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Everyone will respond differently to the same caloric deficit or surplus

Updated: Oct 2, 2022


Many people misconceive the word metabolism and think it’s only related to their weight. But metabolism is more profound and broader.


Metabolism is the aggregate of all the biochemical processes in the body, including metabolic hormones, insulin, cortisol, leptin, testosterone, and growth hormone. These hormones drive so many factors when it comes to metabolic health, and it determines how you feel today and, equally important, how your health will be in coming years, as well as how you show up in the world, how it connects to purpose and meaning, and how you thrive.

✅Glucose matters. ⁣

✅Thyroid function matters. ⁣

✅Hormonal homeostasis matters. ⁣

✅Stress management matters. ⁣

✅Sleep matters. ⁣

(Sometimes) ✅meal timing matters. ⁣

✅Digestion matters. ⁣

Because everyone’s metabolism is different, an interesting study demonstrated everyone’s body will respond differently to the same caloric surplus or deficits, even with controlled outside factors.


The study had people consume a 1000 kcal surplus daily for 84 days. The study was well controlled, with all food provided after baseline to identify maintenance calories, and exercise was limited outside of a daily 30 min walk.


Interestingly, one person gained as little as 4.3kg, and another gained as much as 13 kg. We know that they didn’t exclusively gain body fat, and they gained some muscle.


Take away is that people CLEARLY respond differently to the same-sized surplus and deficits.


Did you know that 1 kg of muscle is made up of about 1200kcal, but it costs 5x that amount of energy to create?


Some people need to go into more significant calorie surpluses to achieve the same weight gain as others; the magnitude of gain in response to a certain sized surplus can be significantly different between people. This also applies in reverse to those in a calorie deficit. Some people lose weight quicker than others while in the same calorie deficit. This is because their body and the hormones respond differently to the calories.


This is one reason why some people have an easier or harder time than others when gaining or losing weight.


PMID: 2336074

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