What is Metabolic Eating? Every Detail You Need - The Living Well

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What is Metabolic Eating? Every Detail You Need

pro metabolic eating meal fallon danae

What is the metabolic diet? Is it right for you? Like most things, it depends on what your body needs. But more than a diet, the pro-metabolic eating lifestyle is designed to support metabolic health, the topic of this post.

If you haven’t heard of metabolic eating, which some call pro-metabolic eating, you will soon. It stands out against the traditional diets as a means of working with your body rather than working to change your body, a subtle but powerful difference.

The traditional model of health supports the idea that if you micromanage what you consume and how you live, your body will change in direct relation to what you do. This idea has led people to cut calories and eliminate entire macronutrients from their diets, hoping to see results that correspond.

But the new model is founded on how your body responds—shifting the focus of health from external things to how your body responds.

The pro metabolic eating plan focuses on nourishing your body based on what it needs. It is an approach that works with your metabolism, knowing how to support it moving your body from surviving to thriving.

Inside this podcast, I interview metabolic eating expert Fallon Danae to hear her story of losing her health and using the pro metabolic plan to regain health and what that looks like inside our lives.

What is pro-metabolic eating?

The pro metabolic eating plan is strictly focused on the health of your metabolism, knowing it is responsible for nearly every other function inside the body. Ironically, supporting metabolism seems to go against every other diet trend in the last 50 years, like consuming more green smoothies, raw vegetables, and swapping dairy for nut milk.

Arguably you could hear that, roll your eyes and throw your hands up in confusion, wondering if this isn’t good, what the heck is?

While it seems confusing, what the pro-metabolic eating plan offers outside other traditional diets is an understanding of how the body works at the cellular level. Without this knowledge, it’s hard to understand why some foods are better than others.

The truth is, the body is never confusing you. If you feel overwhelmed and confused, spend less time looking outside your body for answers and more time understanding how your body is responding. I promise it is telling you something.

The goal of pro metabolic eating is to eat food that your body needs, not based on a moral code. In most cases, that means eating to reduce stress inside your body through foods that are nutrient-dense, easy to digest, and energy-rich.

The metric of metabolism

Your metabolism describes how your entire body functions at the cellular level, affecting your hormones, immune system, sex hormones, reproductive system, thyroid, detoxification, digestion, adrenals, and much more. It is also responsible for every single metabolic process that takes place in your body, making it directly accountable for what your body does with glucose, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats.

A better way to understand this is to recognize that while you could feed two people the same meal with the same calories and macronutrient ratios, their bodies can do two completely different things with what they consume.

That’s the power of your metabolism at work. Understanding health is not just what you do to your body but how your body responds.

You can think of your metabolism like a thermostat. Your metabolism is constantly taking a temperature reading of the body (or what I call the flow of energy), changing the cells based on this reading to bring the body back into a state of homeostasis.

Suppose the temperature is off, or your metabolism is sluggish, and you have no energy. In that case, the cells will respond accordingly by storing, hoarding, and conserving energy, shifting your hormonal pattern to one of stress rather than thriving.

But the body was designed to thrive, it longs to thrive, but it can only do so by supporting the body, providing what it needs—shifting the temperature back into a state of balance which happens by reducing the stress load on the body.

Pro-metabolic eating is one way to reduce stress and support metabolic function to bring the body back into balance. It works to nourish your body with foods that support your biology and how you were designed to function.

5 elements of pro-metabolic eating

01. Eat easy to digest foods

Understanding digestion is a topic we often overlook, but it’s foundational in what your body absorbs and how it uses the food you consume. The pro-metabolic eating lifestyle focuses on easy-to-digest foods, which often look much different from traditional health foods.

Too many raw vegetables, cold foods, and nuts and seeds can cause GI distress. It’s not to say those foods are bad or wrong, but the quantity people consume is more than their bodies can handle. Steer clear of excess nut products and lean back into whole food sources, like raw dairy or organic, cooked vegetables, and seasonal fruits.

02. Eat More, Not Less

Your body needs nutrients and a lot of them, especially if it’s gone through a season of depletion. We should always be eating for nutrients, not calories understanding the energy you need comes from the nutrients. Toss calorie-counting to the curb and look at food for its nutrient density, regardless of how many calories it has. You may need to eat more for a while, don’t fear this but embrace it by choosing quality over quantity.

03. Never Skip Breakfast

When you eat happens to be more important than what you eat because your body changes how it works throughout the day. Your body’s metabolism is at its highest point in the morning, as is your insulin sensitivity and free energy, making it the prime time to consume food.

