- Burning more calories than you consume can help you lose weight
- A healthy metabolism can speed up the process of weight loss
- Metabolism depends a lot on your lifestyle
The process by which your body converts food into energy is known as metabolism. A healthy metabolism is an essential prerequisite for weight loss. If you have a weak metabolism, your diet and exercise regime is going to show results at a slower pace. Metabolism is a complex biochemical process during which the calories in food and beverages get combined with oxygen and release the energy which is important for the body to function properly. Even when you are resting, your body needs energy for performing actions like blood circulation, breathing, balancing hormones and growing and repairing cells.
Metabolism and weight loss
It is a common tendency to blame metabolism for weight gain. However, it is only in case of medical problems like underactive thyroid gland that you gain weight because of a weak metabolism.
Weight gain is a result of your diet, genes, your lifestyle, sleep, stress and physical activity. You gain weight when you burn lesser calories than you consume. For weight loss, it is important that you either eat fewer calories you burn more through physical activity or do both. While it may be true that some people are able to lose weight more quickly and easily than others, people usually lose weight when they burn more calories than they eat.
We ask lifestyle coach Luke Coutinho about the link between metabolism and weight loss. He agrees that metabolism has indeed become a "buzz word" in the field of weight loss. "While some people go from pillar to post finding ways to boost metabolism, some thank their genes," he says.
He goes on to add that metabolism is nothing but the rate at which your body burns calories. "Our mitochondria - the tiny cellular engines that create energy for the body - are a central part of our metabolism and digestion. How quickly and efficiently the mitochondria can turn nutrients such as glucose into energy reflects metabolic health. If your mitochondria are inefficient, you store glucose as fat. This is what a sluggish metabolism does," explains Luke.
Lifestyle plays a huge role in determining your metabolism. The right lifestyle changes can improve your metabolism whereas the wrong ones can cripple it.
"From your eating patterns and habits, to activity levels and the way you train (exercise), water intake, sleep habits and even the quality of thoughts that cross your mind impact your metabolism in a huge way," Luke tells DoctorNDTV.
At times, a person may be eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and is on point in terms of doing the right exercise every day, and still not losing weight. Stress may be the main culprit behind this. Stress can make you feel tired and incapable of performing some strenuous exercises. Your body may not respond to your diet and exercise regime appropriately, when you are under stress.
Luke further adds that eating every 2-3 hours, not skipping breakfast or heavy workouts won't necessarily give a boost to your metabolism. "They are rather harmful than helpful when it comes to metabolism and weight loss. We need a paradigm shift to lose weight the right way, and that's LIFESTYLE," he stresses.
(Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach - Integrative Medicine)
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