Is Your Metabolism Affecting Your Weight Loss?

When losing weight it can be frustrating if you feel that you’re trying hard and doing enough to do well, but the weight loss results are just not as good as what you expected.

This makes many people think there must something be wrong somewhere else, and one of the main conclusions they come to is that they have a slow metabolism and that’s the reason why they’re struggling to lose weight.

So let’s take a look at whether your metabolism is affecting your weight loss…

First of all, studies have shown that people at the same weight with the same body composition in terms of fat and muscle have a similar metabolism. The difference in genetics is not enough for one person to have a significant advantage over another.

Your metabolism is mainly determined by these two things…

  • Your body size
  • Your level of activity

Your body size

The bigger you are and the more you weigh, the more calories your body burns, both at rest and during exercise.

You burn more calories at rest mainly because you have more muscle to support this extra weight, and muscle burns plenty of calories. 

You burn more calories during exercise because it takes a lot more energy expenditure to exercise with a heavier body.

So if there are two people that don’t exercise, where one person is overweight and the other person is a healthy weight, then the overweight person will have the fastest metabolism…

The overweight person has a body that will be burning more calories throughout the day.

Your level of activity

Your metabolism is also determined by your level of activity….

This includes your normal everyday activities like walking but also how much exercise you do and how you perform that exercise.

The more active you are, and the more effective your exercise is, the more calories your body burns.

So overall if you’re struggling to lose weight, or you’re not losing as much weight as you’d like, then it’s NOT because of your metabolism…

Because you’re very likely to have a faster metabolism than people of a lower weight, especially people who don’t exercise.

It’s calories that matter

The key area that matters when you want to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume.

Many people see someone who’s thin and they’re eating unhealthy food and they think "They must have a fast metabolism because if I ate the same I would put on loads of weight"…

But it’s the number of calories consumed overall that matters. If someone eats unhealthy foods but has small portion sizes, or they don’t eat as much food for the rest of the day, then they can still maintain a healthy body weight.

They might not have a healthy body inside, but from the outside they can look slim and healthy.

So the reason why most people struggle to lose weight is because of their lifestyle in terms of how many calories they consume and how many calories they burn, which includes how much exercise they do and the quality of their exercise.

Also remember that most people significantly underestimate how many calories they consume. So the reason a lot of people struggle to lose weight is not because they have a slow metabolism but because they are consuming too many calories without realising.

This can be because they don’t keep track of the calories they consume, or they don’t record everything they eat and drink if they have a food diary.


So overall if you are overweight then you have a faster metabolism than smaller and lighter people both at rest and during exercise. Your body burns more calories each day.

The important area to focus on is burning more calories than you consume so that you create a calorie deficit that helps you lose weight…

That means improving your quality of exercise, as well as knowing the right amount of calories you should consume based on your body size, gender, and activity levels. If you would like to learn more about these areas take a look at my running programs.


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2 Responses to Is Your Metabolism Affecting Your Weight Loss?

  1. Brilliant blog post James.

    It’s all too easy to blame metabolism or genetics or bone density or the atmospheric pressure on the day we were born for our fat loss issues.

    I find that metabolism can be improved but at the end of the day if you take on more calories than your body can burn off the extra has to go somewhere!

    • James says:

      Thanks for the feedback George, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      You are right. Metabolism can be increased, but the main factor overall is calories consumed v’s calories burned.