How Doing Absolutely Nothing Is Everything When It Comes To Jumpstarting Your Sluggish Midlife Metabolism
Jumpstarting a sluggish metabolism in your 40s and beyond isn’t easy. But it’s not all that difficult either.
It takes a variation on a theme that may be unique to you, but it is just a variation on a pretty consistent theme.
All-in-all it is a two-fold process.
We Start With a Two-Fold Process
One part is to decrease the glucose coming in; the second is to burn up what’s already locked away in the body.
We covered part one in “Why Your Waistline Expands In Perimenopause And What To Do About It”. (Listen to Ep. 053 of the Unraveling Together Podcast or read the July 27, 2022 blog post if you’re more the reading type).
The take home from that issue was to “Count Your Carbs And Make Them Count” (Step # 5) and to “Favor Fat” (Step # 6). Two major steps of the 12-Step Strategy For A Body & Brain That Just Won’t Quit.
Part two of this two-fold process is even simpler than the first.
Making It Rain
I recommend you do nothing. That’s it. Nothing.
And by “nothing” I am referring to not ingesting nutrition so your body can dip into its reserves to put to good use what it put away for “a rainy day”. Let’s make it rain, shall we?
Remember all that sugar (unused fuel) that was shoved into every nook and cranny for later use? That stuff has got to go!
Now is as good a time as any to mention this…much of that excess glucose that’s just sitting around gets turned into fat by the liver via de novo lipogenesis, which is making new fat molecules. It is an adaptation designed to wait out periods of famine which were common in our past and pretty much nonexistent today.
It’s an amazing adaptation!
Our liver literally creates new fat molecules from excess glucose to store energy for future periods of famine. Survival at its core!
Time To Break Up
When you’re eating “carbage” on the regular (which is the bulk of most people’s diets), you’ve got excess sugar (glucose and the other -oses) in the system. Glucose is the main spiker of insulin. Insulin’s primary mission in life is to tell the body to store that energy in lieu of burning it.
And when insulin sits around, it is detrimental. [Look into “hyperinsulinemia”.]
Along with insulin’s fallout is the damage that glucose leaves in its wake. [Look into “glycation”.] A wake that is often undetectable. Until the damage is vast and far-reaching.
This excess glucose needs to go!
It’s time to break up!! It’s not you…it’s THEM! The excess glucose molecules, that is!
The easiest way to shift the tide is to double down on your part one efforts. Embody Step # 5 by decreasing the amount of carbohydrates you eat and those that you do eat, make sure they move the needle on your nutrition needs by containing natural sources of minerals, vitamins, and fiber for your microbiome to munch on.
If you’re dealing with an expanding waistline, plummeting energy, poor sleep, crummy cholesterol numbers (high LDL, low HDL and high Triglycerides), high blood pressure, amongst other symptoms under the Metabolic Syndrome umbrella, and are willing to change your strategy, tactics and approach, you can flip your metabolic switch to flexible in less time and with less of a P.I.T.A. factor than you may think. (P.I.T.A. = Pain In The A**.)
You’ve been misled when it comes to optimizing your metabolism, and more specifically when it comes to optimizing your body composition. We all were. We’ve suffered collectively, and all the while, others have profited handsomely.
Here’s another kicker, though I’m not trying to kick a sister while she’s down. I am simply driving home a point. . .
If you’d addressed the cause of the problem in the first place instead of following the advice of the so-called “experts”, you’d be in the clear, slim, with boundless energy, AND off the Diabetes Spectrum by now.
Now, please don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re not one of the 88% of Americans over age 18 who are insulin resistant. Odds are real good that you are.
Insulin resistance is fallout from a persistent state of hyperinsulinemia (too much insulin in your blood). Metabolic Syndrome is one of the conditions that results from your cells no longer being sensitized to insulin.
Metabolic Syndrome is one of the first stops on the way to being a full-blown Diabetic, the Type 2 kind. If your doc has uttered this phrase when you’ve been in their office, “This is not a drill”.
