Weight Loss

Metabolism and Weight Loss: Let’s Understand the Chemistry

Metabolism and Weight Loss

There is a deep connection between metabolism and weight loss.
Metabolism is nothing but the natural burning of calories in your body. Metabolism is a natural phenomenon and you need not put any effort on your part. It is happening even in your sleep. Your Metabolic rate decides the success of your weight loss efforts. As metabolism is a natural calorie-burning process, an increase in metabolic rate will help you in your efforts to reduce weight. The proper recommended level of reducing weight per week is one or two pounds and an increase in metabolism will help you to achieve this realistic level. Fluid intake is increased when metabolic rate is increased and thus helps for gradual weight loss.

Factors affecting Metabolism and Weight Loss Goals

Muscle-To-Fat Ratio
People with lean bodies have more muscles and thus tend to have a higher metabolic rate and hence, burn more calories with a relatively low amount of physical activity. On the contrary people with more body fat percentage –tend to have a ‘sluggish’ metabolism and burn far fewer kilojoules than most other tissues and organs of the body.

Age and sex
These are also important factors that affect the metabolism of a person. Men tend to lose weight quicker than women, due to less amount of fat and more amount of muscles. Similarly, young people have a higher metabolic rate and more flexibility than older people. So if you have a slow metabolism, your body will burn a lesser amount of calories per workout. This is probably why you may be failing to lose weight despite exercising and working hard in the gym. Moreover, metabolism slows with age due to loss of muscle tissue, but also due to hormonal and neurological changes.

Metabolism and Weight Loss with Right Diet.
Metabolism and Weight Loss with Right Diet

A diet low in fiber, inadequate water consumption, nutrient deficiency, more processed carbs, and leftover, and packaged food consumption; all these factors can lead to sluggish digestion and weight gain. Crash dieting, starving, or fasting – eating too few kilojoules encourages the body to slow the metabolism to conserve energy. BMR can drop by up to 15 percent and if lean muscle tissue is also lost, this further reduces BMR.

No Exercise
Not exercising causes the fat in your body to be stored instead of being burned for energy. The fat will eventually build up and cause your metabolism to be slow. Always remember hard-working muscles need plenty of energy to burn. Regular exercise increases muscle mass and teaches the body to burn kilojoules at a faster rate, even when at rest.

Hormonal and nervous controls
BMR is controlled by the nervous and hormonal systems. Hormonal imbalances can influence how quickly or slowly the body burns kilojoules.

Read: Endocrine Weight Loss: Understanding Hormones

Dietary deficiencies
for example, a diet low in iodine reduces thyroid function and slows the metabolism.

Read: If You are Feeling Fatigued, Sluggish, Low in Energy | Thyroid

Environmental temperature
If the temperature is very low or very high, the body has to work harder to maintain its normal body temperature, which increases the BMR.

Thermic effect of food
Your BMR rises after you eat because you use energy to eat, digest and metabolize the food you have just eaten. The rise occurs soon after you start eating, and peaks two to three hours later.
This rise in the BMR can range between two percent and 30 percent, depending on the size of the meal and the types of foods eaten.

Different foods raise BMR by differing amounts. For example:

  • Fats raise the BMR by 0–5 percent.
  • Carbohydrates raise the BMR by 5–10 percent.
  • Proteins raise the BMR by 20–30 percent.
  • Hot spicy foods (for example, foods containing chili, horseradish, and mustard) can have a significant thermic effect.

Understanding BMR & TDEE Calculator – What is the difference?

Physical Activity Impact
During strenuous or vigorous physical activity, our muscles may burn through as much as 3,000 kJ per hour. Energy used during exercise is the only form of energy expenditure that we have any control over.
It’s important for your overall health that you limit your time being sedentary (sitting or lounging around) and makes sure you get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day. For a vigorous exercise regime, you must do 15min HIIT workout along with 30min of strength training workout in your daily regime.

Boost Your Metabolism

Speed up your Metabolism with Ayurveda wisdom. Simple tips and herbal support can boost your metabolism, improve your digestion and immune system and thus help in a healthy weight loss.

Drink Plenty of Water: Water is the key to boosting metabolism because it is required in a number of biochemical processes inside the body. Drink room temperature or lukewarm water sip by sip throughout the day. Avoid drinking water with meals. Drink 30min before or after the meals.

Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin D: Foods like fatty fish, orange juice, soy products, mushrooms, and egg yolks. A deficiency of vitamin D may result in excessive production of the hormone ghrelin which causes frequent hunger pangs. Also, make a conscious effort to move out in open surroundings and take sunlight for some time.

Eat Foods Rich In Omega-3: Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can increase levels of fat-burning enzymes in your body and can boost metabolism significantly.

Flaxseeds Fire Up Metabolism Burn Body Fat

Eat High-Protein Foods: Experts recommend protein-rich foods to people who work out. This is because proteins have a high thermic effect and hence, the body burns more fat to digest proteins.

15 Protein Rich Veg Foods

Discipline Your Eating Time: Your body works best on a schedule! If you eat at the same time every day your body will begin to prepare by increasing your enzymes before you even eat! Eating at scheduled intervals maintains a stable blood sugar level and avoids cravings. 

Eat Sustainable Diet: What you eat, your body will become attuned to. Your gut bacteria will adjust to the foods you eat regularly. That’s why switching to extreme diets can be hard on the body. By stabilizing what you eat, your body can more easily recognize and break it down effectively.

Loosen the lymph. Sipping hot water throughout the day helps loosen and detoxify the lymphatic system, which tends to get sluggish during the winter months. Make tea with herbs/spices, and allow them to steep for at least 15 minutes before straining the water and drinking it sip by sip. Some of the digestive booster spices: are cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, ginger, black peppercorns, and cardamom.

Try Healthy Gut-Friendly Teas, Boost Your Immune System

Get some herbal support. Trikatu and Triphala are Ayurvedic herbal formulas widely known for boosting metabolism, stimulating digestion, and cleaning out the body. You can find them online. 

Include more Whole grains & Lentils. It takes an extra effort for your digestive system to break down whole grains, so you burn more calories when you eat them. Make sure to select foods with real whole grains, not processed foods. Also, lentils bolster metabolism. They are an excellent source of iron and protein.



Hi, I'm Pallavi, a holistic health geek with a passion for health, herbalism, natural remedies, as well as whole-food and plant-based lifestyles. I aim to inspire and help improve your health and longevity. Through the power of nutrition and lifestyle, with an evidence-based approach, I believe you can achieve your health and wellness goals.
I am a certified Ayurveda and Modern Health Nutrition coach.

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