Hangry No More

What’s meta­bolic flex­i­bil­ity and how can it help you be­come a fat-burn­ing ma­chine

RSWLiving - - Contents - Drew Man­ning is a health and fit­ness ex­pert and the author of Fit2Fat2Fi­t: the Un­ex­pected Lessons from Gain­ing and Los­ing 75 lbs on Pur­pose. Klau­dia Balogh is a health and well­ness writer for TOTI Me­dia.

Drew Man­ning lost 75 pounds in six months. But six months prior to that he had gained 75 pounds. On pur­pose. That’s putting on more than 10 pounds of fat a month. It put an extreme amount of stress not only on his physical state, but on his men­tal state as well. Both his blood pres­sure and choles­terol shot up; he had brain fog and his mood was lethar­gic.

“I knew it wasn’t go­ing to be easy phys­i­cally, but I never thought about the emo­tional bat­tle I’d be fac­ing,” Man­ning told TOTI Me­dia.

Man­ning is a health and fit­ness ex­pert and the best-sell­ing author of Fit2Fat2Fi­t: The Un­ex­pected Lessons from Gain­ing and

Los­ing 75 lbs on Pur­pose. Known for his straight­for­ward and em­pa­thetic fit­ness and health coach­ing, Man­ning has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, CNN, and Good Morn­ing Amer­ica. He is also the cre­ator of the A&E Net­work show Fit to Fat to Fit.

He has been a fit­ness coach helping those who wanted to lose weight, yet he had no idea what it was like want­ing or need­ing to lose a large amount of fat. So, he stepped into his clients’ shoes and em­barked on the “fit to fat to fit” jour­ney. Man­ning says los­ing all that weight wasn’t easy, but it may have been eas­ier for him than most peo­ple be­cause of his meta­bolic makeup.

In the same way our brain has mem­ory, so do our mus­cles—remember the old adage, once you learn how to ride a bike, you’ll never for­get. Your body re­mem­bers. Man­ning had been ath­letic his whole life. Be­cause of his healthy life­style choices, he is metabol­i­cally flexible, and his body has adapted to use fat when car­bo­hy­drates aren’t avail­able.

Metabolism is the body’s mech­a­nism for pro­vid­ing en­ergy

for its ex­is­tence. Meta­bolic flex­i­bil­ity is the body’s abil­ity to switch be­tween using car­bo­hy­drates for en­ergy and using fat for en­ergy. It has been en­coded in our bi­ol­ogy through­out evo­lu­tion. When our hunter-gath­erer an­ces­tors didn’t have food for days at a time, their bod­ies wouldn’t shut down; in­stead they would tap into their fat stor­age for fuel, so they could still have en­ergy to es­cape in case of dan­ger. A lot has changed since then. Our 24-hour ac­cess to snacks and pro­cessed foods has made us metabol­i­cally in­flex­i­ble, which has grown into an obe­sity epi­demic. Our bod­ies crave carbs ev­ery two to three hours. Many peo­ple get “hangry” (an­gry/hun­gry) if they have to skip a meal, and there’s that 4 p.m. slump and brain fog. We experience these be­cause the hu­man body burns through carbs quicker than fat, only to crave them again right away. Fat tends to keep us sa­ti­ated for at least four to five hours. Think of it this way: There’s a camp­fire; if you put pa­per on it, it burns through it in a matter of sec­onds, but when you throw wood on it, it can burn for hours. That’s your body on carbs (pa­per) ver­sus fat (wood). Stud­ies have shown that the lack of meta­bolic flex­i­bil­ity in our so­ci­ety to­day is a hall­mark of many meta­bolic dis­eases, in­clud­ing cancer and in­sulin re­sis­tance, which could lead to type 2 diabetes. Be­com­ing metabol­i­cally flexible, how­ever, doesn’t hap­pen overnight. Man­ning says it takes time to ad­just. “Give yourself a good 30 days to adapt,” he said. “And, stay on top of your salt intake.” Salt is worth men­tion­ing, be­cause once you lower your intake of carbs and pro­cessed foods, which are

often very sodium-heavy, you’ll lose both fat and water weight and will flush out elec­trolytes as well, so it’s im­por­tant to keep up your min­eral intake.

Signs You’re Metabol­i­cally In­flex­i­ble

• You crave snacks ev­ery two to three hours.

• You get an­gry when you have to skip a meal.

• You have to eat as soon as you wake up.

• You wake up hun­gry in the mid­dle of the night.

• You’re not los­ing weight.

• You have a slow metabolism.

How Can You Be­come Metabol­i­cally Flexible?

• In­cor­po­rate some form of fast­ing. Eat within a win­dow of 8 to 12 hours and fast in the re­main­ing 12 to 16, mostly overnight. Or do a 24-hour fast once ev­ery other week.

• Eat more fat and fewer carbs. Make sure the fat you eat is good fat, such as avo­cado, olive oil, co­conut oil, eggs or fatty fish and meat.

• Re­duce pro­cessed foods. Stay away from foods that are prepack­aged and pre­cooked; they are often filled with sugar, vegetable oils and ad­di­tives.

• Eat whole foods. Stay on the outer cir­cle of the gro­cery store and reach for whole foods, such as fruits and veg­eta­bles, beans and qual­ity meat.

• Ex­er­cise. Physical ac­tiv­ity, es­pe­cially high-in­ten­sity interval train­ing, helps your body empty its glyco­gen stor­age. Glyco­gen is your body’s way of stor­ing glu­cose in the liver and mus­cles to use later. When you ex­er­cise and use up all your stored glyco­gen, your body won’t have a choice but to burn fat for en­ergy.

Our 24-hour ac­cess to snacks and pro­cessed foods has made us metabol­i­cally in­flex­i­ble, which has grown into an obe­sity epi­demic.

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