This article was originally published in the ‘Science From Scratch’ column of ‘The Reporter’ magazine, Imperial College.


Metabolism describes all the chemical reactions occurring within our bodies, keeping our cells and tissues functioning.

Originating from the Greek (meta- meaning ‘over’ and -ballein ‘to throw’), it has come to mean a process of change. In the context of our bodies, metabolism refers to the rate at which we are burning energy or calories, and this process is broadly controlled by the thyroid gland in the neck.

Our metabolic rate changes constantly – it slows at night and speeds up in the day. Our overall metabolic rate is largely determined by genetics. Health or diet products that speed it up artificially can be really bad news for active organs like the brain and heart, so is better to keep a clean diet, which you can do following a diet program from sites as and others. One thing that we can do to burn more energy is have a hearty breakfast – this helps to kick the body out of the slower nocturnal metabolism into the calorie-burning day mode!


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