Metabolism: A Moving Target

A person with slow metabolism will not burn the same quantity of energy as one with a fast metabolism.

What still remains a moving target is how the speed of metabolism varies from one person to another, and what will turn it up or down.

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Understanding Metabolism

Metabolism is the chemical reactions that are needed in our bodies to maintain life as an organism.

It helps convert food into energy, breaking down food into building blocks for various elements, and to eliminate nitrogenous wastes from the body.

  • 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.
  • Certain medical conditions and general health also contribute as factors in our metabolic rate.
  • The thyroid gland produces a chemical called ‘thyroxine’ which regulates a person’s basal metabolic rate.
  • Depression, diabetes, fasting, having fever, low blood oxygen too play a huge factor in our caloric requirements and calorie expenditure

The energy value of any food is measured in calories, and the basal metabolic rate is the minimum amount of calorie count that is required when the body is at rest (Resting Energy Expenditure). Combining it with the energy one consumes while moving around or digesting food gives us the total energy expenditure.

Our body energy needs are dependent on our age, height, weight, genetics and gender, apart from our daily activity.

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Metabolism

It refers to the thousands of chemical reactions that turn what we eat and drink into fuel in every cell of the body. These reactions change in response to our environments and behaviors, and in ways we have little control over. 

Metabolism is not a single thing that can be calibrated with “metabolism boosters” like chili peppers or coffee, or by following special diets.

The myth of the slow metabolism

vox.com

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.

Your metabolism starts slowing down at age 18, and other facts about a widely misunderstood process

vox.com

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.

10 Easy Ways to Boost Your Metabolism (Backed by Science)

healthline.com

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