Most of us associate the word “metabolism” with the word “weight”. We often talk about having a slow or fast metabolism when we talk about the way our bodies react to the foods we eat in terms of weight gain. The rate at which we burn calories from food is an indicator of the speed of our metabolism, but there is so much more to metabolism than weight.
Metabolism by definition encompasses “all of the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life”. Essentially, metabolism is the process by which your body takes the food that you eat and converts it into energy. Of course this influences the rate at which we gain weight as well as our ability to lose it, but we also rely on this energy conversion process in order to breathe, think, keep our hearts beating, and, well, exist.
Let’s zero in on this a bit more. The foods that we eat are made up of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. There are a number of chemical reactions and processes that are necessary in order to take these fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and turn them into sugars and acids, which we either use right away as fuel or store in our bodies to use later on. When any of these chemical reactions or processes are disrupted, we begin to experience metabolic dysfunction, which can affect the entire body.
How Can I Tell If My Metabolism Is Broken?
If the metabolism affects the entire body, why do so many of us associate it with weight gain alone? It may be because, alarmingly, many signs of metabolic dysfunction creep up quietly, without symptoms.
Signs of a broken metabolism include:
-High blood pressure
-High cholesterol levels; high triglyceride levels
-Difficulty regulating blood sugar/hypoglycemia/hyperglycemia
-Unexplained or unexpected weight gain, especially around the waist
-Difficulty losing weight
-Type 2 diabetes; pre-diabetes; insulin resistance
Other signs can include a persistent feeling of fatigue and intense food cravings, both of which are among the body’s ways of notifying us that we’re not getting enough energy.
When an individual has a certain number of metabolic disorders (high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, fat accumulation around waist, etc), it’s labelled “metabolic syndrome”. Metabolic syndrome is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes if it isn’t already present, and obesity. Approximately 35% of the adult population in the United States is living with this syndrome (1).
Often, lifelong pharmaceutical medications are prescribed in order to try and control metabolic disorders. Many people are told that nothing can be done to reverse them. And then there are those of us who are going about our days and our lives without even knowing that our metabolism may be the cause of our suffering.
The good news is that we can repair our metabolisms naturally, largely by healing our guts.
How Does the Gut Microbiome Affect Metabolism?
The gut microbiome– our personal internal zoo containing trillions of microbes; made up
of several hundred different species– has been the focus of all kinds of research, particularly in the last decade. We’re constantly learning about new things that the microbiome plays a major role in regulating, from mood to immunity to cognitive function– and, yes, metabolism.
There are a number of factors that influence the composition of our individual microbiomes, and many of them are diet and lifestyle factors which, of course, are controllable. No two people have the exact same gut microbiome. But there are certain common features that we see in groups of people who have similar health profiles, or are suffering from similar chronic conditions.
Several studies have found differences in the microbiome compositions of individuals who are obese compared with those who aren’t. The primary difference is a lack of bacterial diversity in those who are obese. In one study on the gut microbes of twins where one was obese and the other was not, researchers were actually able to determine which was which by looking solely at their gut microbes.
A large part of the link between the microbiome and obesity is the impact that the microbiome has on metabolism. Our gut bacteria are constantly directing our chemical and metabolic processes. They affect the conversion of carbohydrates and fats into fuel, influence the way we absorb nutrients and process calories, impact insulin resistance, and can trigger systemic inflammation. Gut bacteria have also been found to play an important role in determining our resting metabolic rate. The resting metabolic rate refers to the calories that we burn throughout the day and night when we’re not doing exercise.
A disrupted microbiome– which can be caused in part by eating processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugar– can lead to all kinds of metabolic issues. By repairing and rebalancing your microbiome, you can help to prevent further metabolic dysfunction, and even reverse existing disorders.
The first step is to eliminate the common enemies of healthy gut bacteria: processed foods, fast foods, refined carbohydrates, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and additives. Choose fresh, ideally organic fruits and vegetables for nourishment. Probiotic and prebiotic supplements can help to encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Dr. Garcia’s 12 Week Metabolism Makeover: FREE Introduction
On August 29, 2018, come and learn more about the 12-week class that will teach you how to apply the latest proven solutions to the most common metabolic disorders. In this FREE seminar, Dr. Paul Garcia will be discussing his new class called “Mastering Your Metabolism.” You’ll be able to tune into this FREE info session both online and in person.
The 12-week class will be held live in person and also virtually so both locals and those at a distance can learn this valuable information. Watch from the comfort of your own home or come to the live sessions–the choice is yours.
In this info session, he will be talking about how you can gain access to personalized coaching that will guide you towards fixing your metabolism and reversing chronic disease naturally, safely, and effectively. Dr. Garcia has seen incredible results with his patients, and he wants to make this information and guidance available to anyone and everyone who is committed to their health.
Spots are limited, so be sure to sign up! Stay tuned for information on how to book your spot.