If you are carrying a few extra pounds around, you may blame your slow metabolism on your inability to lose that weight, but not so fast. Metabolism is the chemical reaction responsible for converting food to energy, but it may not be responsible for all your weight loss woes. Here we will break down what’s real and what’s not on some of the most popular metabolism myths.

Myth #1: Skipping meals slows your metabolism

It turns out, how frequently someone eats has little to do with the speed of their metabolism. If you eat 2,000 calories of noodles in one sitting or spread throughout the day, it has a similar effect. But that doesn’t mean you should skip meals. Eating every few hours helps keep a lid on cravings leading you to make better food choices and control portion sizes. The key is the quality and quantity of the foods you consume. Eating healthy food has a greater bearing on revving up your metabolism than just eating any old food frequently.

Myth #2: Late night eats turn to fat

Avoiding late night eating has been touted as a way to avoid gaining weight but that may not really be the case. Similar to myth #1, focusing on food quality, content and how much energy you expend in a day have more to do with weight gain than what time you eat. This myth most likely gained in popularity because late night food choices tend to be unhealthier, and an overabundance of unhealthy food will lead to weight gain.

Myth #3: Skinny people have a higher metabolism

Some people appear to have a hollow leg where all their food goes while others gain 10 pounds just looking at a donut. Must be that skinny people have a faster metabolism, right? Not so say the experts. The less you weigh, the slower your resting metabolism is since there is less to burn while at rest. Larger individuals, however, usually have a higher metabolism then their smaller counterparts. The key is how much muscle you have. Muscle mass has a huge effect on the number of overall calories burned through the day, which makes strength training a crucial component in your healthy lifestyle.

Myth #4: You have no control over your metabolism

It’s easy to blame our slow metabolism for weight gain, but it turns out you have more control than you may think. As stated in myth #3, body composition plays a big role in how many calories you burn. A simple way to rev up your metabolism is to build more muscle. Other easy things you can incorporate into your routine are:

  • Get more sleep: Studies show if you are sleep deprived, you have a decreased ability to manage blood sugar and tend to feel hungrier.
  • • Drink more water: Ditch the calorie loaded soft drinks and opt for good old H2O instead.
  • • Have a cup of joe: Researchers found that when subjects were given coffee, the caffeinated group’s caloric burn was higher than their decaf counterparts.
  • • Don’t forget the protein! Folks with an adequate level of protein in their diets have a higher energy expenditure than those who consume low levels of protein.

If you forget the myths and make small tweaks to your nutrition and lifestyle habits, your metabolism will be working for you in no time.