Veronica Shukla

Random Musings

The Lie We Tell Ourselves About Fast Metabolism

People talk about fast metabolism like it’s a gift given to skinny people. I think it’s assumed that if you have a slow metabolism, then you’re doomed to be overweight and if you have a fast metabolism, then you’re gifted with a perfect body while eating pizza and Cadbury eggs to your heart’s content. So I’m here to rain on your parade, or pity party, — however it may be.

Imagine you are training for a marathon. You’re now running 5 days a week, some of those days in the double digits of miles. You’re running 20+ miles a week and burning hundreds of calories almost every day. And you’re hungry. You burn more calories, but then you eat more calories. You won’t lose weight from marathon training unless don’t completely replace the calories you’re burning.

It’s like that with a fast metabolism. It doesn’t mean your body just burns through everything you eat and you’re magically skinny. Yes, your body might burn through more calories, but it also signals greater hunger along with that.

The upside is that, if you like food, you do get to eat more when keeping to the caloric intake that sustains your body weight than someone who has a slower metabolism. However, you don’t get to eat anything and everything and never feel hungry. Maintaining a certain weight is just as hard, because you feel just as much hunger.

I have a fairly fast metabolism. It’s a good thing because if I had to subsist on salads I’d wilt faster than baby spinach. But I do still struggle to maintain my ideal weight. Truthfully, my ideal weight is about ten pounds less than what I maintain, but that involves a little too much hunger for me at this point in life.

So next time you want to blame something on your metabolism, just remember, it’s hard for people with all types of bodies. If it was easy, everyone would be at their ideal body weight. It’s not. Most people who are at a healthy weight make tough choices every day and probably feel more hunger than their limbic brains would like every day. So if you want it, work hard for it, just like all the things in life. If not, come over tomorrow night, we’re having Cadbury eggs for supper.