👋 Hello Friends!
When we think of flexibility, images of yoga poses 🧘♂️ and gymnastic feats often come to mind. However, there’s another type of flexibility crucial for our health and well-being: Metabolic Flexibility. This isn’t about how well you can stretch, but how adeptly your body can switch between different fuel sources for energy 🌟. Please watch my short video for a brief overview.
Metabolic Flexibility: The Ability To Switch Between Fuel Sources!
Metabolic flexibility is like having a hybrid car 🚗 inside you. Just as a hybrid vehicle efficiently switches between gasoline and electric power, a metabolically flexible body seamlessly transitions between different energy sources. Once your body runs out of glucose for fuel, it needs to turn to glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, followed by your fat reserves!
Signs of Metabolic Flexibility
- Efficient Fasting: If you can comfortably extend periods between meals or engage in fasting without excessive hunger, you’re showcasing metabolic flexibility. This is akin to your body smoothly switching to electric mode when gasoline runs low.
- Stable Energy: Experiencing consistent energy levels without frequent snacking is like your body efficiently utilizing its available fuel sources.
What is Metabolic Inflexibility?
Feeling the need to constantly snack or experiencing energy dips indicates metabolic inflexibility. This is similar to a car that can’t switch to electric mode and over-relies on gasoline. This can make it really hard to burn fat and lose weight.
Metabolic Inflexibility is Driven by Insulin Resistance
Half of the US population has Insulin Resistance. Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that tells your cells to take up blood sugar. Due to visceral fat (fat surrounding the organs), many people have insulin receptors that stop listening to insulin. As a result, the pancreas has to produce larger amounts of insulin to control your blood sugar. The problem is that high insulin promotes fat storage, makes you hungry, and makes it hard to switch over to burning fat as fuel. Please watch my video on Insulin Resistance to learn more about how to reverse this condition.
Achieving Metabolic Flexibility: Start with Balanced Meals! 🍽️
The first step in becoming metabolically flexible is to lower your insulin levels by having stable blood sugar. This requires balanced meals that have 3 critical components:
1️⃣ Protein: Essential for muscle maintenance and staying full. Aim for at least 25 grams per meal!
2️⃣ Healthy Fats: Exceptional at stabilizing blood sugar and promoting satiety. Add in more avocado 🥑, nuts, and olive oil!
3️⃣ Fiber: Promotes a healthy gut microbiome and stabilizes blood sugar. Add some leafy greens 🥬 and veggies to each meal!
Improve Insulin Sensitivity and Metabolism with Key Supplements:
Please click the links to learn more!
Avoid Refined Carbohydrates
Just as a car needs to avoid bad fuel, steer clear of refined carbohydrates like pastries 🥐, cereal, and bagels. These are like contaminated gasoline, causing energy spikes and crashes, making your body’s energy system less efficient and increasing carb cravings.
Embark on Your Fasting Journey
Intermittent Fasting is a popular way to gain the benefits of autophagy (“self-eating”), improve metabolism, lower inflammation, and lose weight! A popular option is the 16:8 diet where you fast for 16 hours a day and eat your meals within an 8 hour window (like 10 am to 6 pm).
If you’re new to fasting, start with mindful meal planning. Gradually increase your fasting intervals, testing how long you can comfortably go without food. The goal is to reach a point where your body, like a well-tuned hybrid car, efficiently uses its fuel, dipping into fat reserves when needed!
Honored to Receive Physicians of Excellence Award!
I am deeply humbled and grateful to be selected for the Physicians of Excellence Award by the Orange County Medical Association. It’s a true privilege to be recognized in the field of Internal Medicine in this month’s Top Doctors Issue of Orange Coast Magazine.
My heartfelt thanks go to the patient who nominated me, as well as to my esteemed colleagues who supported my application. The application encompassed a wide range of criteria including leadership, teaching, mentoring, scientific advances, humanitarian service, and community contributions.
This recognition is not just a personal milestone but a testament to the incredible support from my online community, both on YouTube and across various social media platforms. I am immensely thankful for the encouragement, engagement, and inspiration each of you brings to my journey. Your steadfast support is the driving force behind my fervent pursuit of the latest advancements in integrative medicine. It’s a joy and privilege to share these groundbreaking concepts with you, fostering a community passionate about health and wellness. Together, we’re exploring the frontiers of medicine and making strides towards a healthier future!
This dish strikes a perfect balance of savory, sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors that’s truly delicious!
It will make you want to eat more vegetables! 😊
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 broccoli crowns, chopped
8 oz of portobello mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 zucchini, sliced
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
2 tablespoons of tamari sauce, which is a gluten-free soy sauce, or use coconut aminos if you are soy-free
2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
2 tablespoons of organic sambal oelek chili paste
1. In a large pan, sauté the onions and garlic with olive oil on medium-low heat for a few minutes until fragrant.
2. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes until they have shrunk in size and browned.
3. Meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl.
4. Add the rest of the vegetables and the sauce and an additional 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
5. Sauté for 2-3 minutes to bring out the flavors, then cover with a lid for 2-3 minutes, being careful not to overcook the vegetables.
Feel free to modify this recipe to add a protein of your preference (chicken, shrimp, or organic tofu).
This pairs well with basmati rice, or cauliflower rice (a great option for those looking to reverse insulin resistance).
Wishing you all a joyful and healthy week,
Rajsree Nambudripad, MD