How Metabolism Works and Why Most Diets Fail!

How metabolism works and WHY MOST DIETS FAIL!

By now we have all heard that calories in vs calories out is the key to weight loss. However, its not that simple! To understand how this works, we need to first understand how our body uses energy. Energy expenditure occurs in three different ways in our body.

First we have our basal metabolic rate- which is about 60% of our total energy expenditure; that’s the energy it takes to keep your heart beating, to keep your body temp up, and your basic daily tasks of living. We also have our thermic effect of food, which is about 10% of our energy; that is the energy it takes to eat and digest food. And our last source of energy expenditure is activity thermogenesis. This makes up about 30% of the calories we burn off. Activity thermogenesis consists of activities of daily living, walking around, or physical exercise.

While all three areas of energy expenditure are important, the high percent of basal metabolic rate is why it is so hard to lose weight. When you diet, your body begins to slow down your basal metabolic rate. Our biological systems are mostly Paleolithic, they are meant for caveman who are fighting short term stressors and eating as much food as they can when it becomes available. If food is scarce, like when dieting, your body slows its basal metabolic rate, so that you can conserve and save energy, so that hopefully you can save some fat (since fat yields the most energy per gram). If you aid in slowing down your basal metabolic rate, you are essentially slowing down your body’s best fat burning mechanism!

Our bodies need fuel to run properly. So instead of starving yourself on diets, or going all day and only eating one meal, look instead at the types of foods you are eating. We don’t become obese from taking in too many vegetables. Look at your percentages of healthy fats, proteins, and carbs. Look at what you’re eating, but also make sure you’re eating enough of it! Get the idea out of your head that eating less calories always means more weight loss. Less doesn’t always mean more!