What the pro-metabolic diet is and practical tips to start this journey
Have you tried them all?
Dieting is so stressful. Many options promise weight loss and solutions to all your problems, but don’t keep their end of the bargain. Some popular diets sometimes work for a little while, before backing out on you.
I am a mother of two, a woman who struggles with stress, gluten intolerance, and Rosacea. There are so many diets that I have researched, but none of them were fully sustainable or addressed the root cause.
I scoured the internet, reading almost everything that I could get my hands on.
It was many days of praying, searching, and praying some more, refusing to be content with my current state of health.
The answer finally came.
I came across this concept of pro-metabolic eating and my life has been changed for the better. It has shown me what real food is and has improved my overall health.
What is the Pro-Metabolic Diet?
First of all, this is not a diet.
The pro metabolic “diet” is a lifestyle, that focuses on supporting all the bodily functions or metabolic processes of your body, like your thyroid function, immune system, and hormone balance.
A diet gives you regulations on what you should do and what you shouldn’t do. This lifestyle or pro-metabolic eating is a way to live that takes into account you’re a unique and individual person. It is a long-term investment in eating high-quality foods that support a healthy metabolism.
The pro-metabolic lifestyle of eating has a few principles or guidelines to follow. This gives you a lot of areas to experiment with and see what works well for your body and individual situation.
The idea of a pro-metabolic lifestyle is to provide food freedom and not restrict certain types of foods or foods that you must or must not eat. We were created to need and enjoy food.
But where to begin? What does a pro-metabolic lifestyle look like?
Let’s break it down and look at some principles.
Principles of Pro-Metabolic Eating
Make sure that you are eating enough calories to sustain your energy output. Some days you may eat more and some days you may eat last. For example, on days that you exercise, you will need more energy so, therefore, you should eat a little more. It will take some time and experimentation to figure out what exactly this looks like for you. Remember this is a lifestyle and not a diet. These are guidelines to help you find health.
Eat consistently every 3 to 4 hours.
A good rule of thumb is to eat every three or four hours. This spaces out the times you eat to roughly 3 meals and two or three snacks a day depending on your needs.
When you’re in between meals but hungry, don’t force yourself to go a couple more hours until the next meal. This puts extra stress on your body because it then has to go searching for fuel in places that are not designed for energy.
When you’re hungry, your body needs fuel so give it what it needs. Eat when you need to and do not run on an empty stomach.
Eat 30 minutes to an hour after you wake up.
Do you ever feel stressed when you first wake up? Did you know that it is the stress hormone cortisol that gets you out of your bed every morning? You feel stressed because you are stressed and don’t have much energy to burn.
To bring that stress down, plan to eat 30 minutes to an hour after you wake up every morning.
An initial adrenal cocktail or even a cup of good quality orange juice helps to lower those stress hormones while you’re making breakfast or going through your morning routine.
Eat quality food.
This is the most exciting part for those of us who have been on a restrictive diet. Here is where we talk about food freedom!
There are so many opinions out there on what you should eat. It’s so hard to figure out what is truly good for you.
Did you know that ice cream can be a healthy superfood? If it is made out of good quality and nutrient-dense ingredients, how could it not be healthy?
This goes for desserts, meals, drinks, and any individual ingredients as well. If it is good quality, nutrient-dense, and bioavailable, then it is good for you.
(Bioavailability means that it is easy for your body to process and use.)
To further discuss the quality of food let’s talk about the three tiers of food quality.
The Three Tiers of Food Quality
Conventional food is what you find in most grocery stores. This is the mass-produced food products that are full of additives and preservatives. These foods are far removed from their natural state.
The quality of conventional food is very low. This is not the good stuff.
Sadly, you find this kind of food everywhere. It is terrible how accessible it is.
Let’s think about organic foods as a step up from conventional. The organic label means that the company or producer of this certain food follows certain regulations that prohibit them to use pesticides or other harmful farming practices in growing this item.
This does not mean that these foods are completely free from pesticides. There is a percentage of how much the farmers are allowed to use depending on the food category, but it is still better because it is more natural. It has less contact with harmful substances that you do not want to ingest.
Almost every grocery store has a little section where they sell organic food items. Usually, it’s not a very large selection, but it is nice to at least have some organic things available.
This is a farming practice that allows food to grow naturally. Many times products from regenerative farms are organic. The farms do not have the official organic certification to call them organic.
Buying from regenerative farms means purchasing food from local farms or growing it yourself.
It is much harder to find food products like meats and vegetables from regenerative farms simply because you may not have access to them where you live.
This is the highest level as far as the quality of food goes.
Don’t get discouraged if you live in a big city or a place where you can’t buy from local farms. Remember pro metabolic living is based on principles and not rules. These principles are ideas to think about and apply to your unique individual situation.
This is food freedom not another one of those restrictive diets.
