Metabolism myth #1:

Will eating every few hours speed up your metabolism?


Diet culture says "Eating every 2-3 hours will speed up your metabolism"

But something that sounds so simple - is simply not true. This statement is not supported by science.

🙈This is one pseudoscientific “fact” that used to dictate my life. I used to eat every 2-3 hours simply because I thought it was speeding up my metabolism.

I would eat according to this food "rule" rather than considering things like how hungry I was or what type of food I felt like.

So I want to be the person that I needed when I thought this. To tell you that this is BS. This is not a fact. 

This will not speed up your metabolism.

Metabolism is often simplified and yet it is a very complex topic that is specific to each and every one of you


If you google an article or find some “top tips to increase your metabolism”, it may appear simple - however, the problem is that many of these articles imply you have full control over speeding up or slowing down your metabolism.

But your metabolism is complex.  SO COMPLEX. 

Your metabolism is so much more than weight loss and weight gain. And it is not as black and white as “eat every few hours and your metabolism will increase”.

It is true that having more muscle mass can increase your metabolism.  And it is also true that dieting can slow it down.

However, there are MANY factors that can influence your metabolism.



Some of these include:

  • Age and gender
  • Injury
  • Growth
  • Body size
  • Dieting
  • Genetics
  • Dietary deficiencies
  • Exercise and activity level
  • Sickness
  • Disease, infection, and illness
  • Drugs
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Environmental temperature
  • Lean muscle mass (as this isn't always within our control, for example, we naturally lose muscle as we age).

As you can see - many of these factors are out of our control 

Your metabolism is more than just something that speeds up or slows down.. and frankly, I pose the question, is it really something you should be focussing on in your day to day life? How will focussing on “manipulating” your metabolism help to improve your health?


My advice to you would be to find OTHER health related goals to focus on.  Maybe that’s beginning or continuing your journey in healing your relationship with food, maybe it’s going to bed earlier to get more sleep, maybe it’s aiming to add an extra serve of veggies to your lunch and dinner, or drinking more water throughout the day?

These goals will be personal to YOU. But whatever they may be, THESE goals are practical and achievable and WILL contribute to improving your health. In a way that focusing on “speeding up your metabolism” will not.

I hope you found this article helpful - You may also enjoy my blog about fearing dessert, and this one about weight fluctuations.

Is there a topic you'd like to see me write about? Let me know


written for you by

Melissa Eaton

A university qualified Dietitian (MNutrDiet), Nutritionist (BSc ANutr.), PhD student, and former teacher from Sydney, Australia.

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