Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Metabolism Question

One question I want to throw out there is this: Scientifically, how can you speed up your metabolism?

My WW leader has told us multiple times that you cannot affect your metabolism by eating. I have always thought that eating regularly is important to keep your metabolism from slowing down. She said that it is proven that the only way to affect your metabolism is to exercise.

Hubby gets SO annoyed with me for this, but when someone tells me something, I don’t believe them until I look it up and research for myself. What can I say? Inquiring minds want to know. So I did a little research. Most of the information that I found was similar: your metabolism is affected by your body size and composition (muscle)—which is also related to age, you lose muscle as you age and therefore your metabolism can slow down. It is also affected by your sex and activity (exercise). All of which fits into the WW leader’s explanation. But as I’ve found with about EVERYTHING health related, everyone has a different answer to the solution to our weight problems and I’ve come to the conclusion that there really is no right or wrong but you just have to do what works for you.

Some sources said that eating regularly speeds up your metabolism. Some said that eating cold foods and drinking lots of water speeds up your metabolism. Others said drinking milk and eating spicy foods would do the trick. I also have heard that working out first thing in the morning revs your metabolism that you burn more calories throughout the day. Is this not true if you work out in the evening?

I guess what I’m wondering is—is there a connection to eating regularly and keeping your metabolism going strong? Does it rev your metabolism to eat breakfast? Does your metabolism slow down if you don’t eat?

What are your thoughts?


  1. I think lot of what you wrote is true. Eating spicy food makes your heart go faster, and that uses energy. Drinking cold water uses energy to heat it up before it is expelled from the body. Exercise - if you exercise for more than about 30 minutes, your body stays warm for a period of time: that's energy being used. I think all of these work to some degree, but I also think that the effect is minimal, compared with what you eat. In other words, you can cancel any effect of any or all of these by eating something you don't need. Maybe one piece of fruit will cancel all of these. That's just a guess, but I'm thinking that the effect is small.

  2. I know that for me personally, when I don't eat a certain caloric intake I do not lose weight. It doesn't matter how much I work out the pounds won't budge. I really have to have a careful balance of calories and working out. I did WW for a year and had success with it until I stopped marathon training. Then it didn't work and I gained the weight back. I don't know if it was because I wasn't eating enough (I was at 29 pp a day). I am not sure how to answer this one. It is the wonders of weight loss.

  3. It's a little dangerous for a WW leader to throw stuff like that around. Proven where? Both Dr Oz and Bob Greene swear up and down that you must eat breakfast because it "breaks the fast" from night when your metabolism slows down for sleep and breakfast gets it going again. Bob Greene also has a few posts on metabolism in his best life blog. He said that your metabolism is raised slightly when you eat which is why a small snack between your three meals is a good idea to maintain your metabolism. And he says that your metabolism in increased with exercise both aerobic and strength training and remains raised for hours after.

    So to answer your last questions, I wouldn't say eating "revs" your metabolism but skipping meals slows it down and your body starts to conserve and yes EAT BREAKFAST! I know I don't want my metabolism still sleeping till I'm partway through my day.

  4. Breakfast within an hour of waking up
    Eat every 2 to 3 hours
    Green tea and spicy foods
    Weight training
    Interval workouts.

    Eating too little calories a day lowers it....

    I aim to keep mine working all the following these little rules and do teach this to my online group as well.
    Interval training is so more beneficial than sitting with HR etc at the same pace for an hour. The body needs to be challenged.

  5. Got no clue, but since I started smaller more frequent meals and less of the processed stuff I am back into a losing mode

    I have heard exercise is a big factor

  6. Anecdotally, what works for me is to eat small meals frequently. If I eat 2-3 big meals a day, I can eat 1800 cals a day and maintain my weight. If I eat 5-6 meals throughout the day, I ca maintain on closer to 2200 each day. That's a BIG difference for me, and totally worth the switch! Plus, I have more even energy through the day, which makes me want to work out more!

  7. Thanks for posting this...very interesting!

  8. off topic....what food scale would you recommend? I am looking at either a EatSmart brand or Ozeri, also the ultra thin professional model too...

    Thanks :-)

  9. This is the one that I have:

    Works perfectly! It's nothing fancy, but I use it ALLLLL the time!

  10. I've always heard that eating a bigger breakfast within the first hour of waking up helps rev your metabolism up and powers you for the day....



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