What Is Metabolism?

What Is Metabolism?

Sim­ply put, metab­o­lism is the body's way of con­vert­ing food into energy, and then using that energy to sus­tain and build the body. It takes a com­plex and inter­re­lated series of chem­i­cal and phys­i­cal processes to accom­plish that. A sim­ple way to under­stand your body's metab­o­lism? It works a lot like the engine of a car.

To get up and go, your body needs food, much like a car engine needs fuel. Your body's engine is your metab­o­lism. When you rev the engine—say, when exercising—you burn more fuel. And when your engine is a finely tuned metab­o­lism, your body burns its fuel most effec­tively, and with less waste. That means less fat and greater fit­ness for you.
 
Fuel­ing your sys­tem is a calo­ries in/calories out propo­si­tion. The "calo­ries in" come from food fuels: fats, car­bo­hy­drates, pro­teins. The body uses each of those fuel sources for different pur­poses, and excess calo­ries are stored in a way that is unique to each fuel source. Take fat, for instance: The body has seem­ingly unlim­ited capac­ity to store excess fats, and it does so in a decid­edly bulky way.


The "calo­ries out" are burned off through phys­i­cal activ­ity such as exer­cise, the diges­tion of food, and rest­ing metab­o­lism. The amount of calo­ries burned via phys­i­cal activ­ity is largely up to you: your activ­ity lev­els and your work­out rou­tine. The energy it takes to use the food you eat requires a nom­i­nal 10% of the total calo­ries out.

Your rest­ing metabolism—meaning the amount of energy required to do all the things a body does to stay up and run­ning, from the breath­ing you hardly even notice to the think­ing you're doing at this very moment—commands most of the calo­ries out, at 60% to 70%. Learn­ing how to max­i­mize that num­ber gets to the heart of the Korr Medical Technologies Metabolic Rate Analysis System assessment.