Metabolism and Weight Loss in Mt. Juliet

Metabolism and Weight Loss in Mt. Juliet TN

It seems that everyday we hear more and more about variations in metabolism being responsible for weight gain or loss. Some people in Mt. Juliet even view a sluggish metabolism as an insurmountable genetic predisposition making it nearly impossible for them to lose weight. The question that many of these people fail to ask is what exact role does metabolism actually play in gaining weight? Many of these people may be surprised when they hear the answer. To understand this answer, it is important to understand what metabolism is and how it works throughout your body. The team at Inspire Medical hopes you will use this article to gather information and give yourself answers.

What is metabolism?

It’s amazing to think that the food we eat and drink provides all of the energy that we need to live, work, play, and enjoy time with our families in Mt. Juliet. However, what may be even more intriguing is how that food gets transformed into the energy that we use. It’s easy to imagine how complicated this process can be and this article isn’t meant to give you a lesson in biochemistry. However, understanding the basics of this process can provide assistance in understanding how it relates to your weight.

Metabolism can be thought of as the regulator of our bodies energy needs. Since we require energy at all times, for example; to breath, grow, pump blood, digest food, and heal, it is a system that never rests. When we consume food or fluids, our bodies combine these substances with various enzymes and chemicals to break them down at a rate that meets our energy demands. For instance, when exercising we will break food down faster or convert energy stores (such as fat) quicker to match our increased energy needs.

What processes require metabolism to create energy?

As mentioned previously, metabolism plays a role in almost every single system in our body. The energy required to breath, pump blood, heal, and even sleep is often forgotten. Surprisingly, the energy spent to carry out these tasks is far more than the energy that we use to exercise or carry out other daily tasks. The number of calories burned each day for these processes doesn’t vary much and actually accounts for nearly 70% of our daily calorie expenditure. The burning of calories required for these “background systems” to run is referred to as your basal metabolic rate (BMR) or resting metabolic rate (RMR). While your basal metabolic rate doesn’t change much day-to-day, there are multiple things that cause it to be different from person-to-person.

  1. Your bodies bulk and make up: It may not be surprising, but research has shown that people with larger frames and a higher percentage of muscle tend to burn more calories. This includes higher energy requirements just to breath, pump blood, etc.
  2. How old you are: Unfortunately, numerous studies have shown that as you age calories are burned at a slower rate, primarily due to the slowing of hormone production. This is largely the result of muscle being replaced as fat. Muscles tend to require more calories and energy to function than the substituted fat.
  3. Being male or female: Just as the decrease of muscle and hormone production influences how calories are burnt as we age, it also appears to play a role in how males and females burn calories. Since men typically have a higher ratio of muscle-to-fat than woman, they tend to burn calories at a higher rate, even at rest. It's also important to know that male hormones tend to peak in their early 30s, while female hormones tend to peak in their mid 20s.

With our BMR only accounting for approximately 70% of our daily calorie consumption, your probably wondering where the rest of the energy is going. Typically, only two other general processes account for the rest of our energy needs; the breaking down/use of food and daily physical activity.

While food provides us with the vast majority of our energy needs, food also requires energy to be broken down. Food breakdown, also known as thermogenesis has a substantial role in our bodies metabolic processes. In fact, it takes approximately 10-13% of the energy you get from food just to break it down, absorb it, move it throughout the body, and store it away for later use. Just as we saw with our BMR, there is little that changes the energy requirements for this process and it remains fairly constant day-day.

Finally, the last process that burns a substantial amount of calories is one of which you do have control, physical activity. Whether you are walking, running, mowing the yard, or playing your favorite game, all of these activities account for the final 30-35% of your energy requirements. Since physical activity is the only one of the three discussed metabolic processes that contributes to calorie and energy consumption that changes each day, it is also the major factor that contributes to weight loss or gain.

Metabolism and Weight

So you may be wondering how what we eat and how much we exercise contributes to gaining or losing weight. To answer this question, metabolism can be viewed as a scale. It is a process that is constantly working to balance the amount of calories in versus the number of calories out. No matter what a persons metabolic rate may be, if they eat a substantially higher number of calories than what they burn each day, they will inevitably put on more pounds. The reason for this being that if the excess calories are not being utilized the body, it will begin to store them for a later time when we may not be able to eat enough. In todays society, it is rare that we don’t have an adequate amount of calories each day, so the stored ones are rarely burnt. Through this process, there will be fewer calories available for our BMR, food processing, and physical activity, forcing our body to begin burning its stores. The end result being an increase in weight loss or a a decrease in weight gain.


8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

Appt. Only


Inspire Medical
151 Adams Lane #18
Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
(615) 903-2328