Metabolism refers to the essential chemical reactions which take place in the body. The primary function of metabolism is to create and utilise energy. There are two different metabolisms, namely, anabolism and catabolism. For the body to function normally, these two must be in balance. Nutrition, body weight, and glucose levels all affect metabolism. Other factors influencing metabolism include age, gender, genetics, environmental factors, etc.
Nutrition plays a significant role as metabolic pathways require nutrients to create energy. Nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, fats, etc., eventually break down into glucose.
Glucose gets converted into energy for the cells. Suppose there is excess glucose after breaking down the food, the liver stores it as glycogen. It can get converted into glucose during starvation or periods of low glucose. In individuals with diabetes, there is more glucose because of problems with insulin production. Therefore, glucose levels affect the metabolism of the body. Especially with diabetes, the body’s regular metabolism gets impaired.
Body Weight and Metabolic Health
The body weight of an individual also affects metabolism. The greater the body weight, the more energy is required. If a person is obese, then it can lead to metabolic syndrome. These individuals have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Being physically active combined with a well-balanced diet can contribute to improved metabolism. And an enhanced metabolism leads to better metabolic health.
A person’s metabolic health significantly impacts their quality of life. As a result, being metabolically healthy means having a low risk of developing metabolic illnesses and overall good health. One of the best ways to assess one’s metabolic health is to look at a blood test that includes complete metabolic panel testing. Following that, a consultation with one of the HealthifyPro coaches can help you develop a diet and activity plan tailored to your specific health needs.
A solution such as HealthifyPRO 2.0 by HealthifyMe can change your outlook on health. Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of diseases. As a result, one diet will not be beneficial to everyone. Instead, food selection will become much more practical after consulting with a nutritionist from the HealthifyMe team.
The HealthifyMe Note
A good metabolism aids in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and ensures a longer lifespan. Metabolism is the connecting bridge between you and your relationship with food. Maintaining optimal metabolism is the first step toward an active lifestyle. There is no one solution to metabolic health, as metabolic health is different for each. However, there are several ways in which one can improve their metabolic health. As a first step, you need to alter your diet and workout routine, and your metabolic health will follow.
Factors Affecting Metabolism
- Diet: Foods consumed have a vital influence on metabolism.
- Body size: More energy is required if a person is heavier or has more muscles. Being overweight affects metabolism.
- Physical activity: People who work out regularly need more energy to function.
- Glucose levels: If blood glucose levels are higher or lower than usual, metabolic problems will occur.
- Age: As a person gets older, the metabolic rate usually decreases.
- Gender: Women have a slower metabolism than men.
- Genetics: Some might inherit a slow metabolism, while others inherit a fast one.
- Hormones: A person’s metabolism will be affected if they have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
It is possible to control body size, physical activity, diet, and glucose levels with self-research and professional help. However, long-term blood sugar imbalances causing metabolic problems require medical assistance.
How Can HealthifyMe Aid in Measuring Metabolic Activities of the Body?
HealthifyMe, as we know, is India’s leading digital health platform with a wide-user base. Their innovative and practical offering can help improve one’s metabolic health. That is, of course, the reason for their wide popularity. HealthifyPro and its improved version, HealthifyPro 2.0, comes with several amazing features like:
- Calorie Counter, to measure the calorie and nutritional value of the food you consume
- Water tracker
- BIOS, a continuous glucose monitor
- Smart Scale, the all-in-one weight metrics tracking device
- Metabolic Panel testing, an 80+ parameters diagnostic test, etc.
- Personalised one-on-one consultation with health and fitness coaches
They work together to help you achieve better health.
You will also have your personal health and fitness coach and AI-backed responses from Ria, who will instruct you at every step. Every user gets to interact with their coaches, who regularly track their metabolic scores and advise them on improving their metabolic health. They will be as invested as you are in improving your health and will work tirelessly to help you achieve enhanced metabolic health.
How one looks at obesity is new and revolutionary using digital health platforms and apps. Previously, only prediabetic or diabetic patients used glucose monitors to manage their disease to avoid further complications. They may even follow the same diet plan that was said to be healthy for anyone with diabetes or living at risk of contracting it.
