Many people (especially men) find that they accumulate abdominal fat that’s very hard to get rid of. This is especially true as they get older. Even if you exercise regularly, belly fat can gather and hang around your midsection. You can readily find advice on how to target this area of your body to lose the stubborn girth but wouldn’t it be nice to know how to prevent it in the first place? We’re here to tell you how.
What Causes Belly Fat: 4 Nutrition Myths
Here’s how to increase your metabolism to lose belly fat.
1. False: Eating Small Meals Throughout the Day Will Speed up Your Metabolism.
Your metabolism is your metabolism regardless of how often or how much you eat. Metabolism refers to the chemical processes that take place in the body.
There are two types of metabolism that occur:
- Anabolism uses energy to synthesize necessary compounds from nutrients. Examples of the results of anabolic metabolism include creating new cells, maintaining tissue integrity.
- Catabolism breaks down molecules into smaller pieces, releasing energy. Examples: complex carbohydrates broken down into glucose, proteins broken into amino acids.
Body weight is the result of the balance between the amount of energy we take in minus the amount we expend. Major factors that affect metabolism are diet and nutrition, exercise, and sleep. (1)
Eating smaller meals during the day won’t affect your metabolism but it will help to regulate your blood sugar. (2) It can also help to keep you from over-eating. A small study of obese women found that six meals a day at regular intervals had benefits over an irregular eating schedule for cholesterol levels, energy expenditure, and insulin sensitivity. (3) A regular eating pattern is more important than the eating pattern itself. Find the schedule that works best for you and stick with it.
2. False: Extreme Low-Calorie Diets Will Lead to Faster Weight Loss.
This may be the worst and most pervasive myth when it comes to metabolism and weight loss. In the abstract, it sounds like a good idea: take in fewer calories than you use and you’ll lose weight. Except for the metabolism factor: reduced caloric intake makes your body go into starvation mode and resting metabolism will slow down to ensure you have enough fuel for survival.
To accomplish weight loss and increase metabolism while decreasing caloric intake, exercise more! A moderate increase in metabolism is achieved with increased physical activity. (4) To gain and maintain good health, you need a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, and the right kinds of fats. What you eat is more important than the number of calories each food individually contains.