Diets and metabolism

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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Health

vox.com

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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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Anabolism

Anabolism is a succession of chemical reactions that build molecules from smaller components and usually require energy. Anabolism allows the body to grow new cells and maintain all the tissues.

Skipping Breakfast

Researchers say breakfast doesn't kickstart the metabolism and may not be the most important meal of the day. Different studies have found that skipping breakfast doesn’t lead to weight increase and have no impact on resting metabolism.

Start your day with lean protein, which burns twice as many calories during digestion as fat or carbs. But don't stress about squeezing it in before 9 am.

Eating food increases your metabolism for a while because extra calories are required to process your meal. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF).

Protein increases your metabolic rate by 15-30%, carbs by 5-10% and 0-3% for fats. Eating protein makes you feel full and prevent overeating.

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