Maintaining optimal metabolic health is crucial to fighting off viruses and infections, mitigating the development of comorbid conditions like heart disease, hypertension, liver disease, diabetes and so on, and supporting a healthy body.
How do you know when your metabolism is starting to take a dip?
Here are the top five signs your metabolism isn't working as well it should be!
Low energy and difficulty sleeping - low energy throughout the day can be linked to inadequate blood sugar regulation but I think it goes without saying that if you don't sleep well, you definitely feel it the next day. Some people can thrive off 6 hours and others need 9 hours to feel good. Either way, entering into the proper sleep cycles is what can make or break a sleep session. Each sleep cycle should last 90-110 minutes and someone who sleeps 8 hours per night has roughly 5 of these cycles that consists of 4 stages: 1) sleep onset or falling asleep 2) light sleep where short bursts of brain activity still occur 3) deep sleep where noise doesn't wake you easily and 4) REM sleep where dreams happen.
Top 3 things that affect your sleep:
a) eating late at night - while this doesn't inherently equate to weight gain, it can cause digestive issues if you lay down too soon after a meal
b) drinking alcohol - this disrupts your blood sugar regulation and heart rate making it easy to fall asleep but harder to stay asleep and enter into the proper stages of sleep
c) going to bed and waking up at different times - the body likes consistency because we do run on an internal clock and your sleep enters cycles/stages to maintain adequate hormone regulation and cellular recovery.
2. Difficulty losing weight - It's normal for us to gain weight as we age. We can't stay in our 20 something body forever. But when one continues to gain weight despite weight loss efforts, it's time to assess if something deeper is going on. The first place to look is signs of metabolic syndrome: listed below outlines metabolic syndrome and it's criteria. If you meet 3 of 5 criteria, this puts you at a significantly higher risk of diabetes, heart disease and chronic health issues. The second place to look would be your dieting history, medical history, weight history, and environmental factors impacting your lifestyle. This is something I do as a registered dietitian for clients and patients looking to optimize their health.
3. Brain fog and lack of mental clarity - "Scientists believe brain fog can result via two metabolic-related pathways: a dysregulation of glucose and the triggering of neuroinflammation in the brain." - source. Our brains rely solely on glucose for energy, but too much of it can lead to cognitive impairment through inflammatory pathways. "A 2010 study found that people with insulin resistance, a condition that can lead to chronically elevated blood sugar, performed worse on cognitive function tests that looked at memory and executive function than those who didn’t have the condition...The researchers suspect that inflammation dysregulates the locus coeruleus, the part of the brain associated with maintaining focused attention." Other things that can cause brain fog: lack of sleep or poor sleep, alcohol consumption and subsequent dehydration, and a sedentary lifestyle. So you probably don't have late onset ADHD but rather, a crappy lifestyle and inconsistencies in your health hygiene.
4. Mood changes/swings - Ever get hangry? Yea, that's your bodies response to a dip in blood sugar followed by the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands and then glucagon release to stimulate the production of glucose from stores in the liver. This can happen if you eat high-glycemic foods that your body digests quickly leaving you hungry shortly after the meal or if your meal was lacking in fat, fiber and protein.
5. Digestive Issues and bowel irregularity - A HUGE sign of metabolic issues is linked to your gut health. Are you pooping everyday? Are you passing alot of gas? Are you always bloated, even after eating healthier foods? DO you always feed tired and like you have 'rock gut'? These are all signs that you could use a digestive reset!
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