Ever feel like you're ruled by your stomach? Pasta. Potatoes. Guacamole. Chocolate. You're a fan of it all. Even if weight gain has never really been an issue for you, dropping those extra few pounds may not be as easy as it once was. That's where your metabolism comes in: it's the easiest to blame, right? But is it really at fault?
With so much conflicting information flooding the Internet, it's difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. To help answer questions about how age affects metabolism, whether certain foods can boost it, and more, Karl Espinosa, MD, a primary care physician with HonorHealth Medical Group East Tempe, is helping people find meaning among the myths.
For starters, Dr. Espinosa says there is no magic food or substance that will boost metabolism. It turns out that your grandmother's insistence that green tea, pineapple, grapefruit and chili peppers help burn calories is based more on wives' tales than science. Bummer.
But that doesn't mean you're completely at the mercy of your genetics.
According to Dr. Espinosa, increasing muscle mass can speed up metabolism and help the body burn calories faster. Since muscle mass naturally decreases with age, hitting the gym or engaging in other activities that build and maintain it can reap metabolism rewards.
Dr. Espinosa also debunked these common metabolism myths:
- Do skinnier people have a higher metabolism?
No. It just so happens there is evidence to suggest that skinner people may actually have a slower metabolism.
- Does skipping a meal slow your metabolism?
Skipping meals does not slow your metabolism. Burning calories is all about using more calories than you consume. Skipping a meal has no direct correlation to slowing one's metabolism.
- Is it true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it kick starts the metabolism?
There are a lot of contradictory opinions on whether skipping breakfast has any effect on metabolism or that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Most importantly, make sure you have healthy foods for breakfast and avoid the sugar and processed food overload.
- When I eat food at night does it automatically turn into fat?
We usually store fat when we eat more than we need, but it's more related to what you eat rather than when you eat.
Dr. Espinosa is committed to taking the time you to understand your unique needs. "My goal is to become your partner in better health. Conscientious preventive care to help you and your family stay healthy and happy through every stage of your lives is the heart of my practice."