Your DNA is NOT your destiny. You do have control over your health and your life! “You got what you got” is an archaic way of thinking. This is proven by Epigenetics. It is the study of how the world you live in and how you interact with it can influence how your genes express themselves. Simply put, your genes aren’t the only thing that determines your health destiny. How you sleep, eat, manage stress, exercise, and enjoy life plays a massive role in preventing and healing from dis-eases, especially breast cancer. Learn more via this blog post on how epigenetics influences breast cancer.
Why Metabolic Health Matters.
A 2019 study found that only 12% of Americans, that’s 1 in 8, have optimal metabolic health. Keeping your weight “within a healthy range” does not necessarily mean you are metabolically healthy. Your metabolism is the set of cellular mechanisms that powers every part of the human body. It produces energy via the food and environment you surround yourself with. Metabolic health is the term used to describe how well your body generates and processes energy. It is vital for reducing risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, cancers, and other health issues.
Your body was originally designed for optimal metabolic flexibility. However, most Americans can no longer achieve this due to the constant barrage of processed foods, sugar, GMO grains, stress, artificial colors, environmental toxins, unhealthy carbs, etc.
What is Metabolic Flexibility?
The definition: “Metabolic flexibility is the capacity to alter metabolism in response to exercise or available fuel. It describes the ability of an organism to respond or adapt according to changes in metabolic or energy demand as well as the prevailing conditions or activity.”
Here’s a more straightforward way to view metabolic flexibility: You have a sugar-burning system and a fat-burning system. The faster and easier your body can switch between the two, the more metabolically flexible you are. This is because your body has the ability of your body to adapt to change, especially when it comes from using its available energy.
- Sugar-burning system: This is fueled by carbs turning into glucose. (Take a moment to learn how glucose fuels cancer cells here). Many people eat more carbs than their body needs to function. This excess gets stored as fat in your muscles and liver.
- Fat-burning system: It liberates energy for biological functions and physical activity. However, with all that overabundance of glucose, your body rarely gets a chance to switch over to the fat-burning mode.
Why You NEED To Be Metabolically Flexible.
If you can achieve metabolic flexibility, your body will easily move between the two systems. By doing so, it can save energy and use it to strengthen your immune system and other critical body functions. Metabolic flexibility also helps you manage stress and mental clarity, detox faster, and better repair your microbiome.
Take Action Before Your Body Acts Up.
Your bodies constantly communicate with you—you just need to pause and listen. An ache or minor illness is your body saying I need help with X, Y, & Z. If you don’t listen and take action, your body will send stronger messages until you do. Autoimmune issues, diabetes, cancers, etc., are all how your body tries to say, “I need help! Please live healthier and heal me!”
If you can say, “Yes, that’s me!” to most of these statements below, then your body is metabolically flexible! Hooray!
- I have stable blood sugar levels. Through testing, you have found a diet plan that works best for your unique body and keeps insulin in check. Preventing your body from the vicious cycle of the blood sugar rollercoaster will help it automatically burn fat instead of storing it. If you are unsure and want to learn more, please read this blog post on testing blood sugar.
- I do NOT get “hAngry.” Hungry/Angry. Metabolic flexibility creates stable blood sugar (as mentioned above) that balances your mood and prolongs energy levels. Meaning you are in control of your body. You don’t panic or lose capabilities because you are hungry and cranky and need a sugar fix.
- You enjoy excellent satiety between meals. Appetite control is one of the many amazing benefits of metabolic flexibility. If you don’t and always need a snack, it may mean you have poor blood sugar control, a sugar-burning metabolism, and a body geared to store fat.
If you can’t honestly say YES to most of the above, fear not. Below are 6 doable steps to help your body function better and become more metabolically flexible.
How You Can Be More Metabolically Flexible.
Get Your Beauty Sleep.
Before my second journey with cancer, I was struggling with inconsistent sleep and supporting women with breast cancer non-stop. My adrenals were burned out from a lack of sleep, and a pile of chronic stress wore heavy on me as I was burning both ends of the candle. Along with cavitations, hormonal imbalances and thryroid issues, I created the perfect storm for breast cancer to show up again. Make this your season to sleep! Yes, it is one of the most productive things you can do as it fuels your day and your health so that you can make better decisions in your diet and lifestyle. Get started by reading this article on how to truly sleep well.
After a night of deep, restorative sleep—get moving! Researchers found 72% fewer metastatic cancer cases in people who reported regularly exercising at a high intensity compared to those who did not engage in physical exercise. 72% FEWER CASES! Ladies, it’s time to live the sweat life to enjoy the sweet, healthy breast life! The more we move, the healthier we are. Enough said! Learn all about HIIT and exercise oncology via this blog post.
Heal emotional wounds.
Negative perceptions and emotional wounds deeply impact your physical health. Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of interactions between psychological processes and the nerve and immune systems of the human body. Emotional health is just as important as physical health because it’s all intrinsically connected. Unhealed emotional wounds were a cause of breast cancer growth in my body. Therefore, healing my inner child and emotional wounds was essential to physically healing my body. Please learn more about healing emotional wounds here and your inner child here.
Feel the sweet sunshine.
My morning routine is to spend some time outside before starting the day. Not only will it help me get Vitamin D, but it also calms my body and mind and resets my circadian rhythm. Year-round sunshine was one of the main reasons I moved to Florida, and playing tennis is one of my favorite ways to move while enjoying the sun!
Let food be thy medicine.
Help your body by eliminating processed carbs and adding more healthy fats and more easily absorbed nutrients. Stick to farmers markets or at least the outside aisles of the supermarket, where the fresh food is usually kept. To keep it simple—eat fresh, organic produce and non-processed foods. If you want to uncover specific foods to eat that fight breast cancer and boost your immune system, please read these blogs.
Be intentional about what you eat—and do NOT eat. Fasting is an excellent way to familiarize your body with moving between sugar and fat-burning systems. It also regenerates mitochondria, repairs cells, detoxes, and so much more. If you don’t have a fasting style that works for you, I suggest listening to this podcast with Dr. Suzanne Buffie and trying the ProLon® Fasting Mimicking Diet.
YOU are in total control of your metabolic flexibility. Today, start by taking one (or more!) action(s) on the list above. You CAN do it—we are all cheering you on!
Author: Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, better known as Dr. V, is a Doctor of Chiropractic & has 44 years of experience in the wellness industry. For personalized support, please partner with a trained Breast Cancer Conqueror Coach.