Metabolism is the rate at which your body uses energy and expends calories. It involves a series of biochemical processes through which your body converts food into fuel for the cells in your body. So it stands to reason that if you speed up your metabolism, weight loss will be easier, right? The reality is not that simple.
The biggest factor in whether someone gains or loses weight is not metabolism. Your weight loss primarily hinges on your body's daily energy balance — how many calories you are taking in every day vs. how many you are expending.
"What determines whether you're gaining or losing weight is whether you're eating more calories than you're burning," says Michael Rosenbaum, MD, associate professor of clinical pediatrics and clinical medicine at Columbia University Medical College in New York. "Burning more calories through exercise will allow you to eat more or lose more weight."
Exercise and diet boost your resting metabolic rate, which is the rate at which your body burns calories every day just through the process of staying alive. By boosting your metabolism, you increase the amount of calories you burn during rest or normal activity, which aids in your weight loss. Resting metabolic rate also plays a large role in keeping lost weight off. But ultimately exercise and diet are what determine how much you weigh.
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