Metabolism: Truth And Misconceptions About Metabolism

Health 2022

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Metabolism: Truth And Misconceptions About Metabolism
Metabolism: Truth And Misconceptions About Metabolism

Video: Metabolism: Truth And Misconceptions About Metabolism

Video: Why We Get Slow Metabolisms \u0026 Should You Reverse Diet? Science Discussion ft. Dr. Eric Trexler 2022, November

THE WORD "METABOLISM" IS FREQUENTLY USED TO PLACE AND NOT TO PLACE, but not everyone fully understands what metabolism is and according to what laws it functions. To figure this out, we asked Leonid Ostapenko, a sports nutritionist, member of the International Sports Science Association (ISSA), and Anna Nazarenko, a clinical psychologist, founder of the Eating Disorders Clinic, what you need to know about metabolism and how not to harm your body in attempts to change it.


What is metabolism

Metabolism, or metabolism, brings together all the chemical reactions in the body. They occur continuously and include catabolism - the breakdown of proteins, fats and carbohydrates for energy and "building materials" - and anabolism, that is, the creation of cells or the synthesis of hormones and enzymes. Our skin, nails and hair and all other tissues are regularly renewed: building them and recovering from injuries (for example, for healing wounds) requires “building blocks” - primarily proteins and fats - and “labor” - energy. All this is called metabolism.

Metabolism refers to the turnover of energy required for such processes. Its costs in the main metabolism are calories that go to maintain body temperature, the work of the heart, kidneys, lungs, and the nervous system. By the way, with a basic metabolism of 1,300 kilocalories, 220 of them are for brain work. Metabolism can be divided into main (or basal), which occurs constantly, including during sleep, and additional, associated with any activity other than rest. All living organisms, including plants, have a metabolism: it is believed that the fastest metabolism is in hummingbirds, and the slowest in the sloth.

What affects the metabolic rate

We often hear the expressions "slow metabolism" or "fast metabolism": they often mean the ability to stay lean without restrictions on food and physical activity, or, conversely, the tendency to gain weight easily. But metabolic rate is reflected not only in appearance. People with a fast metabolism spend more energy on vital functions, such as the work of the heart and brain, at the same time than those with a slow metabolism. With equal loads, one person can eat breakfast and dinner with croissants, instantly burning all the calories received, while the other will rapidly gain weight - this means that they have different basal metabolic rates. It depends on many factors, many of which cannot be influenced.

Metabolic factors that cannot be corrected are called static: they are heredity, gender, body type, age. However, there are conditions that can be influenced. Such dynamic parameters include body weight, psychoemotional state, organization of the diet, the level of hormone production, and physical activity. The exchange rate depends on the interaction of all of the above. If you correct the factors of the second group, you can speed up or slow down the metabolism to some extent. The result will depend on the characteristics of genetics and the stability of the entire metabolic system.

The Internet is full of calculators that allow you to calculate your basal metabolic rate based only on gender, age and body mass index, but what it really is is not so easy to find out. A normal metabolism is considered to be one that provides all of the body's energy and nutrient needs without symptoms of health impairment; with proper exchange, all tissues are renewed at a normal rate. Against the backdrop of pernicious beauty standards that prioritize harmony, it is believed that a slow metabolism is bad, and a fast one is good. However, exchanging too quickly can be harmful too.

Sometimes, an accelerated metabolism appears in case of hormonal disorders and can lead to problems with the formation of bones and muscles in children and adolescents, weakened immunity, stunted growth, menstrual irregularities, tachycardia and anemia. Some diseases, for example ichthyosis, are also accompanied by an accelerated metabolism: our heroine spoke about the difficulties associated with this. In turn, too slow metabolism leads to excessive accumulation of body fat and obesity, which can increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Metabolism slows down with age: according to Leonid Ostapenko, on average by 5% for every ten years lived after 30-40 (however, these are very rough, average estimates). The main reasons are changes in hormonal status, as well as decreased mobility and a decrease in muscle mass. A stressful situation such as pregnancy and childbirth can also lead to changes in basal metabolism. Doctors call the early stages of pregnancy an anabolic state: the mother's body stores nutrients for further needs - both for its own and for the fetus. And in the later stages, a catabolic state is activated: for the fetus to develop normally, the level of glucose and fatty acids in the blood rises.

