The term ‘metabolism’ is often referenced to, and it is generally associated with fitness. Let’s shed some light on this concept and on the processes it is linked to, thanks to the contribution of Professor Daniela Lucini, Supervisor of the Section of Exercise Medicine and Functional Diseases at Humanitas.

Metabolism is the set of biochemical processes our body needs to produce energy from the elements we introduce with your diet. Our body receives the nutrients and uses them according to the demand.

The introduction of food and energy consumption are the two arms of the scale. This delicate, complex balance is also affected by other factors, such as:

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Lifestyle
  • Physical activity
  • Body Shape

Metabolism is also related to weight, to be intended in terms of muscular mass. For example, an obese person weights a lot, but they may consume less than a normal-weight person because their muscular mass is scarce, even though they have a huge fat reserve”, the professor explains.

Basal Metabolism

Basal metabolism is the energy we need to survive, while metabolism, in general, varies according to the physical activities we engage in.

In sum, the more we move, the more energy we need. Basal metabolism is different from person to person, and also depends on their training level and their muscles. For instance, well-trained people have a higher metabolic rate and, while resting, they consume more than inactive people. This happens for two reasons. Trained people have a greater muscle mass. Thus, they require more energy, and the training they undergo keeps the basal metabolism a bit more active”, the specialist points out.

How can you Change your Metabolism?

“You should intervene on your diet and energy consumption. Your strategy will depend on your clinical goals. Some people only need to lose weight, while others have to enhance their bodily structure. Ideally, your body should have the right balance of muscles and fat reserve.

In general, as many studies have shown, your diet should be healthy, right for you and balanced. In particular, you should eat the right quantity of quality carbohydrates (all-bran cereals are better than white flour and sugars), fruit and vegetables.

In fact, our metabolism works based on what we eat. If we do not introduce enough proteins but we indulge in carbohydrates and fats, we won’t be able to maintain our muscles. If so, the metabolism will nevertheless transform excess fat into bodily fat.

It’s best to perform aerobic physical activities such as running or walking, and most importantly by doing so constantly. In fact, continuity is the most important factor on metabolic modulation, so it’s better to do something every day than everything occasionally”, Professor Lucini recommends.