Stay with me. We are about to talk more clearly about how to apply the principles of Pro metabolic living.
How to Start Pro-Metabolic Eating
Here are three tips to help you know where to begin.
Don’t rush it. Have you ever started a workout program but never stuck to it? Many times this is either because it was too complicated, or because you try to do too many new things at once. Start slow.
Try applying one or two of the principles we mentioned earlier before even switching out any of your food.
Research your options.
When you get to a place where you are ready to start replacing lower quality food that you were eating with higher quality food items, take some time to learn what the highest quality products for that specific food are and what is available for you. Window shop at different stores in the area to figure out what they carry if the grocery stores that you normally shop at do not carry what you’re looking for.
Know what good food is.
Again, before heading out the door to grocery shopping, know what you’re looking for. I have broken down the main food groups to discuss the best possible options for you.
Local meat from farms that have high standards is the best option. You want grass-fed grass-finished beef, and pasture raised chicken, if possible.
I have not researched into pork and other meats. They are not bad; we just don’t have access to good quality pork and such. Therefore I have postponed researching and looking into it. No food is bad. You just need to get that food in the best quality form as possible so that you don’t struggle with digesting and processing chemicals that we were not made to ingest.
If you were going to buy from local farms, make sure you check out the farms themselves to make sure that you are comfortable buying food from them. For example, ask the farmers questions and just use your common sense by looking over how the animals are taken care of and what they are fed.
If local meat is out of your budget or out of your reach, don’t despair. You may not know it but your grocery store might carry decent-quality meat already.
- Beef – Many stores including Walmart and Aldi carry organic grass-fed beef. This a great option if you are limited to buying meat from the grocery store.
- Chicken- I used to recommend organic chicken. While it is a better option than conventional chicken, it still not very good for you. They are fed feed that is not good quality, and therefore the oils are much harder for you to digest. If you kind find pasture raised chicken, that is a good option.
The highest quality is raw dairy products from local farms. If you can’t do this here is your next best option.
Raw milk sold at Whole Foods stores.
Organic milk that is pasteurized not homogenized.
A2 milk- This is processed milk and closer to conventional, but because it is A2 protein milk, it is easier to digest. This is a more budget-friendly option to start with.
If you cannot get raw milk cheese either locally or in stores, look for aged cheese and cheese that has limited ingredients like milk, cheese culture, salt, and microbial enzymes.
Take some time to explore the cheese section in your grocery store.
Raw butter or A2 butter are the best high-fat foods with coconut oil coming in second.
Fruits, Vegetables, and Root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.)
If buying from local farms or growing your own is not plausible, the next best options for fruits, vegetables, and roots are ones labeled organic. It can be hard to find what you want and need in the organic section. Here’s a little tip to help save you some money and have a wider variety to choose from.
Look up the EWG clean fifteen dirty dozen. It is a list of fruits and vegetables ranging from clean fifteen to dirty dozen. The clean fifteen means that it is relatively safe to buy these items because they are less affected by pesticides. The opposite is true for the dirty dozen.
Whatever is in the dirty dozen are the ones that come in contact with the most pesticide. These are the ones that you want to prioritize buying any organic section. Everything in between is up to your discretion.
An easy way to remember the principle of this list is that if the product has thin edible skin (For example, pears) then you want it to be organic. If you eat the skin, but organic.
Highly processed foods especially desserts have so much sugar and spike your blood sugar levels like crazy. Try to avoid these.
Choose simple sugars like maple syrup and honey and make sure they are the best quality that you can afford.
A good maple syrup option is organic without any additives.
Raw local Honey is your best option, and sometimes local grocery stores have it in stock. Check health food stores if not. Many times if you do the research, you can find a local beekeeper to buy from.
Here are a few final tips and things to look into to help you on your journey toward wellness.
- Raw vegetables are harder to digest. Try to cook them thoroughly before eating them.
- Saturated fats are your friends because they are bioavailable.
- Buy seasonal produce. This means that it will be the freshest and the best for you.
- Organ meats are natural vitamin supplements.
This is a lot of information that you may hot have heard about. Thank you for reading all the way down!
Hopefully, it was insightful and clearly presented and you find this to be good news just as I did.
This is not an exhaustive definition of what pro-metabolic living or eating looks like, but it is a simple place to begin.
There’s so much more to learn in this area and I am in no way an expert. I merely want to be a voice to share this wonderful goodness with others.
If you want to know more, I recommend you to check out these resources.
- Made for Living Well – Podcast
- Fallon’s Table – Website
- How to Heal your Metabolism – Book
- The Freely Rooted Podcast – Podcast
- The Strong Sistas YouTube Channel – Youtube Channel
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. It is my own opinion from my experience researching the best way to apply pro-metabolic eating affordably. I am sharing what I have learned in my journey with the hope that it can help you in yours.