Metabolism constitutes a complex biochemical process and can be categorized into two groups – catabolism and anabolism. Each component is responsible for different kinds of metabolism that takes place within our bodies.
Anabolism is the process by which new molecules are built. Catabolism is the process by which it is broken down. To build new molecules in the body, it requires energy. Energy is procured when the molecules are ‘broken down’ from nutrients such as glucose (sugar) and fatty acids.
Thus, for a normal metabolism to take place, the body needs anabolism and catabolism to happen at the same time. This simultaneous construction and destruction is required to generate the necessary energy to stimulate the chemical reactions.
- When anabolism supersedes catabolism, you can expect net cell growth. This is how you gain weight
- When the situation is reversed, that is, catabolism is more than anabolism, you expect net cell loss. This is how you burn fat and overall body weight.
More about Anabolism & Catabolism
Anabolism involves various chemical reactions through which newer and larger molecules are formed from smaller molecules. Through anabolism we get new cellular material like enzymes, proteins, cells and cell membranes and tissues. This important process is a pre-requisite for the body’s growth, cellular maintenance and tissue repairs.
Catabolism on the other hand is needed for generation of energy. This process involves breaking down of large complex molecules to smaller and simpler ones. The energy generated through catabolism, is stored as fat and called glycogen.
A good example can be found in sports medicines that promote reducing the rate of catabolism and increasing the rate of anabolism. which ultimate result in speedy recovery of strained tissues and damaged muscles.
Anti-oxidants, good nutrition, proteins and several phyto-chemicals have pronounced anti-catabolic effects. These are thus used often to reduce effects of catabolism and increase anabolism in the body.
Anabolism and catabolism are thus complex chemical processes that occur within the tissue cells of the body. They do not affect or change any other aspects of the body’s functioning, like digestion, breathing etc.
Our body needs multiple nutrients to function optimally. So, any deficiency of any of the vital nutrients can throw the entire process of metabolism out of gear. Thus, to remain healthy, we need a balanced diet to supply enough nutrients to trigger proper anabolism and catabolism.
The most important thing to remember is that anabolism is powered by catabolism. Also, the process occurs simultaneously and incessantly within our bodies. Endocrinologists have also classified the hormones as ‘anabolic’ or ‘catabolic’ according to the section of metabolism which they interact with to cause stimulation.
What is basal metabolic rate?
You heard that boosting metabolism burns more fat?
It is the basal metabolic rate (BMR) which burns more fat
Let me explain…
Even when we are sleeping, or our body is at rest, we need some energy. This is to keep the basic functioning of the body going like breathing. Basal metabolic rate, or BMR in short, is the amount of energy required to maintain optimum functioning of the body at rest.
BMR includes the energy required to keep the lungs, heart, kidneys, sexual organs, muscles, skin, brain, and liver functioning while the body is resting. It is normally measured in calories.
An increase in basal metabolic rate can be expected to increase during exertion, stress, fear or illness. Similarly, BMR is expected to decrease as you grow older, resulting in the loss of any lean muscle mass.
The BMR is the most important factor that can help you decide how many calories you need to maintain to lose or gain weight. It depends on various genetic and environmental factors. Some of these include:
Factors that affects BMR
Ageing & Metabolism:
When we are young, our BMR is high. With age, the lean body mass lessens and there is a slowing down of BMR. After a person has reached 20 years of age, it drops about 2 percent, per decade.
The genetic factors can affect the BMR. Some people are born with higher BMR than others.
Tip: This why your friend/cousin can eat all the crap and still not gain weight!
Men usually have more muscle mass than women combined with a low percentage of body fat. This results in men having a higher BMR.
Height & Weight:
The person’s height and weight affect the BMR. A tall and thin person will have higher BMR than someone who is short. The heavier you weigh, the higher your BMR. This means, the greater your body surface area, the higher your BMR.
Tip: That is the reason why it becomes harder to lose weight as you get thinner and lighter.
Percentage of body fat:
People with lower body fat percentage will have higher BMR. Because men have a lower percentage of body fat, men generally have a 10 to 15% faster BMR than women. Women normally have 20-25% body fat
Children and pregnant women will have higher BMR. I think, it does not require further explanation. Ageing men should take testosterone supplement to enhance physical activity.
If you have more lean body mass, you will have a higher BMR. On the contrary, if you have more fat tissues, your BMR will be lower.
Body temperature and overall health:
For every increase of 0.5C in internal temperature of the body, the BMR increases by about 7 percent. The chemical reactions in the body become faster at higher body temperatures. That is the reason during fever, the BMR increases.
Thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone. This hormone plays a key role as a BMR regulator, which hastens the rate of metabolic activity in the body. The more amount of thyroxin produced, the higher will be the BMR.
In case too little thyroxin is produced, BMR may come down by 30 to 40% from normal level. The adrenaline of a person can also increase the BMR.
This is the hormone for the thyroid and is a component for regulating the BMR. The higher amount of thyroxin that is generated, the level of BMR also increases. [More about Thyroid]
External temperature can affect BMR. For instance, in extremely cold temperatures, your body must create extra heat to maintain the body’s internal temperature. This raises the BMR. Similarly, prolonged exposure to great heat may also raise the BMR to cool it down.
Tip: If you want to lose weight, allow your body to naturally control its temperature. Meaning, don’t use heater or air conditioner much. Now you know why your Heater & AC consumes so much energy!
Dieting or starvation may result in an abrupt reduction of calorie intake. This lowers BMR. Sometimes weight loss diets can reduce BMR by as much as 20%.
Tip: That is the reason why you must exercise during any weight loss diet program. However, recent studies have proven that intermittent fasting is better for weight loss. Take appetite controller like GarciniaExtra if you can’t control hunger.
Stress & BMR:
There are various short-term factors which can affect the BMR. One of the most important factors would be stress. Stress raises or reduces the BMR depending on how your Cortisol hormone works.
Tip: Most women gain weight due to excessive stress. Therefore, undergoing stress management therapy or taking stress reduction supplement is good idea.
Sex & Exercise:
By exercising regularly, you are aiding in the building of lean muscles and increasing your BMR. Lean muscle requires higher calories for maintenance.
Sex is a complex issue to explain. Maybe, I have to write another article on it. Sexual orgasm releases dopamine in your brain which causes happiness. You get the same happiness from consuming caffeine, cocaine, chocolate, and nicotine etc.
That’s why human being gets addicted to sex, despite doing the same thing again and again! Yes, sex is an addiction though some may not agree.
For calorie burning, men should use missionary position without putting weight on her. Women should use cowgirl position to deploy maximum core-muscle.
Weight loss conclusion
Most people (including me) spend maximum of an hour daily for exercise. Unless you workout 4-6 hours daily, you can’t lose weight with exercise alone. Your fat melts due to prolonged calorie deficit from food, but not through burned calorie through exercise.
Many experts say that 80-90% weight loss result comes from diet alone. However, without exercise your diet would almost, always fail. Exercise reduces craving for junk foods and raises your BMR. Product like Phen 375 works best with exercise.
More than metabolism, it is the catabolism (BMR) which plays crucial role in eight reduction.