When we hear the term “good metabolism” in social situations, it’s usually about somebody who seems to be able to eat and eat — without gaining weight. But metabolic health entails much more than this. Although it’s true that your metabolic rate is the speed at which your body burns calories, your metabolism has more to do with health than just your weight.
Metabolism has a huge impact on overall wellness, encompassing areas of health such as glucose balance, cardiovascular function, eating habits and cravings, daily energy levels, hormone balance, mood and cognition, circulation, immune response and much more. A healthy metabolism can mean you feel great and your overall health is good. Poor metabolism… well… often means the opposite.
We now know that metabolic health can be impacted by a variety of factors, including lifestyle, diet, toxin exposure, sleep patterns, stress levels, other health issues and of course, genetics. The good news is that there are plenty of ways we can support metabolism, thereby also improving overall health and happiness.
First, let’s take a look at 4 signs that can indicate a need for metabolic health support. Then, we’ll discuss some simple ways to do just that.
- Wide Waist
What’s your waist size? Excessive weight around the abdomen is the most common sign that you may need to support your metabolism. If you are a man with a waistline of 40 inches or greater, or a woman with a waistline of 35 inches or greater, your metabolic health may need to be examined.
Do you generally feel run down, like you’re “running on fumes?” Feeling sleepy once in a while after a restless night can be expected. But, if you are frequently tired with low energy throughout the day even after a good night’s sleep, your metabolism may be to blame.
- Excessive Sweating
Do you sweat for no apparent reason? It’s normal to sweat when it’s hot or during physical exertion, but if simple, everyday tasks like doing the dishes or walking up a flight of stairs make you drip, you may need to address your metabolic health.
- Low Circulation
Are your fingers and toes always cold or do your hands and feet fall asleep frequently? When you hurt yourself, does it take you a long time to heal? Low circulation may be a sign that your metabolism could use some help.
How to Maintain Metabolic Health
So you’ve determined that your metabolism isn’t what you want it to be. Now what? The good news is, it’s not rocket science. Promoting your metabolic health mainly involves common sense actions and lifestyle adjustments.
High stress is a little-known culprit in metabolic mayhem. Try adding 15 minutes of meditation to your daily routine. That time you spend hitting “snooze” in the morning, for example, may be better used for meditation. Using the first minutes of your day in this way can really get your day rolling in a positive way. Or try meditating for 15 minutes in bed just before you fall asleep. This may help relax your mind and prepare you for a deep, rejuvenating sleep. Better yet, try both!
In addition, when you feel your stress levels getting out of hand, take 20 seconds to stop whatever you’re doing and simply breathe. Take 3 deep breaths and exhale fully, pulling your bellybutton toward your spine to completely empty your diaphragm. 20 seconds is so quick that nobody will even notice that you “checked out” for that time – but it may be enough to bring you (and your metabolism) some peace.
Any kind of cardio (aerobic exercise) will help to both rev up your metabolism and reduce your stress (which should please the multitaskers).
Recent studies are showing that 1 ½ hours per week of moderate physical activity, like brisk walking, keeps the average person healthy (more is needed if you want to lose weight). What’s more, studies show that 10 minutes here and there work just as well as 45 minute workouts, as long as your total exercise time adds up to 90 minutes or more over the course of the week. This is a relief for any busy person, as it’s much easier to fit a 15-minute walk into your daily lunch break than it is to get up an hour early to go to the gym.
Although cardio is absolutely necessary, don’t forget to include some muscle-building (anaerobic exercise). Muscle is more active than fat, so more muscle means higher metabolism. Explore different ways to fit muscle training into your day. Do squats while you’re waiting for dinner to cook. Do some push-ups or sit-ups while waiting for your shower to get hot. Install an over-the-door pull-up bar and do one or two pull-ups every time you walk by. Be creative!
Super easy tip: More green vegetables, less sugar.
This alone can do a lot to support metabolic health. But we can take our healthy eating habits to an even higher level for greater vitality and health.
Learn the difference between good fats and bad fats (for example: deep-fry oil, trans-fat and anything hydrogenated = bad fats. Omegas, essential fatty acids, coconut, avocados, olive oil, raw seeds and nuts = good fats). Incorporate vegetables of some form into every meal – even breakfast! Try blending some spinach or kale into a fruit and yogurt smoothie – we bet you won’t even taste the greens! Vegetables should make up at least half of each meal. Aim for foods that are low on the glycemic index, which means they don’t cause a glucose spike, and subsequent crash that can hinder metabolic health over time.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth that just can’t be tamed, get yourself a bag of xylitol. It looks, tastes, mixes and bakes just like regular sugar, and has an extremely low glycemic index (meaning it will not throw your metabolism out of balance the way refined sugar and corn syrup do). As an added bonus, xylitol is actually good for your teeth by promoting healthy bacterial balance. Xylitol can be found at most natural food stores and online.
Food is fuel. Not only do you need to put the right kind in your body, you also need to add more when you run out.
When you wake up, you have already gone a long time without eating. Skipping breakfast is like running your car on fumes and causes your body (and your metabolism) to slow down in order to stretch the energy from your last meal. Eating breakfast fuels your body and kick-starts your metabolism for the day.
Metabolic Health Formula
To help you on your journey of maintaining metabolic health, ecoNugenics offers ecoMetabolic™, our new, advanced metabolic formula that offers comprehensive, natural metabolic support from multiple angles. ecoMetabolic™ contains unique blends of botanical extracts and nutrients drawn from multiple health traditions, to provide comprehensive support for overall metabolic function and efficiency, healthy glucose and cholesterol levels, and reduced sugar cravings.*