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Health Tip: Understanding Metabolism

Debunking some of the myths

(HealthDay News) -- It seems some people can eat whatever they want and not gain an ounce, while others have to watch every nibble.

Blame differences in metabolism, the process our bodies use to convert food to fuel. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sets the record straight on some popular misconceptions:

  • Your genes have a lot to do with your metabolism, but you can influence the process. One way is to gain lean muscle mass, which requires burning more calories.
  • There's no particular food that is guaranteed to increase metabolism. Spicy foods, green tea and others rumored to do so are not proven.
  • The time of day that you eat does not affect metabolism. What's more important are the actual calories you consume, not eating them late at night.
  • Adapting an extremely low-calorie diet does not kickstart metabolism. This type of diet can actually cause your body to use calories more sparingly, thus inhibiting weight loss.

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