What is metabolism? How does anabolism and catabolism affect body weight?

Metabolism – the totality of biochemical processes that occur in any living organism – including in the human body – and are aimed at providing vital activity. These biochemical processes allow us to grow, multiply, heal wounds and adapt to changing environmental conditions.

Most people use the term "metabolism" incorrectly, denoting either anabolism or catabolism.

The word "metabolism" comes from the noun Greek "metabole", meaning "change", and the Greek verb "metaballein", which in literal translation means "change."

Anabolism is the creation of matter – a sequence of chemical reactions that build or synthesize molecules from smaller components. Typically, anabolic reactions are accompanied by energy consumption.

Catabolism is called the destruction of matter – a series of reactions of chemical decomposition, during which large molecules are split into smaller fragments. As a rule, the process proceeds with the release of energy.

Anabolism creates matter and consumes energy, synthesizing large substances from small components with energy absorption during biochemical processes. Anabolism, or biosynthesis, allows the body to create new cells and maintain the homeostasis of all tissues.

The body uses simple molecules to create more complex molecules. Similarly, the builder will use simple building materials, such as bricks, to erect a building. Anabolic reactions taking place in our body use several simple substances and molecules for the production (synthesis) of a huge variety of end products. Growth and mineralization of bones, a set of muscle mass – examples of anabolism.

In the course of anabolic processes, polymers are formed from monomers. A polymer is a large molecule with a complex structure, consisting of many miniature molecules that are similar to each other. These small molecules are called monomers. For example: amino acids that are simple molecules (monomers) form proteins in the course of a series of anabolic chemical reactions, which are large molecules with a complex three-dimensional structure (polymer).

The main anabolic hormones are:

  • Growth hormone is a hormone synthesized in the pituitary gland. Growth hormone stimulates the secretion of liver hormone somatomedin by the liver cells, which activates growth processes.

Catabolism destroys matter and gives us energy. During catabolism, large molecular complexes break down into small molecules, and this process is accompanied by the release of energy. Catabolism provides our body with energy, which is necessary for any physical activity – from the cellular level to the movements of the entire body.

Catabolic chemical reactions in living cells destroy large polymers up to simple monomers from which they are formed. For example:

  • Polysaccharides decompose into monosaccharides. Complex carbohydrates such as starch, glycogen and cellulose are polysaccharides. Simple carbohydrates, in particular, glucose, ribose and fructose – are monosaccharides.

When we eat, our body destroys organic compounds. This decay process is accompanied by the release of energy, which is stored in the body in the chemical bonds of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules.

The main catabolic hormones are:

  • Cortisol is also known as a "stress hormone", as it is involved in a response to stress and anxiety. The hormone is produced by the adrenal cortex, which is part of the adrenal gland. Cortisol raises blood pressure and blood sugar, and also suppresses the immune response.

The energy stored in ATP is a fuel for anabolic reactions. Catabolism generates the energy that anabolism uses to synthesize hormones, enzymes, sugars and other substances necessary for cell growth, reproduction and tissue regeneration.

If catabolism produces more energy than anabolism requires, an excess of energy is formed. The human body stores this excess energy in the form of fat or glycogen.

Fatty tissue is relatively inactive in comparison with muscles, tissues of internal organs and other systems of our body. Because of the relatively low activity, fat cells use very little energy to provide vital activity in comparison with other types of cells.

In simple terms, the mass of our body is equal to the result of "catabolism minus anabolism." In other words, the amount of energy produced in our body (catabolism) minus the amount of energy that our body consumes (anabolism).

Excess energy is accumulated in the form of fat or glycogen (in the form of carbohydrates energy is stored mainly in the liver and muscle tissue).

When a single gram of fat is split, 9 kcal is released, and when protein or carbohydrate is split, 4 kcal.

Although excess weight is most often the result of the body's accumulation of energy in the form of fat due to its excess, sometimes the metabolism is affected by hormonal disorders or underlying chronic diseases.

