In the simplest term metabolic flexibility is to switch between burning carbohydrates and burning fat for fuel in our body.
Our human ancestors were able to survive and evolve due to this flexibility. The ability to manage energy metabolism for optimal storage and use during states of either food surplus or famine and periods of either rest or energy demands were essential for survival.
Today our modern society has kept us in a fat storage state due to our continuous intake of highly processed, sugary foods and physical inactivity. Our ancestors ate concentrated sources of carbohydrates, like seasonal fruits, 3-5 times a year…NOT 3-5 time a day, everyday!
Now our bodies have all this stored fuel that’s hanging around and never has a chance to use it. Look at yourself right now…. do you have excess fat on your body? Thats stored energy! You have to teach your body how to release it. Then you can become fat adapted. Once you teach your body how to use your fat for fuel you will build the mitochondrial machinery to become metabolically flexible.
How Do I Know If I”m Metabolically Flexible?
- Go for long periods without eating and still have energy?
- Eat a carb rich meal and not feel exhausted afterwards?
- Vary exercise intensity without difficulty?
- Do a workout without eating?
- Sleep great and wake up not hungry?
Signs of inflexibility:
- Feel lethargic more often than not?
- Have a hard time losing weight despite dieting?
- Need to snack to sustain your energy levels?
- Gain fat easily?
- Have poor sleep?
- Have mood swings?
A person with good metabolic flexibility will be good at nutrient partitioning. The food consumed will help muscle growth and recovery rather than fat storage. They can burn carbs when they eat them. They can burn fat when they eat it (or when they don’t eat at all). They can switch between carbohydrate metabolism and fat metabolism with relative ease.
So How Do I Become A Fat Burning Machine?!
- Move More– regular training, both strength and aerobic like intense intervals and long, slow, easy aerobic activity will help create new mitochondria (your energy powerhouse of cells)
- Get Fat Adapted– Simply put, decrease carbs to low glycemic veggies and increase healthy fats. This will train you body to start using fat for fuel.
- Integrate Foods/Nutrients That Support Your Transition– Sea Salt, Magnesium, Polyphenol rich foods (colorful produce), Long-Chain Omega-3s (found in fatty fish and fish oil).
How To Track Your Flexibility?
- Can you skip a meal without issues?
- Are you snacking less—or not at all?
- Are you sleeping better?
- Are your workouts getting better?
- Do you have more energy?
- Is your mood improved?
Congratulations, You’ve become metabolically flexible!
If Not, What Questions do you have? How can I help you? Leave me a comment.
Teaching Your Body How To Be Metabolically Flexible and Fat Adapted Is A Part Of My 8wk Coaching Program. You Can Schedule a FREE Discovery Call With Me HERE To See If We Will Be A Great Team.
Have A Beautiful day!
Your Primal Health Coach, Jamie
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