In this article I explain why metabolism is important not only for our physical health and shape but also for our mental functioning and emotional equilibrium. I also elaborate on the key factors contributing to metabolic health.
Eat, pray, love, and sleep!
Metabolism accounts for immune system function, energy levels, mood and emotional health, hormonal balance, skin quality, body shape, elimination… In fact, every function you can think of in the body, physiological or mental, can be related to some metabolic process. Thus, conditions like diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart failure, chronic inflammation, depression, and even epilepsy – all of those (and many more!) can be linked to an underlying metabolic issue.
In truth, we metabolize much more than what we eat and drink. We metabolize our own hormones and the waste created as byproduct from physiological processes (including metabolism itself). And of course, we metabolize thoughts and emotions (some of which are often highly toxic) much the same way we metabolize food and drinks.
On the face of it, metabolism is indeed key to our health and happiness. And if we want to optimize it, we need to consider three main factors: stress, sleep and diet.
Stress creates free radicals, i.e. more waste to be metabolized. The other problem with stress is that it turns on the fight-flight mechanism which leads to shutting down the healthy metabolic pathways. As a result, blood sugar and insulin levels go up making us store more fat (and fat cells, in turn, hold on to more physical and emotional toxins). Therefore, de-stressing practices such as meditation, physical exercise and some form of therapy are crucial to maintaining optimal metabolic health.
Lack of sleep also raises blood sugar and insulin levels and prevents the parasympathetic nervous system to kick in. Thus, instead of the parasympathetic rest-digest-metabolize-repair mode, we stay in fight-flight which, as already explained, leads to fat and toxin storage. To avoid that, make sure you are asleep by 11pm at the latest, and get at least 8 hours of sleep.
Last but not least – diet. Now, there is a way to eat to increase metabolic heath, and there is a way to eat to destroy it. If you want to help your metabolism, you need to stay away from: sugar (especially fructose which is highly fattening and inflammatory), flour and starch, poly-unsaturated fats (especially seed oils), and alcohol and cigarettes. You also need to stay away from snacking: limiting your food intake to two or three meals a day will raise your metabolism and help you burn your own fat and toxins; constant grazing, on the other hand, will do the opposite. Lastly, don’t eat after 7pm for everything you put into your mouth after that time gets stored as visceral fat around organs (the worst fat of all).
By the way, your dietary habits also determine whether you will elevate your game and reach your highest potential, or whether you will live a mediocre life. The thing is, the lower brain (which lives in fear and orchestrates self-sabotaging practices) feeds on sugar and loves grazing. So if you want to access your higher brain (the one that takes you to a state of bliss and happiness), and if you want to operate from your higher self, you must consider some form of fasting (say 16-18 hours a day, or longer) and eat a low-carb diet.
In conclusion, eat right, pray and love, and sleep, and you will feel and look beautiful on the inside as well as on the outside.