Are you curious about whether those ads claiming you can miraculously lose weight effortlessly by boosting your metabolism are true?
You’ve probably seen some of the ads that say things like this:
- Lose 30 pounds in 30 days (or fewer days).
- Boost your metabolism and lose weight while eating all the food you want!
- To lose weight permanently, all you have to do is take this pill.
- This amazing coffee diet will boost your metabolism & melt the fat off you effortlessly!
Is this really true? Can you really lose 30 pounds in 30 days?
Spoiler alert: Any promise of miraculous weight loss is not true.
There is no magic way to lose weight.
You cannot eat all the food you want whenever you want it and still lose weight.
Any products promising unbelievably fast weight loss are a scam, and are very likely dangerous.
Even if you did lose weight, you’d almost certainly gain it back after you stopped using the product.
In this episode, we talk about:
- whether there are “fat burners” that cause your body to burn fat faster
- why it’s hard to increase your metabolism
- whether there is anything you can do to speed it up
- why dieting permanently slows down your metabolism
LISTEN TO THE WEIGHT LOSS FOR FOODIES PODCAST BELOW:
[00:00:00] Are you curious about whether those ads claiming you can miraculously lose weight effortlessly by boosting your metabolism are true. Well, stay tuned and find out
Wouldn't it feel amazing to stop obsessing about everything? To ditch dieting forever and drop that extra weight in a sane and sustainable way. Well, you can do it. And I can't wait to show you how I'm Shari Broder and welcome to the weight loss for foodies podcast. Episode 180. Truth versus myths about boosting metabolism for weight loss.
Wow. It is hard to say the word myths, isn't it. Anyway, welcome. I'm so glad that you're listening. This is a really great topic. I see so many crazy ads out there and it's just confusing enough to figure out what to eat and all that. But before we get started, I'd like to thank today's sponsor Betterhelp., Betterhelp offers professional counseling done securely online, Betterhelp will assess your needs and match you with your own licensed professional therapist. You can get started today at Betterhelp.com/shari and receive 10% off your first month.
So if you're like me, you've probably seen some ads that say things like this lose 30 pounds in 30 days, or even 20 days, boost your metabolism and lose weight while eating all the food you want and lose weight permanently. All you have to do is take this pill. The amazing coffee diet will boost your metabolism and melt the fat off you effortlessly. And [00:02:00] if you go to Pinterest, I think they get even worse. But anyway, is this really true? Can you really lose 30 pounds in 30 days? Eating all the food you want whenever you wanted, or by taking some pill, drinking some coffee?
Spoiler alert. Any promise of miraculous weight loss is not true. Don't believe it. There is no magic way to lose weight. You cannot eat all the food you want whenever you want and still lose weight. And any products promising unbelievably fast weight loss are a scam and are very likely dangerous. Even if you did lose weight, you'd almost certainly gain it back after you stopped using the product.
But think about this, if there really was, if these things really worked, would we need those oversized chairs in waiting rooms and would like 70% of the population be classified under the body mass index, which I do not put any weight in, so to speak. Um, but you know, 70% of the population in the United States is classified as overweight.
If there was just a pill you could take, do you really think that would be true? Of course not. Now some of these ads though, they claim to boost your metabolism. So I'd like to start by talking about what is metabolism anyway. I'm sure you've heard the word a lot. And I'm sure some of you know what it is, but your metabolic rate is the amount of time it takes your body to process and burn the energy from the food you eat.
So, and the energy that, you know, you might think of that as calories, Your basal metabolic rate, or BMR, is the amount of energy or calories your body needs to maintain just the basic [00:04:00] functions while you're resting. So if you're a total couch potato, it accounts for about 70% of your daily energy use, but many things affect your BMR, including genetics, your age, gender, weight, height, body composition, how active you are and your diet. Your metabolism can also be affected by medications, yourclimate and medical conditions. And there are other things that influence your metabolism. Hormone levels, your sex hormones. And that's why it seems like men can eat more than women and not gain weight. The two things that you have the most control are what you eat and how active you are. And those are the things that you can change if you want to lose weight and keep it off.
Now, these companies trying to sell you diet products often claim though that they have these fat burners and they claim that ingredients like caffeine, capsaicin, green tea,. Chromium picolinate, CLA , reservatrol and selenium can cause your body to burn fat faster. Now, is that true or false? You've probably heard of some of these ingredients. I mean, who hasn't heard of caffeine in green tea, right?
Well, with all of these ingredients, there's either no evidence that they affect our metabolism or there's inconsistent evidence, meaning different studies reach the opposite conclusions. Or the ingredients may, or maybe they do a little, but the effect is so insignificant that it's not going to make you gain or lose a pound a month, let alone 30.
