You’ve probably heard people blame their weight on a slow metabolism, but what does that mean? Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. During this process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function. Metabolic damage is most prevalent in those that tend to go on extreme diets and then off the diets too quickly. Here are 5 tips to make sure you avoid metabolic damage and fix it if you already have done the damage.
The number of calories your body uses to carry out basic functions is known as your basal metabolic rate — what you might call metabolism. Several factors determine your individual basal metabolic rate, including:
- Your body size and composition – The bodies of people who are larger or have more muscle burn more calories, even at rest.
- Your sex – Men usually have less body fat and more muscle than do women of the same age and weight, burning more calories.
- Your age – As you get older, the amount of muscle tends to decrease and fat accounts for more of your weight, slowing down calorie burning.
Even when you’re at rest, your body needs energy for all its “hidden” functions, such as breathing, circulating blood, adjusting hormone levels, and growing and repairing cells.
Energy needs for your body’s basic functions stay fairly consistent and aren’t easily changed. Your basal metabolic rate accounts for about 70 percent of the calories you burn every day.
There is no easy way to lose weight – weight loss continues to be based on physical activity and diet. Take in fewer calories than you burn, and you will lose weight.