Understanding Metabolism

Diet can be hard to get right when it comes to losing weight. A lot of people have the assumption that if they eat less they will lose weight. However, this is not always the case, and it can actually cause you to gain weight.

First, we need to lay the groundwork for how calorie expenditure works:

  • Calories input > Calorie output = Caloric surplus

Naturally, when you consume more calories than you burn your body is in caloric surplus. Anything that is not used, discarded as waste (Poop, pee), will be converted into some form of stored content–usually as fat, or adipose tissue (same thing).

  • Calorie input < Calorie output = Caloric deficit

When we burn more calories throughout the course of the day than what we consume, we are in a caloric deficit. In order to lose weight properly it is often recommended to put your body in a caloric deficit–for most, no greater than 500 kcal/day.

  • 1 pound of fat = 3500 calories.

People underestimate the amount of calories here. The average diet is based on 2500 kcals/day. So, 3500 kcals is going to be much higher than the average person consumes in one day.

  • BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)/RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate)

The above mentioned are the same and often used interchangeably. Your BMR is the minimal number of calories you need to function at rest. This is usually calculated with a formula specific to gender, although there are many other methods to determine this number.

  • Metabolism/Metabolic Rate

Metabolism is the process of converting the food you eat and things you drink into energy. Your metabolic rate is how quickly or slowly you do that, and many things can affect this. When people say “my metabolism has slowed down as I’ve gotten older” it is true. As we age we require less calories and our metabolic rate slows down to meet those needs. This is often why it’s easier to gain weight as we age because although our metabolic rates are slowing down, are eating habits are not. There are factors that influence this as well; if you are more active this may not be the case. Also, disease processes play a role.

In a nutshell, this is our bodies metabolic process. So, next week we will explore how we can tweak our eating habits to use our bodies processes to our advantage. Our ultimate goals it to live free from the bondages of food, meaning we control it, it doesn’t control us. Often this is the case, whether its over eating, eating too much sugar, or drinking too much caffeine (ME!!!!). We can still enjoy food (a lot!) and be healthy! Lets get it!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Amy semy says:

    How can eating less make us gain weight?


    1. Josiahplanck says:

      It depends. For instance, say someone is over weight and continues to gain weight why is that? Or say you’re working out and hit a plateau and can no longer lose weight. These two instances can often be from not eating enough calories. Your bodies metabolism rate slows to meet the demands (In this case too little calories/AKA Caloric deficit) so you’re storing everything instead of burning, and it’s usually stored as fat. Often, what we do is have them increase calories, or eat more frequently throughout the day to kick start their metabolism.

      Liked by 1 person

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