Mark Hyman posted this great list on his blog this week. If you follow these 7 simple rules, losing weight and/or having more energy is much easier! I especially like #4. Read it, and avoid putting your body into starvation mode, where it “hangs on” to fat. You have to EAT to get THIN!
- Eat plenty of healthy fats. Healthy fats like avocados, nuts and seeds, along with wild, fatty fish are your mitochondria’s preferred fuel. My favorite “gasoline” for your mitochondria is medium-chain triglycerides or MCT oil, which is found in coconut oil.
- Go for color. While nutritionists often disagree, one thing nearly everyone concurs with is that we need to eat plenty of fresh vegetables and other plant foods. Colorful, antioxidant-rich plant foods become essential for healthy mitochondria and reducing oxidative stress. (I’ll add eat organic as much as possible…)
- Avoid sugar and flour. High-glycemic, high-carb foods put tremendous stress on your mitochondria. In fact, quick absorbed carbs are the biggest driver that damages your entire system. This is what drives triglycerides and cholesterol up, NOT fats!
- Stop obsessing over numbers. Quality over quantity becomes key for optimizing mitochondria. That said, if you’d like to know how much you should be eating, calculate your resting metabolic rate (RMR) or the total number of calories your body needs to survive at complete rest. If you eat fewer calories than your RMR, your body thinks it is starving. Calculating your RMR is easy. If you are average size, take your weight in pounds and multiply by 10. If you are very muscular and lean, multiply your weight by 13. If you are very overweight, multiply it by 8. Eating less than your RMR means your body goes into starvation mode.
- Move more and faster. Research shows high intensity interval training (where you go all out for 30 to 60 seconds, slowing down for a couple of minutes, and repeating) coupled with strength training is an excellent way to make new, improved mitochondria. Strength training builds muscle and creates more mitochondria, while interval training improves mitochondrial function and how quickly they burn oxygen and calories. You can learn more about an effective exercise plan here.
- Take energy-boosting nutrients. These include co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10), alpha-lipoic acid, N-acetyl-cysteine, carnitine, B-complex vitamins, and omega-3 fats. You can find these and other supplements that help speed up your metabolism and lower inflammation in my store.
- Get great sleep. Studies show insufficient sleep exacerbates inflammation, increases heart disease risk and hinders our immune, brain and cellular performance. To remedy that, get eight hours of solid, consistent sleep nightly.
Simply put, you have tremendous power over your metabolism and your health. Mind your mitochondria, and you’ll increase your metabolism to become fit and healthy. Even if you’re predisposed to certain genes, you can control them with healthy eating and lifestyle choices. You are never stuck.
Read Mark’s post here, including links to the research behind these 7 foundations to lose weight, and other articles related to this research.