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ReBoot Your Metabolism – At Any Age!

  • This is the first in a series of articles on rebooting the metabolism from Golden Door Nutritionist & Author Sara Vance

Part 1: Get Out of Sugar Burning Mode & Into Fat Burning Mode

Have you been told that the metabolism just gets sluggish after about age 45, and that there is nothing we can do to reboot it? Fortunately – that is not true!

No, it doesn’t have to be “all downhill from here”….we can reboot our metabolism – at any age!

This 4 part article series will help you understand the diet and lifestyle factors to reboot your metabolism – at any age.

Reboot Factor #1: Stabilize Blood Sugar

One of the #1 reasons for a sluggish metabolism, is poorly controlled blood sugar. When we are on the “sugar rollercoaster” and our blood sugar is spiking and crashing all day long, our metabolism gets stuck in sugar-burning mode – which means it can’t effectively convert our stored fat into fuel.

Signs your metabolism could be stuck in sugar burning mode:

  • Stubborn weight gain, especially in mid-section
  • A need to eat every couple of hours, or you get “hangry” (hungry-angry)
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue, energy crashes
  • Sugar cravings & constantly thinking about food
  • Elevated liver enzymes (our livers can become fatty)
  • Elevated glucose, insulin, blood pressure, CRP, triglycerides
  • Accelerated aging – sugar creates advanced glycation end products (AGEs) – which damages the collagen & elastin in skin

8 Steps to Stabilize Your Blood Sugar:

  1. Limit the sweets. You’ll notice at the Golden Door, desserts are generally two bites, and they are also not sickly sweet either. As Chef Greg once told me, “Two bites is a palate cleanser, and any more than that is an indulgence.” The American Heart Association agrees – because of the link between excess sugar & heart disease risk – they recommend no more than 6 added tsp. of added sugars per day for women, and no more than 9 tsp. per day for men. If you find that you can’t limit it to 2 bites, then take a break entirely from all sweets for 3 weeks. You will notice when you don’t eat sweets every day, eventually you can reset your sweet tooth and cravings.
  2. Opt for Dark Chocolate. When I want a little something sweet – I go for a square or two of dark chocolate. Having a couple squares of dark chocolate a day is associated with a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, improved mood, and better blood flow. But make sure it is 70% dark or higher, because it is lower in sugar and its the raw cacao delivers the health benefits. If you don’t like dark chocolate – you can learn to like it. Start with a 50% cacao content, and gradually work your way up to 70%. Try Chef Greg’s CHOCOLATE AVOCADO GANACHE Recipe!
  3. Ditch the chemical sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are no better than regular sugar for our metabolism, they stimulate our sweet tooth, hunger and just like sugar, they may increase our risk of diabetes & metabolic syndrome. Ditch the yellow, pink and blue packets. If you want a little sweetness – choose a more natural substitute like monk fruit or stevia.
  4. Don’t drink your sugar. The fastest way to consume too much sugar and stimulate our appetite is to drink our sugar – so watch out for sweet coffees, teas, sodas, and other drinks with added sugars. Instead opt for unsweetened, or use a little monk fruit or stevia.
  5. Limit refined carbs. Did you know that pretzels spike your blood sugar higher and faster than a Snickers bar? Pretzels are an 80 on the glycemic index, which is an indicator for how a food affects your blood sugar. Foods made with refined flours like crackers, breads, and many “snack foods” cause spikes in blood sugar, which are followed by a crash. When our blood sugar drops – we are hungry, tired, moody and so we reach for another “snack.” Avoid foods with refined flours, and instead upgrade to a more whole food option with natural fiber, vitamins and minerals. I find a lot of products that are considered “paleo” tend to be better for our blood sugar.
  6. Read labels. Sugars are hiding everywhere – especially watch out for sauces, dressings, granolas, “bars,” drinks, and yogurts. Read labels to know how much added sugars are sneaking into your diet daily – if you add it up, you might be surprised!
  7. Start your day with a lower carb breakfast. Studies show a breakfast rich in healthy fats & protein can benefit blood sugar levels all the way to dinner. And remember – when your blood sugar is stable, you are less hungry. And so you will generally eat less!! Here are some breakfast ideas:

8. Follow The Rule of Three:

Each time you eat a snack or a meal – include one (or more) of the following blood-sugar stabilizing macronutrients. Each of these fill you up longer, give your longer lasting energy and satiety, and reduce your hunger hormones:

  1. Healthy fat (avocado, coconut, olive, grass fed butter/ghee, wild fish, nuts, seeds, full fat dairy*).
  2. Fiber (vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, chia seeds, flax, whole grains*).
  3. Protein (organic animal proteins, wild fish, nuts, seeds, hemp, chia, quinoa)

*some individuals find avoiding dairy and gluten to be beneficial talk to your health provider

When our blood sugar is stable – we are stable – our energy, mood, and hunger all feel more balanced. Overtime, when we eat for blood sugar balance – we can also reset our metabolism.   Improving our blood sugar balance is one of the best things we can do for our overall health – improving insulin sensitivity, reversing fatty liver, and reducing our risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes, neuropathy, dementia/Alzheimers, and many other diseases. Read 20 Reasons to Break up with Sugar to understand the powerful impact sugar has on many aspects of health.

Learn more at Sara’s weekly classes at the Golden Door, or by reading her book The Perfect Metabolism Plan. Visit her website for recipes and more!


Part 2 of this series….Stress & Metabolism – The surprising ways that stress affects our blood sugar, metabolism & weight.

A Nutritionist & the Author of the book The Perfect Metabolism Plan, Sara Vance has been in the fitness and health industry for over 25 years.

Sara believes that healing the metabolism is the real secret to reaching our ideal weight and achieving vibrant health.

Sara empowers people how to use nutrition and natural lifestyle changes to live their very best life. Sara shares her knowledge for nutritional approaches to health in blogs, recipes, videos, and as a speaker – she has been a regular guest on San Diego morning shows for over 7 years. Find her articles, videos, and more information at:

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