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  1. #1
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    how fat and metabolism works

    hi, im not trying to lose weight or anything but i came here to ask a question to some people who might hopefully know. i often get random questions that bug me for a while but i find the answer and that is that. but recently i have been wondering how your metabolism works, what affects it? why is this? if someone had a load of sugar, would they get fat? or would it just be lost because theres not an adequate supply of things like protein? why does metabolism vary so much from person to person? actually god thats a load of questions. i have done some research but its a little hard to come to a definite answer because if you type a word like calorie in google then you will get a load of adverts for weight loss things. they arent helpful and plus they could be biased to make you buy their product. anyway im waffling so ill shut up. pretty much any answer is appreciated.

    thanks for reading my crap lol


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    Metabolism is used as quite a big umbrella term for what basicly is the way the body burns energy to survive. Myths are that some people are born with super fast or super slow metabolisms, whilst there may be slight variations, its normally down to lifestyle rather then any sort of genetic illness and the differences are quite small in day to day life. What can 'boost' your metabolism, is exercise- cardio and resistance. It gets boosted most of all whilst you are doing cardio, then you are burning more calories per minute then someone sitting watching TV. Resistance (muscle building) exercise doesn't burn as many calories whilst you do it but it can help you build muscles which can help boost your metabolism so that when your resting, your burning that bit more say for example whilst you watch TV. BUT its never as much as you think, its all to common for people to assume they are burning more then they are and use it as a license to eat whatever and however much they want, it doesn't have that much of an effect unfortunetly!

    The more you weigh, the more your body requires to keep it alive, you could see this as a higher metabolsim, in a way it is, your body burns calories at a higher rate then if you were slim, but in reality, pound of body weight matched up, its not really a higher metabolism as such, its just a higher body weight with more energy requirements. As you lose weight, you cut calories to match with the new body weight, and when you get to the goal weight you made, it will require you eat fewer calories to maintain that weight.

    What you mentioned about sugar, no you wont lose the calories/sugar if you over eat the stuff, it just gets stored as fat if its surplus to requirements. Same goes with anything. If you eat extra protein it will get stored as fat if its surplus to requirements- it doesn't matter what you eat, if you don't burn the fuel, if you eat more then your body needs, it just gets stored for later. If you never use it, it just stays as fat on your body somewhere.

    Basicly, if you want to lose weight, watch your calorie intake. Fewer calories going in then coming out = weight loss. Do not rely on exercise, it never burns as much as you think plus can also make you hungrier then you otherwise would be. Thats not to say 'don't exercise' as exercise is an important part of being healthy and helps boost weight loss, but it wont do the work for you, you want to lose weight you need to watch the calories don't stray.

    It doesn't matter what you eat, what you don't eat, when you eat or how you eat as far as weight loss goes its all down to calories. Having said that, eating a healthy balanced diet can definetly help you stay on track as it helps take the edge of strong cravings for things your body needs and is not getting. Fresh frit, steamed/raw vegetables, lean protein and complex carbohydrates all help if you eat them in moderation and keep the calories in check. Drink well (plain water if possible) sleep well and exercise moderatly.

    Any more questions?
    Last edited by summer123; July 19th, 2010 at 06:55 AM.

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    Dude,

    I don't know if summer123 made you even more confused or what? I thought I knew what metabolism was and how it affected weight loss, but that has just confused me totally.

    Example:"The more you weigh, the more your body requires to keep it alive, you could see this as a higher metabolsim"... actually its the exact opposite as I understand it. the more you weigh the slower your metabolism is, because your body is not burning the fuel it is being fed or already has??? Or is it just me?

    I'm sorry summer123, but what you've written just seems the exact opposite of the what is mostly been documented all over the world.

    Example: "you cut calories to match with the new body weight"...my experience and everything I've read tells me that you stick to how much an individual man/woman should take in calories a day. I cant remember exactly but i think its something like 1200 calories a day for men and 1000 for women, i'm not sure again, but something like that. If you're constantly feeding your body at a weight that you are how can you ever lose weight. the entire purpose of raising your metabolism is that you burn more energy. The fat around your body is that energy that is waiting to be burnt, now because of the weight you already have you will continue to feed a calorie intake that is huge because that is what your weight dictates? On top of that she says you dont need to exercise to increase your metabolism to lose weight?

    Could someone please address this because I am very confused, maybe I read the post incorrectly...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrevorM View Post
    Dude,

    I don't know if summer123 made you even more confused or what? I thought I knew what metabolism was and how it affected weight loss, but that has just confused me totally.

