How To Upgrade Your Metabolism with Dr. William Li

Episode 585 1h 1m
Topics Overview


Many people think of metabolism as one specific system in the body, when in fact it’s the sum of many different processes that are serving other vital roles for us as well. Our bodies are not closed systems, so our environment, social networks, diet, hormones, microbiome, genetics, and more, all influence how well our metabolism works, or how well we can extract energy from our food. I’m so happy to sit down with my good friend Dr. William Li to talk about what metabolism really means, why the old way of thinking about metabolism hasn’t helped us, and how to make positive impacts on our metabolism at any age. We dive into our conversation with a history of the “calories-in, calories-out” model of metabolism and why our thinking about weight gain and weight loss has been completely wrong. Dr. Li shares some of the most revealing studies on metabolism and what they tell us about the metabolic phases we will all go through in life. Humans are hardwired to go through the same stages of cellular metabolism as we age, despite the fact that we all have a friend who seems to eat whatever they want without gaining weight. We also get into the different types of fat and the purpose they serve for our bodies. When we activate brown fat, for example, we speed up our metabolic processes, and there are certain bioactives in foods that can nudge this pathway in the right direction. We also talk about the bacteria Akkermansia muciniphila, how hormetic stressors work to support our health, and so much more.

This episode is brought to you by Rupa Health, Cozy Earth, and InsideTracker. Rupa Health is a place where Functional Medicine practitioners can access more than 2,000 specialty lab tests from over 20 labs like DUTCH, Vibrant America, Genova, and Great Plains. You can check out a free, live demo with a Q&A or create an account at Cozy Earth makes the most comfortable, temperature-regulating, and non-toxic sheets on the market. Right now, get 40% off your Cozy Earth sheets. Just head over to and use code MARK40. InsideTracker is a personalized health and wellness platform like no other. Right now they’re offering my community 20% off at

Topics Covered

  • Shifting away from the idea that eating less and exercising more is the key to weight loss


  • How calories affect metabolism


  • Research measuring the four phases of metabolism as we age


  • What is metabolism?


  • Common myths about metabolism


  • Supporting the gut microbiome to raise metabolism and promote health


  • Foods that mimic caloric restriction


  • Our body’s ability to reverse disease


  • Reducing stress in a doomscrolling society


  • How to restore health to your metabolism


1 of 10

Host & Guests

Back to Content Library
Ep. 585 - How To Upgrade Your Metabolism with Dr. William Li