Are You Metabolically Healthy to Run Your Business to the Next Level?
Fact: Only 12% of adults in the United States meet the criteria of having optimal metabolic health.
– Dr. Philip Covadia, Cardiothoracic Surgeon
What is metabolic health?
Metabolic health means that your body is properly processing the input that you are giving it, and it is mostly in the form of the food that you eat, although there are certainly influence from other things like exercise, stress, and sunlight.
When we eat, one of three things is supposed to happen:
- Use that food for immediate energy to fuel all of our activities
- Build and rebuild our tissues
- Store some of it in case food and energy aren’t available.
Unfortunately, our modern food system has hijacked that system so that now we end up for most people, storing way too much energy and we never have periods when we’re without food, so we never get to tap into that stored energy.
What are some of the biggest mistakes people make with their metabolic health?
- You should eat properly, eat too many calories, and have a healthy life. Well, so you know, that gets to one of the biggest mistakes that we’ve been told, and quite frankly there’s been a lot of science that has been put out to promote this that all that matters is the number of calories but it turns out that the types of food that we eat, how often we are eating these things have a larger influence on our metabolic health.
- You don’t assess our metabolic health properly. You assume that if you are not obese and you haven’t been diagnosed with some major disease like high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease, You are healthy. The reality is that we can be metabolically healthy for a long time before those diseases manifest themselves.
How do we know?
Good assessment of your metabolic health. Here are five basic measurements that you can go to assess your metabolic health:
- Check your waist circumference. Measure just above the level of your belly button, and if you’re a male, you want that to be less than 40 inches and for a woman, you want that to be less than 35 inches.
- Know is your blood pressure-You can check it at home, in any drug store/supermarket these days, and without being on medications to lower your blood pressure, you want that to be less than 130/85.
- Know your fasting blood glucose level or the amount of sugar that’s in your blood when you haven’t eaten for eight to twelve hours and you want that to be less than 100 without taking any medications to lower your blood glucose.
- Look at your cholesterol HDL or Good Cholesterol and you want that to be higher- the higher the better. If you’re a woman, you want that to be over 50, and if you’re a man, you want that to be over forty milligrams per deciliter
- Look at your triglyceride level and you want that to be less than 150.
So your LDL cholesterol, interestingly, the number that most people focus on is not a factor in metabolic health. It turns out that LDL cholesterol is not really all that predictive of anything. It has some association with heart disease, but not as much as an association as we’ve been led to believe. The reality is that the reason that we focus so much on LDL cholesterol is that, we have medications that can lower LDL cholesterol. So it’s easy to measure a number, and it’s an easy intervention for any physician to look at, and if it’s above a certain cut-off, prescribe medication to lower your LDL cholesterol. We don’t have medications that raise your HDL cholesterol or lower your triglyceride levels, even though it turns out that both of those factors are more important predictors of heart disease and other chronic diseases than LDL cholesterol.
Assess your health at https://ifixhearts.co/ and it will take you through those questions and it will give you a score as to whether or not you’re metabolically healthy and if three of those factors are abnormal, you have what we call metabolic syndrome and that puts you at very high risk for developing things like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even some types of cancer. If you have one or two of those abnormalities, it’s a warning sign that you are on your way to becoming metabolically unhealthy and developing metabolic syndrome.
How do you get healthier?
Recognize that what you eat is the biggest influencer of our health. We tend to ignore that too much and that is why I have invited Doctor Philip here to discuss and introduce his new book titled, “Stay Off My Operating Table” where he tackles the need for us to work on getting a better food environment as the unfortunate reality that Dr. Philip has stressed out is that we have an abundance of food around us, but most of that food is not supporting our health. As an example, Dr. Philip has mentioned that when you walk into the supermarket, 90% of that supermarket has items that are called food but those are the type of food that you should not be eating.
What kind of simple tips do you have for busy entrepreneurs that don’t have a lot of time to exercise or cook fresh vegetables and are eating out a lot?
- Find something simple to eat. You can order the steak without any of the sauces or the toppings, with a simple baked potato or some simple vegetables that are maybe just sautéed and some butter. Skip the bread and skip the dessert and all of those things.
- Get enough sleep.
- Deal with the stress in your life
- You have to move. Remember I didn’t say exercise, but you want to move throughout your day.
A common myth that entrepreneurs have when it comes to metabolic health is that you need to be spending two or three hours a day at the gym. Instead of doing that, get yourself a stand-up desk, and instead of sitting all day while you’re taking calls, do it standing up or take walks around your office.
Learn some more about your Metabolic Health via the book, “Stay Off My Operating Table” and it’s available on all the major online booksellers in Print, Kindle, and Audiobook format.
Remember, what we eat is the main component of metabolic health and your ultimate goal should be for you to feel your best and function your best so you can run your business best!
About the Author
You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.
You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.