Metabolism is a complex system that ensures efficient and balanced body functioning. And the easier it is to adapt to changes in the external and internal environment, the happier and healthier you become. Is it possible to independently develop metabolic flexibility and improve the quality of life - we learned from Olga Galeeva, a nutritionist at the European Medical Center (EMC).
Why is metabolism a flexible mechanism?
The metabolic process (aka metabolism) is controlled by nutrients, hormones, gene transcription factors, and cellular signaling systems that act as switches. The metabolic switch dramatically changes the way the human body distributes, stores and uses energy. For example, in one situation, glucose and fats (fatty acids and ketones) can be used to produce cellular energy, while in another they can compete with each other.
How it works?
In fact, the ultimate goal of fats and glucose is the synthesis of so-called ATP, the body's main energy “currency”. In addition to its production, these macronutrients, including protein, can be converted into each other. For example, fasting converts fats to ketones to conserve glucose for DNA turnover and blood sugar regulation (also read: What Happens to Your Body When You Lose Weight).
Here's another example of the body's surprisingly clever use of its nutrients: if you eat more glucose and / or fructose than you need, they will be converted to triglycerides (fatty acids plus glycerin) and stored in the liver and adipose tissue for later use. Excess fat is also stored as triglycerides, and glucose can be stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen.
All of the above processes testify to the high flexibility of metabolism in our body, which is vital for maintaining a healthy body composition, cognitive functions, energy, vitality and disease prevention in general.
7 tips to improve metabolic flexibility
Eat with a time limit. Research shows that the less the body is exposed to insulin, the more health benefits it brings in terms of reducing diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and weight loss.
- Varying the type of training (strength training, interval training, and some aerobic or endurance exercise) can give your body the boost it needs to make the most of its fat stores. Different types of exercise use different sources of fuel, which ultimately teaches your body to use different energy resources during your daily activities.
- Eliminate all refined sugars and carbohydrates and reduce the total amount of carbohydrates in your diet. A lower carbohydrate intake corresponds to a lower insulin level, which leads to an improved metabolism.
- Increase your intake of green, leafy vegetables and salads that contain healthy carbs and fiber. They promote well-coordinated stool regulation and are very beneficial for the intestinal microflora.
Increase your fat intake with meals (olive oil, avocados, nuts). They contribute to long-lasting satiety (read also: Good Fats: What You Need to Know About the Keto Diet (Plus Three Recipes)).
- Gradually increase the time between meals. For example, if you eat every 2-3 hours, try increasing this time by 30 minutes until you reach at least 4 hours between meals.
- Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is a technology that effectively monitors changes in glucose levels 24/7. It will help you find out which foods and dishes increase your glucose level, and also show if it exceeds the allowable norm.
About the expert:
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