There is an opinion that thin people are distinguished by "accelerated metabolism", while people with excess weight or obesity suffer from "slow metabolism". In fact, chronic diseases such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid activity) are not the main cause of obesity. According to the UK State Health Service, weight gain is mainly related to energy imbalance.

If you are suffering from excess weight or obesity, it is advisable to undergo a medical examination and make sure that the set of mass is not caused by endocrine or somatic pathology.

Cardinally change the level of basal metabolism – the intensity of metabolism at rest – we can not. Long-term strategies, such as a set of muscle mass, can ultimately give the desired result. However, determining the energy needs of the body with the subsequent modification of the lifestyle in accordance with these needs will help you to reduce body mass much faster.

Body weight and its composition. The higher the body weight, the higher the need for calories. It is also true that people with a high ratio of muscles to adipose tissue need calories more than individuals with a similar total mass, but with a lower percentage of muscle tissue. Persons with a high muscle-fat ratio have a higher level of basal metabolism than people with a similar total mass, but with a lower muscle-fat ratio.

Age. When we get older, we are faced with factors that lead to a reduction in energy needs. Our muscle mass is reduced, which leads to a decrease in the muscle-fat ratio. Our metabolism is gradually restructuring, which also leads to a decrease in the need for calories.

The following age factors reduce our energy needs:

  • Hormones – with age in the body of men and women, less testosterone and estrogen are formed. Both hormones are involved in anabolic processes that consume energy. The synthesis of human growth hormone, which has a huge impact on anabolic reactions, also decreases with age. As we age, the balance shifts from anabolic hormones to catabolic ones, which greatly increases the predisposition to weight gain, due to adipose tissue, not muscle.

Floor. Men have a higher level of basal metabolism than women, which is explained by the high percentage of muscle tissue in the male body. This means that the average man burns more calories than the average woman of his age with a similar body weight.

First you need to determine the daily requirement of the body for calories and make sure there are no chronic diseases that can be the cause of weight gain. After that, you need to focus on three key factors that affect weight loss and the subsequent stabilization of your ideal body weight. The same factors affect the metabolism – it is physical activity, diet (diet) and sleep.

If you do not get enough sleep, the neuroendocrine control of hunger and satiety is disturbed. The consequence of this is overeating and reducing the sensitivity of tissues to insulin, which in turn increases the risk of developing diabetes type 2. Any of these factors leads to a set of body weight.

Numerous clinical studies have shown that depriving a person of sleep disturbs the body's ability to regulate eating behavior (appetite) because of the decrease in leptin-hormone concentration, which tells us that we ate enough.

Scientists who participated in the Integrative Heart Health Project at the Military Medical Center in Walter Reed concluded that there is a direct relationship between the body mass index (BMI) and the duration and quality of sleep.

"When we analyzed the available data, dividing participants into" lovers of sleep "and" suffering from insomnia, "we found that a higher BMI – 28,3 kg / m2 – corresponds to a sleep deficit. For comparison, the BMI "lover of sleep" averaged 24,5 kg / m2. Insomnia also reduced the effectiveness of sleep, which manifested significant difficulties in falling asleep and frequent awakenings, "said lead researcher, MD Arn Eliasson.

Scientists from the University of Bristol (England) came to the conclusion that if a child sleeps a little, he increases the risk of obesity. They believe that a lack of sleep can lead to a hormonal imbalance, because of which children consume more food and generally eat improperly.

Studies have also shown that in the body of people who sleep too little, the level of ghrelin is increased. Ghrelin is a hormone that is synthesized in the stomach and tells the brain that you are hungry.

Employees of Columbia University (New York) concluded that lack of sleep leads to a decrease in glucose tolerance and a decrease in insulin sensitivity by increasing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, raising the level of cortisol and reducing glucose consumption in the brain.

