How To Improve Your Metabolic Flexibility, According To This Surgeon

mbg Editorial Assistant By Christina Coughlin
mbg Editorial Assistant
Christina Coughlin is an editorial assistant at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2019 with a degree in psychology and music.
 young female in sportswear doing lunge with hands on floor while exercising in cozy room

Image by Pietro Karras / Stocksy

You may be used to hearing of a "slow" versus "fast" metabolism—but what about a flexible metabolism?

Carrie Diulus, M.D., recently spoke with Jason Wachob on the mindbodygreen podcast about her own weight loss journey, plus how she encourages holistic nutrition in all of her patients. Diulus spoke about the importance of metabolism and how it is a driving factor in many common health issues, like type 2 diabetes.

Diagnoses of type 2 diabetes are increasing at an alarming rate, and one of the keys to stopping the disease is by beginning as early as possible, says Diulus. "It is far easier to work on prevention than it is once you've gotten into where your metabolism is broken," she says. 

One of the ways she recommends treating improving metabolic flexibility—especially for those with metabolic issues—is a low-carb diet. Diulus cites the "mounting evidence" that these types of diets are powerful for patients suffering with metabolic and blood-sugar-related issues. "From a blood sugar standpoint, it's the carbs you're eating that matter," she says.   

For those who already have good metabolic health but are still interested in making their metabolism more flexible, Diulus has two main suggestions: healthy food and everyday exercise.

Food: Diulus consistently brings up the importance of "whole, real foods." She also stresses the importance of eating when you feel hungry rather than eating to dissuade feelings of stress, anxiety, or other emotions. 

Exercise: Diulus recommends incorporating exercise into your daily life as much as possible. "You don't need to go to the gym. You don't need to have special workout clothes," she says. "You can do it in 15 minutes getting out of bed in the morning to maintain muscle strength." 

If you want to improve your metabolic flexibility, get started with these simple at-home workout tips and some of our favorite whole food recipes

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