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Various metabolism types can influence weight loss and general fitness routines. The following article discusses metabolism types and the factors that influence whether you have a fast metabolism or slow metabolism. For additional details about metabolism types and how they affect health and wellness, you can buy Metabolism & Medicine here. Find more information about the intersection of metabolic performance and modern physics in volume one and volume two of Dr. Brian Fertig’s revolutionary work on the metabolic landscape of health and disease.

During metabolism, nutrients from food are converted into energy. This intricate process of combining oxygen with calories in your diet converts calories in your diet into energy that the body uses for operation.

You need energy even when you are at rest; all of its basic functions — cellular repair, hormone production, blood circulation, breathing — require an output of energy. The calorie intake necessary for your body to perform its functions is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR).

There are a number of variables that influence your unique BMR, including:

  • Composition and size of your body. The body burns more calories even when you’re at rest if you’re larger or have more muscle.
  • Sex. Males tend to have more muscle mass than females; muscle mass requires a significant caloric intake to maintain.
  • Age. While it isn’t precisely known why metabolic rate slows down as we age, one of the significant contributing factors to a slow metabolism is reduced muscle mass. As we age, we often become more sedentary, leading to diminished muscle.

There are two additional factors that influence the number of calories your body burns daily in addition to your BMR, which is:

  • Thermogenesis: Digestion and absorption of food and nutrients consume about 10 percent of the calories from carbohydrates and protein. Thermogenesis involves the production of heat associated with metabolism and your response to the nutrients you consume.
  • Exercise: Exercise and physical movements like taking the stairs, going for a walk, riding a bike, or any other daily motion account for a significant number of the calories your body uses on a daily basis.

Your normal physical activities that aren’t consciously performed — pacing, fidgeting — are called non-exercise activity thermogenesis. This phenomenon can account for burning approximately 800 calories every day.

Although metabolism is a significant factor in weight gain, it’s not a stagnant process. Metabolic function adjusts over time to the body’s individual needs and behaviors. While certain individuals might have medical conditions that trigger weight gain or cause their metabolic function to slow down, most people who have a slow metabolism can elevate it by building muscle mass through weight training, getting more sleep, increasing physical activity, and managing stress effectively.

A slow metabolism (and resulting weight gain) occurs when you consume a greater number of calories than you burn in a day. Although there are people who can lose weight quickly or never seem to gain weight at all no matter what they eat, everyone will lose weight by creating a calorie deficit from eating fewer calories or burning more.

If you have concerns about your metabolic function, please visit a specialist in metabolic health to determine the best course of action for your weight management goals and overall wellness.

Dr. Brian Fertig, the author of the groundbreaking two-volume work Metabolism & Medicine, is the founder and president of The Diabetes & Osteoporosis Center in Piscataway, New Jersey. Dr. Fertig is also Chairman of the Department of Endocrinology at JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey and Associate Professor of Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University School of Medicine.

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