wholeliving

Healthy Metabolism Tools

To get back to your balanced weight, try giving your body what it needs rather than depriving or punishing yourself with harsh diet and fitness regimens.

1. Create the Message: Eat the Right Foods
A healthy diet might be the most important tool you have for balancing your metabolism. "Most people know enough to get the junk food and artificial ingredients out of their diet," says Galland. But improving your metabolism also involves "putting the good things in." Here's what you need.

Fiber The indigestible parts of fruits, nuts, whole grains, and vegetables sweep toxins from your body and slow the speed at which your body absorbs sugars from food. Both functions have a huge impact on your metabolism. The federal government recommends 25 grams of fiber a day for women and 38 grams a day for men. Foods like vegetables, beans, whole grains, and some fruits, especially berries, deliver fiber.

Healthy Fats Omega-3 fatty acids improve the metabolic function of every cell in your body, primarily by reducing inflammation. Increase your intake of fish, walnuts, and ground flaxseed while limiting your intake of pro-inflammatory omega-6-rich foods, like heavily processed foods as well as corn, soy, safflower, sunflower, and vegetable oils. Monounsaturated oils such as olive oil also have anti-inflammatory properties; make it your main cooking oil, says Hyman.

Fruits, Vegetables, and Spices Their phytonutrients -- carotenoids in carrots, curcumin in turmeric, anthocyanins in berries -- help "turn on" your body's metabolism at the cellular level and regulate hormones that help control appetite. These foods also contain high levels of antioxidants, which reduce inflammation. Center every meal or snack on fruits or vegetables -- totaling at least five to nine servings a day -- and use spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, and garlic liberally.

Friendly Foods Both Galland and Hyman also recommend paying close attention to foods that lead to bloating or other unpleasant symptoms. You probably know if you're truly allergic to a food, but it's possible to be intolerant and not realize it. Undetected intolerances can contribute to inflammation and hypothyroidism -- both of which spell trouble for metabolism.

Two of the most common food sensitivities are to gluten -- a protein present in foods like wheat, rye, oats, barley, spelt, and kamut -- and dairy. Hyman recommends removing them (or other foods you suspect you may be sensitive to) from your diet for at least a week to see whether your symptoms change.

2. Light a Fire: Exercise
When it comes to metabolism, the value of exercise "goes beyond the amount of calories you burn," says Galland. Resistance training builds muscle, and regular, sustained movement supports your thyroid, lowers inflammation, and improves the rate at which insulin can move blood sugar into your cells -- so there's more available as fuel and less sugar circulating in the blood to be turned into fat.

Any form of exercise helps, but you can increase your body's power to burn food calories (even when you're sleeping) by alternating periods of intense exercise with slower periods. Known as interval training, this exercise pattern "tunes up the mitochondria and increases your basal caloric burning," says Hyman. It doesn't matter what you choose to do -- walk, jog, bicycle, swim, or row. Exercise for one minute at nearly maximum capacity and then for three minutes at moderate capacity. Alternate for 30 minutes, two or three times a week, he says.

3. Clean Up Your System: Sweat
Pesticides, chemicals from manufacturing, and metals such as mercury and lead from air, water, and food circulate in the blood and wind up in body fat. In the blood, these toxins sabotage the body's main metabolic regulator -- the thyroid gland. (Another toxin accumulator might surprise you: rapid weight loss. When you burn fat, the toxins it stores enter the bloodstream.)

The solution: Sweat. Your body excretes toxins and waste in perspiration. "Not sweating is like not going to the bathroom," says Hyman. Regular exercise should make you sweat, but so will saunas and hot baths. Losing weight gradually -- not crash dieting -- will also help prevent your bloodstream from becoming a toxic dump, says Galland.

4. Become Aware: Breathe
Living on a flat line of high tension does incredible damage to your health, say experts -- metabolism included. Cortisol, the hormone your body produces when you're stressed, increases your appetite and promotes inflammation, reducing the body's sensitivity to metabolic hormones.

To reduce cortisol levels and normalize your metabolism, you must relax, say experts. Mind-body practices such as yoga and tai chi can help reduce stress, but relaxing can also be as simple as slowing down long enough to be conscious of your breath for a few minutes each day. "Breath," says Hyman, "is the doorway to the parasympathetic nervous system," which governs relaxation.

Read More

Comments

Comments (12)

  • 7 Aug, 2010

    a few things: the "stink" of sweat is caused by proliferation of bacteria in the area which has become warm and wet, (more clearly: it's the bacterial breakdown of apocrine sweat that causes an odor.)
    next, there is no such thing as "detox." unless you are referring to the very real medical problem of an addicted person flushing the drug from their system, detox is a "woolly word" not recognized in this context by the medical establishment.
    Moreover, most doctors DO NOT ADVOCATE detoxing.

  • 29 Dec, 2008

    Hello.
    Here are some simple and really great ideas anyone can incorporate.
    thanks

  • 15 Oct, 2008

    I've a suggestion to replace deodorants: Lemons!. Since I have MCS

  • 14 Oct, 2008

    Anti persp deodorants are not good for you. Most of them have aluminium in them and that is linked to Alehimzer's. I use only natural deodorants.

  • 13 Oct, 2008

    In that case, if sweating releases toxins, we are doing a negative thing by using anti persp deodorants. as that then keeps the toxins in and they can't get out ??
    my mother in law who has breast cancer was told not to use the stuff.

  • 29 Sep, 2008

    Dr Mark Hyman wrote UltraMetabolism, which includes a detox diet. A second version is in his book "Ultra Simple Diet" - while you could "detox" in a week he reccommends taking a longer time to introduce foods back into your diet so you can see which ones you have a sensitivity to. All the YOU books give great explanations of how the body and cells in the body work. mmsrjs - why are you YELLING in a discussion post?

  • 24 Jun, 2008

    Sweat has more functions than just cooling the body :) It does release toxins as well. Not just the kidneys and liver.

  • 22 Feb, 2008

    FORGOT TO TELL YOU CPDOVE: MY BODY LIKE MILLIONS OF US, DOESN'T SWEAT. TO COOL DOWN I HAVE TO SATURATE MY HAIR, LAY UNDER A FAN WITH ANOTHER FAN BESIDE THE BED AND MY FAMILY GETS ICE AND COLD WASH CLOTHS AND RUBS MY LEGS, FACE, NECK, WHERE EVER TO HELP COOL MY BODY DOWN. THOSE OF YOU THAT CAN SWEAT, PRAISE THE LORD!

  • 22 Feb, 2008

    CPDOVE: THINK FOR A MINUTE: YOUR BODY SWEATS TO COOL YOU DOWN, TRUE, BUT SMELL THE SWEAT! IT STINKS!!! AND THAT'S TOXIN. IF YOUR KIDNEY AND LIVER FILTER OUT THE TOXINS FROM YOUR BOOD, HOW DO THEY GET THE TOXINS OUTSIDE THE BODY????? I'D LIKE YOU TO TELL ME...

  • 4 Feb, 2008

    I disagree with #3. Your body sweats to cool you down. Your kidneys and liver filter out the toxins from your blood.

  • 31 Jan, 2008

    There is a book out that details this called the ultimate diet by mark hyman his is more extreme for a week, but it gets the toxins out and helps you figure out if a food you eat is causing aches pain or illness. toxicity and inflmation. good luck every one.

  • 11 Dec, 2007

    Wow, I had no idea that sweat releases toxins from the body. I feel less embarassed about leaving the gym with soaking hair and a soppy tshirt stuffed into my bag!

More from Wellness

New from Whole Living Daily

Shared On Facebook