K.J. Landis, author of Happy Healthy You, has written a new blog post on the basics of metabolism.
What is metabolism? Metabolism is the breaking down of molecules in food to get energy and use it for our lives. Nutrition is the key to metabolism. We eat, and the nutrients in our food are broken down into smaller and smaller particles, fed to our cells, and then we use these jazzed up cells as energy to create our movements, utilize our muscles, give us brain power, etc. To understand our metabolism better and how it can get broken, we need to look at metabolism regulating hormones.
Leptin is a hormone found in our fat cells. It is released from the fat cell, sends messages to the brain, and tells the hypothalamus gland in the brain that we are full, satisfied, and we have energy to do the work our body requires of us. If leptin is not released from the fat cells, or if the hypothalamus gland doesn’t receive the information properly, we are still hungry.
Insulin is another hormone that works directly with leptin. It tells the fat cells to store energy that is coming in from our food, while also at the same time, tells the brain to stop the hunger. In properly working metabolisms, when we eat well, we get fidgety and active afterwards. If the signals get mixed up, we don’t get the information, and the body keeps feeling hungry. We then feel lethargic, kind of like a couch potato because we are still hungry. Our bodies think we should not move that much when we are hungry, in order not to starve. We save our energy. If we starve our cells with drastic dieting and lower quality calorie habits, our body and brain get the message to be a couch potato.
This is called insulin resistance. This is when our body’s metabolism, or energy output, is reduced. In fact, the data shows that the same effort in physical activities will burn less calories (less energy output) if we aren’t eating enough good quality food. This especially is affected if we aren’t eating nutrient dense, good-fat containing, and satisfying foods. Refined sugars, processed carbohydrates, and junk foods all fall into that category of deregulating the body’s system of balance, or homeostasis.
So, to be in balance in our body’s systems we need to fuel ourselves with high fiber, good fats, lots of vegetables, and healthy protein choices. Even a vegetarian or vegan can make highly nutritious food choices. With the amount of real food available in the world at reasonable prices, we can take steps towards our superior selves.
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Health and wellness: Happy Healthy You is a multidisciplinary approach to reclaiming ultimate wellness. We are all so busy nowadays, and tackling all those to-do lists can leave us drained, worn down, and lacking energy. When you take a deeper look inside, you will also discover patterns, old habits, and past events blocking self-growth. Life coach extraordinaire KJ Landis helps identify how, why, and where we got stuck in the first place, and how we can utilize past trauma and drama as a springboard to becoming our most authentic, vibrant selves. As one of KJ’s students enthuses, “She has taught me several tangible strategies to cope with stress…I am using KJ’s simple techniques to achieve my lifelong health goals.'”