5 HACKS TO YOUR METABOLISM
Your metabolism is as unique as your fingerprint and nutrition isn't just about the food we consume, but the habits we create to optimize our overall health. It's also no longer about calories in and calories out, but balancing hormones, gut health, and sustainability. Below are simple hacks to kick off a solid foundation.
Hack#1: Practice good sleep hygiene. Sleep will ensure an efficient metabolism and improve overall cognitive function. With a lack of sleep, you disrupt hormones such as cortisol (stress hormone). When cortisol is elevated, it can result in increases of estrogen in men and raise blood sugar, which results in fat storage. Research indicates optimal sleep times are between 10pm-6am or 11pm and 7pm; cause nothing good happens after midnight.
Hack #2: Aim for whole foods along with prioritizing protein. Steaks over shakes period. Always prioritize real food over supplementation. A protein shake or protein bar should be used as a matter of convenience and not the staple of your nutrition. More specifically, proteins sources should be grass-fed vs. conventionally raised as they are packed more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Despite the mainstream claim, red meat is a nutrient dense choice and yields iron, b-vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and creatine. Recommended protein consumption 1g per pound of bodyweight is ideal.
Hack #3: Optimize Digestion Function. It's no longer what we eat, it's what we absorb. If you are experiencing GI issues, consider tracking potential allergens as this may impact how you absorb and breakdown nutrients. Most common include dairy, nuts, wheat etc. Using a FODMAP (https://www.ibsdiets.org/fodmap-diet/fodmap-food-list/) to help identify substitutions. Digestion starts in the mouth, so be sure to chew slow and consume a meal separately from any other task (writing an email, talking on the phone, eating in the car, etc.)
Hack #4: Check "under the hood." Conventional medicine metrics vary from optimal health metrics and typically have a large range. If you are seeking optimal health, consider a doctor a lifeguard and a health coach a swim coach. Key markers to monitor include: Homocysteine, C-Reactive, Vitamin D (optimal range: 60-80ng/dL), Fasted Glucose (optimal range: 82-88mg/dL), Hemoglobin A1C, LDH (lactate dehydrogenase low end optimal is 140IU/L--*can indicate insulin resistance), Thyroid (TSH, Total T3, Total T4, T3 Uptake, Comprehensive Metabolic Panel, Hormones, etc.
Hack #5: Track adherence. Pick 1-2 habits you want to work on and aim for 80% compliance for 2-4 weeks prior to adding another habit. These habits need to be simple such as tracking stress/ sleep, tracking water intake, training program, protein intake, weight, etc. You can complete this using a spreadsheet or utilizing a habit tracking journal. By being your own scientist you are able to gather data to seek areas of opportunity. Above all, remain compliant in consistently executing outcome based behavior. Lastly, the scale is a barometer of progress, not the be all end all of progress.