Metab­o­lism 101

The metabolism's work of turn­ing food into energy and then using that energy to oper­ate the body and to bounce back from every­day wear and tear is quite a process. Through our choices and actions, we can make that process more effi­cient or less so.

First, the process: After we've eaten, the body uses oxy­gen to con­vert food into energy. The nutri­ents pro­vid­ing that energy are either used to fuel the body, or they're stored as fat. The byprod­uct, or waste, from con­vert­ing food into energy is car­bon diox­ide.

Here's how the body uses each of the main nutri­ents from the foods we eat:

  • Car­bo­hy­drates are gen­er­ally the body's main source of energy. Carbs are bro­ken down into sug­ars and stored in mus­cle cells as glyco­gen. The body can only store so many carbs, which have 4 calo­ries per gram.

  • Pro­teins are used to build and main­tain body tis­sues and are rarely used as energy. Like carbs, only so much pro­tein can be stored. Pro­tein also has 4 calo­ries per gram.

  • Fat is the most energy-dense of the nutri­ents at 9 calo­ries per gram, mak­ing it the most effi­cient source of fuel. Fat is also a long-term fuel reserve that guards against star­va­tion. Sounds good, so what gives fat its bad rap? The body has a seem­ingly unlim­ited capac­ity to store it. And it's not only fat that makes us fat: When the body is maxed out on other nutri­ents, espe­cially carbs, those get stored as fat, too.

Which brings us to effi­ciency, and back to the car engine metaphor: A car that's throw­ing off a lot of exhaust is wast­ing its fuel and get­ting ter­ri­ble gas mileage. It may chug along and need fre­quent repair, and that can waste a lot of time and money. That's a fairly rea­son­able sketch of what hap­pens to our bod­ies, too.

Through proper diet, good lifestyle habits, and healthy exer­cise, we can teach the body to burn fuel with greater effi­ciency. At its most effi­cient, the body uses greater amounts of oxy­gen to con­vert more of our food into usable fuel (a bonus: the fat burns first!). Less car­bon diox­ide is pro­duced as waste, and less of our fuel ends up stored as fat (dou­ble bonus!!).

Assess­ing your metab­o­lism puts the info you need for healthy exer­cise and opti­mal nutri­tion right at your fingertips.

The Impor­tance of Your RESTING Metabolism

Your rest­ing meta­bolic rate (RMR) is one of the eas­i­est mea­sure­ments to come by dur­ing a Korr Medical Technologies Metabolic Rate Analysis System Assess­ment. It's also one of the most impor­tant. Your RMR is the num­ber that comes from sit­ting in that comfy chair, breath­ing, and tak­ing it easy. What it reveals is the num­ber of calo­ries your body requires to stay alive.

What's the big deal about know­ing how many calo­ries your body burns as it goes through its daily work of sleep­ing, eat­ing, breath­ing, and so on? Con­sider this: Let's say your RMR is 1300 calo­ries. If we take into account your over­all lifestyle expen­di­ture, we fig­ure out your body needs 1690 calo­ries to main­tain its weight. If you eat 1500 calo­ries, and you burn 500 dur­ing a work­out, you've got 1000 calo­ries avail­able for your body to do its thing—and that's 300 fewer than your RMR. While that deficit may sound like the key to los­ing weight, it's actu­ally a short, straight route to killing your metabolism.

When your caloric bal­ance drops below your RMR, your body goes into star­va­tion mode, slowly burn­ing calorie-hungry mus­cle mass while cling­ing to calorie-dense fat tis­sue. You may lose some weight at first, but in the not-too-long run, you'll have trained your body to burn calo­ries very, very slowly. Achiev­ing your healthy weight will get tougher and tougher to do.

The key to los­ing weight safely, effec­tively, and quickly is to eat enough nutrient-rich foods to stay above your RMR, but below your total daily caloric needs.

Your RMR also iden­ti­fies what fuel your body's engine is tuned to burn. For instance, if your body burns a lot of sugar while you're at ease, that's cer­tainly the fuel your body will turn to when it's doing the harder work of work­ing out. By putting your New Leaf meta­bolic assess­ment results to work, you can train your body to burn more fat, more often—both at work and at rest.

Why Metab­o­lism Matters...

Do you want to feel bet­ter in your own skin? Are you eager to fit into your clothes the way you once did—or in the way you've always hoped you might? Is it time to leave behind a plateau and attain the next level of ath­letic performance?

The bottom-line rel­e­vance of under­stand­ing your metab­o­lism is this: Your metab­o­lism is the most pow­er­ful tool you have for smartly and effec­tively train­ing your body to achieve your health and fit­ness goals in the timeli­est way possible.

A Korr Medical Technologies Metabolic Rate Analysis System Assessment can help you chart the fastest course to suc­cess. You've heard the advice to "work smarter, not harder" time and again. With a meta­bolic assess­ment, you'll finally have a tool that makes that advice mean­ing­ful. An exercise pro­gram with a proper eating plan based on your meta­bolic assess­ment and per­son­al­ized to meet your body's pre­cise needs will help you spend less time in the gymand more time enjoy­ing a health­ier life.