So for example, green tea [00:06:00] has a very modest effect on boosting metabolism, but of the many studies done, few have reported significant results when it comes to weight loss. Now green tea contains caffeine, which was something else on that list. And research has shown that caffeine can increase your metabolism, but you have to consume quite a bit of it for it to make a difference. And if you're already drinking caffeine on a regular basis, that effect is going to be reduced. If you consume caffeine in the form of several sweetened coffee or tea beverages a day, you know, if you like a vanilla hazelnut mocha latte or something like that. Your increased consumption of sugar and calories is going to more than offset any effect that caffeine might have. And not only that, but for many post-menopausal women, caffeine can make us feel pretty anxious and jittery, not really worth it.
Capsaicin, the chemical in hot peppers, can increase the amount of calories you burn by maybe 50 per day, depending on how much of it you eat. Now, this is hardly significant either, but if you want to spice up your diet and your gut can handle the extra heat, then by all means, go for it.
And then there are other substances that I mentioned that have not been shown to produce weight loss or, or increase your metabolism, or which have produced mixed results in studies. And these include things like L-carnitine, which is an amino acid, resveratrol, CLA, which is conjugated, linoleic acid and chromium picolinate. None of these substances together or by themselves will produce rapid effortless weight loss.
How can advertisers make these claims? Well, in the United States, they [00:08:00] can't, but eventually the food and drug administration catches up with the big ones and shuts them down. But the problem is there are so many companies and people out there and on the internet, it's like, how do you even trace them? And they're trying to scam you, but the FDA just can't keep up with them.
The important thing to remembe is that dieting has a permanent harmful effect upon your metabolism. Yes. You might not want to hear that, especially if you went on a bunch of diets like I did, and they screwed up my metabolism. Going on a diet can actually cause metabolic suppression, which means a slowing of your metabolism.
You see your brain wants to keep your body at a certain weight. You've probably heard the term set point before. Right? Well, set point is your body's way of preventing you from starving to death, by keeping your weight at what your body thinks is where it should be. So your set point is what your brain believes is the right weight for you. And that may not be the same weight you'd like to be at. It may be the weight that you've been at for the past 30 years, which is 50 pounds heavier than what's healthy for you, but your body has this bias to keep you at that weight. So when you gain weight and stay at that weight for a long time, your body wants your weight to stay at that way to protect you from starvation.
Although most people in the Western world don't have to worry about finding enoug food, some still do. And our brains and bodies don't know this because evolution is slow and an abundance of food is really in terms of the timeline of humans a very new thing. So consequently, to protect you from starving to death, when you eat less, your body slows [00:10:00] down your metabolism.
Your brain looks at weight loss as a kind of an emergency, and this causes your body to conserve energy. So if you go into high deprivation mode by seriously restricting calories, your metabolism slows down. Not only that, but your body starts producing more of those hormones that make you feel hungry.
So your body slows down the burning of calories and your hunger hormones make you hungry. I know, I'm sorry. Sorry to be the bearer of this news. It seems like an uphill battle. It seems kind of crazy. And then if you're at a weight where you're at risk of a heart attack or stroke or diabetes, you'd think maybe that your brain would know that it's a good thing to help you bring your weight down so you can avoid serious illness. But our internal systems just haven't evolved to that point and yo-yo dieting makes this worse. Long-term studies have proven that dieters are more likely than non dieters to become obese. In one study, young women who had gone on two or more diets were five times as likely to become overweight. So what do you do?
Well, there's a large amount of research supporting the fact that diets actually cause weight gain in the long run. Let's take a look at the winners of that biggest loser show, which frankly I've never watched, six years after losing weight on the show. The average contestant had gained back more than two thirds of the weight loss and their resting metabolic rate was an average of 500 calories lower than what would normally be expected for people of their age and body composition.
Maintaining a 10% or greater weight loss is accompanied by a [00:12:00] 20 to 25% reduction in your daily calorie needs. I mean, that makes sense. You're smaller. Your body needs less energy to keep it going. Right? One study showed that the more you lose and the faster, the more your BMR () that's your basal metabolic rate, is going to go down long term. So presumably the reason why those biggest losers, regained the weight was because their bodies needed a lot fewer calories than before, but they didn't significantly change their eating habits, which is the thing I always focus on in the weight loss for foodies program. It's all about changing your eating habits and your mindset.
The fact that fast weight loss messes with your metabolism is yet another reason to look the other way when you're tempted to go on a diet or buy a diet product, because it's not going to serve you long-term.
Increasing your metabolism is difficult. According to Eric Ravussin, the director of the nutrition obesity research center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, there's very little hope of changing your BMR because you're fighting your biology. In other words, here's an expert on a subject who says you can't change your metabolism, or it's really hard to do that. So if you're still wondering about those ads, forget them. Ravussin says revving up your metabolism is largely a doomed quest, like trying to become taller. Not only that but metabolism can slow down as we age from factors such as muscle loss. Our metabolism is at a peak around age one when we're one year old and babies actually burn calories 50% faster than [00:14:00] adults. And then it gradually declined by around 3% per year until we reach age 20, which explains why I gained a whole bunch of weight when I stopped getting taller when I was 13. It then stays fairly steady until we reach aids age 60, which actually came as a surprise to me because I thought that menopause changed it.
