These ten strategies can improve metabolic health over time.
Prioritise our muscles first by eating protein, exercising, and more.
Prioritise muscle-building and preservation. Refrain from demonising carbs since the right kind of carbs are essential. More muscle means more body heat. Whitney Crouch recommends lifting heavy weights two to three times per week.
Eat to support the gut-metabolism axis to soothe your gut.
The Gut Health Doctor says people should eat various healthy foods and get all the great nutrients they offer. Author Melina Jampolis says eating more plants, healthy fats, and protein while staying active throughout life are potent ways to reclaim our metabolic health. In addition, a nutrition expert, Michelle Cowan, says you should eat enough protein to keep and build muscle and polyphenols to reduce inflammation.
Fasting will give your body and cells a rest.
Going to bed on an empty stomach is the most significant predictor of a good night's sleep. Also, keeping our meals within a specific time frame is suitable for metabolic health. For example, fasting for a set amount of time or following the ketogenic diet. It forces your body to burn fat while increasing autophagy, mitochondrial health, and cell number.
Take advantage of individualised hormone-balancing opportunities.
There are enormous opportunities for individualised and incremental improvements in metabolic optimisation. Partnering with integrative-minded healthcare professionals who are experts in hormone health is one of the most effective ways to get tuned into your metabolism. Hormones like thyroid, sex, insulin, cortisol, and others directly affect metabolism and metabolic health. So again, it would help if you worked with a medical professional specialising in hormonal health.
Be cautious of toxins that affect your metabolism.
Cutting back on alcohol use is one of the main recommendations from Dr Brooke Scheller, DCN, CNS, the founder of Functional Sobriety and Functional Medicine. Even a few drinks per week can alter our metabolism through hormonal imbalances, gut changes, and even changes in stress hormones. Cutting out sugar in alcoholic beverages is an ineffective strategy because the alcohol itself creates an imbalance.
Leverage nutrition that stimulates metabolism.
Both academic scientists and consumers are now interested in how plant-based bioactives can increase the amount of energy used and the rate of metabolism. These include coffee, caffeine, capsaicin from chilli peppers, velvet grape, and the catechin EGCG from green tea. For example, Deshanie Rai, PhD, vice president of global scientific and regulatory affairs at OmniActive Health Technologies, says that there is a lot of evidence from research on humans that taking capsaicinoids can speed up the metabolism.
Leptin resistance, excessive obesity, and insulin resistance should all be avoided at all costs.
Insulin sensitivity gradually declines with obesity. Long-term stress and insulin resistance are two significant causes of leptin resistance. Cardiometabolic health expert Cate Shanahan says exercise is essential to reverse insulin resistance. For example, a 10- to 15-minute walk after a meal can significantly affect how much glucose is moved into muscle. CGM monitors let people see important information about how their bodies react to different foods and meals, stress, movement, and sleep quality. Even a few weeks of wearing a monitor can give you enough information to make a custom diet and lifestyle plan that will help you see results quickly and for a long time. "Optimising for glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity is a game-changer for longevity and protection against serious health concerns associated with chronic diseases," Cowan writes.
Make brown fat active (BAT).
Brown adipose tissue, or BAT, is an organ in your body that turns food energy into heat. BAT can be turned on by using cold therapy or certain plants, like grains of paradise. "Extracts of this old spice contain several unique phytonutrients, such as 6-paradol, which is known to turn on BAT15 while reducing visceral fat."
Immediately put out any provoking "fires."
Chronic inflammation plays a significant role in metabolic dysfunction and upcoming health issues. Therefore, maintaining a healthy body weight (limiting obesity) promotes inflammatory resolution and cardiometabolic health. You'll also want to regularly incorporate marine omega-3 fats (EPA and DHA, which nurture a healthy inflammatory response) and colourful plant-based nutrition for antioxidant power.
Be selfish when it comes to sleep and stress relief.
In a fight-or-flight response, chronic stress makes the adrenal glands constantly release cortisol. It throws off the metabolism of the body. It would help if you reduced or avoided stressors you could control for the reasons above. Give yourself a break, use effective ways to deal with stress, and build your resilience to deal with things you can't change. Focus on joy-inducing activities and meaningful relationships.
The final thought
Even though some things, like genes and age, can't be changed, it's encouraging to know that many things we can change directly affect our metabolic health. The metabolic power play is very much in our control, from diet and sleep to hormone balance, stress reduction, gut hydration, blood sugar regulation, muscle building and maintenance, and more.
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