All this sharply increases the probability of gaining excess weight, as well as the development of diabetes mellitus 2 type. The same scientists found that people who sleep too much (nine hours or more), the risk of developing diabetes is also increased.

Your chances of gaining weight increase not only the hormonal factors associated with a lack of sleep. Because of lack of sleep you are unlikely to want to engage in physical education and sports. Numerous experiments have shown that people who sleep less often adhere to any training program, and this is explained by the fact that they are very tired.

Try the following measures that can bring you a good, full sleep:

  • Go to bed at the same time.

A six-month study conducted by employees of the Medical Center of Duke University, studied the effect of training on the organisms of 53 participants who led a sedentary lifestyle.

Scientists have focused on 17 biological indicators, significantly increasing the risk of cardiovascular pathology. They evaluated the waist volume, physical fitness, body mass index, cholesterol level, insulin sensitivity and indicators of the metabolic syndrome – the predecessor of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

In the experiment, three levels of physical activity were assessed: the equivalent of 20 km walking per week, 20 km of easy jogging and 30 km of easy jogging per week. Participants were engaged on a treadmill, ellipsoid simulator or veloergometers under the supervision of researchers.

Scientists not only found significant improvements by the end of the study, but also concluded that the intensity of the load is not a decisive factor.

Here is what the study leader, Dr. Jennifer Robbins says: "Looking at the group as a whole, we found that the overall positive effect was achieved not only in the group with the maximum intensity of the load. People should be encouraged by the fact that they are not required to withstand high-intensity workouts in order to benefit from exercise. "

All exercises can be divided into three large categories

The goal of aerobic exercise is to improve the oxygen consumption of the body. The term "aerobic" is closely related to oxygen. Definition of aerobic is applied to metabolic processes, during which oxygen is used (catabolic processes).

Most aerobic exercises are performed with an average intensity level for a long period, unlike other exercise categories. Aerobic training includes warm-up, performing basic exercises for at least 20 minutes and the final hitch. In aerobic exercises involved, mainly, large muscle groups.

20-minute run is an aerobic exercise, but a sprint for 200 meters is not. A half hour game of badminton is an aerobic activity, provided that the movements of players are relatively uninterrupted. Golf, on the other hand, is not considered an aerobic exercise, as there is no constant increase in heart rate for a long period of time.

The goal of anaerobic exercise is the development of strength, strength and musculature. Muscles train with high intensity for a short period of time. A short segment usually means no more than two minutes.

The term anaerobic means "without air". Anaerobic exercises increase muscle strength and our ability to move with a sharp acceleration. You can present anaerobic exercises as short and fast, or short and intense. Anaerobic exercises include strength training, sprinting, fast and intense jumping rope and any other fast sequences of intense movements.

Since anaerobic exercises do not use oxygen to generate energy, a byproduct, lactic acid, is formed. Lactic acid causes muscle fatigue, and therefore it must be excreted during recovery, before the muscle is subjected to another anaerobic session. During the recovery period, oxygen is used to "reset" the muscle – replenishing intramuscular energy reserves that were consumed during intensive exercise.

Exercises for the development of coordination and balance

Exercises for the development of coordination develop the ability of a person to dramatically accelerate and slow down, change the direction of movement and at the same time maintain balance. In tennis, for example, coordination development exercises help a player to control their position on the court by quickly returning after each stroke.

The key skill in tennis is the ability to take the right position on the court, from which you can hit the ball as effectively as possible. Good coordination not only allows the tennis player to go faster to the ball and take an optimal position for the strike, but also helps to better group when the ball hits.

You must combine two types of exercises

To make the most of your workouts, you must combine aerobic and anaerobic exercises. And you should practice five times a week.

Researchers from the University of Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh (Scotland) concluded that even a short but regular and intensive workload, for example, a short session of four to six 30-second high-intensity sprints on a stationary bike every two days, significantly improves the body's ability to utilize Sahara.

Daily accounting of the amount of calories you consume is very important for controlling body weight, especially if you want to lose weight.

