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Metabolic Health: Why does it matter and how your body can reach the 'Fat Adapted' stage?

What is metabolic health and why does it matter?

When someone is metabolically healthy, insulin effectively moves sugar out of the blood and into cells for safe storage. You eat and digest food, your blood sugar rises, insulin is produced and your blood sugar comes down again.

However, according to Cleveland Clinic, you may be suffering from Metabolic syndrome and are putting yourself at risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver and more, if you identify with three or more of these:

● A waistline of 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women (measured across the belly)

● A blood pressure of 130/85 mm Hg or higher or are taking blood pressure medications

● A triglyceride level above 150 mg/dl

● A fasting blood glucose (sugar) level greater than 100 mg/dl or are taking glucose-lowering medications

● A high density lipoprotein level (HDL) less than 40 mg/dl (men) or under 50 mg/dl (women)

If you resonated with three of more of these and want to improve your physical health, start your journey to a healthier lifestyle by following the guidelines from Life Wellness Lab's ebook (add downloadable link to 'ebook')

Most often poor metabolic health is due to diet and lifestyle. We can't always blame our unhealthy habits on genes alone, as the U.S. diabetes rates have skyrocketed within the last 50 years.

Why we're seeing an uptick in diabetes' rates? We’re eating more sugar and processed carbohydrates, sleeping and exercising less and working more than ever before. Add chronic stress and anxiety and it’s a recipe for really bad health issues. In fact, you may be shocked to know that according to the American Heart Association, we consume about 60 pounds of added sugar each year, with 25% coming from soft drinks alone.

Fat Adapted

What is 'Fat Adapted' and how you can achieve this? It’s the metabolic state your body is in once you’ve been in ketosis for about four weeks, but it depends on your own bio chemistry - when your body has efficiently transitioned from burning carbs/sugar for energy to burning fats from your food, body-generated fats, and your stored body-fat reserves for energy.

Your body is getting used to living off of fat, or becoming fat adapted.

When you reach this stage, you’ve pretty much lost your cravings for carbs, feel full faster at mealtimes, and stay feeling full longer. Thus you eat less and still feel great. The benefit of your body being fat adapted? Even if you have a higher than normal carb intake one day, this won't affect your ketone and blood glucose numbers as much as it did while you were transitioning. Just don’t make it a regular occurrence - you don’t want to go back to “start” again!

How can you change your eating habits and lifestyle choices?

Here's a couple of great tips;

  1. Track your proteins, fats and carbs daily - especially if losing weight is part of your goal of getting healthier

  2. Incorporate fasting into your life - intermittent, one meal a day, or prolonged. They can all be beneficial if done consistently and safely.

  3. Diversify your diet with a good variety of low glycemic foods.

  4. Stop snacking. (and don’t start again)

  5. Get moving.

  6. Don’t eat by habit or when you’re bored - really pay attention and only eat when you’re hungry.

  7. Manage stress in a healthy way that works for you and leads to better sleep.

  8. Understand and incorporate low carb and moderate proteins you enjoy as the basis for your meals to balance your blood sugar and hormones.

  9. Eat healthy fats and avoid unhealthy inflammatory fats.

  10. Plan and prep your meals so you’re not derailed by time constraints.

As you get better at modifying your diet and lifestyle, you can make the move into a Keto or low carbohydrate diet that will continue to improve blood sugar regulation, body weight, insulin function, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and other markers of metabolic health.

When you restrict carbs, your body “learns” that sugar is scarce so this keeps insulin levels low, and promotes the burning of fat for energy. Combine these and you get weight loss, better energy and enhanced metabolic health.

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