We are designed to have 24-hour rhythms to our physiology and metabolism. Our bodies have an internal clock that we refer to as our circadian rhythm. This internal clock is influenced primarily by light exposure during the day and darkness during the night. Ideally, sunlight at sunrise “sets the clock” while darkness after sunset “winds the clock down.” We have a wake cycle, activated by light exposure, during the day and a sleep cycle, activated by darkness, at night. Many organs show daily changes in their function based on circadian influences. Genetic expression, which genes are turned on and which genes are turned off, is also directly influenced by circadian rhythms. In fact, thousands of genes change their expression according to circadian rhythms throughout the day and night. Continue reading
In previous posts we reviewed how intermittent fasting, or time-restricted eating, heightens the process of autophagy. Autophagy is derived from the Greek prefix “auto” meaning self, and the Greek word “phagy” meaning eating. Don’t be grossed out but autophagy literally means self-eating!
Autophagy is a fascinating physiologic process in our bodies that is essentially a cellular-cleaning and recycling system. When activated, autophagy cleans up cellular debris, damaged cells and damaged cell components, and also removes cellular waste. It is an intrinsic mechanism for damage repair. I like to think of it as a way to clean the junk from our trunk! Autophagy is an essential process to maintain cellular homeostasis, ensuring a stable, relatively constant internal environment. Continue reading
Muscle is a critical component of our body composition. Our body composition consists of fat, muscle, bone, organs and water. Muscle could be called the “strong and silent” component. I liken it to valuable real estate that we need to preserve and maintain over our lifetime. Unfortunately, aging and suboptimal lifestyle decisions can destroy this precious real estate. We must actively intervene to protect, build and sustain our muscle mass. Continue reading
Remarkably, science has shown that, contrary to previous, long-held dogma, we have the ability to create new brain cells throughout our lives via a process called neurogenesis. Yes, we can grow new brain cells even as adults! (Go ahead, text your kids, you are getting older AND getting smarter!)
Neurogenesis occurs utilizing a naturally occurring protein in the brain called BDNF, Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor. Continue reading
As we have reviewed previously, our mitochondria are working constantly to produce ATP cell energy to run the body and keep us vibrant and alive. The mitochondria require a constant supply of fuel, in the form of glucose, fat and ketones, to burn for energy production. Our mitochondria also require a generous supply of micronutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and polyphenols, to execute all of the chemical processes required to generate ATP.
Now that we are adjusting our nutrition to reap the wellness benefits of a low-carb, high-fat diet with nutritional ketosis and intermittent fasting, lets move onto exercise!
The antiaging benefits of exercise are legend, so let’s focus on exercise in the context of our mitochondrial makeover discussions. A smart type of exercise to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis is called HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT is an exercise strategy that involves alternating short bursts of intense exercise with brief rest or recovery periods. There are infinite HIIT program options available, and virtually any form of exercise or exercise machine can be utilized within a HIIT program. For example, HIIT can be done using body-weight exercises, treadmills, stationary bikes, jump-rope, swimming or sprinting. HIIT is, by definition, not time consuming and produces and maintains results with just a few short sessions per week. Popular forms of HIIT include: Continue reading
With the addition of healthy fats into our diets, we notice significantly diminished appetite, elimination of cravings and progressively longer intervals between meals. This occurs, not because of a sudden infusion of willpower and resolve, but rather, this occurs because we have successfully shifted our metabolism and have become proficient fat-burners. Continue reading
As we progress with our dietary adjustments, we are ratcheting down our processed carbohydrate consumption and adding healthy fats to our diet. With a major goal of avoiding or at least minimizing the consumption of all processed foods, we naturally migrate towards a nutrient-dense, real-food diet, such as a Paleo or ancestral diets. Basically, eating foods available in nature that a caveman could hunt, fish, pick or find. That’s right, it’s so easy even a caveman can do it! Continue reading
FAT BURNING FOR OPTIMAL ENERGY PRODUCTION
What diet adjustments should we make to ramp up our fat-burning metabolism?
STEP 1: DECREASE PROCESSED CARBOHYDRATE CONSUMPTION: Continue reading
Anyone interested in more energy and youth?
In the next several blog posts I am going to discuss our bodies energy production and what we can do with lifestyle interventions such as diet, exercise, nutritional supplements, and hormone optimization, to increase cell energy production.
When we ramp up cell energy production, we enhance our metabolism, burn fat better, and improve our energy levels, mental focus, mood, and body composition. Continue reading