Do you ever wonder why Sarah down the street can try keto and lose 20 pounds while you try it and the scale barely budges?
Or why a documentary can shows aaaaall this research on the benefits of being vegan, but when you try it you feel lethargic, gassy, and bloated?
The answer is honestly pretty simple: bioindividuality. In less science-y terms... all bodies are different.
Some people do really well with higher protein/higher fat diets while others do better on more carbs.
Some people can handle red meat beautifully, others feel sick when they eat it.
Some will experience a massive blood sugar spike and crash from eating things like potatoes, rice, and pineapple, while others will get a nice, steady flow of energy.
This is the beautiful and often frustrating thing about nutrition: there is no one size fits all plan and there never will be one.
So where does that leave you? Jumping on and off a million diets trying to decipher which ratios of what foods are best for your body? Driving yourself crazy on the trial and error merry-go-round?
Once upon a time, the answer would have more or less been 'yep'. But with the power of metabolic typing, we now have the ability to bypass all that and scientifically determine your ideal diet based on your genetic makeup.
And the best part is, you don't need a blood test, urine test, stool taste, or any other kind of test to do it. All you need is a simple questionnaire and a coach to guide you through the results.
So first let's identify what your metabolism actually is. Your metabolism is all chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life.
In other words, every cell in your body has a job to do. And your metabolic health is dependent on your cells' ability to extract energy from food so they can do their job as efficiently as possible.
Which means we want the highest quality fuel to help your cells perform as well as they can, and we want our cells utilizing our food for energy so less of it gets stored as fat.
Your autonomic system is responsible for regulating metabolism and energy. It receives information and causes reactions throughout the body by activating the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) or the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).
A good example of this is the parasympathetic system constricts your pupils while your sympathetic system dilates your pupils. Or your parasympathetic system stimulates salivation while your sympathetic system inhibits salivation.
Here's where it gets interesting, everyone has a dominant autonomic type: you can be sympathetic dominant, parasympathetic dominant, or balanced.
Sympathetic dominant people will tend to have excellent concentration, are highly motivated, are emotionally cooler, tend towards irritability, can be hyperactive, and may be socially withdraw (these are very generalized traits).
Physically they often experience things like indigestion, heartburn, insomnia, hypertension, high blood pressure, a predisposition to infection, and lower appetite.
And aesthetically they often have a more angular face and can be more tall and thin.
Parasympathetic dominant people tend to be more lethargic, they may procrastinate more, they're slower to anger, they are more deliberate and cautious, they're emotionally warmer, and they tend to be socially outgoing.
They experience more symptoms like diarrhea, allergies, low blood sugar, irregular heartbeat, chronic fatigue, cold sores, and an excessive appetite.
And they tend to have a rounder face and a shorter, wider build.
Why do we care? Because your autonomic type will determine which foods are best for your body.
The body always wants balance, so if you're sympathetic dominant you're going to thrive on foods that stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. And vice versa. Meanwhile if you're balanced, you want a good mixture of both.
I know that was a lot of information in and of itself, but we do have a second fundamental control that plays a huge role in our metabolism, and that is our oxidative system which determines how fast our food gets converted into energy in our cells.
When certain ratios of macro or micronutrients are present, the rate of oxidation changes. As I'm sure you can imagine, protein and fat take longer to break down and tend to slow down the rate of oxidation, while complex carbs will speed things up.
When it comes to your oxidative type, you can be a fast oxidizer, a slow oxidizer, or a mixed oxidizer.
Fast oxidizers (like me) tend to not be great at metabolizing fats, so we rely too heavily on carbs for energy. But this leads to an excessively fast oxidative rate, leading to fatigue (sometimes hyper but exhausted underneath), anxiety, hunger, cravings, and brain fog.
So we really need to eat more protein and fat to slow things down (again, the body always does best in a state of balance).
Slow oxidizers on the other hand are great at burning fat but are weaker at burning carbs, which means to bring them into balance they actually need to focus more on complex carbs and reduce their protein and fat intake.
When they eat too much protein and fat that's when they'll feel heavy, sluggish, tired, depressed, and will tend to gain weight.
Purine-rich foods like liver, buffalo, venison, anchovies, and elk really help stop the over-reliance on glucose that many fast oxidizers experience.
On the flip side, those same high purine foods will increase the stress response in sympathetic, slow oxidizer types and can even cause a blood sugar spike in those individuals. Which is why they do better on low purine foods like chicken breast, pork chop, turkey breast, and white fish.
We're not done yet! We've gone over your autonomic type which determines what foods you'll do best with and we've gone over your oxidative type which determines what macro ratio you'll do best with.
For example, I'm a parasympathetic fast oxidizer, but I'm oxidizer dominant so I pay especially close attention to increasing my protein and fat and reducing my carbs.
And let me tell you, I eat extremely well (90% whole foods, constantly cook at home, no gluten or dairy, minimal sugar, etc) and I've always felt pretty good eating a high amount of carbs. But after I took my metabolic typing test and started switching up my macros, I was blown away.
Before, I was the person who had to eat every 3 hours (at most). When I increased my high purine proteins and fats, I was suddenly going 6 hours and having to force myself to eat my next meal.
Remember, in nutrition there are no hard and fast rules.
So while you may be a sympathetic, slow oxidizer, you exist on a spectrum. So while one person with your metabolic type may do great on 60% carbs, 15% fat, and 25% protein, another person might do better a little closer to mixed type eating 50% carbs, 20% fat, and 30% protein.
Obviously since I was going 6 hours without being hungry, that was a little much so I had to scale back my protein a bit.
This is why we keep track of what you're eating and how you're feeling after meals, and then make micro adjustments until you're feeling your absolute best.
Your genetic metabolic type is what you were born with, and when given the right food it's what you'll go back to.
But you also have your functional metabolic type which represents where your body is now. So if you find that you're eating for your metabolic type for a while and suddenly you aren't feeling as well on it, it's time to retest and see if you've shifted back towards your genetic type.
At this point you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed, you likely have a lot of questions, and you're probably wondering how you find out your metabolic type, what items are on your preferred foods list, what exact ratio of macros you should start with, etc.
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