Metabolism drives healthy weight loss. This is because our body is a system of parts working together in steps, combining the air we breathe with the food we eat to drive function, burning fat in the process. The fat we burn as we raise our metabolism is not just around our waistline, but also the fat accumulating in our vital organs, including the liver and our bloodstream. The higher our metabolism, the higher our fat-burning capacity and our function, both of our body and our mind. This is why weight loss from driving metabolism increases our mental and physical function instead of reducing it, as is typically experienced when simply cutting Calories, or exercising hard without eating in a way to facilitate recovery (healing). There are several key elements to our metabolic flow, all of which are equally important for driving metabolic health:
Sleep / stress balance
Sleep / stress balance: whereas deep quality sleep facilitates the first critical step and therefore the foundation of metabolism (DNA gene expression), stress hormones break down the lean tissue created by that foundation. This is why it is the ratio between these that determines what our exercise and nutrition has to work with, meaning how successful our lifestyle choices will be. Simple, short stress-management interventions throughout the day and in particular before sleep can leverage your exercise and nutrition efforts dramatically since this increases both lean tissue retention during the day and quality of sleep at night.
Nutrition: eating healthy foods is not enough to drive metabolism. Our body uses a balance of nutrients to meet its needs. While our body is extremely flexible in managing the variety of diets that we throw at it, there are minimum needs below which metabolism fall, reducing our capacity to function, heal, and burn fat.
Recovery: exercise increases nutrient demands on the body, increasing the body’s nutrient needs in specific ways that are not a part of basic healthy eating. These specifics include refueling, rebuilding and hydration.
Exercise: working out as hard as possible to try and force our body into fitness can pummel the body into a lower metabolism, reducing our health. Instead, the goal is to work out smarter, with movement patterns that are as efficient as possible to fill in our metabolic gaps. There are specific relative intensities of endurance and strengthening exercise that target these gaps, and regular (non-exercise) movement periodically throughout the day keeps metabolism idling instead of shutting down.
In this first part of four, you will be guided through the initial simple thought process on managing sleep / stress balance and integrating this balance together with nutrition, recovery, and movement, including exercise.