What is Metabolic Health?
With now more than 115 million infections and more than 2·5 million deaths from COVID-19 reported worldwide, many of which occurred in people with poor metabolic health, COVID-19 has sent the world a wake-up call about its inaction on metabolic diseases.
In the post-COVID-19 era, metabolic health is a priority, with obesity taking centre stage.
The good news is that improving our metabolic health helps both men and women lose weight from around the middle, which reduces the risk of diabetes and inflammation that will boost your immunity.
With that in mind, if you are struggling to lose weight and managing other symptoms such as headaches, extreme tiredness, lack of energy, and interrupted sleep patterns, your metabolic pathways are likely struggling to metabolise the food you eat, and you are at risk of being pre-diabetic or more commonly known as insulin resistant.
Importance of Metabolic Health
Therefore how much energy we burn and store as fat, but can also affect our general health, causing various conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease.
But there are some every-day, less dramatic symptoms that you may NOT realise are clues that your metabolic health needs your attention.
Our metabolism naturally slows down as we age due to various factors that determine our metabolic pathways' ability to process energy, such as age, gender, body composition, activity level, and genetics.
When our metabolic pathways are not working as efficiently as they should be due to poor nutrition and lifestyle choices, this can lead to many metabolic health conditions, such as metabolic syndrome, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, autoimmune diseases, inflammation and cardiovascular disease.
Add in an overload of sugar, refined carbohydrates, and saturated fats over the years, our liver stops being as effective in eliminating toxins from the food we consume.
In turn, this affects the hormones that control our blood sugars and how we use and burn the energy that we consume.
Our metabolic pathways are responsible for the delivery of energy into every cell of your body, the clearance of waste and toxins, and the absorption of nutrients from your food.
Therefore, improving your metabolic health is about the quality of your food, the air you breathe, and the supplements you take.
You may be thinking that giving up sugar or cutting out your wine is enough to lose the weight you want to shed, but our metabolic health can affect us in many ways.
For example, other poor metabolic health clues are irregular sleeping habits, cravings, low energy levels, brain fog, bloating, ageing skin, and expanding waistline even when you are eating a healthy diet.
Hence, yo-yo dieting and quick fixes will not work; they create a downward spiral of health and reduce your metabolic rate rather than improve your metabolic health.
Measuring metabolic health is not about counting calories, points or sins and calculating success based on the bathroom scales' number. – it's about the delivery of energy to improve the function of your metabolic pathways.
Our poor metabolic health is commonly associated with metabolic syndrome, especially as we age.
If you are carrying extra body fat, you are at an increased risk of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, high fasting blood sugar, sluggish liver function and gut dysbiosis.
As well as your body weight, there are five more ways to measure the symptoms of your metabolic health risk.
- High blood pressure (greater than 130/85 mmHg)
- High blood sugar (fasting blood glucose over 100mg/dl)
- Waist-to-hip ratio (over 0.85 in women, 1.0+ for men)
- High triglyceride levels (above 2.3mmol/L)
- Low levels of good cholesterol, or HDL (below 1mmol/L)
When only treated with medicine for more than ten years, these are risk factors that are the consequences of not addressing the root cause of your symptoms and will lead to metabolic syndrome and or metabolic disease, autoimmune, inflammatory and heart disease.
What are the long term effects
of our Metabolic Health?
As we get older, our metabolism naturally slows down. Add in an overload of sugar, carbohydrates, and saturated fats over the years, and our liver stops being as effective in eliminating toxins from the food we consume. In turn, this affects the hormones that control our blood sugars and how we use and burn the energy that we consume.
Furthermore, certain foods that you eat can cause an imbalance of bacteria in the gut, and then things become even harder to manage. Without the protection of good gut flora, you can develop a range of conditions – leaky gut, bloating, food intolerances, allergies and skin conditions. It can also cause weight gain and, in the longer-term, lead to obesity which comes with its own range of severe health consequences.
You may be thinking that giving up sugar or cutting out cake is enough to lose the weight you want to shed, but our metabolic health can affect us in many ways. For example, it might make our sleep patterns irregular, bring on cravings for certain foods and affect our energy levels, as well as making our bodies store fat rather than burn it (particularly around the middle).
Metabolic Health Solution
Yo-yo dieting and quick fixes will not work; they create a downward spiral. With strict calorie counting and denying ourselves what we want to eat, our metabolic pathways will go into decline and work against us rather than improve.
It's important that we pay attention to what we eat because it can have a major effect on our metabolic health. For instance, if someone is trying to get healthier by suddenly eating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, they might actually end up gaining weight instead of losing it because those types of foods can cause an imbalance in the gut microbiome due to the higher sugar content compared with meat or carbs.
Our blood sugars and the hormones that influence how much energy we burn and where weight is stored will affect how we lose weight. It's not about counting calories, points or sins, and calculating success based on the bathroom scales' number. – it's about the quality of the food you eat, what you eat it with and how often – It's about improving your metabolic pathways by boosting your metabolism.
Take a look at the Metabolic Health Age Calculator. This will give you an idea of your current metabolic health, and you register for the FREE Metabolic Health webinar to learn the truth about the impact your food choices are having on your future health
Please Join me in the Health HUB for a regular glass of collagen or champagne 🥂 especially on a Friday at 4 pm when I share my open and honest advice on improving your metabolic health to slow down the effects of ageing.