How to Better Understand Metabolism


metabolism

metabolism If you’ve read much of the manguide, you know that we encourage losing weight with a healthy diet by eating more and improving metabolism. So what exactly is meant by metabolism and how can it be improved?

Your metabolism is the sum total of all chemical reactions that take place in your body. Technically, your metabolism changes every minute of every day, as your millions of cells continue to work and achieve homeostatis, or stabilization.

Eyeballing that chocolate cake? One bite into it causes a chain reaction throughout your entire system. Cells instantly begin working to stabilize processes, communicating with each other in ways that science has barely begun to understand. We are complex creatures. It’s a fact.

Thermodynamics is the branch of science that deals with heat and all forms of energy and how they’re exchanged. The laws of thermodynamics apply to metabolism but the interesting thing about human beings (and all living organisms) is that we do not follow all the laws of thermodynamics. This is because we’re “open sytems” and we exchange energy with our environment, continually interacting with it.  An open system never reaches equilibrium, but continues in series of reactions. We are “dissipative systems, losing much of our energy due to friction.

Thermodynamics tells us that the breakdown of muscle or fat releases energy. This is known as catabolism. Acquiring muscle or fat requires more energy. This is known as anabolism. Chemical reactions are either exergonic, releasing energy, or endergonic, requiring more energy.

In understanding this, we can see that the most important factor in metabolism is your nutrition, since all calories are energy and the primary source of energy in your system.

Calories are units of energy that are responsible for anabolic or catabolic responses, repair of bodily tissue and maintaining your system in the most efficient manner possible.

Yes, there are other factors, such as sleep, stimulants, temperature, age and even heredity, but the energy provided by calories consumed has the most impact by far.

How To Improve Metabolism

Eat right and exercise. Make food the biggest focus as nutrition has the most impact on metabolism. Get good sources of proteins, carbohydrates and fats every day.

Proteins are important to your every bodily cell. They are the primary tissue builders and you can’t survive without them.

Carbohydrates are converted to glucose in the body. Glucose is needed for all activities. While the body can actually convert fat to glucose when carbohydrates aren’t present, a diet with moderate carbohydrates is considered a healthy diet that provides quick fuel for immediate needs.

Fats are the most misunderstood of all three nutrients. A diet with plenty of fats will provide over twice the energy of protein or carbohydrates. Fats don’t make people fat. A diet high in sugary carbohydrates and fats together is the major cause unwanted weight gain.

Eating a moderate carbohydrate, medium to high protein and medium to high fat diet is the healhtiest diet one can consume and the continued cellular effects of such a diet will improve metabolism dramatically. Nutrients are converted to other chemicals via enzymes and affect metabolism by way of metabolic pathways.

Good nutrition wins again.

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