Understanding Metabolism and Weight Loss Challenges

When people weigh themselves and the numbers on the scale are either higher or lower than the required sum, they usually put the blame on their metabolism. But what exactly metabolism is and how it works? Metabolism is the chemical changes that happen within your cells. These changes according to nutrients and food quality eliminate harmful compounds as well as produce energy and materials essential for growth and better health.

The term is generally used in the context of weight loss. In fact, there are various myths and misconceptions related to metabolism. Understanding the metabolism myths, weight loss challenges, and ways to achieve health goals is the main objective of our post.

So, let’s delve into the concept of metabolism, its common myths, and effective ways to boost better health.

What is Metabolism?

The term “metabolism” describes the chemical reactions that take place inside a living thing in order to stay alive, grow, and produce. These procedures enable the body to transform the food into energy which is further used for various functions like cell repair, breathing, blood circulation, and energy creation. The two main components of metabolism are:

  • Catabolism: Helps the body break down molecules to create energy or body fuel
  • Anabolism: the process of creating substances that cells require

The rate at which your body burns calories to perform normal operations is referred to as the metabolic rate. Age, sex, muscle mass, and genetic predisposition are some of the variables that might cause a considerable variation in this rate across people. People often confuse the metabolic rate with weight. Having a slow metabolism rate is not a cause for your weight gain. There are various factors that contribute to weight gain.

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Metabolism Myths

Before we proceed further, let us first discuss some of the common metabolism myths and misconceptions. It is important to understand these and overcome them so that your body gets less affected and you live a stress-free life.

Myth 1: You have gained enough weight, you must be having a slow metabolism

People around you will always share their opinions, even when they don’t have enough knowledge or right guidance on the subject. You need to understand that this is one of the major myths. With metabolism, you can definitely decide how many calories are needed by your body but it is not the only factor that contributes to weight management.

One of the major reasons you are suffering from weight gain problems is the imbalance in your body. The calories you consume and the calories that expand your body must maintain a proper balance or it can result in weight gain. Other factors like improper diet, less physical activity, and bad lifestyle habits also contribute to weight gain. So, it is not completely dependent on your metabolic rate. However, there are certain people who have naturally slower metabolic rates but that generally accounts for significant weight gain.

Myth 2: You cannot change your metabolism

Another common metabolism myth among people is that you cannot change since you were born with this. It can be true in some cases due to genetics, for it plays an important role, but there are several ways that can help overcome your condition. With more physical activities, diet therapy, muscle mass, and other practices, you can improve or control your metabolic rate. Also, a few modifications to lifestyle habits can also have a positive effect on your body and boost your metabolism.

Myth 3: If you skip your meals, you are slowing down your metabolism

Another common metabolism misconception that most mothers have is if their child skips a meal, it will impact their metabolism and slow its rate. According to theory, your body slows down its metabolism to conserve energy when you eat fewer times a day. This isn’t totally true, though. Although extended fasting can marginally slow down metabolism, there won’t be much of a long-term effect from occasionally missing meals.

This doesn’t mean intermittent fasting is a wrong procedure, instead, it is one of the most effective practices that help you with weight management and improve metabolic health.

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How Slow Metabolism and Weight Gain are Connected?

Understanding Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

The amount of energy your body requires at rest to sustain essential physiological processes like breathing and circulation is known as your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. About 60–75% of your daily energy use is accounted for by BMR. A number of factors affect BMR are:

  • Age: With growing age, your metabolic rate might start to drop due to hormonal fluctuations or muscle mass loss.
  • Sex: BMR is different for different sex groups, i.e., men have a higher BMR than women due to greater muscle mass.
  • Body Composition: Even when you are resting or your body is in the sleep mode, the muscle tissues burn more calories than fat tissues.

Common Causes of Slow Metabolism

There are various factors that may contribute to a slow metabolism rate, such as:

  • Hormonal Imbalance: If you have a condition like hypothyroidism, there are high chance that you might have a slower metabolism
  • Muscle Mass: Another common factor is muscle mass which generally reduces in count with age, resulting in a slow metabolic rate.
  • Sedentary Lifestyle: If you love to lie in bed or stay in a lying position with minimal to no physical activity, you might surely have a slow metabolism
  • Diet: If you restrict your calories too much, your body will slow down your metabolism to conserve energy.

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Ways to Boost Metabolism

Some of the common ways to boost metabolism are:

1. Indulge more in Physical Activity

Rather than just sitting or lying on the bed, try to engage in regular physical activities and keep your body moving. Physical activities are one of the best and most effective ways to improve your metabolism. You can go in for walking, cycling, swimming or join a gym or weight training. All these activities will help your body not only in terms of metabolism but also overall health. Muscle burns more calories than fat even when at rest, which makes building muscle with resistance exercise very effective.

2. Add more protein to your diet

Even Diet Therapy in Naturopathy demands individuals to intake a proper healthy diet with enough proteins. The process known as the thermic effect of food (TEF) occurs when protein requires more energy to digest than fats and carbs. You can momentarily increase your metabolism by eating more foods high in protein. Furthermore, protein is essential for maintaining a healthy metabolic rate since it aids in the growth and repair of muscle tissue.

3. Keep yourself Hydrated

Water plays a key role in our body for more than half of the body is built on it. Hence, water is the main source for better functioning of metabolic processes. If you keep yourself dehydrated most of the time, you can slow down your metabolism rate. So, it is highly recommended to drink more and more water throughout the day. There are many more benefits to staying hydrated. According to some research work, as the body warms up cold water, it may momentarily raise metabolic rate.

4. Get Adequate Sleep

Sleep deprivation can interfere with hormone balance and metabolism. Insufficient sleep is linked to elevated ghrelin, the hormone that causes hunger, and lowered leptin, the hormone that causes satiety, which can result in increased appetite and possible weight gain. For the purpose of supporting metabolic health, aim for 7-9 hours of good sleep each night.

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5. Manage your Stress Levels

Hormonal imbalances brought on by prolonged stress may cause a slowdown in metabolism. Increased appetite and desires for fatty and sugary meals are associated with high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to weight gain. To sustain a healthy metabolism, include stress-reduction practices like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.

Read More: How Stress Can Impact Your Body?

6. Go in for Small and Frequent Meals

There is conflicting evidence, however, some research indicates that eating small, frequent meals can maintain an active metabolism. This strategy might prevent the dropping of the metabolic rate that might happen when going extended periods without eating. Regardless of the frequency of meals, it is crucial to concentrate on the quality and quantity of food consumed.


Debunking myths and offering a clearer view of weight reduction challenges can be accomplished by comprehending the complexities of metabolism. Although your body’s metabolic rate is influenced by genetics, how well your body burns calories depends mostly on your lifestyle choices. You may increase your metabolism and help your weight loss efforts by obtaining regular exercise, eating a balanced diet high in protein, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and controlling stress.

Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for controlling metabolism and weight. It’s critical to establish a habit that is both enduring and beneficial to your general health and well-being. You may manage the complexities of metabolism and accomplish your health goals with the appropriate information and techniques.

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