We often hear these words and related terms like individual’s increasing or decreasing metabolic rate. What do you mean by these terms?

Metabolism is nothing but various chemical and organic processes which are carried inside our body to sustain life. It basically breaks down food and beverages that we consume for the release of energy and for further bodily processes to carry out.

So what is a metabolism rate and how do you increase or decrease it?

Metabolic rate for an individual can be defined as the amount of energy spent over a period of time. Basal metabolic rate or resting metabolic rate is the amount of energy spent during rest, which means our body is burning calories even when we are at rest or asleep. There are 2 main processes involved with regard to the metabolism in the body, they are known as – Catabolic and Anabolic processes.




Catabolic reactions are those in which there is release of energy or breakdown of molecules is occurring. Similarly anabolic reactions are the opposite, they require energy which means they combine molecules to form bigger molecules. Hence, the energy released during catabolic process is utilised for anabolic processes or is stored in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

What are the factors that affect these rates? There can be several factors which can determine the metabolic rate, like-

  • Age and gender- as the age increases and the individual nears to aging the metabolic rate becomes slower, also it is seen that individual’s with hormonal imbalances tend to have a slow metabolism. Since a female body goes through several changes in the body at different stages of her life, she is more prone to a slower metabolic rate as compared to men
  • Physical activity- if a person is involved in any kind of physical activity, it is tend to increase the rate as compared to no physical activity
  • Sleep- as mentioned the body burns calories even at rest. So it becomes very important for the body to get appropriate amount of rest to burn calories effectively.
  • Other factors like- body size, genetics, diet(vegetarian or non- vegetarian), consumption of caffeine on a regular basis will also affect the metabolic rate.