Metabolism is said to resemble a fire; in terms of how “big” or “small” it is. Essentially, metabolism is a general term given to describe all the activities and chemical reactions that happen in the body on a cellular level. This basically means how much work your body does and this is usually related to how many calories a person uses in a day. There are some key phrases to remember regarding metabolism.
Basal metabolism is used to describe the energy used by the body doing no physical activity at all that day. Knowing your basal metabolism is like marking a baseline on how much energy to consume. If you are a person who is desk bound to a job or generally inactive, your calorie intake should not vary too far away from your basal metabolism as you would have excess calories which will turn into fatty acids. In the same way, a construction worker who does a lot of physical work in a day requires more calories in a day when compared to his basal metabolism as he is active.
A high metabolism is a characteristic trait of an ectomorph. An ectomorph is someone who has difficulty gaining weight because of this trait. He is usually characterized as someone who has very little muscle mass and generally very lean. The high metabolism not only means that it consumes more energy which contributes to him being lean, but also that his body turn to using the glycogen in his muscle when it feels it is starved of energy, resulting in a state known as catabolism or muscle degradation.
A person with a low metabolism is used to describe an endomorph. An endomorph is someone who puts on weight easily due to the very nature of the body using the energy it gets from food slowly which results in a significant amount of calories to be stored as fatty acids. Endomorphs are also generally bigger in size and have a difficult time in burning calories which are stored as fats. Endomorphs however, are blessed with the ability to maintain anabolism or muscular productivity as the body does not “feel” that it is going through a state of starvation and thus will not turn to using the glycogen in the muscle.
Lastly, metabolism rate can be tweaked by both diet and exercise. Science has proven that when we consume food, the body will go into a state of overdrive as it has a new task of breaking down the food in the stomach and using it productively all over the body. This state will last generally for an hour before gradually falling down to suit the person’s activity level. The same state also goes for exercise but instead of breaking down food in the stomach, the body goes to work repairing the muscular damage it faces during an exercise. An endomorph can use it to his advantage by consuming small meals throughout the day which will spike the metabolism more often which will thus burn more calories. When this is paired with intense exercise, this result in a fat burning ability which will ensure that he will lose weight easily.
An ectomorph must also follow this training regime but tweak it such that he consumes more full volume meals throughout the day. This raises his calorie intake so that it is easier for him to put on weight. The reason to integrate exercise into his plan to put on weight as muscle is 3 times denser than fat which will then be translated into weight gain on the weighing machine.