Do you really have a slower metabolism?

Haven’t you heard these words hundreds of times before? I bet you have! You have probably also heard that skinny people have faster metabolism than folks with more weight. Get ready for a big surprise because it is not the case at all. As the matter of fact, it is the other way round. Thinner people have slower metabolic rate than fatter people. Let me explain what metabolism is. Metabolism is a set of chemical reactions that occur in a living organism to maintain life.  Metabolic rate is the amount of fuel –calories- you use each day. To make it easier, think of a car! Hummer needs more fuel than let’s say Toyota, which means that larger human body burns more fuel than a smaller one. If you want to loose several inches of your waist, you must understand how your body works. When you do strenuous exercise, whether it’s moving furniture, gardening the entire day or running on the treadmill for 1 hour you are clearly using lots of energy. There is also a very important component in all of this, namely most of your body’s energy is spent on just staying alive. Here is the breakdown:

  • About 70 % of a humans’ total energy expenditure is due to the basal processes within the organs of the body; like liver 27%, brain 19%, heart 7%, kidneys 10%, skeletal muscles 18%, other organs 19%
  • 20% of one’s energy expenditure comes from physical activity.
  • Another 10% from thermogenesis (process of heat production). In here, it means 10% used on digestion of food.

You might be asking yourself a question so how come thinner people can eat whatever they desire and they don’t seem to be gaining weight? However research shows that overweight people underestimate how much they eat when they fill dietary questionnaires or keep detailed food diaries. Also, from the above mentioned breakdown one can extrapolate that low calorie diets (1000-1200 kcal) DO NOT work, your body probably needs at least 1000 kcal to keep itself alive. Remember it's all about balance! :-)

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