The most common explanation of metabolism is the process by which the body converts food into energy.
In reality, metabolism includes all the chemical processes required to maintain life at a cellular level. It’s easy to limit this to the impact on your weight or energy level but metabolism plays a vital role in every part of your health, including mental health.
Benefits of a Healthy Metabolism
A healthy metabolism helps you function with optimal energy throughout the day and supports an elevated mood. You can support a healthy metabolism by eating predominantly whole foods, drinking plenty of water, getting sufficient sleep, regular exercise, and supplementing with a metabolism support.
The benefits of a healthy metabolism include:
Healthy cellular function
Balanced blood sugar
Sense of well being
Disadvantages of a Poor Metabolism
A poor metabolism has just the opposite effect:
Low or fluctuating energy
Poor sleep quality
Dysregulated cellular function
Unstable blood sugar
One of the biggest hurdles to overcoming a poor metabolism is working through the unreliable energy and depressed mood to find the motivation to break the cycle and begin doing the things that would promote a healthy metabolism. This is where supplementation can come in handy while you’re developing new habits.
This creates a catch. Lifestyle changes are often recommended in the treatment of mental health. Counselors suggest finding ways to eat healthier, eat at home more often, create bedtime routines to overcome insomnia and incorporate more movement into the day. However, the low energy and low motivation that often accompanies mental illness make it difficult to make those changes. Add to that, medications that also decrease metabolism, and the struggle is magnified.
Unfortunately, many people struggle with feelings of failure and despair when they attempt to make changes and progress in ways they simply don’t have the mental, emotional, or motivational capacity for. This only makes matters worse.
Creating Capacity to Bolster Metabolism
Understanding that there is a connection between metabolism and mental health helps draw awareness to some of the difficulties individuals may face in making lifestyle changes that support a healthy metabolism. Care teams working with those struggling with mental illness can support them by offering strategies to help them tackle one area at a time, starting with what the individual believes will be the easiest.
Just by identifying the area to address as “easiest,” a mindset of possibility is created that can provide the motivation needed to begin making positive changes. The more positive changes that are made, the greater the sense of success, and the greater the capacity to take on more difficult areas that need to be addressed.
Developing a Support System
One way to help people desiring to optimize their metabolism is to help them create a system of support. While the system may include medical or mental health care professionals, ideally it will be made up of trusted friends and family who can provide accountability and assistance along the way.
Adding a social element to help implement important lifestyle changes can enhance mood and provide an important sense of connection and value. For some, just having a safety net of people they can rely upon can have a tremendous impact on their ability to make the changes necessary to help their metabolism recover.
Metabolism is all about creating and sustaining life. While it does indeed impact weight loss and gain, it does so much more than that, influencing mood stability and mental health. With this in mind, lifestyle recommendations like eating well and exercise take on a whole new meaning.
This article was kindly written and contributed by Lewis Robinson.