Myths, Metabolism, and Asia

There are a lot of myths in the fitness and weight loss industry. As I put the finishing touches on my next book, THE RUNNING DIET, here’s two myths from my chapter on running and weight loss myths.

Myth: Thin people have a faster metabolism.

Try this experiment: Hold five copies of one of my books in one hand and one copy in the other. Which arm is doing more work to hold the books? In which arm is metabolic rate faster? If I had a dollar for every person who has ever commented on the speed of my metabolism, I would be able to pay off my large student loan debt. Just because I’m thin doesn’t mean I have a fast metabolism. Heavier people actually have a faster metabolism because it takes more energy to support a heavier weight than it does to support a lighter weight, just like holding five copies of my book in your hand takes more energy than holding one copy.

When it comes to expending energy, body weight matters. As Isaac Newton’s second law of motion (the Law of Acceleration) tells us, an acceleration is produced when a force acts on an object and is equal to that force divided by the object’s mass (a = F ¸ m, or its more recognized form, F = m x a). The greater the object’s mass, the more force is required to get it moving. This is why a heavy person uses more calories doing the same exercise at the same intensity than does a light person.

Myth: Eating multiple small meals throughout the day rather than three large meals is better for weight loss.

Many weight loss proponents suggest that eating multiple small meals throughout the day is better than eating only breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Practically speaking, it may be a good idea to eat more often throughout the day to prevent an empty stomach, however research hasn’t shown that eating more often decreases appetite. The handful of research studies on meal frequency does not support that it enhances diet-induced thermogenesis (the caloric cost of digestion), total energy expenditure, or resting metabolic rate, or that it plays a significant role in decreasing body weight or body composition. For weight loss, it seems that eating a specific number of calories in three meals or in six meals doesn’t matter.

Tomorrow, I’m leaving on a jet plane for Asia to teach the Run-Fit Specialist certification in Singapore, Philippines, China, and Taiwan! 8 flights, 4 countries, 2 translators, and 6 days of teaching in 12 days! Should be a blast!

Don’t forget to sign up for the home-study course or attend a live workshop!

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