If you want to age well with an abundance of energy, it’s important that you try to achieve what´s called metabolic flexibility.
The declining metabolic flexibility may get worse in the postmenopausal years if they are not addressed during perimenopause. So when I hear: “I am eating and drinking what I´ve always done, but I am still putting on weight”, well this is when addressing diet and lifestyle has to happen and changes put into place! The earlier you start caring for your health, the better.
As we move through perimenopause with erratic highs and lows of oestrogen whilst progesterone levels take nose dive, there is an alteration to the metabolic flexibility of the mitochondria which is regulated by oestrogen that control many of the enzymes within the FUEL SWITCHING PATHWAYS in the mitochondria.
The reduction in oestrogen status also causes a reduction of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory genes in these powerhouses.
The two components combined act like a metabolic BRAKE slowing down the ability to BURN FAT as fuel = increase weight, and the inability to use KETONES (instead of GLUCOSE) to fire brain neurons = more brain fog and forgetfulness. Having the ability optimally to burn both sugar and fat to keep your mitochondria fuelled is the definition of metabolic flexibility.
There are many contributing factors to being METABOLICALLY INFLEXIBLE. How to address this is adjacent to the issues, although not the only answer as there may be genetic implications and nutritional deficiencies to address with a therapist.
- Insulin insensitivity – low sugar/fasting when possible. Slowly increasing and staring with 12 hours for a week.
- High fat, high sugar diet – low sugar and moderate protein, clean fats and veggies
- Circadian disruption – maintain a regular sleep pattern
- Oxidative stress – the rainbow diet with focus upon the cruciferous and leafy greens
- Inflammation – low sugar, omega 3 fatty acids, rainbow diet
- Sedentary lifestyle – Move daily: a mix of cardio and weights
- Gut dysbiosis and Intestinal permeability – address any imbalance, reduce stress, food culprits
The key to long health is not a FAST metabolism, but a FLEXIBLE one.