How Does Metabolism Affect Weight Loss?

by | Oct 9, 2022 | Blog

There has been a lot of conversation concerning the impact of metabolism on weight loss and weight gain. You probably have heard many people blame their inability to lose weight on having a slow metabolism that makes it challenging to burn calories. The interesting thing, however, is that while it is true that metabolism impacts weight loss, this impact is minor.

So many other questions revolve around this, such as: “Can metabolism be sped up?” “What affects the speed of metabolism in individuals?” Today, we’ll discuss the concept of metabolism and give answers to all these questions.

What is Metabolism?

Metabolism refers to chemical reactions that occur within a living organism that help maintain life. Metabolism occurs when the body breaks down the nutrients in the food you consume into energy that the body needs to circulate blood, build cells, and survive. It occurs at all times of the day, even when the body is at rest.

The rate of metabolism in individuals differs, and this difference is mainly genetic. This means that some people are born with genes that allow for a fast metabolism, while others have genes for slow metabolism.

Fast metabolism implies that the body breaks down food at high speed. Therefore, individuals with a fast metabolism can consume more food than others with no threat of weight gain. Do you know those individuals who seem to be able to eat anything, including junk, without any sign of weight gain? Their body system most likely has a high speed of metabolism. Slow metabolism, on the other hand, means that the body burns fewer calories at a slower pace.

Another factor that experts, including those at our weight loss clinic, have discovered to affect the body’s metabolism is age. As you grow older, you lose muscles, and your metabolic process slows down.

Effects of Metabolism on Weight Gain

A significant part of what you may have heard about the impact of metabolism on weight gain is a myth. For instance, the rise in obesity in America cannot be directly blamed on the slow metabolism in the population.

According to Doctor Chih-Hao-Lee of Harvard University, the most significant factors that affect weight gain and loss are inactivity and diet. The general rule is that you will lose fat if you burn more calories than you take in. This means that more than the metabolic process in your body, the number of calories you take in affects your weight.

That being said, the difference in metabolism speed does affect the ease or otherwise of gaining or losing weight in different individuals. Generally, individuals with slow metabolism burn fewer calories, which will cause their bodies to store more fat. Such people still find it difficult to lose weight even when they reduce their calorie intake.

Furthermore, some disorders directly link slow metabolism with weight gain, namely:

Cushing’s Syndrome: This occurs when the body has excess cortisol. Cortisol is referred to as the stress hormone that your body releases to help you deal with stress. When there is excess cortisol in the body, the body gains weight because metabolism is affected.

Hypothyroidism: A condition in which there is insufficient thyroid hormone in the body, which causes the metabolism to slow down. This disorder can affect people of all ages, but it is most prominent in women.

Can You Speed Up A Naturally Slow Metabolism

Seeing that the speed of metabolism affects weight loss, a central question is whether anything can be done to improve the rate at which the body burns calories.

Experts state that it is possible to speed up your body’s metabolic process to an extent. Furthermore, specific lifestyle changes may also affect the number of calories that the body burns. These lifestyle changes include:

Physical exercise: Physical activities have been shown to help your body burn more calories. Our weight loss program in Nashville includes moderate or intense physical activities daily to help individuals achieve their weight goals. According to an expert at Harvard, intense interval training of eight to 12 minutes can help increase the body’s metabolism for a full day. You can do interval training on a treadmill by jogging at a faster speed for 60 seconds, then returning to average speed. Repeat that cycle for up to 15 minutes to boost your metabolism.

Diet: Your metabolism generally increases when you take in food. This is referred to as the thermic effect of food. Typically, some food types have a higher thermic effect than others. For instance, protein has a higher thermic effect than carbohydrates and fats. This results from the fact that it takes longer for your body to absorb and burn protein.

The implication of this is that taking in more protein may speed up metabolism. However, studies suggest that the best process is to combine solid protein intake with weight training, which would improve muscle mass and boost metabolism. You can always check in with our medical weight loss specialists for plans that are uniquely tailored to you.

Bottom Line

Metabolism is a critical process for healthy living and human survival. However, its effects on weight loss and weight gain may have been overstated. While the speed or otherwise of metabolism determines how fast calories are burned, several other factors come into play when dealing with the matter of weight loss.

Some of these factors include:

  • Hormonal Controls
  • Diet
  • Physical activity
  • Stress
  • Lifestyle and sleep

Nonetheless, the general rule remains that if you can regulate your intake of calories such that your body burns more than you consume, you will achieve weight loss. And this is what every individual who desires to reduce their body weight needs to know.

Do you want to plan towards reducing your body weight? We’ve helped hundreds of people attain their desired body size and posture. You can contact our weight loss doctors in Nashville for a comprehensive plan that is guaranteed to help you achieve your weight loss goals.