Metabolism And The Role Its Plays In Regulating Body Weight

All You Need To Know About Metabolism and The Role In Plays In Our Life

Have you ever wondered how some individuals who eat a lot never gain weight, while there are others who would have the strictest of diets but still end up gaining more weight? This is because of the difference in one key factor inside our body: Our Metabolism.

Metabolism And The Role Its Plays in Regulating Body Weight

What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is the sum of the total number of reactions occurring in each and every cell in the body, and as a result, they are able to provide energy. These include all the vital processes that help maintain and regulate the functions of the body and allow the production of new cells and organic matter. Every form of living creature utilizes the nutrients from their environment to help them grow, move, develop and reproduce. Each and every one of these important processes is mediated via enzymes, which are special proteins of the body specialized with the function of catabolism and anabolism. Hence, core metabolism may be further classified on the basis of the important nutrients required by the body, which include carbohydrates, Fatty Acids, and Amino Acids, and how each of these may undergo metabolism to provide energy to the body. (1)

Metabolism and Body Weight

The relation between metabolism and Bodyweight has been long investigated and discussed by experts all over the world, with results that have proven to be highly variable. Studies have shown that individuals with different body sizes may have different metabolic rates; however, it is commonly agreed upon that generally, those with high metabolic rates have lower body weight. One such study, which was conducted on Pima Indians, showed that those with a low metabolic rate had a higher association with obesity after factors like age and sex differences were adjusted.

How Many Calories Do You Need?

A calorie is generally considered a unit of energy and a word that is often associated with weight loss diets. The calories required by every individual in a day may vary according to their sex, age, height, and activity level – hence a single designed calorie diet may not suit everyone who wants to use it to lose weight. For example, infants and children have a lower calorie requirement as compared to adults.

However, on the basis of gender, the calorie count may be classified into the following:

  • Women: Adults women require 2000 calories a day in order to produce enough energy to function throughout the day. However, if one wants to cut down on their diet to lose weight, they may take this calorie count down to 1500.

Men: The Calorie Count required for adult men per day estimates up to 2500 calories per day; however, they may take this down to 2000 per day if they wish to lose weight. (3)

Total Calories And Dieting

Metabolism-Total Calories And Dieting

Weight Loss programs and different forms of dieting involve cutting down the calories in one’s food. The two commonly adopted models of diets for weight loss include a low-calorie diet and a very low-calorie diet. While the calories involved in a low-calorie diet lie within the range of 1000 to 1500 calories per day, the deficit of up to 500 to 700 calories is allowed per day for an individual to wish to lose weight. On the other hand, the very low-calorie diet includes less than 800 Calories per day and is not generally recommended for the public – especially without professional supervision. (4)

What You Need To Know About Basal Metabolic Rate

What is a Good Basal Metabolic Rate?

The Basal Metabolic Rate, which is also referred to as BMR, is the energy required by the body to be able to perform its vital functions while an individual rests. What makes this particularly important is that it is the largest energy expenditure of the body, and the calculation of one BMR allows detailed understanding and design of weight-loss interventions. For example, the basal metabolic rate of an individual may be used to calculate their energy intake target, along with the design of various weight loss and weight gain models and to study metabolic problems, and figure out their solution. Since the BMR varies from individual to individual, there is no good standard BMR or bad BMR rate. While a High BMR rate helps you burn calories faster, a slow BMR means you have a slow metabolism.

BMR vs. RMR?

Even though we have established that BMR is highly important for understanding one’s metabolism and body weight, it is often associated with another term known as Resting Metabolic Rate. Resting Metabolic rate equals the greatest fraction of one’s total energy requirement and is typically defined as the energy needed by the body while it is in a resting state. (5) While both Resting Metabolic Rate and Basal Metabolic Rate are quite similar to one another, they differ by the fact that BMR is calculated in the morning following an overnight fast, while RMR may only require a 15 minutes rest. (6)

How To Calculate BMR?

Basal Metabolic Rate is most commonly calculated using the Harris-Benedict BMR Calculator, which is different for Males and Females.

  • Calculation of BMR in Males: 66 + (13.7 × weight in kg) + (5 × height in cm) – (6.8 × age in years)
  • Calculation of BMR in Females: 655 + (9.6 × weight in kg) + (1.8 × height in cm) – (4.7 × age in years)

Why is BMR important?

The Basal Metabolic Rate of an individual helps them estimate the total number of calories they burn in a resting state. This is particularly important for diagnosing metabolic conditions or the cause of a sudden weight loss or weight gain. It may also be helpful for when an individual is trying to manage their weight and help design a specific intervention that would help them achieve their target weight.

