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Fact or fiction: I’m overweight because I have a slow metabolism

Many of us would love to think this was true. We ask endocrinologist Jeremy Krebs for the truth.

Jeremy explains: "Like it or not, our body weight is determined by the laws of thermodynamics. What this means is energy intake must equal energy usage, or else our weight will increase or decrease accordingly.

Tests have proved that rather than overweight people having slow metabolisms, the opposite is in fact true: those who are overweight have a higher metabolic rate than those who are lean. This is because much of the metabolic demand of the body is from muscle, and overweight people have more muscle; they need it to carry around the weight. While it is true that different individuals may have different metabolic requirements, in the vast majority of cases it is not true that people who are overweight have a slow metabolism."

The bottom line: Myth

We can't blame our metabolism for our weight-gain; in reality it's probably because we eat too much and move too little.