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Metabolism & Weight Management


We hear the word “metabolism” frequently, but what does it mean?

“Metabolism” refers to biochemical reactions in your body to maintain life. Nutrition is closely linked to metabolism, and the pathways of metabolism rely upon how the body processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytochemical, antioxidants, amino acids, glucose, fatty acids, etc.) and oxygen and use them to produce energy.

Metabolism includes a balancing act of two kinds of activities that work concurrently:

• Anabolism is the synthesis of all compounds that support the growth of new cells, the maintenance of body tissues, and the storage of energy for use in the future.

• Catabolism is the breakdown of large molecules (mostly carbohydrates and fats) to release energy. This energy release provides fuel for anabolism, heats the body, and enables the muscles to contract and the body to move. Also, the waste products released in the process of catabolism are removed from the body through the skin, kidneys, lungs, and intestines.

But what are some of the signs and symptoms if metabolic function is not working optimally*?

• Difficulty losing weight

• Poor sleep quality

• Digestive issues

• Fatigue

• Hormone imbalances

• Blood sugar dysregulation

*These symptoms are not to determine a diagnosis and/or may also be a result of other health conditions

What affects your metabolic rate?

Metabolic rate is an estimate of calories you would burn at rest in a given day which is based on the rate of both the anabolic and catabolic processes measured in calories per unit of time.

But what are possible factors that may affect the metabolic rate?

For starters, the thyroid gland releases hormones that regulate metabolic processes essential for normal growth, development, regulating metabolism, as well as correlates with body weight and energy expenditure. However, the thyroid is not the only factor that affects the metabolic rate.

Body composition also plays a role.

I often recommend to my clients that weight training is beneficial when it comes to weight loss. When there is an increase in lean muscle, the body burns more calories at rest. Also, aerobic exercise (during the time of activity) can also temporarily increase your metabolic rate.

The type of food you eat can make a difference.

Eating a wide variety of nutrient rich foods and limiting or avoiding highly processed foods will help to support a healthy body. As portion control is essential for weight management, avoid extremely low-calorie diets that can lower the resting metabolic rate due to the suboptimal intake of nutrients from food which make it difficult to lose weight.

Overall, do you feel like this post is talking to you? Contact me today to schedule a complimentary phone consultation to discuss in greater detail on how we can work together to help you feel better.


Onaka, T., Takayanagi, Y., & Yoshida, M. (2012). Roles of oxytocin neurons in the control of stress, energy metabolism, and social behavior. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 24(4), 587-598.

Mullur, R., Liu, Y.-Y., & Brent, G. A. (2014). Thyroid Hormone Regulation of Metabolism. Physiological Reviews, 94(2), 355–382.