Metabolic health is not the same as metabolism. Even though these terms are malleable, there is a big difference between them. And if you think you are metabolically healthy just because your metabolism is good and you don’t gain weight, you are far away from the truth. Metabolic health is much more than weight gain or weight loss; it is all about your overall health.
Do you know that nearly 88 percent of US residents have bad metabolic health? Or that the rate of obesity and overweight has reached a new high of 71.6%? Or that 120 million Americans have diabetes or are prediabetes. These numbers are alarming, right? Well, all of this happens because of bad metabolic health. Thus, to avoid being a part of these numbers, you must change your lifestyle, understand if you have bad metabolic health, and take all the necessary steps to improve it to be able to live a healthy life.
So, let’s begin by understanding what metabolic health is, how to improve metabolic health, and what are the consequences and risks of bad metabolic health.
What Is Metabolic Health?
Metabolic health is about the overall well-being of the body. It means that your body is able to process all the food in a healthy way by keeping your blood sugar levels, triglycerides, blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol in check.
If your metabolic health is good, then it means that you are at a lower risk of developing serious diseases like stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and kidney diseases, among others.
What Is The Difference Between Metabolic Health & Metabolism?
Metabolism describes all the chemical reactions in our body that help break down all the food we eat and generate energy from it. This energy is responsible for blood circulation, repairing damage to the tissue and cells, movement, food digestion, and breathing.
Metabolism is the word that describes the metabolic rate that is responsible for burning all the fat and calories in your body even while you are resting. But in contrast to popular beliefs, metabolism is not the only reason that can affect your body weight. The other reasons that can affect your body weight include the amount of physical activity you are doing, your calorie intake, and your body’s energy requirements.
On the other hand, metabolic health is all about how your body functions internally. If you have bad metabolic health, then there are chances that you may look healthy from the outside, but your body internally may not be as healthy or strong. And it may come as a shock that even after looking healthy, just 1 in 8 Americans is found metabolically healthy.
Therefore, even if you look healthy and have a fast metabolism that will help you lose weight, it does not necessarily mean that you also have good metabolic health. But worry not; there are several ways in which you can improve your metabolic health, and we will show you how.
What is Considered Good Metabolic Health?
But before discussing how you can improve your metabolic health. Let’s talk about what good metabolic health is.
Good metabolic health is the absence of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of several health issues like low levels of good cholesterol (also known as high-density lipoprotein), high blood sugar and blood pressure, extra belly fat or waist size, and high levels of triglycerides.
However, developing or having one out of these five is not a symptom of metabolic syndrome, but it can increase the risk of severe health issues. But developing three out of five is a clear indication of metabolic syndrome.
Nearly one-third of the population of America is suffering from metabolic syndrome. And the reason behind this problem is connected to long-term inactivity and obesity.
If you make sudden lifestyle changes and start weight loss, it will help you prevent or delay some serious health issues. For ideal metabolic health, you should have the following:
- A good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) level should be above 50 mg/dL for females and 40 mg/dL for men.
- The blood sugar level must be below 100 mg/dL.
- The waist size should be at most 88 cm (34.5 inches) for females and 102 cm (40 inches) for males.
- Triglyceride should be under 150 mg/dL.
- And the blood pressure should be under 120/80 mmHg.
Does Glucose Play Any Role In Metabolic Health?
Glucose is an important energy source for our body’s cells. So, when you eat carbohydrates, it gets broken down into glucose which then enters your bloodstream and signals the pancreas to release insulin for glucose absorption in the blood cells. And some of this glucose is produced by mitochondria to form energy for the cells in your body.
And all the extra glucose is stored in the liver or muscles, which, if required, can be converted to triglycerides and kept in the fat cells of your body. Besides that, your body can also produce energy from protein breakdown products and stored fat.
However, when your body gets a heavy load of glucose, the insulin stops working and leads to insulin resistance. And this can further cause insulin and glucose levels to rise in our body. Besides, all that extra glucose can cause inflammation, oxidative stress, and glycation (the glucose gets stuck in different parts of the body, resulting in dysfunction). And all these things develop into chronic health issues like obesity, infertility, type 2 diabetes, stroke, dementia, etc.
Based on the statistics, 88% of Americans display all or some symptoms of metabolic syndrome. And only 12% of the population in the US is considered to have good metabolic health.
What Are The Risks Factors For Bad Metabolic Health?
Every day the bad metabolic health graph is on the rise. And that is all because of our unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits. Some of the reasons that are responsible for our poor metabolic health are:
- Physiological stress creates hormonal overflow, which promotes energy storage instead of energy usage.