Tough Love Is True Love
I know that’s a little tough to hear, and maybe it rubbed you the wrong way.
I am not going to treat you like a snowflake. What you need to hear is the truth. And that is what I deliver 100% of the time to 100% of the people within my reach.
All that said to now say, it is not your fault for trusting the so-called experts. These “experts” and those who let them get away with it are at fault. They are not trustworthy.
These “experts” claim to be our guard dogs, yet they are more akin to lap dogs for the Bigs, Big Ag, Big Food, and Big Pharma in this case. These lap dogs come when called. “Here F.D.A.”. “Here American Diabetes Association”. “Here American Heart Association”, and unfortunately too many more to count. Despite the sheer lack of “roll of the tongue”-ness, the truth remains, these organizations are not to be trusted.
Now that you’re on to their shenanigans, the continued reactive unraveling of your health and wellbeing is on you.
You need to take charge of the situation.
Become better informed and take immediate action upon the information. Which is Step # 1 of the 12-Step Strategy I’ve been sharing in this 8-part series on my time-tested and wholly effective 12-Step Strategy For A Body & Brain That Just Won’t Quit.
Recall back a few issues when I introduced the hypothetical smoking scenario? Where we not only silence the symptoms, but we directly cut off the cause of the problem (smoking) per Dr.’s orders?
You need to cut off the supply of the carbage so your body can get to work burning all that stored energy your liver turned into fat to “survive the next famine”.
You’ve got to make your body work a little. It’s always opting for the “easy button” and when you provide all the carbs it can ever desire, the easy-button is just too easy to pass up.
A New, More Informed Lens
I bet what I’ve shared thus far has never come across your path before. Or maybe you’ve heard all the hullabaloo about this keto thing or low-carb even, but you “tried it” and it “didn’t work for you”?
I encourage you to look through a new, more informed lens.
You didn’t know how this all worked before digging in a bit deeper like we have in this 8-part series. This is the 6th part and the next two will bring the conversation full circle.
I wrote this series for women in their late 30s or beyond who realize there are changes happening in their body, mind, and emotions that have them second guessing whether everything is in fact “okay”.
Your last lessons on how the metabolism works may have been back in 10th grade biology when that boring teacher lulled you to sleep after lunch. I had one of those, and I’m so happy he didn’t turn me off from biochemistry, this stuff is my jam!
I don’t know about you and my math muscle is kinda flabby, but tenth grade was somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 years ago for me. And boy-o-boy has what we know about the inner workings of the body (and mind) changed a whole lot in that time span.
What I was told back then is so wrong at present time. Heck, what the Obesity Profiteers are spouting off as “fact” at present time is still so wrong. So, unfortunately there’s that to contend with.
Part Two Of The Two-Fold Process
Let’s flip the status quo narrative on its head. I’m always up for a good mental (and / or physical) workout. Remember to lift with your knees!
In this issue, we’re focusing on part two of the two-fold process and it is comprised of Steps # 3 and # 9 of my 12-Step Strategy For A Body & Brain That Just Won’t Quit.
Step # 3: Fed:Fasted Ratio
Timing when you eat and when you don’t is a tactic that has been used for decades, but often incorrectly.
You don’t just run into Intermittent Fasting (IF) all willy-nilly. You’ve got to help the body convert to burning fats and running on ketones, then dial-in the timing for feasting and fasting. At least that’s been my past experience and that of the hundreds I’ve helped with their fasting regimens in the past few years.
Intermittent fasting minimizes the amount of time your body has insulin coursing through its blood. This is the foundation for our second part of the two-fold process.
Intermittent fasting is how you stage a “famine”. You’re not starving like the hypesters would like you to believe. You’re making the body work for its energy instead of serving up the easy-access carbs.
Intermittent fasting is how we burn off the stored fat and sugar…it’s a brilliant design. Think clean, boundless energy on tap!