    Example:"The more you weigh, the more your body requires to keep it alive, you could see this as a higher metabolsim"... actually its the exact opposite as I understand it. the more you weigh the slower your metabolism is, because your body is not burning the fuel it is being fed or already has??? Or is it just me?
    I think it's just you.

    Let me see if I can help clarify a bit.

    Metabolism can be thought of as the total calories you need in a given day. In reality it's the net of all the catabolic and anabolic processes that are occurring in the body, but that's muddying the waters.

    The total calories you need in a given day can be considered your maintenance level, where calories in = calories out.

    There are various processes at play that comprise your maintenance (metabolism). This include basal metabolic rate (BMR), the thermic effect of activity (TEA) and the thermic effect of feeding (TEF). Depending on what literature you're looking at, you might also see non-exercise activity thermogenesis or spontaneous physical activity. But again, let's not muddy the waters.

    So...

    Metabolism = Maintenance = Total caloric requirements of the body on a given day or the total energy expended by the body (TEE) on a given day.

    TEE = BMR + TEA + TEF

    BMR, by far, is the largest component of TEE... even for those folks who are elite athletes who have very high TEA from all the practice and competition they partake in. BMR is the calories expended maintaining the basal functions of your body such as tissue maintenance, respiration, etc.

    And yes, the larger you are, the higher your BMR will be as there are more tissues and larger bodies to support. Given that BMR is the largest component of TEE, it can be said that metabolism is higher for the obese.

    TEF is also higher, as this is the energy expended breaking down and utilizing foods eaten. Since obese folks, by definition, eat more food, they have a higher TEF generally speaking.

    TEA is the wild card. Yes, logically it would appear that obese folks are generally more sedentary so they'd expend less energy. But on the flip side, they also have to expend a lot more energy just to move their greater masses around. It probably nets out to be a slightly lower TEA but again, what matters is that the total energy expended and therefore metabolism (BMR + TEA + TEF) is higher the larger you get.

    I'm sorry summer123, but what you've written just seems the exact opposite of the what is mostly been documented all over the world.
    What are you referring to, specifically?

    Example: "you cut calories to match with the new body weight"...my experience and everything I've read tells me that you stick to how much an individual man/woman should take in calories a day. I cant remember exactly but i think its something like 1200 calories a day for men and 1000 for women, i'm not sure again, but something like that.
    No, that's completely wrong. There are no standard calorie intakes that any man or any woman should take, regardless of weight, activity, etc. Caloric requirements are predicated primarily by body weight, than body composition, than activity levels.

    A skinny person with a super active career, physically speaking, will have a much higher caloric need than a skinny person who works at a desk all day and loves playing video games.

    Or consider a two people. Person A is skinny. Person B is obese. They both lead exactly similar lifestyles. Person B will require much more calories given the larger size.
    Last edited by Steve; July 28th, 2010 at 05:14 PM.

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    Thankyou Steve

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    okay, I think I got it.

    The bigger you are the more calories you need because your body requires more energy to perform activities etc?

    If you're obese, the fat that is around your body is stored energy right? It just doesn't make sense to me that someone who has energy reserves in such huge supplies has a bigger appetite than someone who's body burns the energy more effectively.

    Shouldn't a skinny person who's body burns energy quickly need energy more than someone who has it in abundance in their bodies?

    I mean, I'm not trying to be difficult, but the logic in this doesn't add up.

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    Try comparing it to cars, maybe.

    Car A is a mini.
    Car B is a large family car.

    Car A is smaller and has a smaller tank, while Car B is bigger and heavier with a bigger tank.

    Even if they both had the same engine, if they are both driven the same way, Car B will undoubtedly use more fuel, even though it has more fuel (energy) to draw from. Car B is larger and heavier, and will require more fuel for performing the same action as the smaller car.

    Same with skinny and overweight people. Somebody who is large and heavy will use more calories for simply existing than a skinny person. Everything is more difficult and requires more effort, thus burning more energy.

    Take walking upstairs. Somebody who is severely overweight will reach the top of the stairs breathing heavily, sweating and out of breath. Probably with their heart hammering and their blood pressure raised. Loads of pressure on the body, loads of functions that have to work heavily at that moment.

    A skinny, healthy person is much more likely to go up that same flight of stairs with ease, without getting out of breath or any of the other problems, and without burning the additional energy.

