Have you ever wondered what actually makes up your Metabolism? Your metabolism is an amazing collaborative of several different organs, the liver being a main player.
1. Your Main Engine: The Liver
If you were a car, your liver would be the engine. Over 600 known metabolic functions happen in the liver, and virtually every nutrient, hormone, and chemical must be transformed, or activated, by the liver. It’s the #1 powerhouse in your body and is involved in numerous important functions.
Your liver is a major player in fat, sugar and hormone digestion, it influences hydration, electrolyte balance, swelling and water retention, and metabolizes nutrients such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
Your liver also makes carnitine, which takes fat and escorts it into your cells’ fat burning furnaces, called mitochondria — which influence 90% of your metabolism. The faster and more efficiently you produce carnitine in your liver, the faster and more efficient your metabolism is.
The food you eat must support and nourish your liver, rather and overburden than tax it. If you don’t feed your liver appropriately and frequently to stimulate its most efficient functioning, everything else will get disrupted. Because the liver is so closely linked with metabolism, it is one of the most crucial organs to support with your diet.
Your adrenals are small glands on top of your kidneys, and they secrete hormones that regulate your body’s stress responses. These hormones determine how you access fuel in your body, and what you do with the fuel or food you consume. Do you store it as fat? Or do you burn it as energy?
Some of the specific hormones the adrenals release include cortisol, adrenaline, and epinephrine. These are released in response to stress both chronic and acute, like an accident or stress at work.
The secretion of these stress hormones regulates the release of sugar from the muscle and liver cells, to either stimulate or slow down your body’s metabolic rate. That means this process is dependent on the food you do or don’t eat. If you nourish your body during times of stress with the right foods, you will not store as much as you burn.
The thyroid is a metabolic superstar! A butterfly-shaped gland located at the center of the throat, the thyroid acts as your body’s furnace.
The problem is, when you diet, you know you aren’t starving, but your body doesn’t. In situations where you are experiencing chronic stress, certain disease processes, or nutritional deprivation, the thyroid’s function gets taxed and your body quits burning and starts storing fat.
The pituitary gland as the conductor of the orchestra. It secretes hormones that regulate or conduct the actions of many other hormones in your body, including your thyroid and adrenals. The pituitary masters the function of most other organs and makes sure they all work well together.
5. Your Physical Make-Up
The final key player that directly influences the metabolism is your physical and genetic make-up, which ist the fat and muscle content of your body. The body stores the majority of its reserve fuel in either muscle or fat. Because muscle is constantly contracting and relaxing, it takes a lot of fuel to create and maintain it. Your body will maintain balance by either storing or using energy for fuel and thus burning or storing energy for later use.
These five major players are the keys to using food to sculpt your body the way you want it. Feeding your liver, soothing your adrenals, optimizing pituitary and thyroid function, and adjusting your fat balance are all part of a balanced diet.
As you can see, stress, both internal and external, chronic or acute play a major role on the health and harmonious functioning of all your organs. Balance isn’t just about food intake and burning calories. It’s about managing your stressors, eating a diet that fuels you properly and not create more stress by eating the wrong foods in the wrong proportions. Balance is about making all the pieces fit together in a way that optimizes your metabolism and fat burning capacity so you can look AND feel great.
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