After giving birth, some cannot lose a few pounds as easily as before, while others, on the contrary, become thin. Ideally, in a perfectly healthy person living in a favorable environment, after pregnancy, the body should return to its previous balance. In reality, this does not always happen - the endocrine system often experiences stress, like hitting a hammer on a clock: it seems that all the gears are in place, but the clock is in a hurry or lagging behind. Hormonal changes after childbirth can manifest as thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland), estrogen dominance syndrome when there are too many of them in the body, or adrenal fatigue syndrome, in which the adrenal glands produce too much adrenaline and not enough cortisol. All of this is reflected in both mood and propensity to easily gain weight or lose weight. Unfortunately, it is impossible to accurately predict how the hormonal balance and metabolism will change after childbirth.


Is it possible to independently change the metabolic rate

It is worth influencing metabolism only if it is disturbed. For example, if the thyroid gland is dysfunctional, which produces thyroxine, the so-called metabolic hormone. With hypofunction of the thyroid gland - a condition when an insufficient amount of its hormones is produced - the metabolism slows down, and thyroxine in tablets is prescribed for treatment. Doctors-endocrinologists are engaged in this, and they make a diagnosis. Unfortunately, it is not always obvious even with access to the best clinics: the famous TV presenter Oprah Winfrey was diagnosed with hypothyroidism only by the fifth doctor she turned to.

Healthy people often want to speed up their metabolism in order to calmly eat what they like, without thinking about excess weight and without spending days and nights in the gym: as we remember, with a fast metabolism, more calories are burned at rest. It can be accelerated, but the methods are not always safe or even legal. Preparations based on steroid hormones and some narcotic drugs have a quick effect, but their use is associated with high medical risks and violations of the law. How to speed up your metabolism without harming your health? First and foremost - to increase overall daily activity and increase muscle mass. The more energy expended during the day, the more calories the body will burn during sleep in order to restore its reserves; the greater the muscle mass, the more energy is needed to maintain their vital functions.

The World Health Organization recommends 75-150 minutes of vigorous (or 150-300 minutes of moderate) aerobic activity per week, which equates to 7-8 thousand steps per day. Among the recommendations and the performance of strength exercises twice a week or more. Leonid Ostapenko also includes in the list such a method of accelerating metabolism as controlling the daily calorie intake. Of course, in order to achieve a new balance in the metabolism and consolidate it, physical activity must be made regular, and the new diet must be stable.

How not to harm metabolism

In order not to harm the metabolism, only two things are required: a balanced diet and optimal physical activity. Extremes like grueling exercise, extreme dieting, or fasting can lead to the opposite of what you want. The body turns on the "survival reaction" and begins to slow down the rate of exchange, because it lacks the incoming energy. According to Anna Nazarenko, after prolonged fasting, a person begins to overeat primarily for a psychological reason: the subconscious "demands" to return tenfold what has been in short supply for so long. If we add to this a slowdown in metabolism (and during fasting, almost all metabolic processes slow down), it becomes clear why, after radical diets, weight returns so easily and even becomes more than before.

Throwing from one extreme to another - either malnutrition or overeating - is the most unfavorable option. It can disrupt the balance of the insulin-producing islets of the pancreas. Since endocrine processes are complexly interconnected and an increase in the level of some hormones leads to an increase or decrease in others, the entire endocrine system is under attack. This completely disrupts the exchange rate, often in an unpredictable direction. The fact is that the metabolism is influenced by the hormones of almost all glands, including the pituitary gland, adrenal glands and gonads; they also affect each other, so the self-administration of anabolic steroids or insulin can lead to unpredictable consequences.

So, you need to intervene in metabolism only if the endocrinologist has diagnosed its disorders and prescribed a treatment regimen, which you will carefully adhere to. Even healthy people have different metabolism, and each of us can maintain an individual norm with the help of our favorite sport and a balanced diet. Walk more, eat vegetables and greens, do not smoke and do not abuse alcohol - these are standard recommendations for the prevention of a variety of disorders, including metabolic disorders. It is worth remembering that beauty and the conventional "ideal figure" are not synonyms, and the race for imposed standards can harm health.

Photos: D.R. -, rimglow -, rimglow -

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