Food and Your Metabolism

Food and Your Metabolism
Stephanie Pollard, MPH, MB,MT(AMT)
What Is Metabolism?
Your metabolism, experts say, involves a complex network of hormones and enzymes that not only convert food into fuel but also affect how efficiently you burn that fuel.
The process of metabolism establishes the rate at which we burn our calories and, ultimately, how quickly we gain weight or how easily we lose it; not everyone burns calories at the same rate.
Your metabolism is influenced by your age (metabolism naturally slows about 5% per decade after age 40); your sex (men generally burn more calories at rest than women); and proportion of lean body mass (the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate tends to be). Heredity also makes a difference as to how well your metabolism works.
Revving Your Engine
Though some of the factors affecting metabolic rate can’t be changed, happily, there are ways to maximize the metabolism you’re born with — even when you’re dieting.
Among the best ways is exercise. This includes aerobic workouts and walking to burn more calories in the short term, and weight training to build the muscles that will boost your metabolism in the long run.
Your best bet for keeping metabolism revved: Build muscles, snack on low-calorie, high-protein foods, and keep moving!
Your Body’s Metabolism Rate
Your metabolic rate measures the rate at which your individual body is using up energy (as measured in calories) to stay alive. It’s not a rate that remains constantly the same. Your metabolic rate varies throughout the day and throughout your life, depending on your level of activity and other factors.
The rate at which you burn calories is lowest while you sleep and greatest when you physically work hard. Here’s a guide that describes the approximate calories burned during various types of work. Keep in mind that these “burn rates” will vary from person to person, so use this as a guide to the relative energy used up for each level of activity.
Calories per Hour
Very light work or sitting at rest
Light work
Moderate work
Heavy-duty work

Stephanie Pollard, MPH, MB, MT(AMT)

Clinical Laboratory Scientist

Community Health Educator

Contact Information:                352-256-5823

Civic and Community Service

  • University of Florida Urology Department Community Advisory Board Member (2010/present)
  • American Cancer Society Board of Directors (2009/2010)
  • University of Florida Oral History Program Assistant (08/2009 – present)
  • Columnist for Sistersspace (07/2009 –01/2011)
  • Publisher and Writer for Health Workshops R Us: My Weekly Newsletter (05/2009 – present)
  • CDC Abstract Reviewer and Moderator: Center for Disease Control (CDC) Atlanta, GA (06/09-12/09)
  • University of Florida Alumni Association member, Chairperson UF Black Alumni and Treasurer (2004).
  • Volunteer Dance Instructor – PACE School for Girls (8/2008-2010)
  • Worksite Wellness Activity Organizer – 1/2003- present
  • University of Florida Research Presenter and Panelist – 1/2008 – present
  • Shands Eastside Education Series Presenter and Health Fair Participant– Presentations on Balancing your Budget, Exercise and Heart disease, Exercise and diabetes, Food Pyramid, the Importance of Drinking Water, etc. (1/2005-2011)
  • Cox Communications – Worksite Wellness (conditioning and strengthening) (4/2008-8/2008)
  • Alachua County Health Department – Worksite Wellness (conditioning and strengthening) (1/2007-2011)
  • Florida Department of Health “Step Up, Florida” program I taught an exercise class to a group of local senior citizens and Jazzercise to staff employees– January 2007 I have given a variety of presentations to churches throughout Gainesville, Florida and the surrounding cities. The churches range from small congregations to large congregations.
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Leadership Conference at the University of Florida Auditorium – I gave a presentation on chronic diseases (heart disease and diabetes) and sexual transmitted infections and diseases. I was awarded a Leadership Award for exemplifying leadership contributions to the lives of youth. (3/2007)
  • Cambridge Who’s Who – On September 11, 2007 I received the Cambridge Who’s Who in Business Award.
  • Passage Family Church: Outreach ministry and Dance Instructor for teenage youth


Meet Stephanie Pollard

I have over thirty years of experience in the healthcare arena as a Licensed Clinical Laboratory Technologist and 13 years in Public Health and Epidemiology. My professionalism has proven to be a great asset in the workplace and communities. I have been a Licensed Clinical Laboratory Technologist since 1986 and I continued my education at the University of Florida.