• Janet Perry RHN, CSNC

What's Up With Metabolism?


Most people are familiar with the word metabolism. It’s in regular rotation in magazines and on the internet, predominantly in connection with weight loss. It’s not hard to find an article promoting the top 10 ways or top 10 foods to boost your metabolism. But metabolism signifies more than just a properly functioning digestive system.


Metabolism refers to all the chemical processes going on continuously inside your body that aid normal functioning. These processes include those that break down nutrients from food, and those that build and repair the body.


Building and repairing the body requires metabolism to convert the nutrients in the foods you eat into energy.


Your metabolism never stops, even when your body is at rest. It constantly provides energy for basic body functions, such as:

  • Breathing.

  • Circulating blood.

  • Digesting food.

  • Growing and repairing cells.

  • Managing hormone levels.

  • Regulating body temperature.

Enzymes and hormones help regulate metabolism. Enzymes act like catalysts, setting bodily functions in motion. Your body uses hormones to moderate energy stores.


To maintain their structures and functions, enzymes and hormones need building materials which they obtain from the foods you eat. If the necessary nutrients are not supplied or are not in sufficient quantities, your metabolism can easily become imbalanced, leading to more than just weight concerns.


Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions which together can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other serious health problems.


Many of the conditions associated with metabolic syndrome don't have many obvious signs or symptoms, however, a large waist circumference is a red flag. Metabolic syndrome is closely linked to extra weight / obesity and inactivity.


The following factors increase your chances of developing metabolic syndrome:


Age. Your risk increases with age.

Obesity. Carrying too much weight, particularly in your abdomen.

Diabetes. Your chances of having metabolic syndrome increase if you had diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or with a family history of type 2 diabetes.

Other diseases. Your risk is higher if you've ever had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or sleep apnea.


A commitment to a healthy lifestyle may prevent the conditions that cause metabolic syndrome.


A healthy lifestyle includes:

  • Being active. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily.

  • Sleep. Not getting enough sleep has a negative impact on your metabolism.

  • Eating whole foods in the right combination, providing your body with the nutrients it needs. The Metabolic Balance program can determine which foods you need.

  • Maintaining a healthy weight.

  • Reducing stress. Meditate, take a yoga class, try a Reiki session, have a massage.

  • Reducing your consumption of alcohol.

  • Increasing your water intake.

  • This should be obvious, but, if you smoke cigarettes, please quit.

A balanced metabolism is a strong foundation for health and vitality!


I orignally wrote this post for Maliya Women's Wellness Centre which is located in Cochrane, Alberta https://www.maliya.ca/blog/the-skinny-on-protein




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