Metabolism and Your Weight

Metabolism and Your Weight

You may be surprised that, even when you are not doing anything, your body is still burning calories. In fact, determining how many calories your body burns while at rest is how your basal metabolic rate is determined. Yet, in addition to the number of calories that your body burns in order to complete its very basic functions, there are two other major factors that determine how many calories your body burns each day: food processing and physical activity.

Food Processing and Calories Burned

When referring to your body burning calories, food processing is more scientifically known as thermogenesis. Every time your consume food or drink a beverage, your body burns calories as it digests, absorbs, transports and stores the items that you have consumed. Altogether, only about ten percent of the calories that you consume from carbohydrates and proteins are used during the digestion and absorption aspects of consumption. 

Physical Activity and Calories Burned

Physical activity, which can include everyday routine physical activity or purposeful exercise, also accounts for the number of calories burned each day. The number of calories that you burn through physical activity can vary quite significantly from one day to the next, particularly if you are not consistent about ensuring exercise is a part of your daily routine. 

Scientists refer to the activity that you do during your day that is not deliberate for the purpose of exercise as “nonexercised activity thermogenesis” or NEAT. This type of activity includes such routine things as walking from room to room, completing household chores, gardening or even simply fidgeting. NEAT typically results in burning anywhere from 100 to 800 calories each day.

While many people are tempted to blame their metabolism for weight gain, this isn’t true for most people. It is true, however, that certain conditions can have an effect on your metabolism and make it more difficult for you to lose weight or maintain your ideal weight.

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