5 Easy Hacks to Making Your Diet Pro-metabolic (& anti-ageing!)
[Evidence Based & Fact Checked]
You don't have to be a "bio-hacker" in order to follow first class pro-metabolic and anti-ageing principles. Anyone can restore a more youthful body, that looks, feels and functions better - here's how.
Written by Steve Collins, B. App Sci (Ex. Phys), ISSN on March 23, 2021
Does this sound like you?
- You look at food and gain weight
- You're tired, have no energy, rarely sleep through the night
- You have dry skin, thinning hair and low libido
- You're bloated and your number 2's are irregular
- Your weight is up and down depending on the diet you're on
- You have cold hands, feet, nose, low body temperature
If so, then using just a few of these hacks will lead to extraordinary results and a powerful shift that can easily spiral upwards into a life changing result. We've seen people who employ just 2 of these hacks completely overhaul their health in a sustainable way.
1. Balance your protein intake
Our ancestors tended to eat nose-to-tail and get most of their calories from animals (1). My step-grandmother and father, alive and very well at 93, living in the Austrian Alps, still eat nose-to-tail.
Eating nose-to-tail means your intake of animal products consist not only of the muscles of an animal, but also the organs and collagenous parts of the animal too, typically under the skin and within the bones.
Part of the benefit of nose-to-tail eating is that it's easier to get a more balanced, more anti-ageing intake of amino acids.
Protein has different types and quantities of amino acids present within it's structure. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and also your body, and components within your body including components involved in signalling (ie. telling your body what to do, how to heal and how to grow).
Collagen is a collection of amino acids that are more favourable to anti-ageing not found in the same quantities in common cuts of meat, poultry or fish, or for that matter, any popular protein source like eggs, protein powder or tofu (2).
Structurally, collagen (and gelatin) is made of largely glycine - a powerfully anti-inflammatory, healing amino acid (3). contains no tryptophan (another amino), and only a small amount of cysteine and methionine (you guessed it - they're aminos too!).
Using collagen as a major source of your dietary protein intake is an easy way to restrict the amino acids that are associated with many of the problems of ageing (4,5).
Based on their amino acid profile, other common proteins (meat, eggs, dairy) aren't necessarily bad for you. It's just important to balance your protein intake, from an anti-ageing perspective, as a trip to your local supermarket to pick up standard protein sources won't do that for you.
Here's how a balanced, anti-ageing day of protein could look (95g total):
- 250ml milk (8g protein)
- 150g wild salmon (35g protein)
- 2 tbsp collagen (18g protein)
- 2 tbsp HERO protein [made from micellar casein] (21g protein)
- 2 tbsp parmesan (4g protein)
- 1 egg (5g protein)
- 2 cups of bone broth (8g protein)
2. DITCH VEGETABLE OILS & BALANCE YOUR FATS
Vegetable oils include soybean, corn, canola, rapeseed, sunflower, palm, almond and sesame. These oils are high in inflammatory omega 6 fats, and lower your ratio of healthier omega 3 fats.
Pro-metabolic fat sources include extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, grass-fed animal fat, wild caught fish, grass-fed dairy products & macadamias (10).
3. LOWER YOUR METHIONINE INTAKE
Lowering your dietary intake of the amino acid methionine has well studied anti-ageing benefits. Anti-ageing and improving your metabolism go hand-in-hand.
Methionine restriction is one of the most sustainable ways to increase lifespan without chronic calorie restriction - a notoriously flimsy diet strategy (11,12).
The most effective and sustainable method to reduce methionine is to balance your intake of muscle meat and other proteins, with your intake of collagen & gelatin containing foods such as bone broth, and a quality collagen and gelatin supplement.
To clarify, balancing your protein intake doesn't mean that you need to get half of your daily protein intake from collagen and gelatin - just some.
I usually recommend a slightly higher fat, lower carb breakfast, with 10 - 20g of collagen in tea or coffee. Then eating some gelatin based gummies (for example) in the afternoon for a small meal or a second collagen tea/coffee after lunch as a great target that's sustainable long term.
4. EAT WELL ABOVE THE RDI FOR VITAMINS & MINERALS
The recommended daily intakes for vitamins and minerals are far too low to support the effective recovery of your best self (13,14). Reducing your intake of low vitamin and mineral mono crop foods is an important part of pro-metabolic nutrition, and radiant health in general - not to mention, reducing your reliance on mono-cropped foods will reduce your exposure to pesticides and glyphosate - otherwise known as "roundup" weed killer (15).
The simplest, most sustainable strategy you can use to improve your intake of vitamins and minerals that are able to be absorbed by the body is to eat more whole foods such as fruit, root vegetables (like carrot, beetroot, sweet potato) and quality dairy - along with eat traditional "special" foods each week, like liver and shellfish (like oysters).
Think of simple ways to add or trade in extra nutrients to your meal. I'll often add Perfectly Pure collagen into soups, or bone broth, or I'll put melon next to my scrambled eggs in the morning.
Simple, fresh, quality whole foods make a wonderful meal, that in my experience as a nutritionist and according to the research, you're less likely to overeat on (20).
If you squirm at the thought of eating liver - I'm right there with you. I recommend investing in taking a couple of organic beef liver capsules each morning alongside your breakfast. It's a wonderful pro-metabolic food, that covers a seriously large amount of your daily vitamin and mineral needs, and is a real blessing for skin, energy and hormones.
5. BALANCE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR
Decreased blood sugar is a signal for the release of adrenal hormones - otherwise known as stress hormones (16).
Stress hormones are "degenerative (17)." In other words, an over-reliance on stress hormones is ageing - or degenerative, because stress hormones break down lean body tissue (like muscle and bone), causing a reduction in your physiological capability (18).
Since this is the very definition of ageing, and "aged" people have less robust metabolisms, its cause for concern.
Balancing your blood sugar will help your body lower its reliance on stress hormones - which of course, increase your reliance on "youth" hormones like thyroid, progesterone and DHEA (19).
Greater reliance on youth hormones, which tend to be "regenerative," is a key aspect of pro-metabolic nutrition and anti-ageing in general.
After coaching more than 10 thousand people, I've found that the best way to balance your blood sugar and lower your reliance on stress hormones is to eat a balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner.
You can use this simple meal balancing sentence as a guide: some protein, a little fat, and as many carbs as you need (which changes based on your level of activity).
Plenty of collagen, gelatin, quality dairy, casein, fish, shellfish, grass-fed meat, chicken, eggs, grass-fed liver (or paté / capsules)
Seasonal ripe fruits, well cooked roots vegetables (i.e. potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, beetroot), honey, quality dairy.
Coconut, extra virgin olive oil. Animal fats like butter, tallow, ghee, dairy.
NB. this is not an exhaustive list - just some basics.
To learn more about pro-metabolic nutrition and work with me on improving the condition and function of your own body, tap to do the 30 day Metabolism Makeover. We cover everything you'll need to make impressive changes (see some of them here), and I'll be your coach.