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How to Fix a Slow Metabolism
If you’re frustrated with the inability to lose weight and tried everything, you need a deeper understanding of the true cause of a slow metabolism and easy doable steps in correcting it.
Facts about Metabolism
Dieting slows metabolism & increases cravings & hunger.
When you diet, you’re really just slowing down your metabolism. This becomes clear when you look at shows like 'The Biggest Loser'. The participants are placed on a diet and often lose a bunch of weight for television.
What they don’t show you, however, is that after the show, it tends to all come right back. This is because when you slow down your metabolism, you need to keep up with the diet in order to maintain it.
When you diet, what you are really doing is causing your body to enter a state of starvation. You deprive yourself of the fuel just long enough to cause your hunger to surge and leaves you feeling uncomfortable and unsatisfied.
Age slows metabolism.
This probably comes to no surprise to many of you. As we age, our bodies naturally begin to burn less energy throughout the day. You may have heard people suggest that “I seem to put on weight much easier these days than when I was younger”, or perhaps you’ve thought of that yourself.
It's true that as we get older, we simply use less energy, and this makes it easier for us to overeat and begin to put on weight.
Exercise increases hunger.
When we exercise, we increase the body's need for energy, which triggers our brain to feel hungry. The energy stored within the cells is used up, causing them to ask for more energy from the blood.
It’s very unnatural to lose weight.
The body stores fat as a method of survival in order to protect itself from starvation. The stored energy is used as an energy source for times when food is not available.
Naturally, your body does not like to burn this stored energy and will try to keep it around as long as possible before letting it go. This is why it takes persistence to train your body to choose fat as a main source of energy rather than dietary sugar.
A set point is that level that your body loves to settle in weight-wise. The body doesn’t like to go below that, it might not even go higher than that point as it just likes to settle at a certain point – the set point.
So the main aim of this article is to show you how to effectively lower that set point. say for example, you have a set point of 182 and want to bring it down to a goal of 142; you will have to drop your metabolism level to that set point of 142 and like I said earlier, the body likes to stay the same. It doesn’t like a significant reduction because that would be starvation.
So I will be giving you the foundations on how to fix the set point and in order to do this, we need to be aware of what destroys the set point besides dieting.
What destroys the set point?
Firstly, we need to be aware of the pancreas (located underneath your left ribcage). Contained in it are so many cells (al
pha, beta, and delta.) and among these cells, the beta cells are our main concern as they are the manufacturers of insulin in the body. 60% of cells are beta cells and 40% are other cells. As you know, insulin regulates blood sugar but there are also other important functions of insulin you may not be aware of like:
It affects fat metabolism.
It affects protein metabolism.
It converts sugar into blood fat ( cholesterol, triglycerides).
It retains sodium.
It increases tension on the arteries (increases blood pressure).
It drives amino acids (protein) into the cells.
This is just to give you an idea of what insulin does in carbohydrate metabolism. But then, the most important thing to you is that it is the primary regulator that makes you fat and blocks all your chances of burning fat.
Having high level of insulin over time will lead to insulin resistance and whenever we eat at any point in the day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), we get insulin from our digestive tract.
Yes, we will get rid of the sugar but when we eat a snack in between these meals, we end up increasing insulin, thus leading to insulin resistance. This is why you must opt-in for 3 meals a day or 2 meals per day to correct insulin resistance.
What causes insulin resistance?
High insulin + time = Insulin resistance.
Let’s consider why.
When insulin is high for a long time, the body begins to ignore it. The cells will become resistant to it and no longer listen to what the insulin is telling it to do. Imagine you have just moved into a new house that is close to some train tracks.
For the first few weeks, the loud trains ch ugging in the night will bother you and keep you from being able to sleep. Over time, however, the chugging won’t stop but you’ll learn how to ignore it and sleep soundly through it. You will effectively become 'resistant' to the train noises.
The same is true for the body. When insulin is too high for too long, the receptors that pick up and respond to the insulin actually downgrade, and can even stop working altogether. The insulin comes along, but the receptors on the cell don’t listen to it. This prevents it from doing its job and will let the blood sugars remain high and unable to enter the cells.
