The Importance of Metabolic Fitness: an 8-Step Daily Routine to Become More Metabolically Fit

What does it mean to be so metabolically healthy that you can tolerate carbs or fat? What would it take for all this static about low carb versus low fat diets to go away? Are you tired of feeling like you have to hack your biology into the body you think you need to have? We are! And here at Daily Dose we want you to finally let go of diet dogma and take back the simple yet scientifically sound principals of a diet and lifestyle that naturally provides you metabolic fitness so you can live your life without constantly obsessing over whether or not to eat the cookie.

(Spoiler alert: life is short, eat the cookie!)

But what does it actually mean to be metabolically fit? Metabolically fit means striving for excellent cardiometabolic and endocrine health by consuming a diet that allows you to enjoy balance of macronutrients. Meaning, healthy weight, mood, energy, sleep, hormones, blood sugar, healthy blood pressure, and healthy cholesterol. There are so many great ways we can do this, without “hacking” our body using a highly restrictive diet. Because let’s face it, diets aren’t practical and really what a diet communicates is that how we are is inherently not enough. At Daily Dose, we see food as a celebration that we are enough and deserve quality food to honor that!

In this blog we cover 8 super helpful tips for you to get more metabolically fit. Let’s dive in!

1. Fiber

We hear about increasing fiber intake all the time, but why does this relate to becoming more fit? Why is it so important? Well first, let’s take a quick second to discuss the 2 different types of fiber: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber means it dissolves in water and insoluble fiber means it does not dissolve. Insoluble fiber basically brings water into the stool to make it softer and easier to pass. It can really help with bowel regularity. When soluble fiber dissolves it creates almost like a gel that helps to improve your metabolic health. First, it helps to prevent some dietary cholesterol from being broken down, so it can lower cholesterol levels. It also helps to promote healthy and stable blood sugar levels by slowing down the rate of digestion. Lastly, it helps feed the good bugs in the gut, helping them to thrive, and we know how important gut health is for overall health, epigenetics and longevity. One of my favorite ways to get fiber in is through nuts, and our menus offer many meals that includes them in delicious ways!

high fiber

2. Front-loading Meals With Fiber, Protein and Healthy Fat First

Okay, so we want to make sure our plates are packed with fiber, but how exactly do we do this? Fiber is found in plant foods, so when you make a plate, be mindful of filling half of that plate with non-starchy veggies like dark leafy green, cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower (we have a cauliflower polenta that is amazing), mushrooms, eggplant etc. Then fill ¼ of your plate with something starchy like sweet potatoes or butternut squash. Then save ¼ of your plate for your protein, and be sure to add some healthy fat to the meal (roasting your veggies in avocado oil, drizzling your protein with olive oil, adding some nuts, seeds, or olives on top of the dish, etc.) Don’t miss our salmon porchetta which has an amazing olive tapenade dressing for some quality fat!

As importantly, when digging in to your tasty Daily Dose meal, try to focus on eating your fat and protein first, as this will really help to control your blood sugar! Research shows us that when we eat this way, insulin and glucose levels are significantly lower after the meal than when we begin with the carbohydrate. Balancing blood sugar is the key for preventing many chronic diseases and also for maintaining healthy hormone levels!

My Principles of Using Food as Medicine

Polyphenols and phytonutrients are compounds found in plants that support the body tremendously and help prevent disease. Polyphenols are found in all fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, spices, herbs, even things like chocolate, coffee, and matcha. Dark leafy greens are my favorite way to get in polyphenols, and one of our meals is served with sesame bok choy which is an awesome option. As far as metabolic health goes, polyphenols help support healthy blood pressure and blood glucose levels, and improve lipid metabolism. They also greatly help reduce systemic inflammation in the body which we know is the root of so much chronic disease. Lastly polyphenols help support the gut microbiome by feeding the “good bugs” and so much of our health resides in our gut, especially our immune system, so by supporting our gut, we are supporting our entire well-being.

4. Good sleep

Good sleep is critical for metabolic health and being in good physical shape. Check out our detailed article here. Sleep is so important for metabolism and being able to maintain a healthy weight. It’s important to set your circadian rhythms so that your body produces appropriate hormones at the right times. So, in the morning, you want to get up at roughly the same time each day so your body knows when to produce cortisol, which is our “awake” hormone. In the morning, it’s very important to expose yourself to light right away and not to linger in bed (even though it can be oh so tempting!) so that you signal to your body that it’s time to wake up. Cortisol impacts metabolism in a large way, and if you mess with it, your hunger and fullness hormones get super wonky. In the evening, you want to set a really solid bed-time ritual for yourself to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. You can try doing some gentle stretching at night, some deep breathing, perhaps an Epsom salt bath. You can try some gentle supplements like magnesium glycinate (obviously consult with your practitioner), or drink some tart cherry juice which is packed with antioxidants but also a good source of melatonin! What you do not want to do is be on your phone late at night right before you go to bed, because this will suppress your natural melatonin!

