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Calories aren’t the only consideration in weight gain or loss

September 1, 2018
Warren Willey

The word “metabolism” conjures up several different concepts and ideas. We tend to relate that word to our body’s ability to lose or gain weight.

By strict definition, metabolism is the sum of the physical and chemical processes in an organism by which its material substance is produced, maintained, and destroyed, and by which energy is made available. Nowhere in this meaning are the words “weight loss” or “weight gain.”

We tend to either praise or curse our own metabolism when discussing our (or other people’s) weight. The word energy is in the definition and, therefore, it could be construed that our metabolism has something to do with calories (as calories and energy are interchangeable).

If this is the case, it could also be assumed that your metabolism dictates your usage or storage of calories and thus your weight. While this is true as far as utilization and creation of energy are concerned, there is far more to consider with weight gain or weight loss than just calories.

If we are going to consider our metabolism, good or bad, in a discussion of weight gain or loss, then we must understand that there are several genetic and environmental influences at play here.

Stress levels, overall hormonal health, toxins in our environment, our gut health, and the effects of oxidative stress all influence our metabolic rates. It is not just a calorie thing.

You cannot over exercise your fat and you cannot under eat your fat. Rather than praise or curse your metabolism, consider all the factors involved in your metabolic rate and focus your attention on those things.

Dr. Warren Willey is a Pocatello physician. Visit his website at http://drwilley.com.

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