Nutrition Articles

Expert Solutions: Metabolism Mistakes

SparkPeople experts and coaches weigh in on the top 4 metabolism mistakes even smart dieters make

507SHARES
There is a lot of misinformation out there about dieting and exercise.  People DO want sustainable results, but many can’t judge the difference between quick fixes and the legitimate, permanent strategies for losing weight. Common mistakes may include: skipping meals or snacks, working out on a empty stomach, shunning certain foods or food groups (carbohydrates for example), yo-yo dieting, and not lifting weights for fear of "bulking up".   So, what are the TOP metabolism mistakes? How do these mistakes affect a person’s progress or overall health, and why do people keep falling into these traps?
 
Mistake #1: Using Diet Pills
 
JEN (SparkPeople Community Leader)
I get a lot of "Ask the Expert" questions about diet pills.  I think most people know that they shouldn't take them long term, but don't really understand why.  Many times they think it's okay to give them a jumpstart to losing weight, or just to keep them from feeling hungry all the time.  They don't realize they can accomplish this through the food choices they make and how they space their meals throughout the day.  I would have thought that there has been enough negative press about diet pills that everyone would know to stay away from them, but apparently the power of advertising is stronger!
 
BECKY (SparkPeople Dietitian)
I'm in the nutrition field, and weight loss supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry, with little controls. One can become a millionaire within weeks, and then the FTC and the FDA may shut them down—for a while—until they rephrase their claims on a fancy new bottle with a sexy spokesperson.
 
NICOLE (SparkPeople Fitness Expert)
I agree with Jen and Becky about the diet pills.  For someone with average nutrition knowledge, these claims are easy to believe.  Most people don’t even question effectiveness, and they assume that since it’s on the shelf it's has to be safe.
 
I think there are a couple reasons people will take these pills. One, they do not understand or know that the FDA does not regulate them, and two, the word "natural" makes them think it is safe. In fact, the word “natural” isn’t regulated either, so anyone can put it on their label. Continued ›
Page 1 of 3   Next Page ›
507SHARES

Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

More Great Features

Member Comments

  • It just kills me that people still fall for the diet pill trap. I would love to have the pounds melt off fast too but even I won't go that route. It's too bad that they aren't regulated.
    - 3/2/2013 4:14:03 PM
  • Good grief! I've broken every "rule" in the book. Is it any wonder I'm fat! ACK! - 11/21/2012 11:20:51 PM
  • My metabolism is almost non-existent. No wonder ,.. Unfortunately, I've spent a lifetime breaking all the rules. - 6/26/2012 7:16:28 PM
  • I love the SP program and I really appreciate the time and energy devoted to providing good information to the members so my comments are about content and not about the good people that contributed to this article.

    I strongly agree with three of the four mistakes. I do take exception with the blanket comment that exercising in the fat burning zone is a mistake. When I walk I cannot walk fast enough to get my pulse above the fat burning zone due to a surgically repaired left knee. I've dealt with it since 1963 and have finally reached the point where I can no longer run due to the knee. I'm 70.

    I understand that I cannot get the speed to raise my pulse but can walk hilly routes and keep increasing the incline on the treadmill to get the best workout I can. I know it takes longer to burn calories at my speed but it works for me and I know there are other Sparkpeople who have to do the same thing.

    I would agree with you that working out in the fat burning zone isn't ideal but I strongly disagree that it is a mistake for all people.

    Lew - 6/26/2012 5:22:29 PM
  • That is SO true about diet pills. They killed my mother. She was on that Dexatrim, and it gave her a stroke. So I don't go near that aisle in the store. - 6/26/2012 12:30:38 PM
  • ALDEBARANIAN
    I once took a college level Biology class from a Prof. who had been a coroner. The things he told us about necrotic tissue in the liver caused by taking diet pills stopped me from ever wanting to take them. - 6/26/2012 10:14:39 AM
  • Skipping strength training is a huge mistake too. Excessive cardio with no muscle building/preserva
    tion is a recipe for weight regain. Muscle is much more metabolically active than fat. - 6/26/2012 8:30:02 AM
  • This article was not helpful. It offered problems but not solutions, and it was scattered. - 6/26/2012 7:09:57 AM
  • I have a big problem making sure I drink water or eat even one meal a day. My metabolisim died so that with no exercise has turned my body into a marshmellow! - 6/26/2012 1:09:43 AM
  • Now, my question is how to gradually get out of the restricting-too-m
    uch trap. Shifting from one thing right into the other appears not so wise as you said your metabolism adopts to the low intake. So is there any guideline for a gradual shift (like a 10% increase-rule or something, I'm just guessing here...)?
    How long does it take your body to re-adapt to a good calorie intake? Any suggestions?
    (Yeah, as you can see, that one's my favourite trap... =((( ) - 6/26/2012 12:46:27 AM
  • I found alot of good guidelines to try out. The article on metabolism was quite enlightning..I was told that if you stop smoking that this slows your metabolism down? Is this true? I stopped smoking 1 month ago.... yeah me :)
    It is taking me a while to eat enough daily, but I am getting there....exercise dancing, marching, jogging, walking and some from your circuit are great..I feel sluggish if I don't do something...
    I am so glad I was guided to Sparks
    Maryhigo - 4/19/2012 10:02:52 PM
  • Jen said in the first paragraph about diet pills "I get a lot of "Ask the Expert" questions about diet pills. I think most people know that they shouldn't take them long term, but don't really understand why".
    I don't take diet pills because i am not foolish enough to think they will work long term but I read and re-read the section about diet pills and did not see WHY they are bad for me. I know I can get the feeling of fullness by just eating fresh healthy food but I would have liked getting the information as to what is specificly bad about diet pills other then messing up your metabolism because poor eating can do that too. - 1/20/2012 8:54:00 AM
  • I tried diet pills one time. I was going to start eating better and exercising more, but I thought it might help me start losing weight faster. I would not recommend them at all. They are not cheap for one thing. The store brand had caffeine, so my heart would beat too fast when I worked out and I had trouble sleeping. They also gave me bad diarrhea. I didn't notice my appetitte changing that much. I don't think I ever finished the bottle. But I know that I would never use them again. - 7/18/2011 12:52:17 PM
  • Talk about an "aha" moment! While reading this article, particularly the sentence about reducing calories by 500 to lose a pound a week, I realized I'd been beating myself up unnecessarily. I've been trying to limit my caloric intake to 1,500 per day, and then beating myself up most days because I went over by 50 to 100. All this while steadily losing 2 pounds a week. Maybe at the weight I am now I can lose weight at 1,600 calories a day. Now, why didn't I figure out this sooner? Because I fell into the less is more trap, exactly as described in that section of the article. Thanks for turning on the light bulb for me! - 4/30/2011 9:41:44 AM
  • Great article. - 4/10/2011 10:33:34 AM