How Metabolism Really Works — And How It Impacts Weight Loss

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Posted: March 10th, 2020
Metabolism Weight Loss

Here’s everything you need to know about metabolism, including how it affects your weight loss journey, and how bariatric surgery can help.

If you’ve ever struggled with your weight, you know that obesity is a complex issue with many physical, emotional, and genetic factors at play. Some people overeat when they’re feeling stressed or anxious, while others hit the drive-thru and skip an evening workout at the end of a busy workday. No matter the cause, losing weight is challenging.  

Metabolism is another factor that can impact your weight loss journey, but there’s still a lot of confusion about what that term really means. So, how does metabolism actually work? Is your metabolic rate set for life? Here’s what you need to know about metabolism and weight loss.

Metabolism Explained

Metabolism is a set of processes your body uses to convert food into fat-burning energy. Your metabolic rate is the amount of energy needed to function throughout the day, which is different for every person. For example, men typically have higher metabolisms and burn more calories than women because they have less body fat and more muscle. Also, some people are genetically predisposed to have faster metabolisms.

What does your metabolism have to do with your weight? If you have a fast metabolism, that means your body naturally burns off more calories than other people’s might and you will likely find it easier to lose weight. If your metabolism is slow, however, you’ll find it harder to shed stubborn pounds.

There’s one last twist when it comes to weight loss and your metabolism. If you lose a lot of weight quickly, your metabolism will slow down because a smaller body takes less energy to function. Essentially, your body notices that it doesn’t need to work as hard and your metabolism dips a little.

Even though your metabolism is genetically determined at the most basic level, that doesn’t mean it’s set for life or that you’re fighting a losing battle. Bariatric surgery, for instance, is a very effective way to jumpstart a sluggish metabolism.  

How Bariatric Surgery Impacts Metabolism

Managing a slower metabolism after weight loss might seem like a challenge, but remember that weight loss surgery puts your body in a better position to kick that metabolism back up again. Once your stomach is smaller, you’ll feel fuller after consuming less food, so you won’t have to worry as much about overeating. Surgery also changes how and where in your digestive tract you absorb nutrients from food, which gives your metabolism more clean fuel to convert into energy.

Physical exercise is another excellent way to speed up your metabolism. Your body uses a lot more energy to maintain lean muscles than it does to maintain fat, which means you’ll burn more calories as you work out. What’s more, your metabolism stays revved up long after your workout has ended. For instance, a high-energy spin class could keep you burning fat for two days! Weight loss surgery also takes pressure off of your joints and makes it easier to maintain an exercise routine, which helps you get strong and keep losing weight long-term.   

Ready to Lose Weight and Keep It Off? 

Contact the bariatric surgery professionals at Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors to get started on your weight loss journey today! Our procedures, from gastric bypass to gastric sleeve, can help speed up your metabolism and jumpstart your weight loss.