Mejora tu flexibilidad metabólica

Improve your metabolic flexibility

Reading time: 5 minutes

Flexibility is the key to stability”- John Wooden

Of course, this metabolic ability or flexibility is not accidental, but the result of the course of evolution of our species. Environmental fluctuations, the need to adapt to new paradigms forced human beings to develop a metabolism capable of adapting their energy needs to the availability of nutrients, environmental factors, etc. In short, thanks to metabolic flexibility, human beings have survived regardless of food availability.

Metabolic changes, like everything, are trained, and if we spend too much time in one state, our body enters a comfort zone and finds it difficult to pivot to another. Taking this into account, it seems clear that a ketogenic or 'low carb' diet is not the end, but rather a tool to maintain metabolic flexibility.

1. How to add versatility to improve your metabolic flexibility

There are many factors that contribute to the loss of metabolic flexibility, but we can mainly attribute it to:

  • Insulin resistance
  • Mitrochondrial dysfunction ( the powerhouse of our body )

Therefore, improving metabolic flexibility involves recovering insulin sensitivity and optimizing mitochondrial function.

From a nutritional point of view, any dietary approach aimed at recovering metabolic flexibility must meet the following points:

  1. Real food, not processed products. Consider product and do not feed anything that contains a label of more than 5 ingredients.
  2. Nutritionally dense foods: eggs, offal meat, fatty fish, vegetables, fruits...).
  3. Low in pro-inflammatory foods: mainly cereals with gluten and dairy.
  4. Controlled exposure and adequate stress management.

Before jumping to the practical proposal, let's remember that any nutritional strategy carried out for a long time can lead to the loss of metabolic response.

2. Practical proposal to work on your metabolic flexibility

As we have well pointed out, the concept of metabolic flexibility is directly linked to insulin and the proper functioning of mitochondria.

Like almost all complex problems, insulin resistance or mitochondrial dysfunction does not have a single culprit, but we do know ways to improve it: good nutrition, movement, rest, and correct stress management.

Practical proposal to achieve metabolic flexibility:

Phase 1 - First 2 months

Two months of a well-managed ketogenic diet (free of carbohydrates). In this way we will remind your body how to use fat as an energy substrate.

Also, incorporating foods like green tea , cinnamon, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and dark chocolate will help restore insulin sensitivity.

In this first phase, if you are not trained, it would be ideal to start incorporating a 12-hour Intermittent Fasting ( as easy as not having dinner later than 9:00 p.m. and that your first meal the next day is not before 9:00 a.m. ).

If you are not used to physical activity, start by incorporating low intensity aerobic exercise (move!). Walking is proven to be one of the most anti-inflammatory activities ;)

Phase 2 - Months 3 and 4

After the first two months, in this second phase of another two months, incorporate fruit and tubers and see how you feel.

Maintain your intermittent fasting and incorporate strength exercise as far as possible, muscle contractions are necessary to facilitate the uptake of glycogen into cells. Train your whole body, the more muscle, the more glycogen reserves and more carbohydrate tolerance ;).

Take the opportunity to load glycogen stores with carbohydrates in the post-workout.

Phase 2 - Months 5 and up

Do again 1 month of ketogenic diet, eliminating carbohydrates and experience 1 day a week of longer fasting, 16, 18 hours. What best suits you!

It would be ideal that at this point, you include some high intensity session because, with low glycogen stores, it is easy to oxidize more fat. Which is similar to training while fasting, increasing insulin sensitivity to a greater extent than doing it with full glycogen levels .

In any of the indicated phases, do not forget to rest and recover properly. The dysregulation of the circadian rhythm is closely linked to insulin resistance and problems associated with energy metabolism.

Lack of sleep also worsens insulin resistance, and stress isn't far behind either. Stress management strategies like meditation greatly improve insulin sensitivity.

For your health.




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