Episode 5 - Fuel
Weeks one through three of our introduction series were all about gaining momentum in areas of our lives that so many of us neglect. This week we are tackling a very familiar friend (or foe): the fuel we put into our bodies. If this is your first week joining us, I highly recommend taking a step back and jumping into the episodes on tribes, rest, and peace of mind. Being optimized hormonally through everything we are working on is crucial before we take our first steps in examining the food we choose to put into our bodies.
The staggering statistics from the CDC suggesting more than half the USA is obese, and one third being either pre-diabetic or diabetic lets us know that what we’ve been doing is more than a little off. Our goal is to ensure that we are ingesting a nutrient-dense diet that helps cultivate a healthy gut biome. We hope to achieve this through the framework of quality, quantity, and timing.
Simply put, we aim to prioritize food quality as often as possible by eating what we consider “real food.” A diet based on quality produce, naturally raised animals and seafood, along with a dose of healthy fat would do wonders for our obesity and diabetes epidemics. In hopes that I don’t bore you twice, I’ll refer you to this portion of the podcast where we go in-depth on what specific micronutrients do for you, and where we can find them.
There seems to be an extremely unnecessary battle going on currently about the merits of a macronutrient based diet vs. a micronutrient based diet. Lucky for those of you not interested in this fight, they are both essential and coexist wonderfully. By limiting carbohydrates outside of our exercise window we are priming our bodies to shuttle the glucose into muscle tissue (and not our love handles) for future use as energy. By consuming a considerable amount of healthy fats outside of this window, we are telling our bodies that we can run on fat, and go to our body fat to burn for energy rather than begging for more sugar.
With a solid plan in place for what and how much, it’s time to tackle when. One sure fire way to increase the likelihood of our bodies burning fat and giving our gut biome time to harvest beneficial bacteria is to continue the fast we’ve started during sleep throughout the morning. A solid start is twelve hours from the moment you ate the previous night until you ingest your first calories the following day. From there playing with the range of 12-16 hours is your next step. One important note is that we do not alter the quantity of food when fasting, just the window of time that we eat.
Throughout the day our insulin sensitivity goes from low to high. This information allows us to game the system by relying exclusively on protein and fat throughout the day while our ability to store glucose as energy increases. In an ideal world, we would exercise in the afternoon/evening and take advantage of our natural rhythms on top of the insulin sensitivity we gain from exercise.
Don’t talk about it. Be about it.
Another week of information to digest (no pun intended) means another opportunity to add on to the momentum we’ve created together this month. One of the best ways to help improve the lives of the people around us is to lead by example. Always consider how the improvements you have made have influenced your well being and that whoever you are trying to help just might not be there yet. A combination of persistence and understanding should help you find your “in” eventually.