The human body can either be a fat burning body or a fat storing body and the metabolism is responsible for deciding which type of body we have. The good news is that we have the power to support our metabolism so it can be a fat burning machine! The first step is to understand what parts of our body control the metabolism so we can learn how to nourish and take care of those parts to help improve the way our metabolism acts.
The metabolism is mainly controlled by 4 important body systems including:
Let us explore each of these body systems in detail to understand how they affect your metabolism.
Sometimes called the "master metabolism" gland because the thyroid controls your body temperature, vital body functions like breathing and heart rate, metabolism functions and the bodies ability to burn fat.
The thyroid is responsible for secreting the thyroid hormones Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4) , which control cellular metabolism throughout the body. Any imbalance in thyroid hormones will impact the metabolism of the entire body.
When there is not enough T3 or T4 in the body, the metabolic function becomes impaired and slows down. Low levels of T3 cause the body to store fat. When the thyroid is not producing enough T3 and T4 is called hypothyroidism.
There is a strong research that shows the correlation between hypothyroidism and weight gain. Root causes of hypothyroidism can include food allergies and sensitivities , gluten, heavy metal overload, nutritional deficiencies and chronic stress.
The good news is that it is possible to reverse low thyroid function! Optimize our nutrition, minimize stress and get our body moving to boost thyroid function. Healthy thyroid functions helps turn on the fat burning switch.
The adrenal glands play an equally important roll in maintaining a healthy metabolism. The adrenals release several different hormones but the one we are most concerned about when it comes to the regulating the body's metabolism are fight or flight hormones, cortisol and catecholamines. These hormones when in harmony can give your body a high functioning metabolism that burns fat easily, but when these hormones are out of balance the metabolism goes in the opposite direction.
Catecholamines include dopamine, adrenaline (epinephrine) and norepinephrine. These hormones are released into the bloodstream when the we are physically or emotionally stressed. They play a roll in mobilizing sources of stored energy to handle stressful situations the body encounters.
Cortisol regulates glucose, fat and protein, keeping the metabolism in check. Cortisol also plays a roll in stimulating appetite, especially high fat and high carb foods. Cortisol also plays a roll in regulating blood pressure and inflammation.
Root causes of adrenal issues include stress, food sensitivities, blood sugar imbalances, infections, excessive exercise and any thing that puts a perceived sense of stress on the body, even high caffeine consumption.
The good news is that your food choices, exercise, stress management and lifestyle can determine how the adrenals behave. Identifying and removing the source of stress will jumpstart the rebalancing of the adrenals.
They ways that hormonal imbalances affects our metabolism are in depth. Read more about what you probably don't know about the metabolism & hormones!
The liver is an essential player in the metabolism and all metabolic processes in the body. The liver helps breakdown fat, carbohydrates and protein to produce energy. Our livers are also an important detox organ that filters our environmental toxins, excess stress hormones, helps our body absorb nutrients and minerals from the food we eat and even controls over 70% of thyroid function (which we already know from the first part of this post, the thyroid plays an important role in our metabolism). A thriving liver means a thriving metabolism that is efficiently burning fat.
It is very common that our livers become overloaded with sugar, processed foods, toxins, medicines, alcohol and stress hormones from our current way of lives. As you can imagine, when the liver is overburdened with all of these things, it makes it hard for it work efficiently, which can impair the metabolism from running optimally.
Common signs that the liver is overburdened include bloating, gat, depression, acne, low energy, blood sugar imbalances, sleep problems, inability to lose weight and weight gain on the butt, hips and thighs.
Keeping our livers healthy by minimizing our toxic exposure, removing processed foods from our diets, limiting our alcohol consumption, and managing stress can all have a profound impact on our metabolism and ability to be a fat burning machine.
Our muscles are another critical component of a healthy metabolism. Muscle mass uses a lot more energy than fat while the body is at rest. Meaning that the more muscle you have on your body and the less fat, the higher your resting metabolic rate. Also known as the basal metabolic rate, the energy used for our body's basic functioning while we are at rest.
Most of the energy that our body is burns is from this resting metabolism. That is why including resistance training to enhance our lean muscle mass is effective when working towards an efficient metabolism.
Muscles also have the highest concentration of insulin receptors in our body. The more lean muscle mass we have, the more our body is able to respond to insulin. Insulin plays an important role in the metabolism by managing blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels are high, insulin levels are high.
When we eat and our bodies break down the nutrients, the amount of sugar in our blood increases. That blood sugar is transported to our muscles to use as fuel. When we eat foods that spike our blood sugar, like refined carbohydrates such as white breads and pastas, sugary treats, our bodys release more insulin to help direct the sugars out of the blood stream and into our muscles. Our muscles can only take up a certain amount of fuel at a time, so when there is a surplus of sugar in the blood, and muscles are full, the rest gets stored as fat.
Mastering our metabolism is so much more than just taking metabolism boosting pills and eating foods deemed as metabolism boosters. Mastering our metabolism requires identifying root causes of why the metabolism is struggling in the first place, removing those root causes and correcting any imbalances that have developed. Since our metabolism is comprised of so many different factors, healing the metabolism requires healing all of those different factors.
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The information in this presentation is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Milan Lekay, milanlekay.com 2019