Understanding the Weight Loss and Metabolism Process

You've probably heard people blame their weight on a slow metabolism, but what does that mean? Is metabolism really the key point? And if so, is it possible to increase your metabolism to burn more calories?


It's true that metabolism is linked to weight. Your metabolism influences your body's basic energy needs, converting food into energy or store as fat for future use.


Metabolism: Converting Food Into Energy

Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. During the biochemical process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function. Even when you're at rest, your body needs energy for all functions, such as breathing, circulating blood, adjusting hormone levels, and growing and repairing cells.


The number of calories your body uses to carry out these basic functions may vary according:

  • Body Size and Composition: The bodies of people who are larger or have more muscle burn more calories, even at rest.
  • Sex: Men usually have less body fat and more muscle than do women of the same age and weight, burning more calories.
  • Age: As you get older, the amount of muscle tends to decrease and fat accounts for more of your weight, slowing down calorie burning.

Two other factors determine how many calories your body burns each day:

  • Food Processing (Thermogenesis): Digesting, absorbing, transporting and storing the food you consume also takes calories. This accounts for 100 to 800 of the calories used each day. 
  • Physical Activity: Physical activity and exercise — such as playing tennis, walking to the store, chasing after the dog and any other movement — account for the rest of the calories your body burns up each day. Physical activity is by far the most variable of the factors that determine how many calories you burn each day.

A combination of genetic, hormonal controls, diet, lifestyle, including sleep, physical activity and stress. All of these factors result in an imbalance in the energy equation. You gain weight when you eat more calories than you burn. It is true that some people seem to lose weight more quickly and more easily than others, everyone will lose weight when they burn up more calories than they eat.


A good way to burn calories is through physical activities. The more active you are, the more calories you burn. 

  • Include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine. Remember, the more active you are, the greater the benefits
  • Strength training exercises, such as weightlifting, are important because they help counteract muscle loss associated with aging. And since muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does, muscle mass is a key factor in weight loss. 
  • Any extra movement helps burn calories. Walks, taking the stairs more often, Gardening, washing your car and housework, are simple ways to burn more calories.