When the body stops listening to insulin, it will only act to stoke the fire. Insulin levels will increase further, leading to even more resistance. Blood sugar levels will only continue to rise since the insulin is no longer able to let it into the cells.
If insulin is allowed to go on too far, it will begin to damage proteins throughout the body. Think about how important protein is in your body. It does nearly everything! The proteins that have been damaged will be converted to sugar or will be released through the kidneys, which can cause damage if allowed to go on for too long.
Let’s say before a meal, your blood sugar is around 80 and 100. When you eat, your blood sugar will spike to about 120 or 140 as the sugar is broken down and released into your bloodstream.
As the insulin is released, the blood sugar is told to enter the cells, and is then burned as energy, stored as sugar, or converted to fat. In a diabetic person however, the sugar rises far too high, and is not able to make it into the cells (due to the insulin resistance). It will then take much longer for the blood sugar to return back to normal levels.
In effect, the sugar levels in the blood are high, which tells the pancreas to release its insulin which acts as the gatekeeper to your cells to let the sugar in. Since the gatekeeper is no longer taken seriously and the cells are resistant, they do not allow this sugar in. This does not mean that your cells are no longer hungry for sugar though! This creates an interesting and paradoxical problem…
The INSIDE of your cells are now in a state of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), but the OUTSIDE of your cells would be in a state of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). It is very interesting to see how you can be both sugar deficient, AND sugar excessive at the same time, all because the gatekeeper (insulin) is no longer taken seriously.
How do I know if I have insulin resistance?
These are the symptoms/signs of insulin resistance:
Sleepy after meal
High blood pressure
Cravings and hunger
Dark pigment in different folds of the body
Hunger between meals
There are actually many causes of having high insulin. As we talked about earlier, insulin is the body's response to high blood sugar. It may be fairly obvious then that diets high in sugar and regular snacking of foods high in sugar will cause insulin levels to rise. These foods can be something less obvious like bread, or more obvious like a candy bar or soda. When this sugar is eaten and released into the blood, the body responds with insulin.
What causes high insulin?
What many people don’t understand however is that sugar is not the only thing that triggers insulin release. Protein and hormones like estrogen can also have a stimulating effect on insulin in the body.
Estrogen is the female sex hormone. It's what makes a woman a woman and not a man. It’s responsible for regulating a woman's monthly cycles, but also has a regulatory effect on insulin. If unbalanced, estrogen can cause insulin to remain high for long periods of times, or to spike from high to low on a regular basis.
Protein can also stimulate insulin release and can lead to high levels of this hormone in the blood. Not all proteins are the same in this respect though, which leads us into the concept of the insulin index...
The insulin index is different than the glycemic index which is more familiar to most people. To jog your memory, the glycemic index is a way of measuring foods to determine how fast it will raise the blood sugar levels of the body. It measures glucose levels directly, NOT insulin.
The insulin index measures how a food will raise insulin instead. The difference here is that the insulin index takes other insulin spiking foods like lean protein into account as well. It paints a clearer picture of the effect a food will have on your insulin levels rather than simply measuring sugar.
As mentioned earlier, proteins can also cause insulin to spike. The insulin index allows us to determine which of these proteins (and sugars of course) will spike insulin levels the most. For example, heavy cream, butter, olive oil, pecans, and avocados all have a low insulin index, meaning they do not cause the insulin to spike.
When you look at these foods, you may notice that they all contain protein. They also contain fats, which is the major difference between a high insulin index, and a low one. Foods on the high side include lean proteins like lean beef, chicken, and potatoes. All of these foods will cause insulin to spike.
After considering this information, it becomes even clearer how important it is to avoid going for the lean protein options. It is fat, not protein, that reduces the body's insulin response, and acts as a sort of buffer on energy levels, and on insulin.
How to Correct Insulin Resistance & to Speed Up Your Metabolism
Now that we have discussed WHY insulin resistance is bad, and HOW it can happen, let’s talk about what you can do to correct this problem, or to prevent it before it happens at all.