- Exposure to toxins and environmental factors can cause damage to the metabolism and mitochondria.
- Exposure to high amounts of sugar is responsible for the pancreas’s overstimulation, which causes insulin resistance. This resistance can increase the amount of glucose in the body. And all the extra glucose is saved in the liver, which can lead to liver dysfunction.
- Snacking regularly and eating late at night can cause insulin levels to rise and block the use of fat in the body.
- We are becoming more desk-bound, which means less energy is used.
- In the United States, the majority of energy comes from highly processed foods and beverages.
- The sleep schedule is messed up, leading to less sleep and not enough rest, which has major side effects on how our body processes all the energy.
What are the Results of Bad Metabolic Health?
Bad metabolic health or metabolic dysfunction can seriously affect your mind and body. The effects can be very apparent, or they can be very subtle.
The overt symptoms of metabolic malfunction look like this:
- Diabetes or insulin resistance results from the dysfunctional processing of glucose.
- Obesity results from the dysfunctional storage of fat in the body.
- Cancer cells flourish on extra sugar.
- Dysfunctional management of fat and glucose in the liver can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Alzheimer’s disease is the result of insulin resistance by the brain.
- Stroke and heart attack because of the overflow of glucose and inflammation damage to the vessels.
- Chronic kidney disease is due to the impairment of vessels of the kidney by the overflow of glucose.
The subtle symptoms of bad metabolic health will stop you from living your life to the fullest. It will cause problems that will disturb your mental and physical health. Some examples of bad metabolic health are
- Lack of physical endurance
- Chronic pain
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Enhanced appetite
- Brain fog
The main idea is that every type of cell in our body needs the energy to function, and good metabolic health is important for them to function properly. And if your metabolic health is not at its best, you will face several severe health consequences.
How to Increase Metabolic Rate?
Even when resting, our bodies require energy to perform important functions like breathing, cell repair, circulation of blood, and maintaining normal body temperature. The calories you eat in a day are important to carry out all the basic functions; it is known as metabolism.
Increasing your metabolic rate can assist you in losing weight. However, it is not the only thing responsible. Your age, gender, and genes play a big role in how your metabolism works. But that does not mean you cannot speed up your metabolism and fat-burning processes.
Eat Fewer Calories
When you try a strict diet, your body is forced to use all the reserved fat and slow down the metabolic process. Therefore it is not recommended you go on strict diets and eat less. Instead, what you should do is eat fewer calories. Make sure the number of calories you take in a day matches your basal metabolic rate.
Generally, an average individual needs around 1200 calories in a day to stay healthy and keep functioning properly. However, the number of calories depends on your age, weight, gender, and how much physical work you are doing.
Drink and Eat at Regular Intervals
Eating a large portion of food in one go is not suitable for the body as it can lead to an insulin hormone spike, which can result in weight gain. To avoid that, you should divide your meals into smaller protons throughout the day. For example, you can divide your meals into four or six times throughout the day and keep the calorie count of each meal under 500 calories.
Do Intense Workout Sessions
When you do a high-intensity workout, your body requires time to get back to its normal self. Thus, after you are done working out, your body’s metabolic level stays high, helping you burn more calories than regular.
Try Intermittent Fasting
Based on research; if you try intermittent fasting and cut off a couple of hours from your everyday eating window, it can help you reduce your belly fat and fasten your metabolic rate. In this method, you can stop eating for 8, 10, or 12 hours a day. Or you can simply try the 5:2 method, which includes eating normally for five days a week, and you have to limit your calorie intake the other two days. The main aim of this method is to lower your calorie intake by stopping you from munching on snacks at random times.
Change Your Workout Routine
Working out is important, but so is changing the workout pattern at regular intervals. Because once your body gets used to one type of workout routine, it starts storing energy, nullifying the whole point of working out. To keep your body at its best, you need to keep changing your routines. For example, one day, you can work on your abdomen, the next day on your core strength, and the next on losing weight with complete body exercise.
Which Foods Help Increase Metabolic Functioning?
There are several different types of foods that you can eat to boost metabolic functioning and burn fat. The foods that are best known for increasing metabolic functioning are:
Based on several studies, caffeine is known to increase the metabolic rate by 3-11%. It is one of the easiest ideas to lose fat from the body and promote a high metabolism rate. However, it can also cause a sudden and temporary spike in your blood pressure levels.