How Does It work?
With HealthifyPRO 2.0, the approach has changed. The new CGM device from BIOS has made glucose tracking so much easier. It has also proved that the rise and fall of blood glucose levels happen differently for different people.
A particular food item can cause a spike in blood sugar levels in one person, while it may not cause any spikes in another. This situation can happen due to several factors, including age, stress, behavioural patterns, sleep cycles, workout quality and even genetics. So following an already set diet plan may be helpful for one person, but it may not be for another. With BIOS and the aid of health coaches, you can understand what foods work for you, what does not, what you are doing wrong, how much you should exercise, etc.
Suppose everyone, irrespective of whether one has diabetes or not, starts using the device. In that case, it can drastically reduce the number of people who may get diagnosed with diabetes as BIOS, personal coaches, and Ria can help you develop your healthy diet plan and routine. A healthy lifestyle, in turn, will help improve one’s metabolism and metabolic health.
A smart scale that breaks down and measures body weight into 12 parameters lets you lose the right kind of weight. The Metabolic Panel measures and analyses every metabolic activity in your body. Therefore, it helps you and your coach understand whether any of them are not working as they should be. All these devices, therefore, have a positive impact on your metabolism. Thus HealthifyMe is your best option to help you improve your metabolic health.
Metabolism and Nutrition
When food gets consumed, it provides the body with essential nutrients it cannot produce by itself. Some vital nutrients are carbohydrates (fibre and sugar), proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Nutrition refers to getting essential nutrients from food. Metabolism is the process by which they convert these nutrients into energy. Therefore, it is vital to consume a well-balanced diet to ensure a good metabolism. A well-balanced diet includes staple food like rice, maise or wheat, fruits, vegetables, legumes such as peanuts, black beans, kidney beans and fish, meat, egg, or dairy products.
There are over 40 nutrients, but we can categorise them into seven major types. Some foods which are the primary source of these nutrients are below.
- Carbohydrate is an essential energy source for the body. We can get them from rice, root vegetables, and dairy products.
- Proteins play a vital role in the functioning of the cells, repairing the damaged tissues and maintaining good ones. We can find it in fish, meat, and dairy products like milk, yoghurt, cheese, and eggs.
- Fat is also an energy source. It helps in protecting organs from shock (‘cushioning’) and prevents heat loss in cold temperatures. We can find this in oils, nuts, avocados, seeds, fish, seafood, and meats.
- Vitamins: 13 different vitamins play different roles, e.g., vitamin B12 is essential for metabolism. We can find these in fruits, vegetables and meat, etc.
- Minerals: These help to maintain fluid balance and muscle health and also pass on nerve impulses. We can find these in dry fruits, vegetables, cereals, bread, and fish.
- Dietary fibre aids in maintaining blood sugar levels and gastrointestinal/digestive health. We can find it in cereals, fruits, seeds, and vegetables.
- Water: A study found that water makes up 75% of body weight in infants. It shows that water is essential to the human body. It involves transporting nutrients, removing waste, and maintaining body temperature and fluids.
Fast Foods and Their Effect on Metabolism
Fast foods are processed foods manufactured quickly, such as burgers, pizzas, ice cream, french fries, fried chicken, and so on. Junk foods have very low nutritional value. These foods and drinks might also have high sugar content in them.
A study found that consuming fast foods like hamburgers, sausages, beef, and fried potatoes increased the occurrence of metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents. In addition, a study conducted over 15 years found that eating fast food more than twice a week increased body weight by about 4.5 kg and increased the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. These studies highlight the importance of consuming a well-balanced diet and its role in preventing metabolic problems.
Fast foods are usually known to contain fructose and artificial sweeteners. Fructose is a component of sucrose, a type of table sugar. This fructose is not as easily digestible as glucose. It causes digestive problems and interferes with your body’s metabolic reactions. Therefore, healthy eating is essential for good health. Another factor is knowing what nutrients one needs for good health. Consulting a nutritionist to learn more about one’s dietary requirements will have vast long-term health benefits. It is especially true if a person experiences nutrient deficiencies, causing symptoms like tiredness, hair loss, bleeding in gums, ulcers in the mouth, and so on.
