Total Nutrition Technology
Wednesday, December 3, 2014

We all know them. Those enviably thin people who can eat anything they want all day long and never  gain weight. Then there are those of us who even briefly entertain thoughts of a doughnut, and the next thing you know, we can’t zip up those jeans we just bought. What makes us so different when it comes to weight loss and weight gain? Some of the answers lie in the mysteries of our metabolism. It may seem logical to think that significant weight gain or being overweight is related to a low metabolism or possibly to a condition such as an under-active thyroid gland. In reality, it is very uncommon for excess weight to be related to a low metabolism. Weight gain is more likely due to an energy imbalance – consuming more calories than your body burns. To lose weight then, you need to create an energy deficit by eating fewer calories, increasing the calories you burn through physical activity, or preferably both.

What is metabolism? Simply put, metabolism is the sum of all our physiological functions that convert food into energy. During these complex biochemical processes, calories from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, are combined with oxygen to release the energy needed to function. The number of calories your body burns each day is called your Total Energy Expenditure. Total energy expenditure is comprised of the following 3 components;

1. Basic Needs – the energy needed for all basic functions such as breathing, circulation, hormone adjustment, immune response, cell growth and repair. This includes time spent awake and at rest and is known as Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Typically, the BMR is the largest portion of energy expenditure – approximately 75-80% of the total calories burned.  Find out your exact metabolic rate with a simple 10-minute MET test.

2. Food Processing – the energy needed for digestion, absorption, transportation, and storage of  the nutrients we take in. Typically about 10% of our total caloric expenditure.

3. Physical Activity – The energy required for all movement and all types of movement; playing tennis or golf, running a 5k race, doing dishes, or sitting at the computer, all burn calories. These calories make up the remainder of our total energy expenditure and vary from individual.

There are many influences on our metabolic rate. Some of which are contingent on our genetics, and some that we can control or adjust.

1. Body size – The larger the surface area, the greater the energy expenditure.
2. Body composition – The higher the degree of muscularity, the higher the energy requirements.
3. Age – Metabolism decreases with age.
4. Gender – Men have a higher metabolic rate than women.

Your ability to change your metabolic rate is limited. However, you can increase daily activity to build muscle mass and increase calories burned. Even though consistent aerobic exercise and strength building exercise is best for increasing metabolism, any extra movement will help burn calories. I’ll bet that same thin person, who can eat and eat, is also the type of person who never sits still. If you can envision your metabolism as a fire that you want to keep burning, the best way to do that is to eat smaller more frequent meals throughout the day. Be sure to get that fire started first thing in the morning, and be careful not to put a wet log on that fire at the end of the day. Try to balance out the amount of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, as opposed to eating all carbohydrates at one sitting. 

Based on the factors that determine our metabolic rate, we all need a different amount of calories from food.When trying to determine the proper amount of calories from food to take in, there is a simple 10 minute metabolic test you can have done to determine your exact BMR. This test is available at Total Nutrition Technology offices throughout the Charlotte area. Call or email us today for an appointment at: 704 549-9550 or, and take advantage of this month's savings - Buy One MET Test and get one 50% Off!!!

Though your metabolism influences your energy needs, it is ultimately your food intake, and your physical activity that determines your weight.

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