At one point or another, every one of us may have heard complaints about slow metabolisms and weight. This is a myth, though. While this bodily process is crucial to distributing calories all over the body, its speed is less likely the leading cause of weight gain or loss.

What is metabolism?

The metabolism is responsible for the conversion of food into energy. This energy is then distributed throughout the body so that it can perform essential functions. The speed of a person’s metabolism depends on a few factors, such as body composition, sex, and age. The food a person consumes also affects the metabolic rate because processed food and sugars are harder to break down than healthy ones.

Physical exercise and metabolism

fit womanOn top of this, exercise affects the number of calories needed and broken down every day. Because physical activities require the body to produce more energy, calories from food intake are used up. Afterward, there will be no excess energy to store as fat.

Aerobic exercise burns the fat all over the body. According to VeryWell Fit, “Aerobic metabolism is the way your body creates energy through the combustion of carbohydrates, amino acids, and fats in the presence of oxygen.” These exercises are as simple as walking, running, cycling, swimming, dancing, etc.

Strength training develops the muscles and prevents them from deteriorating as a person grows older. Developed muscles need more energy than fat tissues. Therefore, the body burns more calories. Strength training includes weight lifting, high-intensity interval training, etc.

Other factors affecting metabolism

Dealing with metabolism may seem straightforward: a healthy diet and exercise. However, biological factors and specific disorders can slow down and affect metabolism.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is the disorder where the thyroid gland releases low hormones to support the metabolism. As WebMD states, “If you don’t have enough thyroid hormone, your body processes slow down” because the thyroid is primarily responsible for metabolic processes. Without enough hormones, the body will not receive enough energy to perform daily functions, causing the person to feel lethargic. Hypothyroidism is common among people across the globe, including Salt Lake City.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS poses several threats to women’s health as it causes irregular periods, increased risks of high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and being overweight. This disorder occurs because of the excessive production of androgen hormones that throws off the hormonal balance of a woman’s body. Its effects on metabolism may be linked to the increased risk of obesity as “Increased androgen levels have been shown to increase appetite and also reduce impulse control, resulting in larger energy consumption in women with PCOS.”

Drastic weight change

There is a theory that people who have been overweight in the past may have a slower metabolism that people who have maintained the same weight. When one compares these two people, the latter could eat whatever they want and still maintain the same body composition. On the other hand, the former will find it easier to gain weight upon returning to an unrestricted diet. While there are no studies to prove the science behind this, there are appetite suppressants that medical experts can legally prescribe.

Every person’s metabolism is different.

Proper diet and nutrition are still vital to looking after one’s weight. Speeding up or slowing down metabolism is barely the issue. Physical activity and health awareness are what matters.