My thoughts are with you and your loved ones during these uncertain times. Like so many of us, I have a heavy heart as I hear each day about the impact of COVID-19 on us all. I am sincerely inspired as I see our local communities, our nation and the world coming together to fight this pandemic.
As we know, our best lines of defense right now are to thoroughly and frequently wash our hands, keep surface areas clean, stay home, practice social distancing, and be mindful of our own self-care.
To make it easier and safer to support your nutritional supplement needs we are currently providing:
Please know that I am part of your community and dedicated to supporting you through this unprecedented time. Stay safe and know that we will get through this together.
To our health,
Many of us look in the mirror and lament that our skin is not clear, those last 10 pounds won’t come off, that slight bloating never really goes away, and our headspace gets a bit fuzzier every year. While there is an inevitability to some aging, each of these challenges can be addressed with a shift in how you think about dietary fat. There is a lot you can do with diet to bring your sexy back. Today we will discuss why and how you can use fat in your diet and simple lifestyle switches to add youth to your years.
Your new favorite word is autophagy – literally meaning “self-eating.” Although cell death is a messy event, cellular self-eating is a well-coordinated effort by your cells to digest parts of the cells that don’t work well anymore and rebuild the parts that are damaged, while sparing the rest of the cell. Think of autophagy like getting a perfect organ transplant: out with the old, in with the new, right where and when it is needed. Autophagy allows cells to become younger and work better by refreshing themselves, which promotes longevity, improves lean muscle mass, supports supple skin, reduces cancer risk, and helps quell inflammation.
Read on to learn how your protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake activate your autophagy and bring your sexy back.
This mechanism is ancient. Animals evolved using autophagy to conserve energy and repair damage when energy became scarce. For instance, when you fast for more than than 12 hours and limit carbohydrate intake, you run low on a quick fuel source called ATP. As ATP is used, it turns into AMP, which activates a compound called AMP Kinase – and this kinase not only activates autophagy but also tells the liver to avoid making triglycerides and instead burn fat!
In a prolonged fast where protein (and carbohydrate) are restricted, a signaling pathway called mTOR is inhibited, which reduces cell growth and activates autophagy instead. Furthermore, limiting protein and carbohydrates reduce your pool of something called acetyl-Coenzyme-A. Lower levels of this stuff also increase your autophagy. So the net of this science talk is: When we eat carbohydrates or protein, insulin goes up, which activates mTOR, brings sugar into the cells to boost ATP, creates a lot of acetyl-Coenzyme-A, and autophagy is turned off. What is so interesting about these routes to autophagy is how they overlap. Nature really wants us to burn fat and do this repair work in times of scarcity!
Weighing In on Fat
So how do we trigger this autophagy and fat-burning? We know that the hormone insulin shuts down autophagy. An opposing hormone, glucagon, turns autophagy on. Glucagon, as its name indicates, is released when glucose is gone and encourages the body to release energy from storage as well as process some amino acids (protein parts) into sugar or fat as needed.
Insulin sounds like insulate–and that’s just what it does. Eat carbohydrates and your blood sugar levels rise, driving up insulin. Eat protein and insulin rises as well, although not as sharply as it does when you eat carbohydrates. More insulin will build muscle, but also leads to more fat storage, more inflammation, higher risk of cancer, and more sugar burning in your cells. Using alternate day fasting and protein cycling to support muscle growth while encouraging lean, well-supported muscle during periods of autophagy is a great strategy for getting the health benefits of autophagy and weight loss without compromising energy or muscle mass.
There are two major ways to reduce insulin and activate glucagon that we can manipulate with diet:
In my book, Glow15, I will show you how to use a high-fat diet and cycle your protein intake wisely to do both! Let me help you hack your metabolism to lose weight and bring your sexy back as you renew skin, hair, nails, improve muscle quality, and defend against long-term disease!
You might not be able to do all 15 of these in a week but adding a few here and there can make a difference in how you. Small steps lead to big changes, especially if you repeat the new behaviors until they become favorite habits.