March 22, 2023

The metabolism is often viewed as the body’s mysterious chemical equation when it comes to weight gain and loss. Like chemistry, it confounds many of us, especially when factors like illness or menopause are added in.
“In actuality, the body’s metabolism naturally adjusts itself to meet the needs of our individual bodies. It doesn’t actually cause us to gain or lose weight. It is possible to manipulate our metabolism to a degree, and often a small change may help in weight loss efforts,” said Kamraan Madhani, MD, a medical weight loss specialist with Hartford HealthCare.
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Healthy weight loss starts with the same basic tenets:
But, explains Dr. Madhani, understanding the truth behind metabolism – including how it works and the factors that impact it – makes navigating weigh loss much easier.
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Here are five common metabolism myths, debunked by an expert:
Menopause and its related hormone shifts might make women feel they’ve lost control of their metabolism, but Dr. Madhani said focusing on what you eat and how you exercise greatly impacts your body’s functioning. Working with a medical weight loss specialist can also help you focus on meeting your body’s vitamin and mineral needs, especially the metabolism-boosting magnesium.
Foods like fish, berries and leafy greens have many benefits for your body, but it is important to consider the other determinants of weight including caloric balance, macronutrients, physical activity and life’s stressors, Dr. Madhani said. Consuming too much of any food, even healthy ones, is never a good idea.
Any weight loss that results from fasting is generally short-term, except practices like intermittent fasting, when done regularly and over the long term, Dr. Madhani said. In fact, fasting can decrease the metabolism and research shows that those who fast are more likely to add weight in the long run.
Women know this isn’t true, but perhaps the most interesting fact here, Dr. Madhani said, is that our need for calories naturally decreases as we age, especially if we’re sedentary.
Eating smaller meals more often can keep you from feeling hungry and binging, but there is no clear correlation between more frequent eating and increased metabolism, Dr. Madhani said.
Hartford HealthCare Medical & Surgical Weight Loss takes a uniquely holistic approach to surgical weight loss. One that offers patients thorough care not just from physicians and surgeons, but also from a team of professionals looking out for your nutritional, physical and emotional well-being.
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About Hartford HealthCare: With 33,000 colleagues and total operating revenue of $4.9 billion, Hartford HealthCare leverages its unified culture to enhance access, affordability, equity and expertise. Its care-delivery system — with more than 400 locations serving 185 towns and cities — includes two tertiary-level teaching hospitals, an acute-care community teaching hospital, an acute-care hospital and trauma center, three community hospitals, the state’s most extensive behavioral health network, a large multispecialty physician group, a clinical care organization, a regional home care system, Connecticut’s largest array of senior care services, and a comprehensive physical therapy and rehabilitation network. On average, Hartford HealthCare touches more than 17,000 lives every single day. The unique, system-wide Institute Model offers a unified high standard of care in crucial specialties at hospital and ambulatory sites across Connecticut. The institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular, Ayer Neuroscience, Orthopedics and Tallwood Urology. Visit Hartford HealthCare at
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