Dr. Will Cole is a leading functional medicine practitioner, IFMCP, DNM, DC, and best-selling author. He consults people around the world via webcam and locally in Pittsburgh.
Here we talk to Dr. Cole about his Lumen story and find out his expert tips for unlocking the power of metabolic flexibility. Without further ado, let’s get into the Q&A…
Q. What led you to discover metabolic flexibility?
A. In my telehealth functional medicine clinic, I have seen firsthand just how powerful burning fat for fuel is on a person’s health. This ability to not rely solely on carbohydrates for energy and instead be able to effectively switch between the two, has led to a profound improvement on my patient’s metabolic health.
Q. How do you use your Lumen to improve your metabolic flexibility?
A. Lumen is amazing because it quickly shows you whether or not you are burning carbs or fat for fuel by measuring the level of CO2 in your breath. If it’s high, you are burning carbs and if it’s low you are burning fat. These insights will be able to tell you if you are still burning fat for fuel even after a more carb-heavy meal which would indicate more metabolic flexibility.
Q. What benefits have you experienced?
A. Using Lumen helped me and my patients to reach metabolic flexibility faster because its immediate insights allow for quick adjustments on macronutrient ratios at mealtime and fasting windows.
Q. Why do you advocate for flexible intermittent fasting?
A. Flexible intermittent fasting allows you to tap into your body’s intuition and eliminate the dogma and shame around diet culture and food. What your body needs today isn’t always what it needs tomorrow depending on your activity level, if you have a cycle, and even your age. Flexible intermittent fasting allows you to give your body what it needs that day without feeling like you are doing something ‘wrong’.
Q. Is fasting the key to metabolic flexibility?
A. Fasting is the key that unlocks the real power of metabolic flexibility. While eating a higher fat diet and lowering carbs can also help you on your journey to metabolic flexibility, fasting is what really takes it to another level. As I talk about in my latest book Intuitive Fasting, fasting is like a yoga class for our metabolism – stretching and exercising our metabolism to become stronger and more flexible over time.
Q. How much control do we have over our metabolism?
A. A lot more than you think. Most people believe that you are either born with a fast or slow metabolism and that’s just what you have to deal with for the rest of your life. However, intermittent fasting helps you ‘hack’ your metabolism by strengthening it and achieving that metabolic flexibility that we’ve been talking about.