There are, however, some foods where the caloric expenditure to process them is a little higher than the calories they provide the system. The clear example is water, especially ice-cold water. The body needs to warm it up before absorbing it, leading to a small caloric debt. Foods with very high water content, such as celery, also have this tiny catabolic effect. But the nutritional value of water and celery are not high enough to properly sustain an organism, so relying solely on these foods to lose weight can lead to serious health complications.
As we age, the balance slowly shifts towards a more catabolic dominant metabolism, initiating the many physical and energetic changes we associate with later stages of life. The body becomes less efficient, losing the ability to keep pace with the rate of break down that is occurring. This shift results in decreased energy levels, physical deterioration, increased susceptibility to illness and injury, and longer recovery times. While this is a natural process that everyone experiences, the choices we make over the course of our lives can greatly improve our body’s ability to age gracefully. A healthy lifestyle that includes proper diet, regular exercise, and good rest is essential.
For children, these reactions should not be in balance. In a child, the anabolic reactions have to be greater than the catabolic. Boys start their growth spurt after girls. That’s why when they are in 7th or 8th grade, the girls are still taller than the boys. The boys change a couple years after the girls. Guys may gain 2-3 inches in that growth spurt between 14-17 years of age. During that growing period they will eat up all the food in your refrigerator. They are growing like crazy during that time. But what happens to both boys and girls at 18-19 is that if they keep eating the same way, they won’t grow taller anymore but only wider. This is the phenomena everybody notices.