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How we burn energy

How we burn energy

There are 3 main ways:

  • the basal metabolism, the energy used for your body's basic functioning while at rest
  • the energy used to break down food (also known as the thermic effect of food)
  • the energy used in physical activity.

Most of the energy you burn is from your resting metabolism.

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Your metabolism

It is in every cell in your body. It refers to a series of chemical processes in each cell that turn the calories you eat into fuel to keep you alive.

The body's major organs — the brain, liver, kidneys, and heart — account for about half of the energy burned at rest, while fat, the digestive system, and especially the body's muscles account for the rest.

Metabolism variations

Metabolism can vary a lot between people, and researchers don't understand why.

2 people with the same size and body composition can have different metabolic rates. One can consume a huge meal and gain no weight, while the other has to carefully count calories to not gain weight.

Metabolism and getting older

Getting older slows down the metabolism.

The effect happens gradually, even if you have the same amount of fat and muscle tissue. So when you're 60, you burn fewer calories at rest than when you're 20.

You can't speed  your metabolism

There's a lot of hype around" speeding up your metabolism for weight loss, but that's just a myth.

While there are certain foods (coffee, chili, and other spices) that may speed the basal metabolic rate up just a little, the change is so negligible and short-lived, it would never have an impact on your waistline. Building more muscles, however, can be more helpful.

Diets and metabolism

Drastic dieting can slow down your metabolism. This may be the body's way of vigorously defending a certain weight range, called the set point.

Researchers don't fully understand why this metabolic slowdown happens though.

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Eating Carbs At Night

Research found that eating carbs at night increases satiety and the calories burned digesting food on the next day, which may lead to weight loss. Moreover, eating carbs during the day increases blood sugar levels.

Enjoy a pasta dinner-cold. Not only will the carbs set you up for tomorrow's fat burn, but chilling pasta before you eat it changes the nature of the carbs to resistant starch-a type of carbohydrate that's harder to store as fat. 

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IDEAS

  • For an average adult female, the estimated daily intake is 1600 to 2400 calories.
  • For the average adult male, it is 2000 to 3000 calories per day.
  • Children have a higher speed of metabolism, especially in stages of infancy.
  • Two people of the same body type and weight can have a 30 percent variation in their caloric needs due to how much body movement happens during the day.
Catabolism

Catabolism is a series of chemical reactions that break down complex molecules into smaller units and usually release energy. Catabolism provides the energy our bodies need for all its activities.