It is proved that a sharp restriction of the caloric content of the diet is ineffective in the long run. Extreme reduction in caloric content of food can force the body to rebuild the metabolism so that much less energy will be spent, and any energy source will be instantly stored in adipose tissue. Low-calorie diets often adversely affect motivation, which leads to overeating after exiting the diet.

Unless your extremely low-calorie diet is developed by a qualified nutritionist, nutritionalist or professional physician, there is a high risk of exhaustion, which not only harms your health, but also changes the course of metabolic processes in such a way that it will be even more difficult for you to reach the goal.

In the US and Britain, the highest percentage of people who turn to these devastating diets. If they were effective, the US would not be a world leader in the number of obese individuals, and the UK would not be leading in this indicator in Europe. Of those who sat on extreme diets, the lion's share is still obese, and only a few managed to return to normal body weight.

A healthy diet is a well-balanced diet. It should include:

Products from whole grains. Whole grains, unlike flakes, still contain bran and germ in their original form. Products from whole grains are rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins. During the processing of grain, bran and germ are removed from the product.

Whole-grain foods, including bread, pasta and cereals, should be made from 100% whole grains. To the products and flour from whole grains are 100% whole wheat, uncooked rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, spelled and wild rice.

Fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of vitamins, mineral elements and fiber – these nutrients as your body needs for normal life. Numerous studies have shown that a rich fruit and vegetable diet can protect against the development of heart disease, diabetes mellitus 2 type and even cancer.

Most of the world's health organizations recommend that we receive five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. It can be fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruits and vegetables. A portion should be understood as one large fruit, for example, an apple, a mango or a banana, or three tablespoons of vegetables.

Also it can be a glass of 100% fruit or vegetable juice. Note that fruit or vegetable juice is one serving, regardless of its volume. Legumes and legumes can also be considered one portion.

Protein. Protein is vital for the growth and regeneration of the tissues of our body. Protein-rich foods also contain essential micronutrients, such as iron, magnesium and zinc, plus B vitamins. The UK Public Health Service reports that the protein should be about 20% of our diet. A good source of protein can be meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, kvorn (meat substitute) and soy (including tofu).

Nutritionists strongly recommend draining the oil and cutting off the fat from the meat after cooking. It is necessary to remove the skin from the bird. Not vegetarians, nutritionalists advise eating fish at least twice a week, choosing, if possible, varieties rich in omega fats, for example, trout, fresh tuna, sardines, mackerel and salmon. In the process of conservation of tuna, essential fats are removed, and therefore only fresh tuna is considered a fatty fish. Fish and meat should not be fried, but cook in the microwave, grill or bake.

Vegans, who do not eat any animal products, can get protein from nuts, seeds, soybeans, beans and kvorn. In addition, vegans should take food supplements with zinc and vitamin B12, as these products contain them in insufficient quantities.

Calcium (dairy or vegetable products). Dairy products are considered a good source of calcium, which is necessary for the health of bones and teeth. Milk products include milk, yogurts, cheese and some products made from soy milk. Nutritionists say that we should choose low-fat dairy products. People who do not eat animal products can get calcium from broccoli, white cabbage, soy milk and yogurt with the addition of calcium.

Fats and carbohydrates. Strive for quality fats, such as olive oil, avocado or fish oil. Avoid saturated fats, which are found in cream, fried foods and meat. Also, stay away from trans fats – fats obtained by artificial means. Try not to add sugar to your meals, avoid sweet fizzy drinks. And in our food and so enough carbohydrates.

To follow some rules, you need not work anywhere: Quote: Do not do vigorous exercises within 4 hours before going to bed (some experts say about six hours). If I work before 18, then before 20. 00 training is unlikely to end, then go to bed need not before 24. 00 and sleep up to 8.00, which again is impossible because of the need to get up for work . A vicious circle turns out))

You can do it in the morning before work or at lunch, if possible.


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