Our metabolism - simply explained

For some it is optimally active, for others it is rather slow. To get him going, we follow tips for a balanced diet and emphasis is also placed on getting enough sleep. We are talking about metabolism - a term that is currently very en vogue in the nutrition and fitness industry, especially in connection with weight loss, and is often confused with digestion. But what exactly is the so-called metabolism responsible for and what role does it play in losing weight?

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No life without metabolism

An active metabolism is the basis of all vital processes in the human body, specifically all biochemical processes within a cell. The added nutrients, vitamins and minerals are broken down in the cells, converted and turned into new products. These complex processes are the task of the metabolism.

Our body as Legoland

Let us imagine that a piece of bread that we eat is a building block consisting of different Lego bricks - one for carbohydrates, one for protein, one for fat, one for minerals, etc. In this composite building block form, the individual nutrients cannot be used as valuable building material for energy production. For this reason, the building block is first broken down into its individual Lego bricks by digestion, e.g. carbohydrates become simple sugars, amino acids from proteins, etc. In this decomposed form, the intestine is able to absorb the nutrients. Digestion is therefore not the same as metabolism, but is rather a prerequisite for metabolic processes.

Via the highway of our blood circulation, every single cell of our body is supplied with the valuable nutrients alias Lego bricks in the next step. Subsequently, the actual metabolic processes take place in the cells, during which energy is produced. Thus the body is its own energy producer. The decomposition of metabolic products from complex into simple substances is known as catabolism.

However, Lego bricks are not only easy to take apart, but can also be reassembled. Thus, the body creates new, tailor-made building material which can be accessed later. The process of reassembling and assembling rather than disassembling individual materials is called anabolism.

Enzymes set the tone

To get the metabolism going, enzymes take over. Each organ forms its own enzymes with different tasks. These proteins ensure that metabolic processes, for example, start at all or proceed more quickly. How actively enzymes work is controlled by hormones, among other things.

For a feel-good weight with metabolically specific nutrition

The subject of metabolism plays an important role in weight reduction, among other things. The frustration of not losing weight, even though your fellow human beings' kilos are falling through various insider tips or famous diets while you are also following them, naturally paying attention to healthy eating and doing a lot of sport, is understandable. The reason for this is also understandable: Nutritional and sports measures are only effective if they are adapted to the individual metabolism. Each person's metabolism is as unique as a fingerprint due to certain genetic variations, so-called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP). How well nutrients are utilised or which stimulate the metabolism therefore varies from person to person. It is therefore not possible for a diet to be equally successful for every person. In addition, these SNP gene variations influence, for example, how quickly we feel hungry. Even those who supposedly do everything "right" can be confronted with obesity, the well-known yo-yo effect, chronic fatigue and digestive problems up to diseases such as asthma or cardiovascular problems. Once you know your metabolism, you know which foods provide your body with energy and are your personal metabolism booster. With this knowledge you can make healthy and lasting changes to your nutrition and sports programme.


This article has been reviewed by unserem Medical-Team for accuracy of content.

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