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Metabolism: Is it Really to Blame For Weight Gain?

What Is Metabolism?

Your metabolism is a complex chemical process by which your body converts your food and drink into energy.

How Does It Work?

It’s like an internal engine that never stops. Sometimes, it’s cruising along, providing the energy you need for basic functioning. At other times, it revs up, such as when you’re exercising.

Whether you’re awake or asleep, your metabolism is always working on a long list of vital jobs, giving you the energy needed to:

  • Keep your heart beating
  • Maintain your body temperature
  • Breathe and think
  • Digest and process food
  • Fidget, type, stand up and make a cuppa
  • Exercise more intensely.

Do Some People Have a Faster Metabolism Than Others?

Yes, they do.

Your metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns while it’s doing all those vital jobs. Your basal metabolic rate is influenced by your:

  • Muscles: Muscular people burn more calories, even when resting
  • Age: you tend to have less muscle and more fat as you get older, meaning you burn calories more slowly
  • Sex: Men tend to have less body fat and more muscle so tend to have a faster metabolic rate
  • Size: Larger people burn more calories, even when resting.

So, would a muscular young man have a faster metabolism than his overweight mum? Probably. But don’t forget that larger people burn more calories even when resting.

Metabolism is complicated. Your body’s basic energy needs are fairly consistent and not easily changed. That said, you can manipulate your metabolism to some extent.

What Causes a Slow Metabolism?

In addition to factors such as you age, sex, size and body composition, some medical conditions slow your metabolism.

Is Your Metabolism Responsible for Your Weight Gain?

Probably not. A genuinely slow metabolism is rare, and usually the result of a problem with your hormones which needs proper treatment.

If you have Cushing’s syndrome or hypothyroidism (having an underactive thyroid that slows your system down), you may well find that you experience symptoms of slow metabolism including weight gain.

In most people, though, weight gain is the result of:

  • Consuming too many calories
  • Doing too little exercise or physical activity
  • Genetics
  • Medications
  • Ongoing sleep deprivation.

How to Increase Your Metabolism

You can help increase your metabolic rate by:

How Can We Help?

Increasing your metabolic rate and losing weight require long-term changes. That’s not always easy to achieve on your own.

If you want to discuss the next steps in your weight-loss journey book in for a free consultation here.

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