How does metabolism influence weight loss?

This is one of the top weight loss questions on Dr. Oz’s Sharecare site. Here is what I answered:

Your metabolism plays a key role in losing weight.  Your metabolism is what helps your body burn fat, stay energized and be healthy.  Metabolism really means the rate at which you burn your calories and, ultimately, how quickly you gain weight or how easily you lose it.

Everyone burns calories at a different rate. Age, gender and lean body mass i.e. muscle all influence your metabolism.  Your metabolism naturally slows about 5% per decade after the age of 40. Men tend to burn more calories at rest than women. Also the more muscle (lean body mass) you have, the higher your metabolic rate tends to be.

Your metabolism slows down if your body does not get the nutrients it needs on a daily basis to work efficiently.   For example when you exercise your body uses magnesium to help energy molecules move to where they are needed. If you are low on magnesium you’ll most likely start feeling tired more quickly.  Iron is also important for supporting your metabolism. In fact 20% of us are iron deficient. Check your levels and make sure you are getting enough.  A great source of iron is lentils and a great source of magnesium is white beans.