Some people get freaked out by the word “fasting”. It has to do with our Conventional Wisdom brainwashing that we MUST eat every 2-3 hours or we’ll go into “starvation mode”. So much bull-stuff there. [If you want to hear what I have to say about “Starvation Mode”, I share my thoughts on that topic here: https://drsamgraber.com/you-must-eat-every-2-3-hours-or-youll-go-into-starvation-modeand-other-bs-youve-been-force-fed/ ]
When done correctly, intermittent fasting is your secret weapon. Not to mention it’s free…and oh so convenient.
You’re literally doing nothing!
Imagine all the time you’ll have to put toward your goals. Imagine all the mental energy you’ll save when you don’t think about what you’ll eat all dang day?
One common theme those who dial in their fed:fasted ratio report is that their brain fog is eliminated when they get their metabolic chemistry in check. They report clarity in thought and focus. And if you’re dealing with menopause-associated symptoms, many, if not all of them can be resolved when you get your fed:fasted ratio just right.
What midlife woman (or man for that matter) doesn’t want that??
Word of caution from someone who ran willy-nilly into intermittent fasting: Incorporate intermittent fasting in concert with your sex hormone cycles. You can tank your progesterone when you don’t follow the natural cycles.
When you tank your progesterone, estrogens are unchecked and you are more likely to have menopausal symptoms like hot flushes, brain fog, insomnia, mood swings, anxiety, and potentially depression.
When your periods are predictable, this nuance is rather straightforward.
But when you’re in perimenopause, like I was when I started my IF journey, you can do significant damage if you aren’t factoring in the unpredictability of your ever-changing hormone profile.
Learn From My Mistakes
Now I can’t go listing off ALL of my mistakes (there’s a character count to be mindful of), but I can, and will shed light on a few for you herein.
When I first boarded the keto train, I went too far, too fast. Not all that unheard of when it comes to my way of doing things. I’m all in or I’m all out most of the time.
Add to that my exuberance for fasting and all the brain bliss it brings, and it was a perfect storm for my perimenopause hormones. What a nightmare!
It took me just short of 5 years to get my personal strategy dialed in. There’s no need to suffer the fallout as I did. My private clients and my group CoWorking members benefit from my painful lessons.
My fallout was depression, clumps of my hair falling out, massive anxiety, a nonexistent libido, and muscle loss. All of which I was not okay with.
There are a multitude of ways to incorporate intermittent fasting into your metabolism optimizing pursuits. Join us in the free Unraveling Together Info Hub to learn how to do it without tanking your progesterone or jacking with your adrenals. Another *fun* lesson to share there.
Step # 9: Hydration Formula
We’ve just established that intermittent fasting can be a great benefit when implemented well.
And you are picking up what I’m laying down.
But now what? What do you do during your fasting window?
You hydrate. Which is Step #9 of the 12-Step Strategy For A Body & Brain That Just Won’t Quit.
Being properly hydrated is a great way to stack the energy and fat loss decks in your favor. Water is a natural appetite suppressant. It aids in digestion. And water supports the body’s ability to metabolize fat, therefore tapping into boundless energy by using up that which was stored for that pending famine that doesn’t happen unless we stage one.
How Much Water Is Enough?
Everybody knows they need to drink water, but how much?
Experts (mostly) agree that ½ ounce of water per pound of body weight is a reasonable daily goal. It’s a good place to start, then adjust from there.
Keep in mind, the more active you are, and the more you sweat, the more hydration you will need.
A little extra in the way of electrolytes can help avoid the Keto Funk (some say Flu, I say Funk). When changing from burning sugar to primarily fueling with fats (the ones you eat and the ones you’ve stored away for later), some people may experience headaches, muscle cramps, or weakness. These may occur as a result of the body trying to find its new electrolyte equilibrium.
Eating according to the 12-Step Strategy is naturally diuretic, so you don’t have to avoid salt to minimize water retention unless you are under doctor’s orders to do so. In that case, consult your doctor.
A Quickie Crash Course
And there we have it. You just read a quickie crash course on how doing absolutely nothing is everything when it comes to jumpstarting your sluggish midlife metabolism.