In this post, we’ll unpack all you need to know about metabolism, defining exactly what it is, how it works, the two different processes that are involved in metabolism, Basal Metabolic Rate and more.
What Is Metabolism?
Metabolism refers to the sum total of chemical processes that are required to support cellular function and sustain the body.
More simply, metabolism is the process by which the body converts the food and water we consume into energy to be used either immediately or stored for the future.
Metabolism is influenced by a number of factors including age, gender, muscle-to-fat ratio, physical activity and hormones.
How Does Metabolism Work?
The body requires energy to sustain itself – more simply, to survive. The amount of energy, as measured in KJ, that the body burns at any given time is determined by your metabolism.
Metabolism is made up of two components: resting energy expenditure and non-resting energy expenditure. Resting energy expenditure is usually interchangeable with Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).
Non-Resting Energy Expenditure (NREE) is made up of Exercise Energy Expenditure, Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) and Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT).
Anabolism Versus Catabolism
Metabolism involves two processes that occur simultaneously: anabolism and catabolism.
Anabolism builds up body tissues and energy stores by turning simpler molecules into complex molecules. Anabolism stores energy for the future.
Catabolism breaks down body tissues and energy stores by turning complex molecules into simpler molecules. Catabolism releases energy for the present.
Metabolism & Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)
Metabolism determines how many calories an individual burns in a day, known as Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).
Individuals with a high TDEE are referred to as having fast metabolisms. Individuals with with a low TDEE are referred to as having slow metabolisms.
Basal Metabolic Rate
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is a measure of how many calories an individual burns while at rest in order to maintain homeostasis.
BMR plays a key role in weight gain and weight loss. For example, all other factors being equal, a person with a low BMR who therefore burns less calories will find it harder to lose weight while a person with a high BMR who therefore burns more calories will find it easier to lose weight.
Metabolism refers to the processes required to sustain the body.
Metabolism determines how many calories an individual burns at any moment in time. The faster one’s metabolism, the more calories that are burned. The slower one’s metabolism, the less calories that are burned.
Factors that influence metabolism include age, gender, muscle-to-fat ratio, physical activity and hormones.