Understand the Three Components for Metabolism

The term metabolism refers to the way your body processes and utilizes the food you eat, not to the amount of time required to do so. In other words, it’s not how fast you metabolize food, but how efficiently you convert food into energy. The process of metabolism consists of the following three components:

  1. Basal metabolism: 60 to 65 percent of the calories you eat daily provide the basic energy you need to stay alive – breathing, circulating blood, organ functioning, adjusting hormonal levels, growing and repairing cells, and so on. Even if you lie on your sofa all day, your body will burn these calories to support basic body functions. How many and how efficiently you burn calories to meet these needs is called your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
  2. Physical activity: 25 percent of your calories support movement and physical activity. The frequency and intensity of physical activity can positively or negatively affect this aspect.
  3. Food processing: 10 percent of calories are expended ingesting, digesting, absorbing, transporting, and storing your caloric intake. This is called the thermic effect, or the energy your body expends processing the food you eat. For example, if you eat 2,000 calories a day, approximately 10 percent, or 200 calories, will be used eating and digesting your food.

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