"But I heard it at the gym!" Stop falling for these common metabolism myths.
1. "Eating after 7 P.M. slows your metabolism."
Calories consumed after dark are no more sinister than any others. But at nighttime, we're often exhausted, starving, or bored, so it's much easier to overdo it.
2. "The more slowly you lose weight, the easier it is to drop a lot."
Actually, in an 18-month study, obese women who dropped pounds faster were five times more likely to lose 10% of their body weight than the "slow-and-steady" losers.
3. "To tone muscle, do more reps with lighter weights."
Nope. The best way to build muscle is to work it to fatigue; 20 lifts with a too-light weight won't be as effective. Use a weight light enough to lift at least eight times, but heavy enough that lifting it more than 12 times is difficult.
4. "I just earned a brownie!"
Depends on your workout. A 40-minute spin class will earn you a 410-calorie Starbucks Double Chocolate Brownie, but you'd need to walk for two hours on a treadmill.
5. "If you stop lifting weights, your muscle turns to fat."
That's just not possible. Your muscles might atrophy, and you might gain weight, but one type of tissue can't transform into another.