Your metabolism isn’t broken never to be fixed. There are myths about metabolism that make it seem as though it’s like a credit score. Weight loss misfortunes won’t wreck your ability to lose weight for once and for all. Some think that after a few times of losing and gaining, it’s impossible to lose as much as before. Others feel their desk jobs make it too hard to burn enough calories to lose weight. While doubt and fear may play tricks with your mind, your body is up to losing weight in either situation if you put it to the test. These common myths about losing and gaining don’t line up with new research that points to the body’s ability to do whatever you want it to.
Second Time Around
If you’re on the second or third leg of your weight loss trip, you may think your first time was best, but you have just as good a chance at losing weight. A newstudy in the journal Metabolism studied over 400 post-menopausal women during a one-year weight loss intervention. All were both overweight and inactive, however a group within the cohort were labeled weight cyclers as they had lost or gained a significant amount of weight over the years. The moderate group cycled between 10 pounds, while the severe group cycled between 20. Compared to participants with steady weights, the weight cyclers weren’t left in the weight loss dust. In fact, even though the weight cyclers were generally heavier and had worse metabolic profiles than the rest of the group, they were just as effective at all weight loss parameters, including pounds lost, improvement in insulin resistance, body composition and blood pressure. Their results show that you’re not at a disadvantage if you’ve lost weight before.
Don’t Blame Your Desk Job
Another myth involves people’s sedentary lifestyles. Some argue that if they had a more active lifestyle, they’d burn more calories naturally and weigh less. It’s a reasonable argument given the long work hours and commutes many Americans endure, but it’s just not true according to research published in PLoS one. Study author Herman Pontzer of Hunter College in New York and other researchers studied the daily intake of hunter-gatherers in northern Tanzania. The lifestyle isn’t completely a caveman existence, but these traditional villages are always on the move. Their diets are also quite different, but surprisingly an assessment of their daily energy expenditure shows unexpected congruence with the typical American. They are virtually the same. After controlling for body size, their results show the foragers of Tanzania expend the same amount of calories each day as largely sedentary Westerners. What’s more, the hunter-gatherers expended similar amounts of calories walking and resting as well. According to the study, their results suggest ” human daily energy expenditure may be an evolved physiological trait largely independent of cultural differences.”
Beyond the Myths
That said, work with the metabolism you’ve got. If you want to lose, past attempts aren’t holding you back. If you have a job that has you sitting all day, you’re not at a disadvantage. A caloric deficit is all you need to lose weight. The two things that will slow your metabolism are not getting enough calories and not getting enough exercise. If you balance regular exercise with a healthy diet, you’re primed to lose.