4 Proven Ways to Enhance Your Metabolism

4 Proven Ways to Enhance Your Metabolism

No matter what your health or fitness goals are, optimising your metabolism is likely (read: definitely) going to help. Whilst most of us tend to focus on exercise for that extra metabolic boost, exercise only accounts for around 15-30% of our metabolic expenditure, with the rest being used up by our vital metabolic functions. What’s more – too much exercise can actually dampen our resting metabolic rate, which is why it’s important to focus on other ways to optimise our metabolism, and as a result, energy, mood and overall wellbeing. Here are four proven ways to do it.

Stimulate Brown Fat  

If you’ve never heard of brown fat, you’re not alone. It was the common belief that only babies contained this type of metabolically active fat, but it turns out, not only do we retain a small amount of brown fat as adults, but we can influence how much we have. First, the basics. Our body contains different types of fat. White adipose tissue (WAT) is the type of fat that we’re more familiar with. It stores excess energy, is a source of insulation and accumulates throughout the body. When it’s stored as visceral fat (around the stomach), this type of fat is metabolically harmful and increases our risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, inflammation and certain types of cancers. But not all our fat is harmful. In fact, unlike WAT, brown adipose tissue (BAT) is packed with mitochondria – the energy producing parts of cells – and can burn calories when activated, help control blood sugar, and support healthy insulin levels. (1) 

We have far less BAT than WAT and genetics do play a role. But we can also recruit brown fat by converting it from white fat. Here’s how:  

- HIIT stimulates the release of Irisin, which can convert white to brown fat. This is particularly important for individuals with PCOS. Studies have shown an improvement in white to brown fat after 8 weeks of HIIT in PCOS specifically over other types of exercise. (2) 

- Cold exposure can encourage BAT recruitment. Regular cold showers or dips in an ice bath will promote cold thermogenesis and has the added benefit of improving mood and blood sugar regulation.  

- Maintaining healthy insulin levels is important. Whilst this won’t necessarily increase BAT, elevated insulin inhibits its activity. For support with blood sugar management and insulin, try our 21-day Metabolic Reset.  

Activate Your AMPK  

AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is one of our central regulators of metabolism. It is involved in energy production and balance, and is a key pathway involved in metabolic health, cellular ageing and longevity. Because AMPK is involved in glucose/lipid homeostasis, body weight, food intake, insulin signaling and mitochondrial biogenesis, AMPK is a therapeutic target for the prevention and treatment of metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes and obesity. (3) There are natural ways to activate the AMPK pathway; here’s how to boost yours:  

- Berberine, often dubbed nature’s Ozempic, effectively increases AMPK activity. (4, 5) 

- Other botanicals that increase AMPK include Cinnamon and Alpha-Lipoic Acid (also featured in Metabolic Fix) and Curcumin/Turmeric.  

- AMPK is enhanced by fasting and inhibited by Insulin and Leptin, (6), which is why fasting and fasting mimicking protocols have long been associated with longevity. For an easy and effective fasting mimicking protocol, try The 5-Day Cleanse.   

Kick Yourself Out of Cortisol Dominance 

Chronic stress has become an epidemic in modern life, and we’re only now truly understanding how detrimental it can be to our physical and emotional health. Chronic stress can lead to insulin resistance, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression, altered immunity, IBS and more. Here’s how to combat the negative effects of stress, when a no-stress situation just isn’t possible.  

- Reduce dietary stressors: excess sugar, ultra processed foods, lack of protein, excess caffeine, alcohol 

- Increase dietary helpers: minimally processed whole foods, fatty fish, avocado, nuts, seeds, dark coloured fruit and vegetables and clean proteins 

- Add Enhanced Nootropics, which has Ashwagandha KSM-66, a botanical extract proven to reduce anxiety and stress, improve mental clarity and cortisol levels and reduce stress-related food cravings after 12 weeks of use. (7) B vitamins, particularly B5, B12 and Folate, as well as magnesium are also critical for a healthy stress response, mood and energy.   

