SHREVEPORT, La. - In today's Health Watch, KTBS 3 spoke with Courtney Hammons Butts, a registered dietitian with Courtney Butts Nutrition about boosting our metabolism, and some of the myths that surround it.
What is metabolism?
Metabolism refers to the chemical (metabolic) processes that take place as your body converts foods and drinks into energy. It’s a complex process that combines calories and oxygen to create and release energy. This energy fuels body functions.
What does your metabolism do?
Your metabolism never stops, even when your body is at rest. It constantly provides energy for basic body functions, such as:
- Circulating blood.
- Digesting food.
- Growing and repairing cells.
- Managing hormone levels.
- Regulating body temperature.
What is the basal metabolic rate (BMR)?
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) refers to the minimum number of calories your body needs to function while you’re resting. This amount varies from person to person. Your BMR fulfills 60% to 70% of the energy your body uses. Rapid weight loss and aggressive calorie restriction decrease your BMR — this is one reason why weight loss is usually not linear and may stall at some point.
How does the body use the rest of its energy?
Your body uses about one-tenth of its energy to process food into fuel. The remaining energy fuels your physical movement.
How does metabolism affect weight?
Many people blame metabolic problems for weight struggles. But your metabolism naturally regulates itself to meet your body’s needs. It’s rarely the cause of weight gain or loss. In general, anyone who burns more calories than they take in will lose weight.
What’s the difference between a fast metabolism and slow metabolism?
Someone with a fast metabolism or fast BMR burns a lot of calories even while at rest. If you have a slow metabolism or slow BMR, your body needs fewer calories to keep it going.
A fast metabolism does not necessarily lead to thinness. In fact, studies show that people with overweight/obesity often have fast metabolisms. Their bodies need more energy to keep basic body functions going.