Every cell of the human body is involved in some sort of metabolism. We need metabolism to run intracellular processes and to keep each organ going at their optimal state. Proper metabolism involves the use of protein, carbohydrates, and lipids in our diet. Without these three components, fat metabolism cannot occur.
Our metabolism is controlled by the following mechanisms:
- The amount of exercise we do each day
- Our basal metabolic rate, which is defined by our size and our age
- The function of the thyroid gland, which puts out the hormones (T3 and T4), which turn on fat metabolism
- The uptake of glucose by the cells, which is controlled by insulin
- Our caloric intake
When we exercise, for example, we are training the heart to beat faster and stronger. We are also strengthening and adding to our muscle mass, especially if we undertake anaerobic exercises like weight lifting and machines that strengthen muscles. When we take in food from protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, these nutrients go to making muscle and fat is broken down, replaced by muscle mass. Often this does not mean a significant weight loss as muscle weighs more than fat; however, we will be leaner because muscle takes up less room in our bodies than fat.
If, on the other hand, we eat and do not exercise, the basal metabolic rate will determine how many calories we can eat per day before gaining weight. You can calculate your basal metabolic rate below this post.