- Losing weight requires burning more calories than you consume each day and person’s metabolic rate determines calorie burn.
- Vitamins B and D can help boost metabolism.
- Calcium and iron are also important micronutrients for metabolism.
- Regular exercise (including strength training) is important for overall health.
Modern sedentary lifestyles and an abundance of calorie-dense foods can make it difficult for some people to maintain a healthy weight. The Center for Disease Control stresses the importance of trying to maintain a healthy weight as obesity can increase a person’s risk of developing certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Losing weight takes consistent effort, but knowing how the body’s metabolism works and how nutrition can affect body composition can help people improve their chances of success.
How Does Weight Loss Work?
The foods and drinks we consume contain energy in the form of calories. The body uses that energy to sustain itself. When a person consumes more calories than their body needs on a day-to-day basis, the body stores some of that surplus energy as fat. This leads to weight gain. When a person consumes fewer calories than the body needs, the body breaks down that fat, and sometimes muscle tissue as well, to sustain itself, causing weight loss.
Some other things can cause temporary changes to the scales. For example, a person might retain water after a salty or carbohydrate-laden meal, making them gain a few pounds for a few days. Someone may notice they weigh less after exercising because they’ve lost a lot of water through perspiration. These small changes don’t involve fat gain or loss and are not what we’re considering in this guide.