5. Matcha

Let’s talk about matcha and how AWESOME it is for metabolic health! Matcha contains a ton of antioxidants that help to prevent free radicals from damaging the cells. It also has a wonderful component called l-theanine which promotes relaxation and can even help to alleviate anxiety. I love recommending clients make the switch from coffee to matcha in the morning because it will still give them a boost of caffeine, but it will not stimulate them the way coffee can. As far as supporting metabolic health and helping you lose weight, matcha helps to speed up metabolism and boost fat burning. There is also some great research on the benefits of matcha for liver health and helping to prevent fatty liver disease.

6. Fasting Windows

Science supports ending meals earlier in the evening and having breakfast earlier in the morning which is the opposite of what most people do. Metabolism is fired up when the sun is up, and as the sun goes down, melatonin kicks in and insulin sensitivity decreases, making day time the opportune time to eat and night time the optimal time to rest the gut and heal. Not only is it better for gut health, but for metabolic health too! Research shows that eating earlier in the day and ending your eating earlier in the day results in better insulin sensitivity and reduced blood glucose and insulin levels. Sometimes it can be hard to adjust to this schedule, especially if you feel like you’re not hungry in the morning, but the best thing to do is jump right into a routine, because your body will begin anticipating that you’re going to eat. It’s kind of like when you travel, you’re told to jump right in and adjust to the time change. When you start a pattern of eating earlier in the morning, your body learns to start producing digestive juices (think bile and hydrochloric acid) at that time to help you better digest your food and you will start to feel hungrier earlier.

7. Avoid drinking liquids with meals

A lot of people make the mistake of drinking a ton of fluids with meals, and that is actually the opposite of what you should be doing! First off, when you drink fluids while you’re eating, you are diluting your body’s digestive juice production making it harder for your body to properly digest food and absorb nutrients. On the metabolic side, when we drink a lot of fluids with meals, we tend to have a higher glycemic response. A research study conducted found that in well-controlled type 2 diabetes patients, drinking water with a meal increased postprandial (or post meal) blood glucose levels. So, it is best to reserve your fluids for before or after your meal for both your metabolic and gut health

8. Movement

Finding movement that brings you happiness, or joyful movement, as I like to call it, is so critical for your metabolic health. We all need a combination of cardio and strength training, and the goal is to find movement that we actually enjoy doing. Cardio movement helps strengthen your heart and boost your metabolism, while strength training helps to build muscle and that lean muscle mass that looks so toned and healthy while also strengthening our bones. Both types of movement help to improve insulin sensitivity, improve lipids, and reduce inflammation.

If you are stuck on time and not sure when to fit in a workout, remember that sometimes the little things really add up. So maybe get a standing desk at work and in between meetings do some squats and lunges. If you drive to work, try to park a bit away from the entrance to get some walking in, and climb the steps instead of taking the elevator. When you have time on the weekends, take advantage of it, and schedule some movement into your day. If you have time for a 10 minute workout video- great! Something is always better than nothing. 🙂

The best time to exercise? Honestly, whenever you will do it and do it consistently. However studies show that for metabolic fitness, if you want to optimize post meal glucose spikes, even a simple 15-minute leisurely stroll will do! If you aren’t able to walk, simple arm movements or any movement to keep your muscles twitching can have the same effect.

We Can’t Wait For You to Join us!

Are you ready to make changes to your metabolic health and improve the way you look and feel? Well, now is the perfect time to sign up for our Paleo plan which will provide you with lots of quality polyphenols and antioxidants, adequate fiber, healthy fats and proteins! You can expect to improve digestion, increase mental focus, reduce bloating and gas, boost energy levels, improve skin clarity, and stabilize blood sugar! Looking forward to having you join us here.

Tricia Williams

Tricia Williams

Tricia Williams is a talented Chef recognized as a leader in the fields of Nutrition and Holistic Health. Some years ago, Tricia founded Food Matters, a boutique, nutritionally-sound meal delivery service. Closely collaborating with her clients’ coaches, integrative physicians, and nutritionists, Tricia was able to successfully tailor meal plans that met both their taste preferences and their health goals.

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