Ways To Increase The Metabolism

Metabolism Boost For Weight Loss

Metabolism Boost For Weight Loss

A boost in the metabolism leads to greater burning of calories in states of resting and exercise, which in turn can lead to weight loss in the long term. Different Supplements, teas, and food sources are taken all over the world as an effective intervention for weight management all over the world, as this helps one achieve their target weight goals much sooner than just cutting down on calories and light exercise would help achieve.

What Role Does Metabolism Play For Weight Control?

In order to easily understand the role of metabolism in the management of one’s weight, is to think of one’s body as a candle. When you turn the candle on, the wax keeps melting, and the size of the candle starts shrinking. Some candles are able to burn faster and may be said to have a fast metabolism, while some burn slower and are able to maintain their shape for longer. This is the role that metabolism plays in our body – it helps our body burn calories and prevents us from gaining excess weight.

How to Speed Up Metabolism?

A common question asked by many weight loss aspirants is ‘how to boost metabolism?’; however, this may be achieved in several ways. These include:

  • Eating Protein Regularly

The easiest way to increase your metabolism is by eating food. This is because as soon as the food enters the body, the body requires energy to break down the food, digest it, absorb it and process it inside the body – which it achieves by burning calories. However, amongst all the macronutrients, proteins are able to produce the highest increase in the metabolic rate, which lies in the range of 15 to 30%, while that if carbs if 5 to 10%, while only 3% for fats. This is also backed up by studies that have found that consuming diets that are based on 30% proteins can help one lose as much as 441 calories – proving the role of high protein diets for energy metabolism. (7)

  • High-Intensity Workouts

High-Intensity Work Out, as the name suggests, is a type of physical activity that involves quick and intense bursts of energy. This type of workout is known for its ability to promote fat metabolism and is able to keep your metabolic rate high even after the end of the workout. 28Trusted Source

  • Increased Water Intake

Amongst the first things that you are told by a nutritionist when you go to them for recommendations on weight control is that you should increase your water intake. Multiple studies have shown that those who drink more water per day are able to help lose weight faster and prevent future weight gain. This could be ideally achieved by switching sugary drinks with plain water, as this will not only help you achieve the multiple advantages offered by the water, speed up the metabolism but also prevent the major weight gain caused by the sugary content of the drinks. One study which was conducted on overweight individuals showed that those who drank at least 1 liter of water per day were able to lose more than 44% of their body weight, as compared to those who did not. (8)

  • Proper Sleep

The Sleep cycles play an important role in not just maintaining one’s alertness throughout the day and mental clarity but also has an effect on their metabolism. Experts believe that getting inadequate sleep at night is associated with an increased risk of obesity. This is due to the harmful effects of sleep deprivation on numerous aspects of the body, one of which is its metabolism. Not getting enough sleep at night has also been linked to an increase in insulin resistance and blood sugar levels. This ultimately increases the chances of Diabetes – which is commonly associated with obesity worldwide. (9)

Metabolism Boosting Foods

There are certain foods that may be consumed on a daily in order to boost metabolism – ultimately leading towards weight loss. However, it is important to remember that this also requires a lot of patience, and one cannot lose weight magically by consuming something the next day. Under the right supervision of a nutritionist and maintaining a balanced diet, you can start incorporating high metabolism foods into your diet to get started on your weight loss journey. These include minerals like Iron and Selenium, which are for their therapeutic properties on the body, one of which is the promotion of weight loss. Another common food source consumed for metabolism boost is Coffee, as studies have shown those who take at least 270 mg of Coffee a day can benefit the greatest from a high metabolism and loss of 100 calories per day. (10) Another commonly consumed metabolism-boosting food is Ginger, which may help lose weight by burning at least 43 calories after taking 2 grams of its powder in hot water. (11)

Metabolic Flexibility

What is Metabolic Flexibility?

Metabolic Flexibility is the ability of an individual to adapt to the changing conditions of their environment, which may include the levels of activity or the energy demand of the body. This term was initially originated via studies conducted on different parasitic worms which were able to produce energy and essential metabolites that they require to survive in their changed habitat. (12)

Why is Metabolic Flexibility Important for Your Glucose Levels?

An example of Metabolic Flexibility in the body is the management of Glucose levels. This inherent property of the body allows it to manage the glucose levels in the body and prevent high blood sugar, which can have deleterious effects on various systems. Hence, if an individual has metabolic inflexibility, it may present itself with Insulin resistance and continuously raised glucose levels.

How Can You Achieve It?

In order to achieve high levels of Metabolic Flexibility in the body, you must try to consume a higher proportion of while foods and prevent the consumption of refined carbs and added sugars in the diet. The most effective way is to decrease the levels of glucose in the blood by taking fewer carbohydrates, which in turn will also lead to a reduction in the stress imposed on the cells.


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  9. Markwald RR, Melanson EL, Smith MR, et al. Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013;110(14):5695-5700. doi:10.1073/pnas.1216951110