Know Your Body to Get Healthy and Fit
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WHAT IS METABOLIC FLEXIBILITY?
While most people have heard the term metabolism, the majority of them likely can’t explain what it means, Dr. Ian says. “Your metabolism is the collective effort of billions of cells in your body that are carrying out chemical processes (work) every second of your life – even when you’re sleeping -- that allow you to live and function and be who you are.”
Dr. Ian says metabolism basically involves the breakdown of food into small, simple nutrients, and the creating of protein from those nutrients. Metabolic health, he explains, is thought to be having the ideal levels of blood sugar, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference, without using medications. The sad truth, he says, is that only one of eight Americans have optimal metabolic health.
Metabolic flexibility, Dr. Ian explains, is the body’s ability (or inability) to switch from burning carbs to burning fats and vice versa. It isn’t necessarily that carbs are bad, he says, but that some people have a difficult time processing them efficiently. He likens the process to a car’s operation. “When you put the wrong oil in a car’s engine or the engine isn’t given proper care and maintenance, performance level starts to diminish, and you eventually begin to feel this operational decline while driving the car.
IMPROVING YOUR METABOLIC FLEXIBILITY
With a tremendous amount of research on metabolic flexibility ongoing, Dr. Ian suggests these strategies to enhance it:
• Exercise. “As the exercise intensity increases, fats are used less and carbohydrates are used more. As the exercise intensity continues to increase there comes a point when carbs and fats are used equally to fuel the body. Beyond weight loss, improving the strength of your muscles has other benefits, including joint protection, increased bone strength and density, and reduction of the risk of diabetes and heart disease.”
• Intermittent fasting. “This eating style is exactly what it sounds like – periods of fasting alternating with periods of eating.” When not consuming food, Dr. Ian says, the cells of the body are subject to mild stress and fight to survive, making whatever adaptations necessary. “These are the adaptations that scientists believe make the cells more resilient and better equipped at both preventing and, if necessary, fighting disease.”
• Cyclical ketosis. This is a controversial subject amongst medical professionals. “I have never been a supporter of keto diets, despite the overwhelming evidence that in the short term this style of eating can be effective at helping with weight loss,” Dr. Ian states. “The keto diet essentially starves your body of carbohydrates, this forcing your body to turn to your stored fat as well as the fat you consume in your food as fuel sources. The key to success, however, will be to choose the healthier fats – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.” He also recommends completely avoiding trans fats.
THE SIX-WEEK PLAN
Dr. Ian offers a complete six-week eating, exercise, intermittent fasting, and cyclical ketosis plan to greatly improve anyone’s metabolic flexibility. He says following the carefully-crafted plan will result in improved blood sugar level control, increased energy levels, improved sleep, better overall health, reduced cravings, and as much as 20 pounds of weight loss. One day’s diet and a couple of the dozens of delicious recipes Dr. Ian offers are:
• BREAKFAST - Plate of pancakes, scrambled eggs with side of bacon
• LUNCH - Cheeseburger (lettuce tomato) and fries, *Pizza slice with green garden salad
• DINNER: Spaghetti and meatballs, Fish (preferably salmon, but other types will work) and any type of veggies
1 C. almond flour
1 tsp. sweetener of your choice (such as monk fruit, yacon syrup, or stevia)
1 tsp. baking powder
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 C. almond or coconut milk
1 tsp. coconut oil, melted
Low-carb syrup, for serving
In a small bowl, mix the flour, sweetener, and baking powder.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, milk, and coconut oil until combined.
Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until fully combined.
Grease a large nonstick pan and place over medium heat. Pour the batter into the pan, approximately 1/3 cup at a time, to make 4 pancakes. Flip when edges begin to bubble. Cook for another couple of minutes, then serve hot with 1 tablespoon low-carb syrup.
Roasted Citrus-Miso Salmon and Green Beans
3 T. white miso
2 T. grapeseed or sunflower oil
2 T. fresh orange juice
1 T. fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
4 skin-on center-cut salmon fillets (about 6 oz. each)\
1 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted
Preheat the oven to 450 degs. F with the rack in the middle position. Grease a heavy baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together the miso, oil, orange and lime juices, and soy sauce until combined. Put the green beans in a large bowl, add 1 T. of the miso mixture, and toss the beans to coat them well.
Evenly brush the salmon (top and sides) with the remaining miso mixture and let stand at room temperature for about 10 mins.
Evenly spread the green beans on the baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Roast for 6 mins. until sizzling and beginning to brown. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully stir the beans. Using tongs, transfer the salmon to the baking sheet, resting the fillets directly on top of the beans.
Return the pan to the oven and roast until the salmon is firm to the touch and an instant-read thermometer registers 120 degs. F at the thickest point, about 10 mins. Remove the pan from the oven and let stand for about 10 mins. to cool. Serve the salmon and green beans sprinkled with sesame seeds and with lime wedges for squeezing on the side.
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