The Truth Behind These Common Weight Loss and Metabolism Myths

by | Jul 20, 2023 | Weight-Loss

Weight loss is a topic that has generated numerous myths over time. Here, we will examine some of the most common weight loss and metabolism myths and separate facts from fiction.

Myth 1: Slim people have fast metabolisms

Verdict: Sometimes

While it is true that some slim individuals have high metabolisms due to factors like genetics or physical activity, there are also slender individuals with slower metabolisms who simply don’t consume large amounts of food. Body composition, including the ratio of lean tissue to fat, plays a significant role in determining metabolic rate.

READ MORE: 13 Weight Loss Hacks Guaranteed to Help You Shed Kilos

Myth 2: Lean tissue burns more kilojoules than fat does, even while you’re asleep

Verdict: True

Lean tissue, such as muscles, requires more energy to maintain than fat, even during periods of rest or sleep. Vital organs like the brain, heart, liver, and kidneys also contribute to energy expenditure at rest. On the other hand, fat burns minimal calories when the body is at rest.

Myth 3: Some people can only slim down by slashing kilojoules

Verdict: False

Claims of having a meagre metabolic rate as a barrier to weight loss are often unfounded. In reality, very few individuals have metabolic rates that are significantly lower than average. Often, the struggle to lose weight is due to underestimating the actual calorie intake. Keeping a detailed food diary can help identify unhealthy eating habits and contribute to more effective weight management.

READ MORE: 8 Weird But Completely Effective Weight Loss Tips

Myth 4: Cutting 2,000kJ a day means you’ll lose half a kilo a week

Verdict: Not Quite

While reducing daily kilojoules by 2,000 may theoretically lead to a half-kilogram loss in the first week, it is more complex. When you eat fewer calories, the body may lose some lean tissue, causing the basal metabolic rate to decrease. Additionally, weight loss is not solely determined by fat loss, as fluctuations in water retention can also impact overall weight.

READ MORE: The Science Behind How Weight Loss Actually Works

Calculating Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

To estimate your resting metabolic rate, you can use the following formula for men:

RMR = (weight in kilograms) × 10 + (height in centimetres) × 6.25 – (age × 5) + 5

Determining Daily Caloric Needs

To calculate your daily caloric needs, multiply your RMR by an activity factor based on your level of physical activity. 

The activity factors are as follows:

Sedentary (little or no exercise): RMR × 1.20

Lightly Active (Light exercise 1-3 days/week): RMR × 1.37

Moderately Active (Moderate exercise 3-5 days/week): RMR × 1.55

Very Active (Hard exercise 6-7 days/week): RMR × 1.72

Extremely Active (Twice-daily exercise & physical job): RMR × 1.90

The Best Workout to Boost Your Metabolism

To enhance your metabolism, engage in a lifting circuit of 8 to 12 exercises involving flexion and extension movements. Aim for two or three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions each, lifting 60 to 80% of your one-rep max. Switching between muscle groups and avoiding resting between exercises is essential to maximise the workout’s metabolic impact.

READ MORE: Top 5 Weight Loss Mistakes Men Over 40 Should Avoid for Successful Results

Understanding the truth behind common weight loss and metabolism myths is crucial for successful weight management. By debunking these myths and adopting evidence-based practices, you can make more informed decisions on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Always consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised guidance and advice.

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