Fried or fast foods contain high levels of trans fatty acids. These trans fatty acids increase the level of LDL (low-density lipoproteins) in your body. LDL is popularly known as bad cholesterol, whereas HDL is known as good cholesterol. LDL transports the fats in the liver to different body parts, leading to increased weight and increased chances of coronary heart disease. Fats can get deposited in various parts of your heart; arteries, veins, and chambers. Thus, health professionals advise consuming foods that can help boost HDL. Antioxidant-rich foods, like nuts, berries, salmon, olive oil, sardines, and mackerel, have been found to raise HDL levels and protect cells from damage. The liver will detoxify the fats leading to a healthy heart. Because each person is unique, you need guidance to understand which food is perfect for you. HealthifyMe provides this as customised meals and workout plans.
Metabolism and Obesity
An individual with a BMI ranging above 25 is considered overweight, and the ones with a BMI higher than 30 are considered obese. Obesity is caused by an increased amount of energy intake and decreased amount of energy usage. A sedentary lifestyle and decreased physical activity can lead to obesity. Obesity might lead to metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic disorders occur when there is a disturbance to the body’s metabolism and metabolic health, e.g., diabetes, Gaucher’s disease, phenylketonuria, etc. A metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that may lead to heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. These include high blood pressure, increased glucose levels, excessive fat around the waist, high cholesterol, etc.
Individuals with just one condition do not necessarily have metabolic syndrome. However, having one condition increases the likelihood of having another. Therefore, it is difficult to estimate the exact number of people with metabolic syndrome. However, one study suggests this syndrome is about three times more common than diabetes. Therefore, metabolic syndrome may be present in around one-quarter (25%) of the world’s population.
One size fits all technique doesn’t work for individuals suffering from metabolic syndrome. It is because obese and overweight people may have different needs and body types. Therefore, they require specific advice on how to lose weight. We can get reliable advice from HealthifyMe because the nutritionists and the AI-enabled technology map your metabolic health. As a result, you get a customised plan, complete with food, activity levels, food combinations to prevent blood glucose spikes and a comprehensive report on your metabolic health. It gets reviewed regularly. With the correct lifestyle modifications, it is possible to improve your metabolic health.
Metabolism and Physical Activity
The human body performs various functions like breathing, respiration, processing nutrients, blood circulation, etc., even while resting. The body requires energy to accomplish this. Basal metabolic rate is the number of calories the body needs to carry out these basic functions. Since everyone is different in terms of their weight, height, sex, age, and physical activity level, the BMR also varies. Therefore, knowing the BMR to maintain, lose, or gain weight is crucial.
Thermic Effect of Food
The thermogenesis or thermic effect of food and physical activity influences how many calories get burned. Thermogenesis refers to the energy spent while consuming, absorbing, transporting, and storing the nutrients from food. These processes also require energy. About 10% of the energy from the food eaten will be spent on thermogenesis. Calories burn in everyday activities like climbing the stairs or walking from room to room. Around 100 to 800 calories get used for this purpose. It is another reason why having an active lifestyle is critical. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to numerous metabolic and digestive issues.
Calories and Exercise
When more calories get consumed than burnt, there is weight gain. Aerobic exercises like swimming or walking for about 30 minutes as part of the daily exercise routine can help burn extra calories. In addition, strength training exercises might help build muscle. Some strength training exercises include lifting weights, pushing, pulling, or crunches. It is beneficial because muscles require more energy and can burn more calories.
Physical activity is more effective when combined with a proper diet. However, it is easy to cause damage by not eating enough calories required for the body’s basic functioning. When this gets combined with intense exercise, it will cause metabolic problems. Physical injuries like hurting the back or knee injuries are common if workouts are improper. Therefore, consulting experts would be the best solution to losing weight healthily and safely. They can provide specific exercises and diets based on personalised needs.
