Metabolism. There isn’t perhaps a more frequently used word in the weight loss (and weight gain) vocabulary than this.
Indeed, it’s not uncommon to overhear people talking about their struggles – or triumphs – over the holiday bulge or love handles in terms of whether their metabolism is working, or not.
Doctors, too, often refer to metabolism when they try and explain why starvation and water-loss diets aren’t scientifically of medically responsible; since, alas, they do not influence or take into account metabolism (there’s that word again!).
So, for all of the usage that this rather daunting and biologically-charged word enjoys in our world, you’d comfortably assume that people understand it, right?
Or, at least, they have some fundamental information when it comes to how to speed up their metabolism, right?
Towards Understanding Metabolism
Regrettably, many people simply don’t understand the concept of metabolism and metabolic change. This, equally as regrettably, is hardly their fault.
There is so much information floating around out there, much of it over the ‘net or through a “friend of a friend who has a personal trainer”, that there’s bound to be some confusion and conflicting messages.
Furthermore, many people (quite understandably) mistake their own weight gain and loss episodes as a matter of metabolic change. Sometimes this is true, and sometimes it isn’t.
For example, as we will discuss in this course, there are scientific ways to increase the rate of metabolic change, and thus enable the body to burn more calories.
Eating certain foods more frequently is one way to do this (again, we look closer at these in this book). Yet another way to visibly lose weight – at least on a perceived, temporary level – is to sit in a steam room for a few hours.
Whereas the former method (eating the right foods) is a real, proven weight loss method through increased metabolic change, the latter method (the steam room) is just temporary because the lost weight is merely water, and will return as swiftly as it “melted away”.
The point to remember here is that some people mistake their own weight loss attempts as being related to metabolic change; and, as you can see with the steam room example, that isn’t always the case.