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Metabolism


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Old 8th December 2017, 1:36 AM   #1
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Metabolism

I know we all aren't physicians here, but I've been pondering the idea of metabolism and I don't really get what that is. I don't understand how it works and why it's different between people. I mean, we all breathe in our lungs the same way, so why is metabolism so different? What is metabolism anyway?
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Old 8th December 2017, 3:10 AM   #2
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It's basically the efficiency with which energy is used in someone's body.

There have been studies I believe to show o suggest that overweight people have a higher metabolic rate.
Maybe google some of the research that has been done on it.
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Old 8th December 2017, 9:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GemmaUK View Post
It's basically the efficiency with which energy is used in someone's body.

There have been studies I believe to show o suggest that overweight people have a higher metabolic rate.
Maybe google some of the research that has been done on it.
Oooohhhhh interesting!
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Old 9th December 2017, 10:52 AM   #4
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The way I understand it a slow metabolism is a body that will store energy instead of using it. People that have diet most their life (me) have a slow metabolism because their body is afraid the person will go in starving mode again so instead of using the energy it store it.

We all know people that are lean like as a twig while eating like a pig. These people have a high running metabolism, their body use the energy right away.

The way to keep a high running metabolism, or to get back your body to run a high metabolism is to be active. Your body then forgets about storing energy and use it all at demand to get the machine (body) running smoothly.
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Old 9th December 2017, 11:04 AM   #5
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high metabolism means burning a lot of calories
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Old 14th December 2017, 1:12 AM   #6
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There is a difference between the way metabolism is spoken of in animals.....an efficient metabolism is one that converts as much food into stored into calories as possible, and keep as many of those stored calories for any given activity as possible. There are reasons to have a high metabolism in some animals, such as the hummingbird, but that metabolism comes with the trade-off of needing to have available food often. In the developed world of relative luxury, most would consider such a thing as an 'effecient', or low metabolism undesirable, and consider the 'efficient' metabolism to be the high one, as starvation is not such a danger.
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Old 14th December 2017, 11:08 AM   #7
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I do wonder now, if all things being equal, a person who eats a lot and remains thin has a low metabolism, like GemmaUK suggested
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Old 14th December 2017, 12:50 PM   #8
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One thing which can have a big impact is muscle mass. Muscle burns a lot of calories and is very dense, you can have a fairly high metabolism while still looking slim/small. Studies have shown that muscle mass is responsible for almost all of the age-related metabolism differences that have been found, too. So it's not to be underestimated.

Besides that, I suspect it's not so much that some people's bodies use more energy to do the same things, but rather that their bodies are less efficient at processing what gets put in instead. A typical human is around 20-25% efficient, likely there are outliers who may be outside that range
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Old 14th December 2017, 5:10 PM   #9
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Metabolism - the sum total of all the chemical reactions in the body.

But that isn't very helpful. I think it's more helpful to understand that it's the balance between building things up/storing things in the body and breaking things down/using things for energy.

The foods we take in (carbs/fats/proteins) are (in short) taken in for break-down into glucose which ultimately becomes ATP (the body's source of energy). We use protein for muscle; carbs for glycogen storage; fats for adipose storage (if we have more than we can use for ATP). All of this is controlled by hormones (insulin, glucagon, etc.). I am simplifying this.

The amount of energy we expend determines how much ATP we need to create. Other factors affect this as well (general body mass; muscle mass; oxygen use...this points back to energy expenditure).

Each person takes in the same amount of kcals from say, a Krispy Kreme donut. But how we USE it depends completely on the "balance" of our metabolism.
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Old 14th December 2017, 5:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Popsicle View Post
I do wonder now, if all things being equal, a person who eats a lot and remains thin has a low metabolism, like GemmaUK suggested
No, it is quite the opposite. A person who eats a lot, but remains thin, has a high metabolism. High metabolism = calories consumed are burned at a faster rate (person is prone to being thin or possibly underweight) while a low metabolism = calories consumed are burned at a lower/slower rate (person is prone to weight gain/being overweight). The person who posted above me explains it well.
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Old 14th December 2017, 5:35 PM   #11
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A lot of people with slower metabolisms which cause weight gain envy those like me with a high metabolism. It's a pain in the neck also because you can't really miss meals or you get too thin. You have to work out to maintain muscle mass and God forbid if you get sick. The grass is not always greener on the other side.
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Old 14th December 2017, 5:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Southern Sun View Post
Each person takes in the same amount of kcals from say, a Krispy Kreme donut. But how we USE it depends completely on the "balance" of our metabolism.
Quoting to clarify:

How we use the kcals we ingest depends on how much food we eat that we need to use to create ATP (which is the energy we need to run all the systems of our body). If we take in more food than we need for ATP, then it becomes storage (muscle/glycogen/adipose). If our bodies tell us we need energy (signals from hormones), then the storage is mobilized. And/or we take in more food.

That is where the term "balance" comes from.
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