We will talk about intermittent fasting, avoiding snacks throughout the day, the importance of fat in the diet, and breaking habitual eating.
First things first, don't eat when you are not hungry. If you wake up for breakfast and do not feel hungry, then don't eat! Your body knows when it needs food and it will tell you. By eating breakfast just for the sake of eating it, all you are doing is raising your blood sugar levels beyond where they need to be, and telling your body to release insulin to deal with it.
The next important thing to remember is to avoid snacking throughout the day. Snacking keeps your blood sugar levels high, which means higher insulin levels throughout the day. Have you ever heard of intermittent fasting? I highly recommend you check this out. Intermittent fasting means you go for periods of time (anywhere from a few hours to a day) without eating. It trains your body to use fat as a source of fuel, allowing your insulin to level off, and is very important for lowering your set point. You can achieve this by not snacking between meals, and definitely no snacking after dinner.
When you are fasting, you’re living off your own fat. It is not starving your body; it is training your body to live off of its stored energy sources as well as its dietary. Balance is the key.
Add more fat to your meals. The old idea that fat is bad is just simply wrong. Nutritional science has come a long way on this and we now know that fat is crucial for keeping insulin levels down and for preventing insulin resistance. Choose the full fat options, and add fats like vegetable oils, and butter to your foods. The added fat will stretch the meal farther and will allow you to go longer in between meals.
When you have a lower insulin level, and reach a state where your body prefers to use fats as energy, it means that your liver will need to work harder at converting that fat. This means that it can increase your chances of developing a fatty liver. The solution to this is simple- consume enough vegetables and water to keep this organ washed out and clear out the fat deposits.
In my Exclusive Membership Site, I cover this extensively and really teach people all the actions to overcome insulin resistance, and reveal all my secrets and all the advanced stuff. I do this through short and interesting videos, guiding them one step at a time. Our group can ask me questions along the way and get the details and nitty-gritt y of what you need to do to be super healthy.
Additional Things to Do to Improve Insulin Resistance & a Slow Metabolism
1. Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar is one of the best ways of improving your fat metabolism and lower insulin resistance. Consume it with a meal, in a pill, or add a teaspoon per glass in water.
2. Fermented foods
Fermented foods are great, and even contain some vinegar naturally as well!
3. High potassium
This means lots of vegetables. When fat is burned, it needs to be processed in the liver. The greens will keep the fat flushed from the liver and are needed to prevent fatty liver. It will even get rid of the fatty liver that may already be present. One of the best ways to get this is through my Raw Wheatgrass Juice Powder.
4. Vitamin B1
This vitamin is found in nutritional yeast and will reduce the need for insulin to take its effect. If insulin is more efficient, then not much will be needed for it to take effect.
Always choose the higher fiber option such as juice with the pulp in it. This will help to buffer the insulin and can go a long way in preventing insulin resistance on its own. Try eating high-fiber vegetables like celery.
Fats are a very sustaining food that will keep energy levels sustained between meals. This means you can go for a longer amount of time between meals. It prevents the blood sugar spikes, and the insulin resistance that follows. This is how you can reverse diabetes.
7. Lowering cortisol + estrogen
Cortisol is the stres s hormone that triggers insulin release. Find ways to relax and minimize stress.
Estrogen is the female sex hormone, which also stimulates the release of insulin. Try to avoid taking estrogen tablets, and do things that will promote a balance in your hormone levels.
When you get enough sleep, your stress levels reduce, and can directly lower insulin levels. It also helps with the intermittent fasting during the night. If you sleep an extra hour each night, you have simultaneously added an extra hour between your next meals.
Vegetables are a great way of reducing fatty liver. They contain high levels of nutrients including phosphorous, potassium, and chromium- all useful for lowering insulin levels.
Overall, there are a lot of things you can do to lower insulin resistance. First, you should start with the intermittent fasting; 3 meals a day with no in-between snacks then go down to 2 meals per day. You will watch as your set point goes down. This is the way to fix a slow metabolism. However, many people need guidance. There are many additional things that you need to know to tailor-make to your body and conditions . For this, check out my Exclusive Membership Site.