Metabolism: How Does It Affect Weight Loss?

Metabolism describes the extensive biochemical process that converts the food you eat into the energy your body needs to survive and function.

We often use the phrase metabolism with “fat burning”, which describes the oxidation or burning of fats by your cells converting those fats to fuel, very much like shoveling coal into the fire of a locomotive.

—Technically, it is the combination of chemical processes that occur at the cellular level to maintain life. This involves everything that takes place within your body to keep your heart pumping, blood flowing, lungs breathing, food digesting, muscles moving and brain functioning.

The link between this long list of bodily functions and weight loss is that every process and bodily function requires energy to occur. Energy that is supplied by the variety of foods we consume and the calories they provide. It determines the number of calories your body burns over the course of the day and varies by individual.

There are two types of metabolism

Anabolism and Catabolism

Catabolism is that food and fuel burning process that produces energy. Anabolism diverts nutrients to support the growth of new cells, the building and maintenance of body tissues like muscle, and the storage of additional fat for future energy use. When you resistance train with weights and build new muscle, you are in an anabolic state.

Your individual metabolism is affected by factors like the composition of your body, the types of food you eat and how active you are.

If weight loss is a goal, there are safe and effective natural methods to increase or speed it up to burn more stored body fat. The best way to increase metabolism is by creating a demand to burn more calories – to use more calories than you consume, better known as a calorie deficit.

How to Increase your Metabolism?

The more active you are, the faster it must work to maintain. Faster metabolism equals more calories burned. Intense exercise burns an intense number of calories. Weight training also increases metabolism as it increases your lean muscle mass while burning fat deposits. New lean muscle mass will trigger your body to burn even more calories and fat to support that added muscle tissue.

Increase your normal daily activities.

Finding ways to increase your activity level throughout the day by walking, climbing stairs and similar activities will boost your metabolism and help you lose fat and weight more quickly.

Smaller, more frequent meals.

Smaller and more frequent meals will stabilize your blood sugar and hormone levels, boost your metabolism and eliminate sugar and hormonal swings created by a normal diet of 2-3 meals. Don’t skip meals as your body will slow it down in order to spare and store fat for energy

Spice up your meals.

Hot spicy foods and spices like cayenne pepper actually raise your body temperature causing a boost in your metabolism. Cinnamon is another useful spice that stabilizes blood sugar and can increase it with as little as 1/4 teaspoon.

In the world of diets and weight loss, we hear the term metabolism, often referring to a fast or slow metabolism.

What is metabolism, and how does it affect weight loss?

Fast Metabolism

A person whose metabolism burns many calories, that person who seems to be able to eat endlessly yet maintains a slim body type is said to have a fast metabolism. Many people with a fast metabolism have difficulty gaining or maintaining body weight.

Slow Metabolism

A slower metabolism is actually more efficient, your bodily processes require fewer calories to maintain. Unfortunately, those extra calories you take in that aren’t used to fire your metabolism are most often converted and stored as fat for future use. You gain weight easily and have a difficult time losing that weight.

You can’t control your metabolism, however, you can influence and manipulate it to increase its fat burning processes as you work to lose body fat. To do so, you must understand the outside factors that are slowing it down.


Dieting, restricting calories or starving yourself in an attempt to lose weight triggers hormones in your body to retain (store) fat rather than burn fat. As you work harder and harder to rid your body of stored fat, your body is working harder to “spare” or retain that fat as emergency fuel for what it perceives as a threatening period of starvation.


We lead a sedentary lifestyle, sitting behind a desk, behind the steering wheel, and then hours on the couch at home. Your body becomes accustomed to this “lazy” lifestyle and your metabolism will gradually slow to match this decreased need for energy resulting in less fat burning and more fat storing.

Poor Diet

We are surrounded by cheap, abundant, high-fat and high-calorie low nutrient fast and processed junk foods. Even foods that we assume to be healthy choices like rapidly digestible whole grains have an adverse effect on metabolism. The high glycemic index of these grains, often GMO grains, causes rapid insulin spikes that destroy healthy metabolism.