This guide will be a valuable tool for you to learn more about weight loss, metabolic-friendly foods, metabolic fitness topics, variables, hacks, and more. Our hope is that this will be a useful tool to help deepen your understanding of metabolic health, access materials, and information and provide you with weight loss strategies.
As we move through the challenge, please share any comments, thoughts, or questions you have in the community chat!
For many of you, this first week is sure to deliver its surprises! And, that’s what this first week should be about - curiosity, understanding, and exploration into your metabolic fitness. This is the fun part of wearing a CGM. You get to start creating a personalized nutrition, health, and wellness plan. The discovery of different foods you should be eating more or less of, the impact of exercise, and the importance of sleep and managing stress will be unraveling in real-time.
During this first week, we recommend that you view your metabolic health as a foreign place that you’ve just entered. Allow yourself to be curious about your surroundings. Observing your body’s data will be your territory. Understand your territories and then build your map. Simply start adding, removing, or adjusting the above variables that transition the foreign place to the known. Exploring your metabolic landscape will be an ongoing effort. The goal of this process is to become aware of how food choices, sleep, exercise, and stress impact your metabolic fitness and weight loss.
This first week will provide an overview of different methods to help accelerate your metabolic fitness and weight loss. Topics covered are experimenting with your dietary and lifestyle behaviors, our five pillars of metabolic nutrition, a metabolic-friendly foods shopping list, and discovering your carbohydrate tolerance.
Experimenting with your CGM:
You’re currently wearing the most effective consumer healthcare tool on the planet. Think about this- there is an apparatus stuck on the backside of your arm that continuously monitors your blood glucose levels and transmits that data instantaneously to your smartphone. How freaking cool is that! To have 24/7 access to your blood glucose data is something to marvel at. The CGM unlocks a world of health-promoting possibilities that might have seemed unimaginable before. At your convenience, you have the ability to experiment with foods, exercise, sleep, and biohacks to achieve weight loss and metabolic health.
Be okay with taking a few days to explore your bio-individuality and expect surprises to happen along the way. This initial period gives you the flexibility to try new foods, test out hacks, and dive deeper into the inner workings of your metabolic processes.
Leverage this time to begin noticing your body's sensitivities. Think about possible dietary and lifestyle adjustments you can make to excel during this challenge. The information will come from being curious about your dietary choices, exercise habits, sleep patterns, and other lifestyle factors. Become aware of your body’s data, understand the why, and make adjustments.
Before we move any further, we would like to point out that there is not a specific eating plan, style, or diet that we advocate over others. We will provide valid and research-backed suggestions, tips, and methods, but ultimately, you are the creator of your nutrition plan.
When it comes to blood glucose control and weight loss, there is a steady stream of information surrounding keto, LCHF, and carnivore diets. Yes, these dietary methods are highly effective strategies, but they are not the only way. To further explore and understand how carbohydrates can remain in your diet during this challenge, check out the section “discovering your carbohydrate tolerance”.
The opportunity to experiment, measure, and adapt your dietary and lifestyle behaviors in real-time will greatly enhance your metabolic fitness and weight loss without feeling restricted. This is the powerful and liberating feature embedded in the wearable challenge. Take full advantage of this opportunity and unlock what works best for you.
Nutrition For Metabolic Fitness and Weight Loss
Every day we make choices about which foods to eat. Eating is essential to our existence and connects us to nature, life’s rhythms and flows, biological processes, and most importantly, each other. This one activity has the power to radically shift the interaction you have with the world around you. The food we eat is integral to our well-being.
In our bodies, food becomes information. Foods ignite chemical processes, cellular signals, the transmission and receiving of molecules, and countless other biological functions.
Eating with a metabolic health awareness will not only promote weight loss and metabolic fitness but also give your body purposeful information. Information that will enhance your performance and give your body the ability to thrive.
Throughout this challenge, you are going to unlock information that best serves your body. Giving your body the right information will radically shift your metabolic fitness into a state of optimal health.
Our Five Pillars for Metabolic Nutrition
When it comes to weight loss and metabolic health, there are two methods. The first, more common method is through caloric restriction. Put bluntly, the calorie restriction method is not recommended nor sustainable for long-term health. When restricting calories, your body starts pulling from its fat mass and lean mass for energy demands. For instance, this study placed individuals on a low-fat, low-calorie diet for weight loss, and more than 40% of the participants lost weight from their lean mass. For every lost pound of fat, a pound of lean mass was shed. Losing lean mass becomes counterproductive for metabolic fitness and health. We want to encourage our body to shed fat while keeping and building lean mass.
Another reason the calorie restriction method is not recommended is the effect on fat cells. Calorie restriction causes your fat cells to become hungrier. Typically, your fat cells become full by pulling in fat from your blood. This metabolic process is driven by the enzyme lipoprotein lipase (LPL). Researchers measured the amount and activity of LPL in fat cells for participants on a low-calorie diet. The low-calorie diet caused LPL to increase by 10-fold in the fat cells. This indicates your fat cells becoming 10x hungrier when caloric values are reduced.
The method we recommend that is easily achievable and sustainable for long-term health is controlling your blood glucose and insulin responses. This guide is centered around that method and if applied correctly, it will ensure success with favorable blood glucose levels, insulin responses, and weight loss results. Time and time again this method has been proven to be highly effective for promoting weight loss and metabolic fitness in the short, medium, and long term.
