People often believe a slow metabolism is a reason why they struggle to lose weight. However, is metabolism the reason? And is there something we can do about it?

It’s true that metabolism is linked to body weight. Metabolism is an influence behind your body’s primary energy needs.

Regardless of your metabolism, the amount that we eat and drink along with how often we physically exercise will ultimately determine our weight.

Metabolism Explained

Metabolism is the process by which your body converts your food and drink intake into energy.

During this complex biochemical process, the calories in your food and drink consumption are combined with oxygen, releasing the energy your body needs to function.

Even when your body is at rest, your body needs energy for all of the “hidden” functions, such as breathing, circulating blood as well as growing and repairing important bodily cells.

The number of calories that our body use to carry out these essential functions is known as the basal metabolic rate, also known as metabolism.

Several factors determine your metabolism, including:

Body Size and Composition:

Larger people who have more muscle, will burn more calories, even at rest.

Sex/Gender:

Males tend to have less body fat and more muscle than females (of the same age and weight) do, hence explaining why males tend to burn more calories in certain circumstances.

Age:

As our bodies age, our body composition changes too. You are naturally more likely to lose more muscle mass and accumulate more fat as we age. This slow-down of our bodies can affect the ability to burn calories.

Apart from your metabolism, two other factors determine your weight loss:

Food Processing (Thermogenesis)


Digesting, absorbing, transporting and storing the food you consume impacts the level of calories intake. About 10% of the calories, carbohydrates and protein that we eat are used during the digestion and absorption of the food and nutrients.

Physical Activity

Physical activity is by far the most variable of the factors that determine how many calories you burn each day. Sports and exercise such as walking, weight lifting, swimming account for the rest of the calories your body burn up each day.

How to Utilise Weight Loss

Though you don’t have much control over the speed of your basal metabolism, you can still control how many calories you burn by leveraging your amount and use of physical activity.

The more active you are, the more calories you’re going to burn. You can burn more calories with:

Exercise:

Exercise is the most efficient way to burn calories and includes activities such as walking, cycling, and swimming.

By incorporating at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine, this can make a big difference in your health and weight loss achievements. Moreover, for better and faster results, we should spend more time doing exercise in our daily routine.

Strength Training:

Experts recommend strength training exercises should be done at least twice a week. Weight-lifting and resistance exercises are essential. They help counteract muscle loss associated with ageing.

Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does, making muscle mass a critical factor in weight loss when managed well.

Lifestyle Activities:

Any extra movement will help you burn calories. Find activities in your day that will help you get more active.

This can be simple changes such as taking the stairs instead of the escalator, walking the dog more often than usual, hanging the clothes manually instead of throwing them in the dryer are small but effective ways of improving our healthy lifestyles.

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