Understanding the Metabolism

It is common to hear people blaming their weight problem on having a slow metabolism; but what does having a slow metabolism mean? Is your metabolism really the problem with weight gain? And, if it is the problem, then how can you speed up your metabolism, so you can burn calories, and have more energy.

Weight and Metabolism

Most medical research shows that weight and metabolism are linked together, but it would seem that weight gain has nothing to do with a “slow” metabolism. Being active, and controlling your food and drinks will determine how much your gain or lose weight. Your metabolism provides energy to your body.

Metabolism: Convert Food into Valuable Energy

For everything that you eat and drink, your body’s metabolism will convert it into energy. This biochemical process involves each calorie that you take in combined with oxygen, providing you with the energy that your body needs to perform.

When you are resting or sleeping, your body still needs energy for all its important hidden functions. These hidden functions include repairing cells, breathing, blood circulation, hormone levels, and basic growing. Your metabolic rate, also known as metabolism, is the number of calories that your body needs to perform all its  functions and activities.

What determines your metabolic rate?

  • The Size of Your Body: If you have a bigger body, your body burns more calories, even when you are resting.
  • Sex: Men and women require different amounts of calories. Men generally have less body fat, but more muscles than women, so they would need to burn more calories.
  • Age: Older individual’s burn calories more slowly, which is especially true as muscles decrease.

How many calories do you need?

Your body’s functions are consistent, and rarely change, unless you are suffering from some disease or recovering from an accident and so on. Seventy percent of the calories that you burn in a day is your basic metabolic rate. There are two major factors that determine the amount of calories that your body needs to burn each day, and they include:

  • Thermogenesis (Processing of Food): Did you know that absorbing, digesting, and transporting food also consumes your calories? Each day, up to 800 calories are used just to carry out these functions.
  • How active you are: Being active and exercising take up the rest of the calories that your body burns in a day. Therefore, to increase the number of calories you burn, you should include activities such as walking, running, playing tennis, swimming, and working out each day to see a drop in your weight.

Metabolism and Weight

Weight gain can be confusing and complicated, and it is important to remember that weight gain is caused by a variety of combinations, which include genetics, environment, lifestyle, hormones, sleep, stress, and how active you are. Many people can lose weight faster than others, but the fact is that the more calories that you burn, the more weight you will lose. To lose weight in a healthy way, then you need to take in less calories, and use more calories.

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