Understanding Metabolism

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Published: 28th November 2016
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How can metabolism works for you

You have probably seen the words metabolism being shown in multiple articles, TV shows and from the gym rats. Many of them claims they have the best way to increase your metabolism in order that you can lose weight fast.

So what is metabolism? If you are not losing weight, is it the main cause of your weight-loss woes? No! It is a vehicle that affect your energy and stress level, your sleeping pattern, and your long-term health. Every part in your body is involved in a process that related to metabolic rate.

It is a mishaps instead of health, slimness is the main focus in our world. Because of most of the developed nations' obesity epidemic, this dichotomy causes nutrition messages to get all attention in the media.

Introducing Metabolism

Metabolism is the process by which your body converts food and water you consume into energy for immediate use or to reserve it for future consumption. The energy isn't just for your physical workouts but also simple task such as breathing. Your muscles aren't the only organ need to be energized, every parts require to be fuelled e.g. lung.
When you eat more than you required, your metabolism store this energy as fat. So you may start to think if I consume less, then it will be more effective to reduce fat. Wrong! Your metabolism is programmed to conserve the energy what you required. In the absence of sufficient food, the metabolism will slow down and releases less energy at a time therefore you will burn less fat.

Understanding Calories

In the gym when you are running on the thread-mill, you might be looking at the metric to determine the amount of calories you have burned. Do you know what calories are?
A calorie is a measure of heat that released from food when digested. A calorie is the amount of heat required to raise a temperature of a gram Celsius.
You can estimate how many calories are in a food if you know the protein, carbohydrate, and fat content.
1 gram of protein = 4 calories
1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories
1 gram of fat = 9 calories

There also discrepancy in calorie content among foods when they are cooked, raw, processed, or whole. This is due to in part of thermic effect food (TEF), which accounts that some of the calories you eat are burned off during the digestion process itself. Foods with a high TEF can improve your metabolic rate.

Balancing between energy usage and energy reserve

Metabolism is a 2 step process between catabolism and anabolism. Hormones controls the balance between these two. Hormones are either classified as anabolic or catabolic.


It breaks down macronutrients into their smaller units to release energy for physical activity or to use for anabolism. For example, the catabolic hormone cortisol is released in response to stress, causing your body to break down muscle protein to use for energy.


It builds up larger molecules from smaller units requiring units of energy - for example, creating hormones, enzymes, and compounds for cell growth to build bone and muscles. It controls the amount of glucose in your blood by converting it into compounds that cells can use or store.

Your body weight depends on your body's catabolism against the anabolism or the amount of energy your body takes up to use. If catabolism is greater than anabolism, the excess will either convert to muscles (store as glycogen) or fat.

Here are some factors which metabolism may be on the fritz:

Calories intake: if you eating more calories than you can use, your body will store them and use them later.
Activity level: jf you are not active enough or too active that your body is under stress, you can be said to be in a more catabolic state.
Age: As you age, your metabolism will also be declined.

You may also wish to check your calorie rate to be sufficient:
You can check your Basal metabolic Rate which is the number of calories you can burn when you are at total rest:

Weight and metabolism
Yes, increase your metabolism can help to burn fat and reduce your weight, it also help to improve your health.

If you choose less processed foods and more wholesome nutrients and do not go too many hours between meals and make an effort to exercise regularly, you'll benefit from a range of positive side effect:
Better energy
Better sleep
Improve mood and concentration
Stronger immune system
Stronger blood glucose control with diabetes
Improve blood pressure and heart health

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