For those who struggle to lose weight, it has always made sense to blame a slow metabolism.
Most metabolism scientists agree these days that everyone who overeats will gain weight and so this super-skinny friend of yours will be cutting back on other meals and snacks to make up for the occasional indulgence. Myth: When you diet, your metabolism slows so much that you plateau and can't lose any more weight There is a grain of truth here, but only a grain.
Myth: A slow metabolism makes you fat Although, in theory, it seems logical that a slow metabolism must be linked to weight gain and obesity, research evidence doesn't really support this belief. On top of that, most people are less active as they get older which means at 60 we really do have to eat 500-600 calories a day fewer than in our 20s - just to stay the same weight. It is certainly correct that resistance exercises such as free weights and gym machines build muscle, but muscle actually has quite a low metabolic rate and gaining a whole kilogram of muscle in the gym (which is a lot) would still add only ten calories - equivalent to half a teaspoon of sugar - to your metabolic rate, a day.


When you cut calories to lose weight, your body does go into conservation mode, saving calories rather than using them. Yes, some people do have a lower metabolism than others and if your metabolism is low, your body needs fewer calories to maintain weight.
However, our bodies need vitamins and minerals more than ever, so it's not just about consuming fewer calories but about cutting out junk. What we do know is that the final phase of the menstrual cycle in young women increases metabolic rate by about 5 per cent, making them super-hungry, and often with cravings for high-calorie treats. For example, say you eat 1,000 calories a day, rather than the typical 1,940 consumed by a healthy woman. Myth: Men have a faster metabolism than women which protects against weight gain It is certainly true that men have a higher metabolism than women by about 300 calories a day.


But while it used to be true that women gain more weight as they age, men have done a remarkable job catching up in recent years, so this higher metabolism doesn't automatically protect men against weight gain. You need to learn which foods will cut hunger, which foods will give you the vitamins and minerals you need, but on fewer calories. That is the key to weight loss and it's a path which will help even those with a low metabolism to lose weight and keep it off. Fact: Getting older causes a drop in metabolism Unfortunately, this is true and there's nothing much we can do about it.



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