Is your metabolism flexible?
Flexibility is a pretty big part of health and fitness routines but most of us just think that this only applies to our bodies.
But did you know your metabolism is flexible too?
Or at least it should be.
The specific term when we refer to our metabolism is called “metabolic flexibility.
And simply put it’s the ability to burn different fuels at different activity intensities,
– able to burn both carbohydrates and fatty acids are important when it comes to our health, performance and potentially our longevity.
Now, this might be news to some people – but have you ever wondered why someone might find it difficult to burn fat?
Well, it could be that they are metabolically inflexible and their body prefers to burn carbohydrates as a predominant fuel source – not a good thing for fat burning.
An ideal scenario would be that we would burn predominantly fats at rest and very low-intensity exercise and as we increase the intensity of the exercise we should be burning predominantly carbohydrates
The harder the exercise the more the body should be relying either on exogenous carbohydrates (from food or drink) or endogenous carbohydrates (stored carbohydrates)
Now when we are resting or just doing some light exercise such as a gentle walk – we want to be breaking down our fatty acids for fuel.
So a little bit of science here-
This can be tested in a lab by something called the respiratory quotient – basically your breath into a gas mask at rest, light exercise and intense exercise.
And a machine analyzes the gas you breathe out.
Now the closer the reading to 0.7 the more you are using fatty acids as fuel and the closer you get to 1.0 the more carbs you are using use as fuel.
And this is a sign of good health for the body to be able to swap between the two when needed.
If we were on the spectrum close to 1 that means, we would mainly be using carbs as fuel for any simple task. This would mean a few things
We would run out of fuel very quickly and would need to replace lost stores if we want performance to continue – which could mean unwanted WEIGHT GAIN.
This would also mean we would battle to break down fatty acids – no a great thing for heart and CV health.
Now on the other hand if you just used fat as fuel then you could be at a major detriment of high performance is important.
You see carbs function like jet fuel in the body – high impact-high performance.
While fat functions like diesel – you can go for ages but it will be a slow burn
When the going gets tough, the carbs get going, so both are important.
Plus, being metabolically flexible is linked to better weight and body composition and possibly lower risk of disease.
So if you are on a ketogenic diet or a high-fat low carb diet chances are you are metabolically inflexible.
If you are on a high carb low-fat diet and just do HIIT chances are you are metabolically inflexible.
If you are overweight – chances are you are metabolically inflexible.
Now if you are looking to:
-lose weight and improve body composition
-get healthier and fitter
-potentially lower the risk of disease
and you want to find out more about metabolic flexibility. Please message me today and let’s chat.
Body transformation coach
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