Weight Loss Part 1: Metabolism

Hi friends, happy Friday!

How is it going? I am sure, all good.

A few days back, in my Instagram stories, I ran an #ama (ask me anything) and all the questions I received on it, were about weight loss or about protein. We will come to protein some other day but let’s discuss the fundamentals of weight loss, today and in the next few posts. It is important to understand these basics of weight loss if that is your current goal.

Here is my Instagram link, in case you wish to join me there:

https://www.instagram.com/healthcoach_smita/

Weight loss and weight management are both not easy tasks, for anyone. Here, I said it. Let me also complete the paragraph by saying that it is not that hard either. A body achieves what a mind believes, isn’t it the truth?

However, it’s not as simple as losing weight through crash-diets or low-calorie diets or… long-hours/days of fasting coupled with binge-eating. Actions have consequences (good and bad) and what we eat (or not eat) impacts our health in a big way.

When we crash-diet or go on low-calorie diets, our body adapts in a lot of different ways and not all of them are positive. Our best bet is to lose weight slowly and steadily, in a healthy way – so that we can have a control over sagging skin, sunken eye’s/cheeks, hormonal irregularities, mental health concerns, slow metabolism, nutritional deficiencies, sustainability and so on…

And that is why I am starting today with first explaining a few terms that one needs to understand before undertaking a weight-loss journey, for it to be:

  • healthy
  • sustainable for life
  • bringing more positive changes as a bundle, rather then just unhealthy weight loss which would anyways make its appearance back soon, trust me

Let’s begin. Today’s post is about a word that we hear (and use) on a daily basis with ease however, if someone asks us to describe the word, I am sure most of us would not know how exactly to describe it. We know it, we are aware of it and yet, what it exactly means is not clear to most of us.

The word and topic of today’s blog is ‘Metabolism’. We use the word every day, in so many different contexts such as – “I need to boost my metabolism”, “I have a slow metabolism”, “this is good for metabolism” and “this boosts metabolism”, “she/he must have good metabolism, she/he never puts on any weight” and the kinds.

Let’s see what actually this mysterious metabolism is. To me, it seems that if we can figure this metabolism thing out, we can find solutions to many of our problems.

What Is Metabolism?

Simply put, whatever we eat or drink, is converted into energy for the body to use. The whole process of this converting food into energy is called metabolism. It is not a single-step process.

And we do need energy for everything that our body does – whether we run or rest. Body also needs energy for all the body functions that we don’t even see happening e.g. beating of our heart, circulation of blood, constant repair work inside cells, digestion and what not.

The very basic energy we require for our body’s basic functions is also called as Basal Metabolic Rate. This generally remains constant for a person and it takes considerable effort to change it. It also varies from one person to another due to many factors, such as:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Body composition
  • Body size

Metabolism, to be honest, on its own has very little to do with weight loss per se. Shocking, right! It is true. So, unless one suffers from hypothyroidism or any other medical problem which actually affects metabolism, we can’t blame metabolism for our weight gain.

You see, weight gain happens due to lot of factors such as:

  • Energy disbalance e.g. you eat more than your body burn
  • Diet composition – means that even if you eat less or okay in terms of calories but the composition is not optimum for you
  • Physical activity
  • Sleep quality
  • Stress
  • Hormonal profile
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Genetic

Then Why Worry About Metabolism?

If it is not important why do we even worry about metabolism?  No point doing any sort of physical activity also if metabolism can’t be changed, right?

Wrong. Metabolism is important. In a way you probably never even looked at. Remember what I said when we began this post. The factors that affect weight-management. Recall the third point or scroll up. Right, body composition! And then, there is diet composition.

I have thrown probably two news terms at you today and may I say, of utmost importance. These are:

  • Diet composition – what our diet is made of or macronutrients (and even micronutrients) such as carbs, protein, fat, fibre, vitamins, minerals etc.
  • Body Composition – what our body is made of. Muscles or fat? What is their percentage? How much are the bones?

Now that you started to get it, let’s stop here today. Let it get absorbed. Think about these two words, their meaning and see where do you stand in both these terms.

Now, what to do about these terms, would follow in the subsequent posts and I will also keep sharing little nuggets of info (and motivation – super important, if you ask me) to work on these in my daily Instagram stories.

Hope you find what I write, useful and that it helps you in your goals and lifestyle modification efforts. All the best 🙂

Love, Health & Peace

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