Cell metabolism refers to the series of chemical reactions that affect cells’ ability to function, grow and divide.
Chemical reactions that help cells grow and multiply are termed ‘anabolism’ and those that control the release of nutrients and energy for cellular growth and function are termed ‘catabolism’.
Whole body metabolism is the summation of all the metabolic processes that occur within the billions of cells in our body.
Healthy metabolism is a balance between anabolism and catabolism. Cells that make up our ‘vital’ organs, such as neurons and nerves, skeletal and cardiac muscle, liver, respiratory, gastrointestinal and genito-urinary cells are highly metabolically active.
However fat cells or adipose tissue, tend to be less metabolically active, and tend to store energy and nutrients as fat. There is a form of fat however, called ‘brown fat’ that is highly metabolically active, and acts to release energy to generate body heat.
We lose body weight when catabolism exceeds anabolism. This is achieved through a combination of regular cardiovascular (aerobic) exercises and a balanced diet that incorporates low-moderate amounts of complex (low Glycaemic Index) carbohydrates, lean protein, vegetables and fresh fruits.
If you have diabetes and are on medications, you need to discuss your specific exercise and dietary needs carefully with your GP, who may refer you to a dietician and / or an endocrinologist for further advice.