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Questions about metabolism

Is it true that the maxim "eat less and exercise more" will help pretty much anyone lose weight? Is it physically harder for some people than for others? What does it mean for a human to have "a high metabolism"? The term is associated in my mind with people who can eat lots of calories without gaining weight. The implication seems to be that such a person burns more calories for the same activity level than others do. Why would this be the case? Is their resting core temperature higher? Are their muscles less efficient? Is it possible that their intestines simply absorb fewer of the calories in the first place, letting the rest pass through? Would that be the assumption under Occam's Razor?

Please discuss.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 25th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
For me, it was crucial to have support from the people around me, in particular: my wife joining me in the same program (eating healthy), and my colleagues as well (going to the gym together; i.e. group pressure).

I know people who stuff themselves to the brim, never exercise, and stay thin nonetheless. The reverse does not occur: there are no fat people with a 1200kcal daily intake (save freak medical conditions, like thyroid malfunctions). It nearly follows logically that at-rest metabolism differs from individual to individual.

I've been told that regular exercise increases the at-rest metabolism, but don't understand the mechanism behind that, or even know whether it's true. It does motivate me to keep on exercising.

Of a fairly strict program of healthy food (eat little; avoid meat) and regular exercise (2 hours a week at 150 bpm heart rate) I was able to lose 20% of my weight. I'm pretty sure I could lose another 10% if I kept to it more diligently. Then, still, I'd be significantly overweight.

Occam applied: I like to think one's weight over time is the integral over time of calorie intake minus calories burnt. Calorie intake seems rather tied to food intake (if a thing like "bad absorption" existed, there'd be a test for it, not?), so the difference is easiest explained by calories burnt. I postulate at-rest metabolism differs from person to person based on genetic factors.
Dec. 2nd, 2009 12:42 am (UTC)
One answer: brown fat
Recent studies have shown genetic variability in the amount of brown fat found in adults. Brown fat burns calories faster than "regular" fat. For background information, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_adipose_tissue
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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