What do you mean by ‘Metabolism’?

Popularly each year, the new year's resolution is focused on weight loss from festive eating and holidays. 

Metabolism is the process by which the body changes food and drink into energy. During this process, calories in food and drinks mix with oxygen to make the energy the body needs. You might want to blame a medical condition for slow metabolism and weight gain. But rarely does a medical condition slow metabolism enough to cause a lot of weight gain. The number of calories a body at rest uses to do the breathing, send blood through the body, keep hormone levels even, and grow and repair cells. is called the basal metabolic rate.


Conditions that can cause weight gain include Cushing’s syndrome or having an underactive thyroid gland, also known as hypothyroidism. Though these conditions are not uncommon.


Our bodies burn calories at rest. This resting metabolic rate, or RMR, considers height, weight, and age, as well as the energy needed for normal body functions such as breathing and pumping blood. 


Even at rest, a body needs energy for all it does. This includes breathing, sending blood through the body, keeping hormone levels even, and growing and repairing cells. 


Next is the thermic effect of food, or the amount of energy used to chew, digest and store nutrients. Approximately 10% of the calories we burn each day are used for this purpose. And, despite a minor rise in energy expenditure for a few hours after eating food — even with low-calorie foods — don't expect this to result in extra weight loss.


Physical activity, whether it’s from activities of daily living or fitness activities, must also be considered when calculating the total calories burned in a day. Muscle mass is the main factor in basal metabolic rate. 


Many things affect weight gain. These likely include genes, hormones, diet, and lifestyle, including sleep, physical activity, and stress. You gain weight when you eat more calories than you burn — or burn fewer calories than you eat.


Some people seem to lose weight more quickly and more easily than others. But everyone loses weight by burning more calories than are eaten. The bottom line is calorie count. To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories or burn more calories through physical activity. Or you can do both.


Sustainable Eating 

Shift the focus away from individual foods and concentrate on establishing a healthy eating pattern. This is a more sustainable and flexible approach to eating that includes a variety of foods. Working towards establishing an eating pattern inclusive of a balanced variety of foods is an approach that will most likely lead to healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.


Before beginning a weight loss program, consult with a DHA-certified Clinical Dietician or Nutritionist who will work with you to create a realistic and healthful eating plan based on your medical history, lifestyle, and preferences.


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