“Oh, you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight because you have a fast metabolism, but I look at a french fry and I gain 5 pounds because of my slow metabolism.”
This is something we hear early and often in life.
On the surface, this makes sense. I mean, some people just appear to stay naturally lean and other people struggle to stay lean, so your “metabolism” must be the main reason why.
Well, strangely enough, this does not appear to be the case, at all.
Your, “fast or slow” metabolism does not predict whether you are going to gain weight or not.
Now, what exactly do I mean by that?
Well, your metabolism is essentially made of 4 components: 1) your resting metabolic rate (RMR/BMR), 2) the thermic effect of food (TEF), 3) your exercise activity (EAT), and your non-exercise activity (NEAT)
Most of us think of our “metabolism” as our RMR/BMR, which is the part of our metabolism that is going all the time, even when we are just binge-watching The Office for the 27th time in our life.
And in one of the most strange turns of events in nutrition science, it turns out that your BMR/RMR does not predict whether you gain weight or not. Like at all.
Seriously, if you compare your BMR/RMR to someone else and predict who is going to gain weight or not based on their “metabolism” you would probably be more accurate predicting the weather.
So, now what does determine whether people gain or lose weight (if they aren’t actively working on losing weight or gaining weight working with a coach)?
Well, it turns out that the biggest predictor of weight loss or preventing weight gain that isn’t based on food intake is actually completely in your control.
It is your physical activity. And it isn’t even how many hours you spend in the gym crushing yourself, it is the non-exercise piece. The amount of walking, taking the stairs, standing, fidgeting, doing laundry, etc.
In fact, in one study, the difference between people who gained weight and those who sustained long-term weight loss was almost entirely explained by their physical activity.
So, what is the moral of this email?
It is relatively simple, but also very powerful.
You have complete control over your journey, even if you have been “gifted” with less than ideal genetics, what you can control has WAY more impact over your journey than what you can’t control.
P.S. if you want to learn more stuff like this, definitely check out the new resource we launched in January, the NutriWiki!