabolism. (In other words, if you kept up with the gym routine of your 25-year-old self and ate a little healthier, you’d probably be OK.) The good news, is that as you get older, you have more control over whether or not you gain weight—and you are not sentenced to a fate determined by your metabolism. (Check out these six key habits for maintaining weight loss at any age.)
So take these metabolism myths out with the trash tonight, and adopt and repeat this weight loss mantra: “I will eat well and move more.” Now that’s a weight loss trick that sticks.