- Is it true that if you consume too few calories, your metabolism will be lowered? And if your metabolism is lowered, what kinds of problems might that cause?
A: Your metabolism is in effect your body's furnace. Calories are the fuel that heats this furnace; the hotter your furnace burns, the more calories it uses up just to keep up with basic functions like digestion, breathing and so on. Your activity level and the food you eat affect your metabolism. The more activity and exercise you do, the faster your metabolism runs, even when you aren't being active. Activity also builds muscle, and muscle burns more calories than fat. In other words, the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism. If you don't put enough food in your body, your "furnace" doesn't have anything to keep it going. It goes into a sort of hibernation mode by slowing down and using fewer calories. So, yes: If you eat too little, you can slow your metabolism.
Q: - Why can my sister can stay slim without dieting while I can't? She goes to the gym every day, but she doesn't watch her calories carefully. I do watch what I eat and I work out every day, but I still have a hanging belly. Could it be our bone structure that makes the difference? Could it be my heritage?
A: Two people can do the same diet and exercise program and have very different outcomes. Each of us has to find out what works in her particular situation, and try not to compare her results with someone else's. As I say, everybody has a body, and no body's perfect, nor are all bodies created equal.
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