Many people assume that metabolism is the process that determines whether they gain or lose weight, but this is somewhat misleading. Metabolism is not necessarily responsible for burning fat. Instead, it is a complex process in which the body converts food and drink into energy that is used for many functions, including circulating blood, breathing, and repairing cells.

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1. What Determines Metabolism?

Many things determine metabolism. Men generally burn more calories than women because they have less body fat and more muscle. Younger people burn more calories than older people as the amount of muscle decreases and the amount of fat increases. Just about everything the body does requires energy and contributes to metabolism.

man woman metabolism Simon Winnall / Getty Images
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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.