What is Metabolism?


Your metabolism refers to all the chemical reactions in the body that convert food into energy and keep you alive. It’s the sum of processes managing energy balance.


  • Metabolism breaks down the carbohydrates, fats, proteins and alcohol you consume into smaller units that can be used for fuel, building tissues and other functions.
  • The three components are resting metabolism from vital functions, physical activity, and the thermic effect of food digesting nutrients.
  • A faster metabolism uses more calories day which helps regulate weight but is largely genetically influenced. Thyroid function greatly impacts it as well.
  • Strength training plus protein intake helps sustain an elevated metabolism versus severe calorie reduction alone.


  • Someone maintains a fast metabolism and leanness despite overeating.
  • Interval training and weightlifting boosting metabolic rate for hours after exercise.

Related Terms

  • Caloric expenditure, energy balance, metabolic damage, REE

Common Questions

  • How can I speed up a slow metabolism? Resistance training, protein intake, and activity in general boosts metabolism.
  • Is a very fast metabolism good? Generally yes for health, but hard for some ectomorphs to gain weight.

Do Not Confuse With

  • Metabolic syndrome – Condition with insulin resistance risks, not metabolism rate.
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