Metabolism

Metabolism refers to the amount of energy (number of calories) our bodies burn in order to function. Whether one is eating, drinking, sleeping, cleaning etc…. our bodies are constantly burning buy modafinil calories as fuel.

What determines metabolism?

Metabolism is determines by a number of different factors including genetics, sex, age, body composition, drugs, activity levels and diet. The most important factor that can be changed to affect metabolism is ones body composition (i.e. the ratio of lean body mass to fat mass).

What can I do to alter my metabolism?

Let's face it…. We can't change our genetics or sex (at least very easily). Most diet pills that alter metabolism may speed the heart rate, elevate the blood pressure and potentially cause dangerous medical problems.

The fact is that muscle uses more calories to maintain itself than fat. People who are more muscular (and have a lower percentage of body fat) are said to have a higher metabolism than others that are less muscular. This explains why most men can eat more than women – men genetically have more lean body mass (i.e. muscle).

Give me an example…

For example, let's say you have two people who are the exact same height and weight. One exercises on a regular basis with weights, in addition to aerobic exercise, and has a low percentage of body fat and a higher percentage muscle mass. The other never exercises and has a higher percentage of body fat and a lower percentage lean body mass. The first person that exercises will have a higher metabolism than the second person. What this basically means is that person #1's body will use more calories to sustain itself than person #2.

What about diet pills?

So far, we do not have a diet pill that safely boosts metabolism without harmful side effects. Researchers are frantically looking for a drug that could potentially help us lose weight and maintain this weight loss.

What diet pills are available and how do they work?

There are a couple of diet medications available through prescription that aid with weight loss. One prescription drug, sibutramine (Meridia®), helps people lose weight by working on the appetite center in the brain. It helps people feel fuller faster so that they could potentially push away from the table sooner and control urges to overeat and snack. The other prescription drug works by a totally different mechanism. This drug, orlistat (Xenical®), works by blocking fat absorption from the intestine into the blood stream so that 30% of ingested fat is excreted in the stool. Both of these drugs work in combination with diet, exercise and behavior modification, but they do not directly affect metabolism.

Could I have a thyroid problem?

Thyroid disease is very common in this country especially in women. Hypothyroidism, an under active thyroid gland, causes metabolism to slow. Anyone who is having trouble controlling their weight should have thyroid function tests performed to screen for thyroid disease. However, it is very unusual for a person to gain massive numbers of pounds even if the thyroid is under active. The TSH test is a very sensitive indicator of thyroid function. In general, if the TSH is normal, it is not possible to say that an individual has a weight problem due to thyroid dysfunction.

Are there other medical problems that can affect my weight?

Yes, there are medical problems that can cause weight gain including some adrenal disorders. Some medications can cause weight gain including steroids, some antidepressant, and some medications for epilepsy and other psychiatric disorders. If any of these conditions are suspected, a consultation should be sought with an endocrinologist or other physician with an interest in weight control.

What and how do I eat to boost my metabolism?

Just as there is no magic pill to alter metabolism, there is no magic food to boost metabolism either. Neither is there a diet or meal plan that is optimal for everyone. When one eats, metabolism increases 10%. This is one reason why it is beneficial to eat at least three meals per day. Eating only one meal per day deprives us of the metabolic boost that one receives from more frequent meals.

Is it possible for me to lower my metabolism?

It is thought that by taking in too few calories that metabolism can drop. This may be why some people reach plateaus in their weight loss at times. In general, people do lose weight when they take in very low numbers of calories but a person's basal metabolic rate may also drop as well.

What type of exercise should I do to increase my metabolism?

What a person starts to do for exercise depends upon the conditioning, flexibility and endurance that person possesses when he/she begins. In other words, if a person has never stepped foot in a gym, bench pressing a hundred pounds will not likely occur at a first session. It is important to perform TWO types of activities: both aerobic activity and strength training. Aerobic activity such as walking, jogging, swimming or biking burns calories, elevates the heart rate and improves overall conditioning. Strength training works large muscle groups thereby building more muscle. Both of these activities increase metabolism, not only during exercise, but 24 hours per day.

What are the components of metabolism?

Ones metabolism is measured in calories (actually kilo calories) and is made up of the basal metabolic rate, the energy expenditure of activity, and the thermic effect of food. Exercise affects the first two components. Eating several times per day increases the third component .

What is the deal with meal replacements?

Meal replacements work by a concept called “stimuli narrowing.” Studies show that people using meal replacements as substitutes for some meals and snacks fare better in terms of weight loss and maintenance. Our program utilizes products we have personally chosen because of taste, and variety. We design meal plans using tasty, nutritious bars, shakes, soups, and other foods. We take some of the decision making out of your every day life so that you can think and plan your future eating behaviors.

The concepts are often easy, but putting them into action can be difficult. At The Nashville Solution we understand that. We are here to provide you with the tools, knowledge and motivation to achieve your ULTIMATE METABOLIC ADVANTAGE. We are on the cutting edge of the field of bariatric medicine, nutrition, exercise physiology and the like. We want to help you achieve your goals!

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