Our Five Pillars for metabolic nutrition:
- Manage your Carbohydrates
- Prioritize Proteins
- Focus on Fats
- Time it Right
- Eliminate Processed Foods
Manage your Carbs
We can’t stress enough how important this is for weight loss and metabolic fitness. The overconsumption of carbohydrates directly correlates to increased blood glucose and insulin responses. Because we are not restricting calories, controlling your blood glucose and insulin levels is critical for weight loss and metabolic fitness. This is done by managing your carbohydrates. Focus on natural sources of carbohydrates and eliminate the processed carbs completely.
When eating for weight loss and metabolic fitness, protein is key. Protein is essential for hundreds of biological functions in our body. In order to give our bodies the necessary building materials, protein must be emphasized. In addition, protein will help control food cravings, induce satiety, and is known to be the most nutrient-dense macronutrient. Many people lack the amount of protein required for their needs. If you want to enhance weight loss and metabolic fitness, eat more protein. Quality does matter when it comes to your protein sources, so choose wisely!
Focus on Fats
Fats should be reframed and considered as your metabolic and weight loss best friend. Healthy fats do not cause blood glucose or insulin levels to rise. Remember, this method is focused on controlling those responses. Furthermore, when healthy fats are consumed with carbohydrates, blood glucose responses are mitigated.
Timing is Key
As you will discover, timing your meals will become a huge factor. I suggest giving your body at least 12 hours from your last meal to the first meal and 4 hours in between (4-4-12). A fasting window provides your body with a much-needed metabolic reset. By eating less frequently, your hormones will get much-needed rest. More specifically, this will assist your body in reducing its glucose and insulin levels throughout the night and into the morning. Allowing your body an extended period between meals signals the body to use energy instead of storing energy. I highly recommend this as a simple and effective tool for weight loss and metabolic fitness.
Eliminate All Processed Foods and Seed Oils
Almost every processed food will contain either vegetable oil or refined carbohydrates and sometimes both. These are extremely destructive and the ultimate villains to weight loss and metabolic fitness efforts. I suggest avoiding all processed foods and seed oils. Always. Forever. Metabolic health and weight loss will not happen if processed foods are in your diet.
Discovering your Carbohydrate Tolerance
If you want to continue eating natural carbohydrates, we recommend using this challenge and your CGM to unlock your carbohydrate tolerance. This will be a huge advantage for your weight loss and metabolic fitness goals. Your carbohydrate tolerance can also be thought of as your carbohydrate limit or threshold. Discovering which carbohydrates and how much, without the unwanted blood glucose responses are why this exercise is important.
Just so we’re clear, we would like to point out a distinction when regarding carbohydrates. There are the natural carbohydrates that support us (whole foods) and our health, and those that deplete us (refined and processed carbohydrates). When it comes to metabolic fitness and weight loss, we are referring to natural carbohydrate foods.
Other variables are involved in carb tolerance, but you will gain a very good understanding by simply checking your blood glucose responses after eating different carbohydrates. Your carbohydrate tolerance will be unique to you and requires some time, attention, and effort to determine.
Because excess carbohydrates can elicit negative blood glucose responses, we need to understand how to best mitigate these responses. We know excess carbohydrate consumption raises blood glucose levels, which can promote insulin resistance. And, the dangers of developing insulin resistance have serious health implications.
Opening the door to your bio-individuality is a huge factor in determining which foods work best for your metabolic fitness and weight loss. Your genetic makeup, microbiome, and insulin sensitivity strongly influence how food is going to affect your blood glucose and insulin responses. The CGM is a remarkable tool for discerning favorable vs unfavorable foods.
Applying the method below will help discover your carbohydrate tolerance. And, this allows you to continue enjoying your favorite natural carbohydrates. Learning about your bio-individuality gives you profound insights into the relationship foods have with your metabolism.
The CGM makes this a very straightforward and simple process. The only thing required is testing different carbohydrate-rich foods and monitoring your data. Simple as that.
- Choose a moderate to high-starchy carbohydrate. Examples are sweet potato, lentils, beans, berries, apple, banana, etc.. Consume ½ cup of the chosen carb with a healthy protein, healthy fat, and good source of fiber. Using your Libre app, monitor your data points at the 30 minute, 1 hour, and 2-hour mark. If your blood glucose does not spike above normal and returns to pre-meal levels before the 2-hour mark, this indicates a carbohydrate tolerance to that particular food.
There is an infinite number of food combinations that can be tested and work for individuals. If you find something that sticks, please share it with our community! We love hearing the unique combinations that participants come up with.
Here are a few examples to get you started:
- Add your berries, apple, or banana to unsweetened yogurt, chia seeds, and some collagen powder
- Pair your sweet potato with olive oil or grass-fed butter, a quality protein, and some nuts or seeds
- Try pairing your beans or lentils with tahini, olive oil, avocado, eggs
- When cooking vegetables, try steaming or sauteing in bone broth, grass-fed butter, or olive oil and paring with an avocado
- Adding bone broth, collagen, or unsweetened yogurt to smoothies may help blunt glycemic responses
With your CGM, you’re going to quickly decipher which carbohydrates work and those that are more problematic for you. For the latter, experiment with some different ratios before ruling out your most enjoyable foods.
As you will discover, combining carbohydrates with a healthy protein, fat, and fiber will have a big impact on your blood glucose levels versus eating carbohydrates by themselves (more on this later).