What Is Metabolism?

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Metabolism is a very complicated process within your body, but to describe it simply, it is the process by which your body breaks down food and converts it into energy that your body then uses for all of your vital functions.

So, if you think about this the old adage “You are what you eat” is really true since the foods you eat are metabolized and used to provide the energy that makes the new cells, that make up you! When the metabolic process is going on in your body, the energy produced can be used right away or stored for later use. If it is stored, it becomes fat so, as you can see, if you are taking in more energy than you need, you are going to be putting on some extra weight. While the process is a lot more complex that that and involves hormones and other factors, the simple fact is that taking in more energy (or food) than your body needs to burn to maintain itself is going to result in excess pounds.

Your body needs a certain amount of energy in order to keep everything running smoothly. This is usually measured as the amount of energy your body needs to maintain itself while at rest and is called your Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR. If you have a high BMR, consider yourself lucky as you will be able to eat a bit more food without gaining weight. If you have a low BMR, then every thing you eat might seem to go right to your hips. While genetics has a lot to do with your metabolic rate, there are some things you can do to speed it up. The calories you burn while doing any activity, including doing nothing, is directly affected by the amount of muscle you have on your body.

So, if you build muscle, you will raise your metabolism and since you are burning more calories doing the same things you did before you will be able to eat more – or, If you want to lose weight, eat the same and the extra energy your body needs will be taken from your fat stores. Eating smaller meals and more of them is another way to boost your metabolism. You see, your body is designed to eat like a caveman and back then it was feast or famine. There would be a plethora of food available after a hunt, but then you could go days without anything but a few berries. In order to survive, nature made our bodies so that the metabolism would slow down when food is not plentiful.

So, eating many smaller meals will give your body the signal that there is plenty of food so it can feel free to rev up the engines. The other advantage is that it also takes energy to digest food so by eating more meals, you will actually be expending more energy and there will be less left over to store as fat. So, as you can see, metabolism is a critical process in our survival and is actually programmed to work in a way that isnít necessarily the best for modern times. However, if you understand how to eat so that your body makes the best use of the energy then you will have an important weapon for battling those extra pounds.

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Category: Weight Loss

About the Author ()

I am a husband, father of 2 girls (I was told that I was meant to be King)! I have been in the fitness industry since graduating from the University of Florida back in 97. I had the privilege to do an internship with the world renowned Dr. Cooper and the Cooper Aerobics Center. My initial start after graduating was as a personal trainer at a small private personal training studio in Orlando. After eight months, I moved to Dallas and worked as a personal trainer and manager for the Premier Athletic Club in Dallas. Since that time I have continued to work as a fitness professional in a variety of roles. Most recent is the development of America's # 1Lifestyle program for Working Moms called "Working Mom Workouts." I enjoy working with my clients and helping people reach their fitness goals.

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