Myth No. 2: Eating Small, Frequent Meals Boosts Your Metabolism
The theory: If you keep adding small amounts of food to your fire (the fire being your metabolism), you will keep it going strong and burn more calories overall.
The reality: Food intake has a negligible effect on metabolism. Some foods, including those with caffeine, may slightly and temporarily increase metabolism, but the effect is too small to help you lose weight. What most affects your basal metabolic rate (BMR), the rate at which your body burns calories at rest, is body composition and size. More muscles and bigger bodies generally burn more calories overall.
The best advice: Build up your muscles. A pound of fat-free tissue burns about 14 calories a day, while a pound of fat burns just two to three calories. And while that difference may not sound like a lot, it will certainly help over time. Remember, too, that when you lose pounds, part of that weight is muscle, warns Liz Neporent, an exercise physiologist and the president of Wellness 360, a New York City-based corporate-wellness-consulting company. That's why strength training is even more important if you're on a weight-loss mission. Try lifting weights, or you can maintain your muscles by going to a Pilates, body-sculpting, or power-yoga class two to three times a week.