    Not saying that any of this is overly scientific, 'cause it's not, just trying to have it make more sense.



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    Ditto San. Maybe that analogy helps?

    Quote Originally Posted by TrevorM View Post
    okay, I think I got it.

    The bigger you are the more calories you need because your body requires more energy to perform activities etc?
    More energy to perform activities, yes. But also just to sustain itself. Tissue in and of itself has an energetic cost, including fat. And obese people have a lot of lean body mass too. Each pound gained is comprised of fat and lean tissue. The more tissue you have, in general, the higher your energetic needs are - with or without the increased cost of performing activities.

    If you're obese, the fat that is around your body is stored energy right? It just doesn't make sense to me that someone who has energy reserves in such huge supplies has a bigger appetite than someone who's body burns the energy more effectively.
    You're confusing caloric needs with appetite. They are not one in the same. Appetite is a very complex phenomenon that's driven by physiological and psychological factors.

    Shouldn't a skinny person who's body burns energy quickly need energy more than someone who has it in abundance in their bodies?
    What makes you think a skinny person burns energy quickly when compared to an obese person? Metabolic variance isn't huge across populations when normalized for weight.

    The vast majority of the time obese people are obese not because they have slow metabolisms, but because they eat more energy than their bodies need.

    [quote[I mean, I'm not trying to be difficult, but the logic in this doesn't add up.[/QUOTE]

    I don't think you're being difficult at all. Just trying to learn. It's respectable. But you're overly simplifying and confusing a few things and when viewed through those lenses... I see where your trouble is coming from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrevorM View Post
    okay, I think I got it.

    The bigger you are the more calories you need because your body requires more energy to perform activities etc?

    If you're obese, the fat that is around your body is stored energy right? It just doesn't make sense to me that someone who has energy reserves in such huge supplies has a bigger appetite than someone who's body burns the energy more effectively.

    Shouldn't a skinny person who's body burns energy quickly need energy more than someone who has it in abundance in their bodies?

    I mean, I'm not trying to be difficult, but the logic in this doesn't add up.
    See, an obese person doesn't just dip into fat deposits for energy, it would be very simple and an easy way to lose weight if that were to happen, but it doesn;t work quite like that. If you were to starve, your metabolism would slow, your body would start to work on making youy slow down in order to conserve calories as it would assume there was a famine. It would then when it had run out of calories, start to break down not just fat, but also muscle in order to survive. It would not just opt for fat, it doesn't want you moving around too much, it does want to keep you warm, it may seem like madness but the body does have a logic when its taking its calories from stored deposits or energy (in the form of glycogen=from food, fat and muscle).

    It would make sense for the body just to start "eating itself" when an obese person dieted but it just isn;t that simple. You need to maintain a good intake of energy to support any exercise, maintain any day to day activities and perhaps more importantly, to prevent binge attacks where the body fights very hard to find food to prevent it starving.

    A person leaves it too long to eat and the body goes a little mad, starts sending out very strong signals for food. Eventually these fade away/the person feeling them becomes used to them. They eat/smell/see appetising food and BANG! Trying to stop a binge occuring is a huge battle. Do this every day, eventually the person will break and the diet they had been on will be very difficult to get back on to. Also as the body has been starved, it will be in a slowed down mode and will aim to store energy it has been given (incase there is another "famine") and low and behold...the person who had been starving has gained weight.



    Of course there are other reasons why starving is not the answer- certain nutrients are needed every day for good health, they get utilised and pee'd out when the body has finished with them, they need to be retaken every day. You may be thinking "just pop a pill" but acutally this is not such a good idea, many pills require that they be taken with food as they can burn the stomach lining (can cause ulcers) or the intake of the vitamin is not so great. You could think "well just eat one meal a day then" but then you have a cycle of low blood sugar, enegy loss and so poor results in regards to exercise and basicly feeling very unwell, dizzy and irritated. This would not be an easy way to lose weight by any means and could require the person doing so does not work or be around many others whilst they did so- and definetly not operate heavy machinary!

    See the body takes its energy last of all from fat rather then first of all. Its not going to take all its energy from the muscles but when you remember the exercise is likely to have become reduced due to low blood sugar and lack of glycogen for the muscles, and the body wanting to keep itself warm rather then moving and perhaps other things I have not thought of here at 3am... you can perhaps understand why starvation diets really are not something that will help an obese person lose their weight.

