In an attempt to ease digestion, improve energy levels, and promote weight loss, many popular health recommendations focus on increasing metabolic rates. However, while manipulating metabolic speeds may help burn a few extra calories, the efficiency with which the body expends energy largely relies on age and genetic factors. A critical factor is often overlooked in the pursuit of improving metabolism: metabolic flexibility.
A key to optimal wellbeing, longevity, and chronic disease prevention, metabolic flexibility directly measures the body’s ability to respond and adapt to conditional changes in metabolic demands. Access to high-calorie processed foods as part of the standard American diet combined with increasingly sedentary lifestyles have directly impacted the ability of the metabolism to be flexible, and thus, support sustained energy production. Studies have shown that metabolic flexibility can prevent and treat metabolic diseases like diabetes and insulin resistance and help the body run at its optimal levels.