Do you ever meet people who tell you that they feel great all the time? It’s probably because they have optimal metabolic function, which is the cornerstone of a healthy body. Even though this is the case, only one in every eight American adults are metabolically healthy. Suffering from metabolic imbalance can increase a person’s risk of chronic inflammation and abnormal blood lipid or blood sugar levels.
Let’s Break Down Your Metabolic Health
Everyone who wants to lose weight is envious of people with fast metabolisms. They think that a speedy metabolism is the answer to weight loss problems and more. Metabolism, by definition, is the chemical processes that happen inside a living organism. These processes are necessary to maintain life, which translates to how quickly you can burn calories. Optimal metabolic health is technically the absence of a metabolic syndrome, which occurs when someone has too low or too high of the following issues:
- Waist circumference
- Blood sugar
- Blood pressure
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
To give you an idea of what this looks like by the numbers, optimal metabolic health looks like:
- Triglycerides should be below 150 mg/dL
- Waist circumference should be under 40 inches for men and under 34.6 inches for women
- Blood sugar should be below 100 mg/dL
- Blood pressure should be below 120/80
- HDL cholesterol should be greater than 40 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL for women.
Whether you’re interested in boosting immune function, losing weight, or improving overall health, it’s wise to optimize metabolic function. Below, we detail several changes you can make to improve your metabolic health.
Take Stress Management Seriously
Make it a point to reduces stress every single day. If there’s one thing that gets in the way of a healthy metabolism, it’s stress. Excess cortisol secretion causes metabolic function to slow immensely. This can lead to fatigue, mood swings, and unhealthy cravings. Carve out a portion of each day to meditate, journal, breathe, counsel, or exercise to relieve stress.
Don’t Neglect Potassium
In order to optimize metabolic function, one of the hurdles is to reduce blood pressure. If you need assistance removing excess sodium from the body, look no further than potassium, which helps the body get rid of sodium. When the body is too acidic, there’s undue pressure on blood vessels. Get your daily dose of potassium when you eat avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, seeds, nuts, leafy greens, and tomatoes.
Focus On Strength, Not Weight Loss
This is something to keep in mind, especially if you want to lose weight. The more you exercise, eliminate stress, drink water, and focus on mindfulness, the stronger your body gets. This accounts for everything from stronger muscles and bones to a stronger mind and immune system. Your metabolic function improves with strength, and weight loss will come once everything is in order.
Aim to Balance Blood Sugar
Blood sugar imbalance can lead to energy crashes, mood swings, and unhealthy metabolic function. To understand where your blood sugar levels are, you have to take a comprehensive blood panel. This will give you an idea of where your body is, and this is beneficial whether you are healthy or unhealthy. When you’re able to successfully balance your blood sugar, you’ll have an easier time maintaining a healthy metabolism. This contributes to more energy and less lethargy. For starters, simply focus on vegetables, a small amount of low-sugar fruits, moderate servings of healthy fats, and lean proteins.
Don’t Let Fad Diets Lead You Astray
It’s easy to get lost in the never-ending world of diets. Someone on Instagram raves about the fact that pescatarian diet changed their life, while a TedTalk informed you that keto is the answer. Instead of getting swept up by fad diets, focus on colorful produce items, controlled portions, fiber, healthy fats, and high-quality lean protein. Simply slow down and savor these foods and never lose sight of nutrient-dense foods.
Sleep Is Life
The quality of sleep you get is equally as important as the quantity of sleep you get. You could spend half your day in bed, but it means nothing if you aren’t experiencing full sleep cycles. The body recovers and repairs itself, including metabolism, during sleep. Experts advise that adults should get seven to eight hours of sleep every night and develop routines that help them wind down one to two hours before bed. Eliminate screens and anything else that causes stress or keeps you up. Clear your mind and let your body relax in these hours before bed; your sleep will benefit.