Balancing and Rebooting Your Metabolism
By Eloise Nelson Metabolic disorders and obesity are directly linked to two powerful hormones known as insulin and leptin. Insulin is used by the body to escort glucose from the blood into the cells for energy. Processed food is loaded with sugar which is quickly broken down and released into the bloodstream causing a spike in blood sugar. The pancreas is forced to supply more and more insulin to remove the sugar from the blood. Unfortunately, the cells get saturated with glucose and can’t hold any more or perhaps the cell wall is damaged (from eating unhealthy fats) and it can’t receive the insulin. When this happens insulin resistance occurs and an overabundance of insulin is supplied. Insulin is also a storage hormone. It works with leptin in signaling the body to make more fat cells to store the extra energy. Excess sugar is always stored as fat.
Leptin is a potent hormone produced by your fat cells. Leptin tells your brain whether or not you’re hungry, how much energy is available, what to do with that energy and if your body needs to make more fat. Leptin is one of the key hormones for regulating metabolism. If your leptin signaling hormone is working correctly, then the message from the fat cells to the brain is “we’re full”. “We don’t need to eat more food, we don’t need to store additional fat and we don’t need to make more fat cells”. Once this message is received by the brain the metabolic rate increases and fat is burned for energy. Burning fat for energy is much more efficient as it burns cleaner in the body and sustains energy longer. Burning sugar generates more metabolic waste and should only be used for quick bursts of energy.
Overproduction of leptin leads to insensitivity, very much like the condition of insulin insensitivity. If your diet consists of processed foods, sugars, fructose and grains then as these types of sugars are metabolized in your fat cells more and more leptin is released, hunger pangs increase and continue to multiply, fat cells are produced and leptin insensitivity results. The other big issue with metabolic sugar waste is that it is very acid and leads to chronic inflammation.
If you want to teach your body how to burn fat for energy, instead of burning sugar you need to eat an organic nutrient-rich diet. Include as many vegetables and leafy greens as possible, moderate amounts of protein and increase eating healthy fats. Depending on your body-type consume 50-85% healthy fats including organic coconut oil, avocados, butter from grass-fed cows, olives and nuts and seeds. Practice intermittent fasting and consume protein within 30 minutes of exercise to increase and maintain muscle mass. Exercise has shown to increase your metabolism, boost Human Growth Hormone levels and convert white cancer-causing fat to health encouraging brown fat which burns fat for energy.
Eloise Nelson, PhD is a Holistic Nutritionist with 35 years of experience in nutrition, natural health care and exercise training specializing in nutritional and lifestyle education, weight reduction, women's health care, eating disorders and substance abuse. She authored the self-help book, "The 14 Day Gourmet Cleanse and Rejuvenation Program" (2005) and continues to teach two-week seminars and one-day educational workshops on nutrition and food preparation as well as provide individual consultations in the areas of lifestyle enhancement, anti-aging and longevity. She teaches workshops at the Vitality Center located in the Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa. Eloise has been formulating nutritional products for 23 years and is a co-founder and president of Foodie and Fuel Inc. which products a delicious, organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, paleo-friendly, vegan snack line called Foodie Fuel. She lives in Boulder, CO and is the mother of 3 sons.