Understanding Metabolism

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Metabolism, or more specifically, metabolic rate, is the rate at which your body burns calories. This is what matters when it comes to weight loss. But do you actually know how it works?

Metabolism is a process

Metabolism is a chemical process that turns the energy from the food we eat and drinks we consume into fuel that our body needs. Factors that can affect this process include stress, too much exercise and even weight loss! Metabolism also varies between people, gender and age. Health conditions such as hypothyroidism can also affect your metabolism.

Metabolism and weight loss

The higher your metabolism, the more calories you burn, and you’ll lose weight. But when you lose weight, your metabolism is affected. Why is that? Weight loss slows down your metabolism which means, it can get harder to stave off weight gain. Strange and even cruel, but alas, it’s true. On that note – crash dieting is a big no-no!

More exercise, lesser results


There is no doubting the benefits of physical activities such as exercise but if you’re thinking of amping up your routine – think again. Too much exercise can cause the body to enter an inflammatory and stressed state. When this happens, your hormones go into chaos which will mess with your metabolism. Rest is essential for the body to recover, and equally important is a balanced workout.

Feel the burn

Successful weight loss is down to your basal metabolism meaning the energy needed to keep you functioning. It’s not to be confused with the energy you need during physical activity. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) accounts for the bulk of the calories the body burns, surpassing physical activity by miles! The body’s resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is when your body is at rest, is also decisive to an extent when it comes to weight loss.

Speeding up metabolism

While coffee, chilli and other spices may speed up your body’s basal metabolic rate, the improvement is insignificant and limited for them to be truly effective. In particular, protein like chicken and fish may increase metabolism when consumed in small amounts throughout the day. Hydration also helps, and drinking sufficient amounts of water aids the body to metabolise food and prevent overeating.

The science behind weight loss can be a real challenge to understand with the various research and studies involved, but don’t intimidate you. When it comes to metabolism regarding weight loss, always remember to not rush into any fads. The key is always to know your body and what it needs to achieve your goal.