We’re all used to hearing about “fast” and “slow” metabolisms, without really questioning the science behind the concept…
Much like the Food Pyramid, it’s something we accept as folk wisdom, even if it’s not correct.
And this whole idea of fast/slow metabolism is pretty incorrect, or at least overexaggerated a LOT.
(I said this in my article “Why Can Some People Eat Whatever They Want?“)
I’m NOT saying there’s no such thing as differences in metabolism between two people! But it’s not very significant, except in rare cases with people who have a metabolic disorder / gland issues.
(I will also say that an estimated 10% of women have at least minor thyroid problems, and many of these women are undiagnosed. I agree that this would make your weight loss journey harder. It’s SO important to get your thyroid levels tested if you have any doubt.
But I’m also about to explain to you why even a condition like underactive thyroid — hypothyroidism — could not possibly be the sole cause of weight gain.)
How Much Does Metabolism ACTUALLY Vary Between Two People?
According to Live Science, not much, and we don’t even have to do a study with lots of participants over time, to prove it. This is because, as Dr. Thomas Barber from the University of Warwick says, metabolism occurs in LEAN TISSUE like your liver, brain, and MUSCLES.
So then to see whether there’s a big range in people’s metabolisms…all we have to do is study the metabolic rate in people’s brains and muscles.
And when you look at that rate…it’s pretty much the same for everybody! I mean, it would HAVE to be, right? Metabolic processes are what keep your brain and body WORKING, so if your metabolism was really that slow, you wouldn’t be alive.
(By the way, quick refresher: metabolism just means “how your body regulates calories”).
I just want to emphasize that…metabolism has to be very similar for all people, because whether it’s “fast” or “slow,” it has to be in a pretty narrow range in order to keep you alive!!
So that said, what’s a good metabolism booster?
Well, we just mentioned MUSCLE! And how metabolism happens in your muscles. So that means…the more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism!
Plus, exercise increases your metabolism (check out my article on that HERE) by, well, burning energy and teaching your body optimal metabolic function.
This is especially true with HIIT workouts, which keep burnin’ those calories…a metabolism booster…long after you’re done exercising.)
So obviously you can see how weight training or pilates or something would max out your metabolism because you’re exercising, and gaining muscle…
Guess what else helps out your metabolism just a little? Eating meat!
Why? Well, meat and other protein requires the highest calories burned for your body to digest properly. Now, that doesn’t mean the calories burned to digest cancels out the calories consumed, obviously…That would be bad anyway.
The effects on metabolism here are temporary and go away once your body is done digesting the meat. But hey, eat it every day, right? I have to say, that’s my favorite little metabolism booster!
Now what do you think about “fast” and “slow” metabolism?
Your super-skinny friend who eats whatever can probably thank their high levels of LEAN TISSUE which is where the metabolism happens…So get working on making yourself ALLLL the lean tissue you can…in the kitchen and in the gym! 😉