Metabolic Health Part 3

As we covered recently, “calories in, calories out” (CICO) is correct, but often not helpful enough by itself for people to lose weight.

In this final installment, you’ll learn the most important areas to focus on for more energy and easier weight loss (or weight maintenance), whether or not you choose to count calories.

Teach Your Body to Burn Fat

Did you know some people are simply better at burning fat than others?

You can teach your body to burn more fat by:

  • Cycling your carb intake (as I discussed in Metabolic Health Part 2)
  • Going for regular walks and including frequent light aerobic activity in your routine[1]
  • Exercising gently in a low-carb or fasted state[2]
  • Exposing your body to cold (try going for a swim in cold water!)[3][4]

However, it takes time. Stay consistent for 2-3 months and you’ll find you lose fat much more easily than before…

Get More Sleep

Sleep deprivation and poor quality sleep affect your metabolism negatively, resulting in more difficulty losing weight or maintaining weight loss[5].

You probably know the standard advice — turn off your devices before bed, no screens, dim lights, consistent bedtime — but are you following it?

And did you know cherries are naturally high in melatonin, which can also support restful sleep[6]?

Work on Stress Management

Daily chronic stress is another factor that imbalances your hormones and disrupts your metabolism[7][8]. And of course, some people eat more as a coping mechanism.

Here are my favorite tips to build a better relationship with unavoidable stress:

  • Sit quietly for 5-10 minutes without your phone and do nothing (preferably outside)
  • Write down everything that’s going through your mind and choose one problem to focus on solving for now.
  • Know the difference between stress cravings and hunger, and eat a filling, tasty high-protein snack when you need a boost.

There are dozens of effective ways to manage stress. What matters is doing them consistently and understanding they can help rescue your metabolism.

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Avoid the Rebound Effect

The rebound effect occurs within 1-2 years of initial weight loss, and some evidence suggests it affects 80% of people who lose significant amounts of weight[9].

Researchers think people rebound and regain the weight they lost because of behavioral and hormonal reasons[10].

Along with avoiding binge eating and other relapse behaviors, you can also maximize your chances of success by continuing to exercise, eating healthy foods with plenty of micronutrients to support hormone production, and staying consistent on all the other fat-burning tips from this and last week’s newsletter.

When to Speak to a Doctor

If you have trouble losing weight and can’t seem to fix your metabolism, it could be a problem like insulin resistance, hypothyroidism, or cortisol imbalance. If your primary care doctor isn’t sure how to help, you can ask for a referral to an endocrinologist.

But for most people, the tips in these posts are enough.

The Science

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5571495/

[2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352396415301882

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33459179/

[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8248684/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6196958/

[6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32050515/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5958156/

[8] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19300426/

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4205264/

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3901982/



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