Although it’s accurate that your metabolism and your weight are directly connected, it may not exactly be in the manner that you might suppose. More than likely, you’ve heard someone blame a slow metabolism for their weight gain. But Is metabolism really the culprit?
The truth of the matter is, contrary to popular belief, a slow metabolism is hardly ever the reason for excessive weight gain.
As much as your metabolism does influence your body’s primary energy requirements, it’s what you eat and drink along with your physical activity that decide how much you weigh.
So, is it conceivable to use metabolic triggers to burn more calories?
Your metabolism and how you burn calories
Metabolism is the bodily function that transforms everything you eat and drink into energy. During this process, calories in food and beverages combine with oxygen to generate the energy your body requires to carry on.
When it comes right down to it, your body still needs to generate energy for breathing, blood circulation, the growth and repairing of cells and regulating hormone levels even when you’re asleep.
The amount of calories that your body expends to perform these primary functions is known as your basal metabolic rate (BMR). More commonly known as your metabolism.
There are a handful of factors determine your individual basal metabolic rate:
As we get older, our muscle mass tends to decrease, allowing fat to account for more of our weight. Which in turn slows down the calorie burning process.
Our body size and make-up
Folks with larger body types or those that have more muscle burn more calories, even when at rest.
Typically, guys have more muscle and less body fat than women of the same age and weight. Therefore using up more calories.
Metabolic triggers – weight loss, metabolism and how you burn calories
The energy needed for your body’s basic functions remain fairly constant and can’t be changed very easily. About 60 to 75 % of the calories we burn every single day is due to our basal metabolic rate.
There are also a couple of other factors that figure into how many calories our bodies burn daily in addition to our basal metabolic rate:
Physical activity is without a doubt the most adjustable of these factors that determine the amount of calories you expend each day.
Any physical activity such as walking to the store, playing tennis, chasing after the dog or any other type of exercise burns up the rest of the calories each day.
Food processing (thermogenesis)
About 10 % of the calories burned each day is done while digesting, absorbing, transporting and storing all the food you eat. As a rule, your body’s energy requirement to process food remains somewhat consistent and doesn’t change easily.
Metabolism in regard to weight
As tempting as it may be to blame our metabolism for our weight gain, metabolism is a natural process. Ergo, our body naturally balances to conform to our individual requirements.
Excessive weight gain caused by a medical condition that slows down metabolism only occurs in rare cases such as having an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) or Cushing’s syndrome.
This is why if you try those popular starvation diets, your body will compensate by slowing down your natural bodily processes in an attempt to conserve calories for survival.
Weight gain is for the most part, the result of consuming more calories than you burn. To lose weight you will have to take in less calories or increase the amount of calories you use up through physical activity, or both.