Don’t skip breakfast, but consume a balanced meal rich in protein and fat within one to two hours of waking up. If you don’t feel hungry, this is a bigger sign you need to turn up your breakfast game.

04. Balance Your Fats

The last ten years have been dedicated to promoting healthy omega-3 fats with omega-6s while missing the other critical fats needed in our body. The push for healthy unsaturated fatty acids led to the nut craze the world went wild over. But like all things in the body, it thrives in balance.

The best way to balance unsaturated fats is through healthy saturated fats. The once villainized form of fat that has been eradicated from most healthy diets yet is vital in overall metabolic function. Try focusing on eating more saturated fats through coconut oil, grass-fed animal proteins, and butter.

05. Eat Seasonally

Seasonal eating is one of the most overlooked forms of eating, yet it comes with a powerful dose of health. Seasonal eating is how our body was designed. Your body shifts its hormonal flow, gut microbiome, and nutrients needs with the changing of seasons. The body does this to upregulate your metabolism and immune system based on what the season brings. You should notice your cravings and food preferences change, pay attention to these changes and eat based on the season.

Pro-metabolic eating plan

A pro metabolic eating plan is based on wholesome foods found in nature. The goal of pro-metabolic eating is to satisfy the body’s needs by opening up energy flow and reducing hunger and cravings. The list is pretty simple:

  1. Protein-rich foods sourced from grass-fed or pasture-raised animals such as meats, eggs, dairy, and bone broth
  2. Root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, squash
  3. Seasonal fruits
  4. Natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup
  5. Whole grains in small amounts such as rice and oats

The foods you should limit are hard to digest or void of nutrients such as:

  1. Vegetable oils such as canola, soybean and vegetable oil
  2. Fortified grains such as cereals, bars, and bread
  3. Processed sugars
  4. Excess nuts and seeds, especially milk, flours, and nut butter.
  5. Tons of raw greens

Don’t look at this list and think all or nothing. The goal is not to demonize food but to empower you to pay attention to how food makes you feel. It’s always in balance, choosing more foods that fill you up while leaving room for foods you enjoy.

Changes you should notice?

With any diet or changes you make, you should notice a difference. Not just externally, but internally. Pay attention to how your body is feeling. If it’s helping you should notice some or all of these changes:

  • Warm Hands & Feet
  • Steady Energy Throughout The Day
  • Strong Libido
  • Easily Falls Asleep & Stays Asleep
  • Strong Hair & Nails
  • Great Digestion
  • 1-3 Good Bowel Movements Every Day
  • Regular Periods/Ovulation Free From PMS Symptoms
  • Happy & Positive Disposition
  • Maintains Weight Easily
  • Strong Immune System
  • Waking Up With An Appetite
  • Basal Body Temperature Between 97.8-98.6 F or 36.6-37.0 C
  • Pulses Between 75-90 BPM

It’s a lifestyle – not a diet.

The difference between a diet and a lifestyle is how you view food. In dieting, food becomes the means for changing your body, but a lifestyle showcases food as support to the body. The goal with metabolic eating is not to get so caught up in what is good or bad, but what is good for your body right now.

People will always push this to a new diet showing you it’s pro-carbohydrates, pro-dairy, and drinking unlimited amounts of orange juice. But that’s not the whole picture, just part of it.

The full picture is actively working to lower stress using food as a tool. This will look different for everyone, and it will look different depending on where you are starting from. Don’t be discouraged. Try it out and pay attention to your body. You’ll know if it is working.

Want to learn more?

If you want to learn more about metabolic eating, check out Fallon’s work and meal plans to get started:

Want the other 8 Life-Changing Health Tips? Get them all here:

  1. Why you need to redefine health, learn how here!
  2. Learn why you can’t do what you know you should.
  3. Skeptic’s guide to meditation + how to get started.
  4. Five ways to use your nervous system to get healthy.
  5. Sexual wellness routine, why you need one.
  6. Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy? Here’s a better option!
  1. Vivi Stanciu says:

    Alexa and Danae this has been so so helpful to me!!! Especially when you started talking about the cold body and irregular menses – that has been my story for the last 5-7 years. And also about reacting to foods we stopped eating for a while, oh so true. I think I started this pro metabolic approach a year ago and I’m doing so much better, gained weight at the beginning, still have some of that but mentally I feel way better. Sometimes even physically I feel I have more energy. My body feels safer now, still learning though, I still feel cold and my menses don’t come every month. I’ll try to incorporate the adrenal drink, that sounded interesting. Thanks again, I resonated so so much!!

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