According to another expert, Susan Roberts, who's the director of energy metabolism at the nutrition research center on aging at Tufts university, there are a few dietary changes that can increase metabolism a little by increasing the amount of energy your body needs for digestion. So number one, eating 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day, which is really the amount we need for healthy elimination anyway. So it's a good idea to do that for that reason alone. That's about half what the average US adult consumes in a day, but go for eating 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day.
If you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, that shouldn't be too hard and whole grains, beans and so forth. Number two, consuming between 25 to 30% of your calories as protein. Now that's probably around five or 600 calories a day for someone normally consuming 2000. And I don't count calories, but humans only need around 10% of their daily consumption to be from protein.
And according to Harvard medical school, eaing too much protein can actually be harmful. Very high protein diets that are popular these days can increase your risk of kidney stones, and consumption of a lot of red meat can increase your risk of heart disease and colon cancer. So to reduce these risks, go for mostly plant-based proteins, like beans and nuts and high protein grains.
If you're [00:16:00] still toying with the idea of trying the keto diet, don't. Just forget it. Your friends who may be losing all this weight, they're increasing their risk of deadly diseases. Who cares how skinny you are if you dropped out of a heart attack, right? And they're slowing down their metabolism with fast weight loss.
The third thing you can do is increasing your muscle mass and that'll slightly boost your resting metabolism, your BMR, because your body burns more energy to maintain muscle than it does to maintain fat. The thing is to increase muscle mass,you need to do more than just lift weights. You need to engage in heavy resistance training, and I can tell you it's a lot easier to maintain muscle that we build in our thirties and forties than to start building muscle when you get into your sixties. Weight training has so many other benefits, though. It including reducing the risk of bone loss, which is a great reason to lift weights two to three times a week. Dieting on the other hand, especially diets that produce rapid weight loss, they cause people to lose muscle tissue and that's another way that diet and contributes to a slower metabolism.
So if I haven't convinced you yet, forget about fast weight loss, you're in this for life if you really want to lose weight and keep it off. So, you know, those fast weight loss plans that you can't stay on are not worth much. Increasing the amount of water you drink can actually help a little. And I'm sure you've heard, you know, about drinking enough water. In one study, adding three half liter servings of water per day to their normal fluid consumption caused young overweight women to burn an average of 50 additional calories a day. That seems to be the number, right. You know, you do all this stuff and you burn 50 measly [00:18:00] calories. That's hardly going to make a difference in weight loss, but it certainly can't hurt to do it.
So yes, various things are working against you when you try to lose weight, even if you're following my weight loss for foodies guidelines, for eating in tune with your body signals. But that doesn't mean you can't lose. I've helped lots of people lose weight. I've lost weight and kept it off. Your chances of losing weight this way are much better than on any diet. You just need to be patient because the weight is going to come off slowly, but the time's going to pass anyway. And it's a good thing to lose weight slowly because making this new way of eating your permanent habit is what's going to keep the weight from coming back.
You need to learn to pay attention to your body's signals of hunger and fullness and eat what your body tells you it needs. When you give your body the amount of food it needs, over time, you become your naturally healthy weight without depriving yourself or going hungry or any of that stuff.
Now ending emotional eating, which is also a major cause of weight gain will help you to stop consuming more food than your body needs and drop those extra pounds. And you can also help your metabolism by giving your body food when it needs it, instead of at random times or by skipping meals or that kind of thing.
Regular exercise will also help you burn more energy, but it's not a substitute for eating in tune with your body signals. And remember it takes less time to eat less than to exercise more. I mean, I exercise every day and I'm a proponent of that, but unless you were preparing for half marathon, if you exercise a half an hour to an hour a day, it's going to make, you know, a small difference in how fast you lose weight. But I recommend doing it anyway. [00:20:00]
If you want to try a system that will not only work, but will help you make peace with food and eating so you can stop the obsession, which I personally think is even more instrumental in your future happiness than the weight loss itself, check out the free resources on my website, which is sharibroder.com/free-resources and you'll find it. If you just go to sharibroder.com and keep listening to the weight loss for foodies podcast. Someone told me recently that this podcast has helped her more than anything else she's tried and she's used Noom and all these other diets. Lost weight temporarily on them as you would expect, but basically that this podcast helped her more than anything else. And it can help you too. So stay tuned. I hope to see you that you're back next time and have a great week.
Thanks so much for listening. Don't forget to subscribe for regular motivation and inspiration and head over to my website. Sharibroder.com to grab the free resources I've created to help you practice what you're learning on the podcast. I really appreciate your help spreading the word by leaving a review on apple podcasts or wherever you listen. See you next time.
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