Being overweight – Is it your fault?

Understanding metabolism

Once you see your weighing scale starting to show extra pounds,
Once your regular clothes find it difficult to fit….

At first, you are confused about why …. And later you may end up blaming yourself for that ice cream you had over the weekend, the party/wedding where you had those extra calories. But that’s not the reason for the added inches. There is something more than you think that’s at fault.

Where’s the catch?

It’s inside your body. Wondering how? Yes…. It’s your poor metabolism… if you are gaining weight even with a regular diet/activity like your peers, the issue is with the metabolism. It refers to poor burning of the consumed calories, which manifests as weight deposition.

What is Metabolism?

Your body needs energy for each and every function. The energy sources of your body are from foods we eat and stored energy sources from within fat tissues, muscle, etc…
Whenever our body needs energy, it gets from either of these sources. This whole energy production process is called metabolism. This is different from the digestion of food.
Just imagine that you ate a cup of vegetable salad for today’s breakfast, normally what happens is that the food will get digested by your gut, after which energy is generated in the form of ATP. That is known as energy or calorie. This energy is subsequently burnt. This entire process varies from person-person.

There are four components in metabolism:

  • The BMR is the number of calories that your body uses for its basic functions 
  • The TEF is the number of calories your body uses to digest food.
  • Physical activity expenditure
  • NEAT is anything that’s not purposeful exercise (like Sleeping, Breathing Eating, etc..)
    BMR + TEF + PA + NEAT = Metabolism

1. BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate

2. TFT –   Thermal Efficiency of Food

3. PAE – Physical Activity Expenditure

4. NEAT – Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis

How did weight gain happen?

Some people may have lower metabolic rates hereditarily. These people have to put in additional effort compared to their peers to maintain an adequate weight. Some people may not have a hereditary background, but can be born with a poorer metabolism for unknown reasons. The other reason would include activities(diet, sports, medicines, etc) in childhood that could have impacted the metabolism. The current modifiable factors would include current lifestyle which includes a high caloric diet, alcohol, reduced activity levels, poor sleep pattern, and stress.

All these work together in preventing adequate burning of calories causing weight accumulation.

Only the modifiable factors as mentioned above are within our control and for the rest, it’s not your fault!

Ways to speed up your metabolism.

  • Quality sleep for 7-9 hours
  • Practice stress reduction techniques
  • Exercise daily to increase lean body mass
  • Make your plate colorful with seasonal, local, organic and unprocessed foods