Updated: Nov 14, 2022
With the [NAME OF THE EVENT REDACTED FOR COPYRIGHT PURPOSES] Games starting in Tokyo (finally), the world will be turning its attention to the fittest athletes on the planet. If you’re like me, the games are great fun to watch, but also serve as a big reminder of the extra weight I’ve been gradually accumulating since the last Opening Ceremonies 4+ years ago. I don't think my lifestyle choices are so terribly different than it was then. Has my metabolism changed?
For many people, weight-loss is simply a matter of diet and exercise. For these individuals, there are an unlimited number of options for workout programs and diets – it’s big business! However, Americans keep gaining weight year-over-year, even as the diet and exercise industry grows, suggesting that simply “eating better and exercising more” isn’t enough for most people.
To be sure, attention to diet and exercise is required for any weight-loss plan. But that is only the start. Many clinics focused on weight loss help patients dig a little deeper, using blood, urine, stool and other tests to understand the nuances of an individual’s specific metabolism. These tests help the clinic determine which foods are best for an individual patient and which supplements will help jumpstart fat burning.
However, many patients find even that isn’t enough. Weight stays stubbornly, and even dangerously, stuck. Their problem is deeper: their metabolic system isn’t functioning properly. Persistent excess weight is a symptom with a cause – it’s not the disease! This is a medical problem that requires a medical solution, and this is where Case Integrative Health’s Metabolic Boost program comes in.
Our program starts with a medical consult to isolate the underlying issues for metabolic dysfunction, then we design an intervention to help heal the gut, rebalance hormones, reset the central nervous system’s response to calories and jump start mitochondrial function across the body.
What is metabolism?
To understand why a comprehensive approach may be better, let's start at the beginning. What is metabolism?
Your metabolism is the set of hundreds of processes that turn food and drink into your body’s raw materials, deliver them to the target cells, then recycle or eliminate them as waste. The amino acids, nucleic acids, lipids (aka fats), and carbohydrates extracted from food / drink make everything in your body work. Metabolism builds muscles and brain cells, repairs organs, provides materials for immune systems to fight infections, and everything in between.
Your metabolism is unique. It is developed from your genetics, microbiome, environment, medical history, and lifestyle choices. Given the complexity, it’s no wonder one-size-fits-all diets rarely work in the long-term.
Why is metabolism important in managing weight?
One of three outcomes happens to everything you eat or drink: it’s converted to fuel for your cells, stored as fat, or eliminated as waste. A properly functioning metabolism, fed the proper ingredients, will naturally sort itself out correctly.
But if your metabolism is working poorly and/or given bad inputs, the natural sorting happens poorly. Some patient’s metabolism tries to eliminate all food and drink as waste. These patients cannot keep weight on, living malnourished and fatigued as their own bodies try to starve themselves. For most of us though, an out-of-balance metabolism converts fuel into fat at too high a rate.
Why / how does metabolism change?
Your metabolism is impacted by every system. Changes in your body and environment can impact the balance of burning, storing, or eliminating food. In fact, research shows that even the same meal eaten by the same person at a different time of day could be metabolized in a more healthy or less healthy way, depending on other eating, sleeping, exercise or stress patterns.
We all understand that changing base activity level and how much muscle mass you have in your body can increase the amount of fuel you burn or eliminate, thus reducing fat conversion. The fitness industry focuses almost exclusively on these factors. That is just the start. Your metabolism will change with:
Exposure to toxins like mold or heavy metals
Pesticide levels in your food and other environmental toxins
Hormone levels and production
Viral and bacterial load
Age and activity level
To name a few...
What can I do about it?
Lots, in fact! Your metabolism is unique and extremely complex. There are countless reasons why it might not function properly - resulting in weight gain. If diet and exercise alone aren’t working for you, maybe it’s time to dig deeper and develop a medical plan than fixes your metabolism from the inside out. Once we know why your metabolism isn’t working as cleanly as it should, we can get to work fixing it and getting it back up to speed. The Metabolic Boost program consists of:
Deep dive consultation with one of our medical staff
Comprehensive testing and labwork
Customized treatment plan that will likely include:
Diet and supplement recommendations based on the clinical visit and lab work
Exercise and stress management recommendations
At-home peptide therapy
In-clinic IV protocol OR at-home regimen of shots
Medical and health coaching along the way to help you stay on track
This combination is typically able to jump start even the most stubborn metabolism, getting patients on the road to their ideal weight and making watching the Olympics a little more fun.
Dr. Casey Kelley