    See, I used to have anorexia. Like hopsitalised-for-5-months-treatment type of anorexia. Even when I was losing weight, I never went totally without food, I know of few people that did. I had my tricks, my appetite problem solvers and my occasional binges but the reality is that the bulk of me losing weight was done through my mind. I put ideas and made up irrational ideas which I would stick to. It was ill mental health that got me to the BMI I managed to get to, not will power and not something I would advise for anyone who doesn't want to be footing the bill of therapy at the end of it all. Suggesting someone who is obese to starve is not a good idea and I doubt (unless they become quite mentally unwell) viable.

    I hope that explains things- sorry if I have repeated myself a bit too much there, its 3am and I have insomnia...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrevorM View Post

    Shouldn't a skinny person who's body burns energy quickly need energy more than someone who has it in abundance in their bodies?
    They're talking about maintenance calories. An obese person would need more energy to maintain their obesity than a skinny person to maintain their size. Simply because a bigger body is harder to carry around, you have more cells to replace, a bigger organism to keep at a certain temperature and so on.

    But since obese people generally don't want to maintain their obesity, the goal would be to eat less calories than the body needs so that the deficit is drawn from reserves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasikamarshel View Post
    I am certain that you have heard that in order to speed up your metabolism and burn fat,The amount of calories that our body burns is called metabolism,How quickly we burn calories depends on how energetic our body is and this in turn depends on how much muscle we have compared to fat,It is the muscle tissue in our body that moves it, not anything else. Unfortunately, if we do not use our muscles enough, they will tend to get smaller which in turn slows down metabolism,As we age, we do tend to exercise less and this reduces our muscle tone and therefore metabolism,Fatty Fish contains a substance called Omega 3 which is very helpful in increasing the metabolic rate in the body which in turn burns fat,It is also good for the heart and controlling and regulating the blood pressure in the body,studies have confirmed that green tea helps to suppress appetite,Thus drinking green tea helps to burn calories and assists in weight loss,can boost your metabolic rate,Your body temperature can go higher and your heart rate increases a bit,it is a metabolism booster,Another advantage of it is that it acts as an antioxidant therefore helps prevent aging,It is also a good source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and iron.
    Lots of misinformation here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasikamarshel View Post
    studies have confirmed that green tea helps to suppress appetite,Thus drinking green tea helps to burn calories and assists in weight loss,can boost your metabolic rate,Your body temperature can go higher and your heart rate increases a bit,it is a metabolism booster,Another advantage of it is that it acts as an antioxidant therefore helps prevent aging,It is also a good source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and iron.
    No, sorry but this is very wrong:

    Suppress appetite? it may do as its basicly filling your body with water. It actually has less caffiene then coffee so if your looking at supressing your appetite, espresso would be a better option. People on "green tea diets" tend to drink upwards of 7 cups a day. This is why they get the caffiene boost they do.

    "thus drinking green tea helps you burn more calories"? By suppressing your appetite, it will not mean you burn more calories.

    It will not boost your metabolic rate. You may find yourself (if you do chose to drink 7 or 8 cups before noon) jumping off the celing, this may boost your calorie burn, may "boost your metabolism" if you like (I do not believe in the phrase "boost metabolism", I think quite simply, you move more, you burn more, thats not a metabolism burn, thats exercise.) But its nothing you wou;dn't get from swallowing a pack of proplus.

    Oh, and if you do find yourself unable to sleep, the next thing your going to find is that your unable to sleep as well or as deeply. The next day, hormonal changes will come about as a resulf of the lack of sleep. The hormones that help you feel full? they will be at a low. They will not rise properly after you eat. Your hormones that make you feel hungry? they will be on a rise, your likely to feel hungrier. As a result, you may eat more. More calories going in then coming out...? I'll let you do the math.

    It will not prevent ageing! Nothing will prevent aging. Not even Botox. Not a whole lot of minerals in a cup either, you'd need many many cups to get enough iron, its not a good source of iron at all I'm afraid.

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    so is there any way to speed up ones metabolism? will that help someone lose weight?

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    Hmm..Really, you should be looking at your diet when you are talking about losing weight. When you start looking for shortcuts to make you lose weight faster, You have the wrong weight loss mentality (in my opinion). It's not a race. If you focus on a good balanced diet, don't eat more calories than you should (it's always been calories in vs calories out), mix in exercise and your body will fall into place. It won't happen overnight. It takes time. Don't get impatient, just stay focused.

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