Metabolism and Glucose Levels
Blood glucose levels vary before and after eating food. The main reason is that after eating, the nutrients from food get broken down by the body and converted into glucose. This glucose spreads in the bloodstream, and the pancreas releases insulin. The glucose in the blood is allowed into the cells with the help of insulin. Once within the cells, glucose gets converted into energy.
Insulin also helps to store the excess glucose as glycogen in the liver and muscles for later use. This glycogen gets used to produce energy when there is less glucose. Therefore, an insulin problem might cause conditions like hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.
In every individual, the blood sugar level increases after eating a meal. In a healthy individual, insulin ensures that the blood glucose levels return to normal after about 2 hours. However, in individuals with diabetes, this doesn’t happen. Insulin might not be adequate, or their bodies cannot use insulin properly. As a result, their blood glucose level is too high.
In individuals with prediabetes, the blood sugar level remains high for 2 hours after eating. But glucose levels might be normal during fasting or on an empty stomach. During fasting, the blood glucose levels of a person without diabetes can range from 70-100mg/dL. It is prediabetes if it is between 100 and 125 mg/dL. If it is higher than this, the person has diabetes.
Studies estimated that about 77 million people in India might have diabetes, and over 57% of these individuals remain undiagnosed. Another study found that people with type 2 diabetes did not know enough about the disease, leading to poor management. According to these studies, the number of diabetics is growing, but their knowledge of the disease is lacking. Therefore, more awareness is required about all aspects of the management of diabetes. It includes dietary management and physical exercise routines.
Normal Levels of Glucose
Glucose and oxygen work in unison to supply energy to all brain parts. Thus, any fluctuation in their levels will severely affect the brain. The standard levels during different circumstances are as follows.
- Blood glucose level after fasting overnight: 70-110 mg/dl
- Post-prandial (after meal) blood glucose level: equal to or over 140 mg/dl
- Random blood glucose level: 70-140 mg/dl
Many studies highlight the importance of a proper diet and exercise for people with diabetes. For instance, a study found that eating a lot of red meat (beef, pork, etc.), sweets, and fried foods leads to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, another study found that eating vegetables might protect against type 2 diabetes.
Diabetic individuals should aim to get half of their calories from carbohydrates. For example, if the total calories consumed per day is 2000, then around 900-1000 calories can come from carbohydrates. It is a process called carbs counting, which helps in the dietary management of diabetes.
A review of several studies concluded that people with diabetes need to know about diet to manage their disease and prevent complications. Researchers suggest that through proper diet, one can reduce the complications that might affect different organs. Therefore, a person with diabetes needs to consult their physician or a nutritionist about a good diet.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring
If diabetes persists, it can cause other diseases like stroke, heart disease, kidney problems, eye damage, nerve disease, etc. Therefore, people with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 25 or more, aged 45 or more, those with prediabetes, and women with gestational diabetes must check for diabetes using blood glucose tests.
Continuous glucose monitoring or CGM is a new, state-of-the-art technology that helps to monitor glucose levels continuously. People can use it to track glucose changes before and after eating food or while exercising. It will help make lifestyle and dietary changes to tackle diabetes. The information obtained from CGM can prevent diabetes and obesity.
The HealthifyMe Note
You can attach the continuous glucose monitor sensor to your skin, usually on the skin of your belly or arms. This sensor is responsible for continuously measuring your blood glucose levels. These sensors will also have a transmitter that transmits the readings to the monitor of the CGM you are using or your mobile phone. Usually, you can improve your metabolic health easily. You can do it by eating right and incorporating an active daily lifestyle.
It is essential to be metabolically healthy to avoid any lifestyle diseases that can lead to other severe conditions in the future. However, measuring and evaluating our metabolic health can be complex and complicated. But now, with digital health platforms like HealthifyMe and HealthifyPRO 2.0, you can understand if you are metabolically healthy and can also improve your metabolism. As a result, you can improve all the metabolic activities of your body, can achieve weight loss, reduce and even wipe out any chances of getting diabetes and similar conditions, etc.