I want you to picture in your head the idea of your home’s thermostat.  You have it set to a certain temperature in the summer.  If it rises above that set temperature, the thermostat will send the message to the AC unit to kick on and cool down the house to keep it at the set temperature.  The same idea happens in the winter, only if the temperature in the house falls below the set temperature, the thermostat will send a message to the furnace to crank up the heat so the temperature rises to the point that you had set it.  That is very easy to understand, and the same idea happens with your body.  When your internal temperature rises above 98.6 degrees, your brain will tell your body to sweat to release heat so your temperature will fall and remain at 98.6 degrees.  If you get cold and the internal temperature falls, your brain will tell your body to shiver to generate heat so your temperature can go back up.  This concept in the body is called “Homeostasis.”  It is your body working to stay constant, internally.  This is just one example of homeostasis that your body is working toward.  Some other examples are:

  1. Hormone production
  2. oxygen and carbon dioxide levels
  3. pH balance in your blood and in your cells
  4. water content in your cells and in your blood
  5. blood glucose levels
  6. nutrient levels
  7. metabolic rate


All these things are important, but the one thing I want to focus on is the metabolic rate, or metabolism.  Your metabolism is a series of chemical processes that happen in your body that is necessary to maintain homeostasis.  Go back to the example with the thermostat.  Your thermostat is the regulator that commands the furnace or the AC unit to fire up and do its thing.  The part where these things fire up and do it’s thing is similar to the metabolism in your body firing up to do its thing because your regulator (brain) told it to.   There are two ways that your metabolism works to achieve homeostasis: Anabolism and Catabolism.  Here’s how they work.

1. Catabolism – Catabolism is your body taking complex compounds and breaking them down into simple compounds.  Your body is basically tearing things down to provide energy for the task at hand.  If you’re weight training, your body is breaking down the glycogen stored for muscle contraction once ATP is depleted (I’ll cover ATP very soon).  If you’re doing an aerobic exercise like distance running, your body will break down the fat that’s stored into fatty acids so you can have the energy to run.

2. Anabolism –  Anabolism is your body taking simple compounds and building them up into complex compounds.  An example is taking amino acids and building them up to proteins and using it for muscle repair.  Think of anabolism as your body fixing things up, kind of like a renovation.  The Catabolism, or the destruction in the room has already occurred, so now the repair and the rebuilding can begin.  Another result of anabolism is that glycogen is made from carbohydrates and is stored in your muscles for energy that can be used when you are weight training.  Fatty acids can be made into fats that you will store for later when you need energy for aerobic exercises, like running.  When you think “anabolism,” think “building up.”

If this gets confusing, just think of metabolism as a renovation in your body; catabolism is the demolition and anabolism is the repair. Proper nutrition plays a big role in this.  Eating junk all the time defeats the purpose and throws a wrench in your body’s plans.   Give your body what it needs to build itself up so that it can tear itself down.  It sounds funny saying it that way, but that’s the way it works.  Anabolism and catabolism are constantly at work in your body so that you have the proper metabolism to achieve homeostasis.  Everyone’s metabolism is different.  Someone who is active and eats healthy has a higher metabolism than someone who is sedentary (does nothing but sits on the couch) and eats bon-bons. Their metabolism is lower.

I hope this helps you to understand how your body works and why it’s important to eat healthy.  If this helps, please “like” and “share” this for others to see.  If you have something to add to the conversation that can help to inform us even more, please share in the comments section.  I know I am not the smartest person in the room.

Until next time, my homeos,


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