WEEK COMMENCING 8th JULY 2019
Metabolism (Part 1)
What is it?
Essentially metabolism is the conversion of food to energy to keep you alive and your organs functioning normally, such as breathing, repairing cells and digesting food.
The mimimum amount of energy your body requires to carry out these chemical processes is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR).
Your BMR accounts for anything between 40% and 70% of your body's daily energy requirements, depending on your age and lifestyle.
Our bodies are still geared up for periods of feast and famine, so that if you eat more energy than your body needs, it will be stored for times of hardship - which in these days are highly unlikely to happen!
What factors affect your metabolism?
Body size, age, gender and genes all play a role in the speed of your metabolism.
Muscle cells require more energy to maintain than fat cells, so people with more muscle tend to have a faster metabolism.
As we get older, we tend to gain fat and lose muscle. This explains why your metabolism may slow down as you get older.
In general, men tend to have a faster metabolism because they have more muscle mass, heavier bones and less body fat than women.
Your metabolism may be partly determined by you genes, although this isn't yet fully understood. Genes definately play a role in muscle size and your ability to grow muscles, both of which affect your metabolism.
Losing weight too fast, crash diets and other calorie restricted diets can slow your metabolism. With some diets, your body is forced to break down muscle to use for energy. The lower your muscle mass, the slower your metabolism. With less muscle and a slower metabolism, it then becomes a lot easier to put fat back on after coming off the diet.