Metabolism and its relation to Body Weight


In our previous article (How to plan your personal weight loss program) we provided information to find your Ideal Body Weight using various calculators. Now, we tackle the Metabolism link to weight loss (or gain) and explain how to calculate it and use the reading in our Personal Weight Loss Program.

What is metabolism?

Metabolism is the word used for all the chemical processes that go on continuously inside the body to keep you alive and your organs functioning normally, such as breathing, repairing cells and digesting food.

For these chemical processes, energy is required which is usually calories absorbed via food. The minimum amount of energy your body required to carry out these chemical processes is called the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

Your BMR takes care for anything between 50% and 70% of your body’s daily energy requirements depending on your age and activity profile.

Do some people have a faster metabolism than others?

Age, body size, gender and genes all play a role in determining your BMR.

Muscle cells consume more energy to maintain than fat cells, so people with a higher muscle to fat ratio tend to have a higher BMR.

With age we gain fat and lose our muscle mass and hence we have a lesser BMR.

Men generally tend to have a faster metabolism, heavier bones and less body fat than women due to more muscle mass, which is why their daily calorie requirement is higher.

Genes definitely affect muscle size and your ability to grow muscles, both of which affect your metabolism.

Am I fat because of a slow metabolism?

People who are unable to lose weight often attribute it to a slow metabolism. However, numerous studies worldwide have failed to find evidence to support this theory that overweight people must have slower metabolic rates. In fact larger the body mass higher the BMR as the body needs more calories to keep the system running. Leaner people require lesser calories as the requirement for energy is lesser.

More often than not, the reason for weight gain is not because of a slow metabolism, it’s because you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning.

The key to weight loss is staying on top of the number of calories you eat.

What can I do to speed up my metabolism?

Latest fads are that certain foods and drinks can boost your metabolism, including green tea, black coffee, spices and energy drinks. There is no clear evidence of weight loss happening just by eating or drinking exotic stuff. In fact the calorie consumption for these should also be taken into your Weight Loss Program.

While you don’t have much control over the speed of your metabolism, you can control how many calories you burn through your level of physical activity.

The more active you are, the more calories you burn.

Please click here to calculate your BMR (

Calories and Energy

Once you know your BMR, you can make a pretty good guess of your Total Daily Energy Expenditure, or TDEE. This reading is the entire amount of calories, or energy, your body uses during a given day whether you’re sleeping, eating and digesting food, working and exercising.

TDEE takes into account two more aspects.

1. Thermic Effect of Activity (TEA): This is the amount of calories consumed while exercising. The more intensely your workout — running fast or weight training — the more calories you’ll burn
2. Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF): When you digest food and absorb its nutrients, your body uses energy in the form of calories.

Please click here to calculate your TDEE (

Your BMR reading tells you the amount of calories you need to function. The TDEE reading tells you how much you should be consuming or burning according to your lifestyle, whether you are a desk jockey or a sports nut.

Now that you have your Ideal Body weight (and your current Body Weight) we can use the BMR and the TDEE readings to find out what kind of diet AND exercise routine is needed to achieve your weight loss objective.

In our next article we start with the most important part of the Personal Weight Loss program – actually doing something about it!! 🙂

Hemanshu Pandey

Basketball and philosophy are passions. Reading is a habit. Represented Maharashtra and Mumbai University as a basketball player. Currently coaching kids for school sports and women for marathons.

Leave a Reply