I see a lot of confusion around the topic of fat, and it’s easy to see why it can get confusing. Online, you may read that a low-fat food product is more likely to cause heart disease than a whole-fat dairy product, but then your physician tells you fat is unhealthy and suggests a low-fat diet. And then somewhere, it is written that sugar fat isn’t as bad compared to sugar. Confusing, right?
The American Heart Association says both fat and sugars are unhealthy. But when it comes to fat, what I want you to understand is that there are bad fats and good fats. It means you need to choose the fats you consume because if you completely leave out fat from your food, you may miss out on some of the benefits of eating healthy fats.
Fat and Metabolic Flexibility
While fasting or doing keto can help you with weight loss, it is also important you monitor your metabolism.
A lot of weight loss comes down to metabolism, and with metabolic flexibility, you have a long term weight loss and health.
Many people often complain about fasting or going on diets with little or no results. This may be due to an imbalanced metabolism. With improved metabolism, it’s easier to lose weight and your fast or diet becomes effective.
Metabolic flexibility is the ability of your body to shift between glucose (from carbohydrates) and fatty acids (from fat) for fuel.
This means with metabolic flexibility, your body can feed on the fuels from your body’s dietary fats, stored fats, glucose, and glycogen. Also, you can go for days without food and feel fine. It also means that you don’t have excess fat stored in your body.
To achieve metabolic flexibility, you will need to fix your mitochondria. Mitochondria are one of the significant parts of the cells as they determine metabolism.
However, to get into the mitochondria, you need to get to the cell membrane first. Remember, the mitochondria are in the cell?
Tips to Boost Your Metabolic Flexibility from Your Cell
There are four ways to repair your cell membrane to respond well to a keto diet. These are;
1. By Eating the Right Fat
The membrane is made up of fat, and if you eat bad fats, you harm the membrane as they get swollen and rigid. Nutrients can’t pass through a rigid cell membrane into the cell. Also, toxins get stuck in the cell and can’t come out. To avoid a rigid cellular membrane, you need 90% good fats and 10% other fats. This means 90% of the time; you need to be eating the right fat. Meanwhile, the mitochondria also have a membrane, and to protect it, you need to avoid sugar and eat good fats.
Examples of Bad Fat
Examples are vegetable oil, partially hydrogenated oil (e.g., margarine), pasteurized dairy, soya bean oil, olive oil (when heated up), crackers, chips, cookies, and so on.
Examples of Good Fat
Avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil (if you don’t heat it), walnut, dry nut, raw diary, dark Chocolate, eggs, fatty fish, Chia Seeds.
2. Be Conscious of sugar
Less sugar brings down your insulin level and makes it easy for it to enter the cell. Eating food high in sugar causes more insulin to be released. It may lead to insulin imbalance, making the body unable to respond to insulin signals.
This will eventually lead to lots of insulin in the body. The body will lose the ability to switch from one fuel source to another. In the end, fats keep getting stored in spite of your fast. Therefore, it is expected you lower your sugar intake for metabolic flexibility.
3. Avoid Toxins
There are receptors sites around the cell membrane, which can get blocked by toxins and preventing hormones from getting in. As the toxins increase, the site starts to swell and makes it hard for even ketones and nutrients to get in. Toxins can be from something as random as food from plastic bags, lead, and mercury present in the soil, from your dental treatment, smoke, and so on.
Stress harms the edges of the cell membrane as they start to respond to negative energy. Also, stress causes your stress hormones to be flooded, and they increase fat storage by stimulating the excess fat deep in your abdomen.
This is not only bad for your weight, but your health as these fats increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Hence, you need to be in an environment that will influence your thinking positively.
When you fast, you’re detoxifying. These toxins have to go somewhere. They need to be released out of your body, usually through the digestive system or skin. But If you have swollen parts while fasting, it means you have closed pathways, and the toxins can’t leave your body.
If you have these symptoms, you shouldn’t fast for an extended period because it means your pathway is closed, and you’d need to open it up by improving your metabolic rate with the tips mentioned above.
Other tips to achieve metabolic balance are:
- Exercising: the more you exercise the more calories you burn.
- Eat more protein
- Avoid alcohol: if you’re on a keto diet, you shouldn’t be drinking alcohol in the first place. When you drink alcohol, your body burns out alcohol first instead of the fat. These fats get stored in your body, and that is precisely what you are avoiding
- Rest and sleep: if you don’t do it enough, your body loses the energy to burn calories.
How to Tell If Your Metabolism Is Slow?
Symptoms of slow metabolism include:
- Weight gain
- You may suffer migraines or experience physical symptoms like your hair falling out, and dry skin.
- You crave sugar
Also, you can go to a clinic to get a Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) test done to how fast or slow your metabolism is.
You need good fat to stay healthy and lose weight. If you are into a healthy diet and you’ve replaced your fats with sugars and carbs, then you’re doing it wrong. Eat good fats and leave out the sugar and bad fats for positive results.
However, you should also note that a keto diet or intermittent fasting doesn’t give overnight results. It requires time and patience. Keep at it, and you’ll achieve your goals.