Dr. Jonny Bowden talks about “The 5 Pathways to an Optimal Metabolism” in his book, The Metabolic Factor. The Metabolic Factor covers each pathway step-by-step, but you can focus on improving each of these pathways just a bit today. 

Our bodies primarily use fat and sugar – or more technically, fatty acids and glucose, for fuel. When our bodies use fat for fuel, it keeps us lean, healthy and energized. Yet, we’ve trained our bodies to primarily burn sugar instead. 

Metabolic factor outlines a step-by-step process of how to move back into fat-burning mode by optimizing the hormone called IGF-1 and activating metabolically active tissue (MAT). 

We work with our clients on these 5 Pathways to get there:

  1. Nutrition: Prioritize lean protein, high fiber foods, and water.
  2. Sleep: Create a bedtime routine that supports your ability to get adequate amounts of deep sleep each night. Sticking to a schedule and engaging in a pre-bedtime routine is a great place to start.
  3. Stress: Take stress seriously and engage in rest and recovery daily. Consider activities like walking, hiking, gardening, foam rolling, connection with other people, or playing with your children.
  4. Detoxification: As best you can, avoid toxins by prioritizing certain organic products (like your coffee and fruits with no skins), moving towards green household cleaners and products, and avoiding the use of plastic or styrofoam containers. 
  5. Movement: Try to maximize how much you move daily. This doesn’t refer to traditional or structured exercise, but rather walking, fidgeting, pacing, and standing throughout the day. Think activities of daily living.

Daily or regular practice of the health behaviours outlined above supports the metabolism in becoming more flexible. This is known as metabolic flexibility. From that place, it can better respond or adapt to changes in fuel between glucose (sugar) and fatty acids.