August 2, 2013 

 

Metabolism

 

Now, switching gears from emotional health and getting physical.

 

The word metabolism is one of those words frequently used in conversation these days with so many people trying to loose weight and blaming their success or misfortune on their slow or fast metabolism. However, I am willing to bet that only few of us actually understand what metabolism means. I know I didn’t, until I started to research it. I thought it was a process of how well your body burned fat and processed it into energy. I also thought that if you are born with good metabolism you have an upper hand on being slim and if you were born with a slow one it would be more difficult for you to maintain a slim physique.

 

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary metabolism is the sum of processes by which a particular substance is handled in the living body.[1] The operative word being “processes” - plural not a singular process as many of us think. Jillian Michaels, in her book Master Your Metabolism, puts it best: “We tend to think of metabolism as a furnace, but it’s actually more like a chemistry lab.”[2] The chemistry lab that is completely at the hands of your hormones, they decide whether to burn the energy or turn it to fat and store it.

 

The hormones are either catabolic (destructive) or anabolic (constructive) and both are important to a healthy metabolism. The good thing as Jillian Michaels says is that no matter where your hormone levels are today, healthy or not, you can change them. “The ‘food’ we eat now simply doesn’t give our hormones what they need to stay balanced. The chemicals and toxins in the environment send signals to our bodies that make them produce more or fewer hormones than normal.”[3]

 

If you suspect that you may have an imbalance, you can have your doctor test for hormonal deficiency or overacting. However, there are steps you can take to prevent or correct hormonal issues. For example, remember when you mother told you that you can’t eat dessert on empty stomach? She was right, whether she was a scientist understanding that having sugar on empty stomach makes your insulin work extra hard to clean sugar out of your blood thus depleting glucose out of it and leaving you hungry and wanting to eat more. And when you do eat more while your body is still processing your last sugary meal it goes into a fat deposit in your body. Repeat this process enough times and you’ve got yourself insulin resistance leading to Type 2 diabetes. This insulin imbalance has also been linked to cognitive decline such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

 

Similarly having either too much or too little thyroid; estrogen and progesterone; leptin and ghrelin; testosterone; DHEA and cortisol; epinephrine and norepinephrine or human growth hormones will have a tremendous effect on your health and ability to loose fat and build muscle.[4]

 

So what should one do to regain or maintain balance of the hormone levels and thus healthy metabolism? The answer is actually relatively simple – eater real wholesome food, use clean products on your skin and in your home. Chemicals we eat, ingest through the skin and use in our homes adversely affect the hormones in our bodies thus effecting our health and fitness.

 

I highly recommend Master Your Metabolism book to anyone interested in learning more about balancing your hormones with diet. 

 

Stay tuned for upcoming articles on healthy diet, skin and cleaning products. 



[2] Jillian Michaels, Master Your Metabolism (Empowered Media LLC, 2009), p. 32.

[3] Jillian Michaels, Master Your Metabolism (Empowered Media LLC, 2009), p. 34-35.

[4] Jillian Michaels, Master Your Metabolism (Empowered Media LLC, 2009), pgs. 36-83

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