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Episode 73: Part 2 – Become Your Own Food Scientist

Video Highlights

- An interesting insight into your metabolic rate.
- Are some foods you're eating actually decreasing your metabolism?
- It's amazing that only 2 measurements can provide so much insight.

Hi everybody Dr. Cobb back with you from Z-Health.

Today we’re going to talk a second part about taking your temperature and your pulse around your eating times.

I did a blog about this a little while ago and I said, “You know, I just want you to get started with a habit.” I’m going to cover a little bit more today about why, what it’s about, and what to do with it.

Link to the initial blog: Become Your Own Food Scientist

Here’s the deal. Whenever you eat food and you start the digesting process what should happen is your metabolic rate should increase. Because what’s happening is the food’s in there, your stomachs starting to churn around, it’s making acid, it’s trying to break it down into little pieces and make it digestible and useful.

Which basically means that your body’s exercising after you eat, interesting right?

Now we know that whenever we exercise we should have an increase in metabolic rate. To some degree think about this almost like what would happen if you got a fever. When you get a fever, if we are measuring you we know that your body temperature goes up and your heart rate goes up.

Obviously you’re not going to get a fever from eating food, hopefully unless it’s like some kind of bad bug that you pick up. But what we should see is a mild elevation in your heart rate and your temperature whenever you’re eating a meal that increases your metabolic rate.

There’s a lot of discussion around this and there are a lot of confounding factors, so you don’t have to take this as gospel.

But is a great useful, initial science experiment that you can run on yourself to go, “Hey how do I respond to this different food.” It’s very cool too, because the whole thermic effect idea of food is that when you eat it you start the digestion process; the calories that you’re consuming, actually part of them are used in the digestion process itself, which is pretty neat.

That’s one of the reasons that you’ll hear people saying, “Hey if you’re really looking for rapid fat loss having a higher protein diet makes more sense, because protein actually has a higher thermic effect than fats and often than carbohydrates.”

There are some things that you can do to play around with this. But ultimately, because we want to simplify your life, I just want you to start doing some tracking and notice what happens. The major pattern that we’re interested in is you’re going to eat something; you’re going to take your temperature.

Well before you eat something, sorry, you need to take your temperature in the morning so you set a baseline. How hot am I in the morning, what’s my heart rate right when you wake up. This is before you get out of bed. We recommended before that you use an infrared thermometer. That is very simple to use and there are a lot of actually cool little apps for your iPhones now that will do your heart rate. It’s very easy to do technologically. Do your temp and heart rate in the morning, then again a few minutes before you eat and a few minutes after you eat.

I normally go somewhere between five and fifteen minutes after I eat. The major question again that you’re looking for is what happened from the morning and what happened from pre to post meal.

The way that this really starts to be useful is if you take a picture of the meal and you keep a little bit of a journal. What you’re going to start to track over the course of maybe a week to a month is what foods do you eat that do good things for you. Good things we’re going to define as an increased metabolic rate. We’re going to define that as an increased heart rate, increased pulse.

You also want to track in there what foods or what meals did I eat that actually did the opposite, which made either my heart rate go down, my temperature go down, or some kind of inversion of those two.

Because anything other than heart rate up, pulse rate, may indicate that the thermic effect of that food, the way your body’s handling that digestive load is not ideal. You take your temperature, your take your pulse, before you eat, after you eat, and you track it. Like I said take a picture of your meal.

Over the course of approximately a month you will be able to get a very clear picture of the foods that you’re eating and what it’s doing to your metabolism. From there you can start doing some experimentation. You go okay, I had this meal and it had potatoes, and it had some bread, and it had some meat, and whatever and my metabolic rate crashed after that. I got really sleepy. I got cold. My heart rate when down. What happened in there? From that you start to pull out the little individual ingredients and you run a quick test on it.

This is a really neat little personal scientific experiment that you can do over time. And in doing this with tons and tons of people many of them have had great success in changing their body composition. And actually really the big thing for a lot of them is more energy. They’ve learned what foods drain them and they’ve learned what foods energize them. I think food should not only taste good, but it should make you feel awesome as a result of eating it.

That’s the follow up to the first blog about this whole temperature, pulse thing.

Link to the initial blog: Become Your Own Food Scientist

If you have questions about this you can let us know.

Your case, whatever, may be super complicated, and here’s the big thing I want to end with. If you never eat anything that makes your temperature or heart rate go up, there’s probably something that needs to be explored.

I really recommend that you talk to your trainer or someone that specializes in this or one of your healthcare professionals to make sure that your hormonal systems are actually on line enough that you’re getting the appropriate response to food.

There you have it.

If you have questions let us know.

Thanks.

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