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Metabolism Myths

I don’t care how many times you’ve heard it: Eating more frequently does not speed up your metabolism.

By
Monica Reinagel, M.S.,L.D./N
February 18, 2009
Episode #031

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The topic for today’s show was inspired by a comment that was posted on Twitter the other day by new media guru Jason van Orden. Jason wrote that he was trying to eat every two and a half or three hours without fail in order to keep his metabolism burning.

The idea that going too long without eating will cause your metabolism to shut down is a very popular notion. As I told Jason, it’s also pretty much hooey.

Now, it’s recently come to my attention that listeners of the Nutrition Diva podcast are using the information in these shows to correct their co-workers, spouses, and even perfect strangers on nutritional matters. All I can say is, “Keep up the good work.” There is a lot of nutrition nonsense in the world. Together, we can make a difference! And this week, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

I’m not sure who first promoted this idea that eating several small meals a day would promote weight loss by stoking your metabolism but it has quickly become dietary dogma. I think one of the reasons that it has become so widely accepted is that people haul out some very scientific-sounding explanations that seem, well, very scientific and, therefore, believable.

There are two basic arguments and we’ll tackle them one at a time:

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