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What is metabolism? Does it help in weight loss? (Diet query of the day)

8/26 14:08:30

I have heard the term metabolism many times but I do not know what it means. Can you explain it in detail? Also, can it help me lose weight faster?

We all consume calories in the form of food and in order to stay fit, our body needs to burn them and use the energy they provide. When we burn more calories than we eat, it results in weight loss and when we burn lesser than the amount we consume, it results in weight gain. Metabolism is the process that helps convert the food we eat into energy. In order to do so, it combines the calories in food with oxygen. This energy is then used to carry out various bodily functions from complex ones like digestion to simple ones like breathing.

Everyone has a basal metabolic rate (BMR) which is the rate at which our body converts the food into energy. The higher the conversion rate, the better it is for our body. Various factors like our age, gender, body composition determine our BMR. As we age, our metabolism slows down which means we burn lesser number of calories. (Read: Eat chillies, almonds, olive oil, salmon and ginger to lose weight!)

Though weight loss is a result of burning more number of calories than we consume, our metabolism is not the only way to go about it. Physical activity also plays a major role in helping our body burn more calories. If you think starving yourself or going on a crash diet can help your metabolism then you are mistaken as your body will slow it down to save energy for other functions.

You may have heard that many people have higher metabolic rate which means they can burn more calories in a shorter time span. In order to improve yours, eat right and exercise. Weight training is a good way to about it as it burns calories even after the workout and adds more muscle mass than fat. So to answer your query, it is a combination of exercise, diet and BMR which will help you lose weight; they are also interlinked to one another. A healthy diet will not give out huge amounts of calories and a good workout regimen will ensure you burn the excess ones. These factors will help increase your metabolic rate making sure you don’t put on too much fat. (Read: Revealed – 10 secrets of people who lose weight easily!)

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