1. What is Metabolism?
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, metabolism is a series of chemical and physical processes to convert food into energy, and to use that energy.
2. Is there more than one type of metabolic process?
Yes! There are three different types of metabolic processes that we use daily:
- Food Breakdown - Every time we eat or drink something, our body has to break down that food into energy.
- Physical Activity - Once we have energy stored up in our cells, we use that energy to perform all sorts of tasks, from the very simple walking across the room to the training for a marathon.
- Resting or basal metabolism - While you may not be eating, or doing any physical activity, your body is still using energy on basic activities, like breathing, your heart beating, your cells growing, your thyroid releasing the appropriate hormones to regulate your body.
3. Is metabolism different for each person?
Yes! Just as each person exhibits different physical features: brown eyes or blue, blonde hair or red, tall or short; our metabolisms are just as variable.
4. Are there biological predictors that affect metabolism?
Yes! While researchers have not been able to pinpoint exact differences in metabolism among individuals, they have seen general trends that affect metabolism: age, gender, genetic disposition, and the ratio of lean muscle to fat tissue.
5. I’ve heard that your metabolism changes when you get older.
Researchers have observed that your metabolism does slow as you age, however they have not been able to determine why. Some believe that they human body is preparing for periods of undernutrition, and therefore conserving energy.
6. Are there external factors that can affect my metabolism?
Yes! This is where a healthy lifestyle can help you maintain a healthy metabolism through the following:
• Moderate exercise
• Getting enough sleep
• Well-balanced nutritious diet
7. How does metabolism relate to weight loss?
Your body will try to defend a certain weight range that it is used to. When you begin your weight loss goals, your body is inherently going to challenge your resolve and trigger biological behaviors to stay within that weight range.
The more you know about how YOUR body works, the better you can work with it.