if a slow/fast metabolism defines how much energy we burn through the day, how come its not possible to artificially boost it to extreme levels and thus lead to obese people sheeding all that extra weight with minimum effort?


if a slow/fast metabolism defines how much energy we burn through the day, how come its not possible to artificially boost it to extreme levels and thus lead to obese people sheeding all that extra weight with minimum effort?

In: Biology

At the end of the day, you have to actually burn energy to consume calories… unless you fire them out the other end which can be quite unpleasant.

A fast metabolism will allow your body to convert nutrients into energy that your body can use quickly, however you still have to use that energy. There are ways of “artificially boosting” your metabolism but the energy has to go somewhere… So-called fat burners do similar things but at the end of the day you have to burn that energy. Some of these supplements do this by doing things such as increasing your heart-rate… Not something you want to mess with.

Well, I think the idea of it yes it is possible. The whole speeding up metabolism idea is used by a ton of people in their fitness journeys. There are ways to increase the speed of your metabolism therefore burning more calories, but it isn’t super speed levels. It’s just makes a difference that is enough to bring up total calories used. I don’t think that we have the applications that allow us to do this is all. At least I think so. I’m pretty sure that we aren’t able to artificially speed it up with medication or things like that. But there are natural ways to speed metabolism with diet, body composition, and exercise

[It is possible](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2,4-Dinitrophenol), but if you read the hazards section you’ll find it’s really dangerous, your metabolism controls your body temperature, raising your metabolism raises your body temperature, so in metabolism raising doses it directly causes a fever and that can easily kill. But people still try it…

People talk about “metabolism” as though food is being magically burned away to nothing. But that’s not what’s happening. “Metabolism” is just a scientific term for converting one kind of energy into another.

In this context, we’re talking about converting the chemical energy stored in food into other kinds of energy your body needs to function. Mechanical energy for your heart and muscles. Electrical energy for your brain. Heat energy as part of cellular respiration.

People with “fast metabolisms” have a higher baseline need for these forms of energy, for whatever reason. So to “speed up” someone else’s metabolism, you need to similarly increase their body’s demands for these other kinds of energy.

There’s surprisingly few ways of doing this. Obviously exercise will burn mechanical energy, but people don’t want to do that. Amphetamine-based diet pills will increase your heart rate, and your heart is just a muscle, so that works. But this will mess up your heart over time. Anxious and fidgety people burn more, but is that really an added feature?

We don’t really know how to increase your body’s base demands for electrical energy. Your brain uses about 20-30% of the calories you consume in a day, but it’s doing such incredibly complex stuff we don’t really know what, or how, adding “more” energy would even accomplish. It’d probably just give you a seizure and kill you.

We could increase your base body temperature, but that’s basically a fever, and we all know what a fever feels like. Not to mention that prolonged high fevers will eventually cook your organs. So that’s pretty much ruled out too.

Fast/slow metabolism is way overblown. Some people do use more energy than others and this is mostly related to non exercise activity thermogenesis. The biggest determinant of basal metabolic rate is your lean tissue mass. Obesity is primarily controlled by satiety signaling, people with a genetic predisposition to obesity tend to have problems with satiety signaling and not a slow metabolism. There are drugs like dinitrophenol that can increase the amount of calories you burn without exercise by uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation from energy production. Basically you produce heat instead of ATP. It’s effective for weight loss but super dangerous and uncomfortable.

It is possible, actually. People with hypothyroidism are prescribed exogenous t3 or “triiodothyronine” combined with t4 or “levothyroxine” which stimulate the metabolic rate in turn ramping up your “metabolism”.

Turn the heat down in your living room and bedroom. Producing heat burns calories.
Tap your feet and fidget all day.
Shave your head to lose more heat.