Biohacking is the new term to describe the integration of applied physiology, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle modifications used to up one’s metabolism, performance and quality of life. There are six basic principles to biohacking and all are simple lifestyle changes that anyone can do.
The average adult needs seven and a half to eight hours of sleep a night — more if you undergo intense exercise. Chronic partial sleep loss increases the risk of obesity and diabetes by disrupting glucose metabolism and altering neuroendocrine control of appetite, leading to decreased energy expenditure. Sleep loss can affect energy expenditure via its impact on leptin a hormone secreted by adipose tissue that controls hunger and feelings of satiety, and ghrelin a neuropeptide that stimulates appetite. Lack of sleep makes you feel hungry.
Energy expenditure plays an important part in the control of body weight and adiposity. The three components of daily energy expenditure consists of the resting metabolic rate, the thermic effect of food and activity related energy expenditure. The resting metabolic rate is basically the energy you need to burn to stay alive doing nothing, the thermic effect of food is the amount of energy it takes for you to digest, absorb, metabolize and store your food and the activity related energy expenditure is the amount of energy you burn doing activities.
Some experts advocate using cold-induced thermogenesis as a means to increase brown adipose tissue activity. You can do this by taking cold showers, wearing less clothing at night in bed or taking ice baths — not something I do because I like to be warm but science shows being cold does burn more fat.
Stress, which can occur with low calorie dieting, or psychological stress, is linked with insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, altered lipid profiles and coronary artery disease. Chronic stress can also lead to increased food intake (stress eating). Need to find a way to control it!
There are hundreds of synthetic chemicals currently used in industry and agriculture that has led to widespread environmental contamination. Some of these environmental toxins include pesticides, herbicides, GMO, plasticizers, antimicrobials and flame retardants.
These endocrine-disrupting chemicals disrupt hormonal balance and result in developmental and reproductive abnormalities as well as being linked to obesity, metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes.
Limiting exposure to these toxins can be achieved by choosing organic produce and organic or wild meats. I advocate a nutritional cleanse that has been shown effective in reducing the toxic load on the body and effective in reducing fat and visceral fat. Call me and I’ll help you with it.
One of the most effective tools for increasing and maintaining lean body mass is resistance training. Lifting weights or doing other types of resistance training has been shown to keep the metabolism healthy especially during weight loss programs or aging.
Resistance exercise reduces abdominal adiposity, improves metabolic disorders and can help reduce the need for medications associated with being overweight.
In the recovery period after exercise, there is an increase in oxygen uptake known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). The magnitude of EPOC depends on both the duration and the intensity of the exercise as well as the type of exercise. Some of the mechanisms underlying EPOC include replenishment of oxygen stores, adenosine triphosphate/creatine phosphate resynthesis, lactate removal, increased circulation, breathing and body temperature. All these functions tend to keep your metabolism heightened and therefore you burn more fat longer, not just while you are working out.
To biohack your diet, don’t cut too many calories. If you eat less than 1,200 calories which is needed for basic biological functions, you will elevate your cortisol levels, leading to catabolism of lean body mass and cravings for fat and sugar. You also run the risk of dietary micronutrient deficiencies over time.
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that revs up the metabolism. The anti-oxidant catechin in green tea also boosts it up. 100 mg of caffeine raises the resting metabolic rate by 3 to 4 percent and that is about the amount found in a cup of brewed coffee. (Black coffee — no sugar, cream or other junk.)
Fiber can increase fat burning. Choose colorful veggies and fruits with numerous phytonutrients which help reduce inflammation and fat accumulation.
Drinking water should be fundamental in anyone’s fat loss and health program. A German study found that drinking just 500 ml of water daily increased subjects’ metabolic rate by 30 percent.
Eat organic as mentioned before because the junk on and in big agro foods makes you fat and sick.
Get adequate protein. Protein generally increases satiety better than fat or carbs so you don’t feel hungry. High-protein diets are associated with increased thermogenesis (heat generation) which means that you use more energy to digest and metabolize your food. Adequate protein also ensure that you have protein to build quality muscle during your resistance training sessions.
Finally, eating some probiotic foods so that your gut is colonized with friendly bacteria that aid digestion keeps your weight down, your metabolism up and your gut clean.
Jane Riley is a certified nutritional adviser. She can be reached at email@example.com, (808) 212-1451, www.janerileyfitness.com