FitCon Summit Series: #5
MARK SISSON: METABOLIC FLEXIBILITY
I was fascinated by Mark Sisson’s panel at FitCon Summit. He’s an American fitness author and blogger, a former distance runner, triathlete and Ironman competitor. Thats’s not all… Mark is also the founder of Mark's Daily Apple and The Primal Blueprint.
On his panel he was talking about Metabolic flexibility and the capacity to match fuel oxidation to fuel availability—or switch between burning carbs and burning fat.
He was explaining that a lot of good stuff happens to our body when we’re not eating. We eat to replenish our food supply but we don’t actually need to over eat, right?! We need to stop living on the edge of “what amount of food can I eat and get away with…”, instead we should wonder “what is the least amount of food I need?”
Let’s learn how to use the right fuel for the right activity by becoming metabolically flexible. Someone with great metabolic flexibility can burn carbs when they eat them. They can burn fat when they eat it (or when they don’t eat at all). They can switch between carbohydrate metabolism and fat metabolism with relative ease. All those people who can “eat whatever they want” most likely have excellent metabolic flexibility. So, why does it really matter?
“The more metabolically flexible we are, the less we have to micromanage our macronutrients and calories.”
In the absence of glucose (carbohydrates) the body receives the sign to start burning fat for energy. The muscles starts to get so good in burning fat that it starts to leave the fat just for the brain.
Mark also mentioned that the Mitochondria is the power house of the cell. They’re the structures that process the fuel (food) and turn it into useable energy. The fewer you have, and the more dysfunctional they are, the more impaired your energy production and the less flexible you are.
Exercise and foods and nutrients that support metabolic flexibility are the best ways I found to support my metabolic flexibility.
Magnesiun, present on Lyfe Fuel Keto Nootropic formula, decreases mitochondrial oxidative stress. Dark chocolate rich in polyphenol appears to have pro-flexibility effects. Omega 3 fats also can improve mitochondrial function.
How to Track Your Flexibility
Answer these questions—hopefully in the affirmative. If not, just take it as information you can act on.
- Are you waking up in a state of mild ketosis every morning? Metabolically flexible people will quickly switch to the “fasted” state upon cessation of food. A good night’s sleep is enough to get the ketones flowing, even if you had a few carbs at dinner.
- Can you handle the food you eat, the fuel you introduce?
- Can you burn your own body fat between meals?
- Can you eat carbs without spiking your blood sugar and falling asleep an hour after?
- Can you skip a meal without issue?
- Are you snacking less—or not at all?
- Can you store the carbs you eat as muscle glycogen, or do they end up being converted into fat in the liver?
- Are your workouts getting better?
- Do you have more energy?
- Is your mood improved?
The information presented is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor is it a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice.
This publication is presented for information purposes, to increase the public knowledge of developments in the field of overall health, strength and conditioning.
The program outlined herein should not be adopted without a consultation with your health professional.
Use of the information provided is at the sole choice and risk of the reader. You must get your physician’s approval before beginning this or any other exercise or nutrition program. This information is not a prescription. Consult your doctor, nutritionist or dietician for further information.