Since water contains no calories whatsoever; it can help you lose weight. When you replace your high-sugar drinks with water, you automatically lower the number of calories you take in a day. According to a study, if you drink a liter of water before your meal, you fill up your stomach with it and reduce the space for food. It can lead to 44% more weight loss in contrast to one who doesn’t drink enough water.
When you eat, you speed up your metabolism for a certain time; that is because your body needs calories to digest all the food you just ate. But there is something that can make your metabolism work even faster and better, and that is protein. It helps break down all the fatty acids and promotes better fat oxidation. Also, when you eat protein-rich food, you will feel full for a longer time, making you eat fewer calories.
Capsaicin is an active component that is found in spicy food. And studies have shown that this component is responsible for improving and increasing the metabolic rate in humans.
We all know green tea is full of antioxidants, which can help flush out toxins from the body. But the benefits of green tea are not just limited to that. It also helps convert all the stored fat in the body into free fatty acids, which enhances the amount of fat your body burns.
What Else To Do For Good Metabolic Health?
Based on the advice of health researchers, sitting for extended periods is not good for your mental and physical health. Sitting idle will not help you burn calories or lose weight. It also will start to affect your mental health in all the wrong ways. So, to avoid all this, experts advise adding some physical activity or workout sessions to your daily routine.
Start sleeping on time and getting enough sleep to maintain good metabolism. If you are not sleeping enough, your body will produce more hunger hormones and lower the production of fullness hormones. It can then lead to a higher calorie intake and increased body fat. Furthermore, if you don’t sleep properly, your body will start to resist insulin and increase blood glucose. And this is among the symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
Keep a check on your mental health. Good mental health is important for good metabolic health as well. That is because when stressed, your body goes through several changes, some of which can derail your weight loss efforts. Some people also indulge in stress eating, which significantly increases their calorie intake.
Key Takeaways for Good Metabolic Health
Good metabolic health is all about effort and control. There are three key takeaways regarding good metabolic health if you wish to have good metabolic health.
You Can Improve Your Metabolic Health
Some people are closer to achieving their metabolic health, and some are not, but this is not something that should discourage you. Instead, to achieve good metabolic health, you need to start working on your goals and work on them daily to improve your metabolic health.
You Are In Control of Your Metabolic Health
Unlike many things, your metabolic health is not predetermined or fixed. It is all because of your current lifestyle and eating habits, which you can change and modify to achieve better metabolic health. You can make informed decisions one day at a time to improve your metabolic health.
Metabolic Health Requires Practice and Efforts
If you want to maintain and develop good metabolic health and fitness, then all you have to do is put in the effort and keep doing it. Just like any sport or hobby, consistency is the key. Therefore, you have to be consistent with your health habits.
Metabolic health is all about balanced body functions, and if you don’t maintain good metabolic health, it can lead to several critical health conditions. The reasons that can lead to bad metabolic health are lack of sleep, stress, over-eating, or just a higher level of calorie intake can lead to bad metabolic health. However, you should understand that it is not predetermined, merely a consequence of your choices.
So, to avoid bad metabolic health or to improve it, you can start eating a balanced diet and working out regularly. And to get a professional diet and workout plan, all you need is an expert who understands all your needs and, after a thorough diagnosis, creates a plan that offers you the best results. And to get the best experts who ensure all these things visit www.apprizemed.com. Book an appointment today and get the best metabolic health.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have curated a list of general FAQs covering all your queries.
There are several ways in which you can boost your metabolism, but here are some ideas that are most effective and healthy.
- Eat meals rich in protein because they are easier to break and will keep you full for longer.
- Start working out to burn calories during and after your intense exercise sessions. Also, switch your workout styles frequently.
- Always take your meals at regular intervals and avoid binging in the middle of the day.
- Get a good night’s rest every day.
- Try drinking more water, coffee, or green tea instead of sugary drinks.
Reversing metabolic health takes time and effort. And if you want to reverse your bad metabolic health, then here are some tips.
- Metabolic health is all about maintaining a balance, so start eating a healthy and balanced diet.
- Start working out or move more frequently from your sitting position.
- Get proper rest so you don’t disturb the inner workings of your body.
- Divide your meals throughout the day to avoid extra calorie intake.
- Maintain a healthy weight with exercise and balanced calorie intake.
- Know about your family history and develop habits to avoid metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic health and the problems linked with it do not have any visible signs or symptoms. However, one thing that can help you understand that your metabolic health is not good is a large waist circumference. And if your blood sugar level is high, you might also notice diabetes-like symptoms such as excess urination, thirst, blurred vision, or more.