- Implement mindfulness. This is usually the hardest for people, but it’s so effective. Whether it’s journalling, using an app like Headspace, breathwork, or stacking mindfulness into an existing practice like walking or Epsom salt baths, mindfulness techniques are proven to improve your experience – even when the stress remains. (8) 

Reduce Inflammation  

Whilst we often deem inflammation as bad, it’s one of our body’s normal, protective responses to an injury or threat. Acute inflammation fights infection and is involved in the healing process, but like cortisol, inflammation becomes a problem when it’s chronic. Chronic inflammation is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, type two diabetes, cancer, arthritis, IBD, IBS, depression, complications from other illnesses or infections and more. (9) 

When inflammation doesn’t resolve, our immune system nutrient status, and metabolism can shift. We’re more prone to oxidative stress, insulin dysregulation and changes to the brain and nervous system. (10) Here’s how to combat inflammation naturally.  

- Reduce pro-inflammatory foods: processed meat, refined carbohydrates, excess sugar, sugar sweetened beverages, excess alcohol and ultra processed foods.  

- Increase the stress supporting, anti-inflammatory foods listed above.  

- Take an Omega 3 with EPA + DHA, the essential anti-inflammatory omega fats which we are unable to produce in our bodies and must get from diet. (12) 

- If the foundation of your diet is generally healthy and consists of whole foods, good quality protein and a diverse range of fruit and vegetables but you still suffer from excess inflammation, try The 28-Day Reset to get to the bottom of any food intolerances.  

- Consider supporting Deep Detox. In addition to enhancing function and detoxification, it has phytonutrients proven to reduce markers of inflammation like Milk Thistle, Turmeric and Alpha Lipoic Acid. (11) 

- Chronic stress can lead to inflammation, so mindfulness will come in handy here too.  

SHOP THE ARTICLE

Reference: 

  1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/24015-brown-fat
  2. Mohammadi S, Monazzami A, Alavimilani S. Effects of eight-week high-intensity interval training on some metabolic, hormonal and cardiovascular indices in women with PCOS: a randomized controlled trail. BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil. 2023 Mar 29;15(1):47.
  3. Kim, J., Yang, G., Kim, Y. et al.AMPK activators: mechanisms of action and physiological activities. Exp Mol Med48, e224 (2016).  
  4. Francini F, Schinella GR, Ríos JL. Activation of AMPK by Medicinal Plants and Natural Products: Its Role in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2019;19(11):880-901.
  5. Dong H, Wang N, Zhao L, Lu F. Berberine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systemic review and meta-analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:591654.
  6. Wang B, Cheng KK. Hypothalamic AMPK as a Mediator of Hormonal Regulation of Energy Balance. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Nov 11;19(11):3552. doi: 10.3390/ijms19113552.
  7. Chevallier, Andrew. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, Third Edition. Penguin Random House: 2016.
  8. American Psychiatric Association: https://www.apa.org/topics/mindfulness/meditation#:~:text=By%20lowering%20the%20stress%20response,with%20attention%20and%20emotion%20regulation.
  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-acute-and-chronicinflammation#:~:text=Research%20has%20shown%20that%20chronic,Crohn's%20disease%20and%20ulcerative%20colitis.
  2. Sun Y, Koyama Y, Shimada S. Inflammation From Peripheral Organs to the Brain: How Does Systemic Inflammation Cause Neuroinflammation? Front Aging Neurosci. 2022 Jun 16;14:903455. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2022.903455.
  3. Sola S, Mir MQ, Cheema FA, Khan-Merchant N, Menon RG, Parthasarathy S, Khan BV. Irbesartan and lipoic acid improve endothelial function and reduce markers of inflammation in the metabolic syndrome: results of the Irbesartan and Lipoic Acid in Endothelial Dysfunction (ISLAND) study. Circulation. 2005 Jan 25;111(3):343-8.
  4. Calder PC. Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes. Nutrients. 2010 Mar;2(3):355-374. doi: 10.3390/nu2030355. Epub 2010 Mar 18.

 

This article is for educational purposes only and the implementation of the theories and practices discussed is at the sole discretion of the individual. All information given is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns about your health, you should speak with your physician.

Recent Articles

3 Summer Recipes Your Gut Will Love

3 Summer Recipes Your Gut Will Love

Sirtuins: The Anti-Ageing Proteins You Need to Know About

Sirtuins: The Anti-Ageing Proteins You Need to Know About

The Best Biohacks in Life Are Free

The Best Biohacks in Life Are Free

Cart
Close Cart