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Metabolic typing: An overview and it’s implication on training clients.

Metabolic typing is the buzz across the industry at the moment. I spend my whole life explaining metabolic typing1 to my clients and this article is designed to teach you about why the science is dominating the headlines and how it has to be used if your client is trying to lose weight or improve their health.

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I am not going to go in-depth into the science of metabolic typing as such sources can be found on this site1, my website2 and in print3. Instead I will teach you the fundamentals you need to know.
Metabolic typing is the science of personalized nutrition. It is a highly accurate system of determining the foods and nutrients your body needs. Metabolic typing answers the foundational questions of nutrition by telling you:

• What to eat
• How much to eat
• What foods to specifically avoid.
• All other aspects of nutrition including supplements, food quality etc
Before I discuss how metabolic typing answers these fundamentals I must first explain to you why this science is necessary. Despite what the press, government and nutrition industry would have us believe. The health of a food is not so much related to the qualities of the food itself, but instead the qualities of the food in relation to your body.

I am sure you have had a client who does not lose much weight despite sticking to a fairly ‘healthy’ diet. While other people you work with may find it impossible to stick to their ‘healthy’ foods. The reason behind this is that the ‘healthy’ diet they are eating, or trying to eat, is in-fact unhealthy for their body. To deem a food ‘healthy’ it must have a balancing effect on your body chemistry (metabolic type).

The reasons healthy foods are different between individual’s stems from the way humans have evolved to be such unique and individual beings. To understand this first ask yourself how many people look exactly the same as you in appearance? The answer is no one, yet all of us have the same features, nose, eyes, mouth etc.

Inside we are the same, we all have the same structures, organs, tissues and enzymes yet the size, efficiency and concentration of these varies greatly between individuals just like in our external appearance does.

The variety seen within us has occurred from thousands of years of succession. As humans spread across the globe they adapted to the foods before them through natural selection. This caused humans to adapt differently amongst the many tribal groups around the world.

This was confirmed by Dr Weston A price5, who charted the vast differences seen in native tribes. The starkest contrast was between the Eskimos who ate a diet almost totally of protein and fat, from a seal and fish to the South American tribes who ate an almost totally carbohydrate diet from fruit and berries. Think how many fruits grow in the artic circle? Humans had to adapt to living off the other foods available or would have died out. Despite this total contradiction of diets observed by Dr Price neither group showed any signs of ill health, no cancer, heart disease, dental problems or mental illness.

The evidence served to show that humans have adapted to their natural environment just like any other animal. The problem this day and age is that we cannot chart our genetic heritage. Natural selection happens over many generations. I know I am from Wales, but my great granddad was from the Poland and who knows past that. It is therefore impossible and unwise to look at your family tree to discover what foods to eat.

The science of metabolic typing is designed to discover your unique nutritional needs as you function here today.
To briefly review the scientific basis of metabolic typing, the theory analyses ten systems within the body thought to control all the behavior of the millions of chemicals reactions that occur in your body.
The theory has come from the pioneering work of many scientists over the last 50 years 6.

To be truly healthy, you first need to discover where your ten systems lie at the moment. Then consume the foods and nutrients that seek to balance these while avoiding any nutrients that will disrupt the systems. Using metabolic typing we can therefore answer the fundamental questions outlined previously:

What should I eat?

It is the role of the main two systems that provide the exact answer to this question. In order to know what you need to eat you must be classified along your Autonomic nervous system and oxidation system. In simple terms the autonomic nervous system is what controls the behavior of all the organs behave that you do think about, e.g. you do not think lets beat my heart 70 times this minute, it just happens. The oxidation system refers to how the body processes food to produce energy.

It is possible to classify people along these systems by looking at traits associated with different ends of the two systems. For example, if you have a client who has strong hunger, they are showing one sign of a fast oxidation rate, those who do not want to eat very often are showing a slow oxidation trait. When you analyze a further 150 of these traits associated within each system it is possible to build a picture of your body’s behavior and classify you along these two systems.

Your classification along these systems is what is known as your metabolic type. Further analysis of other eight systems gives a more detailed look at your metabolic type, allowing higher levels of health to be attained.

Once your metabolic type is known it is vital you eat the foods to balance your systems, for example, if your oxidation system was too fast you would eat the specific foods that would slow your system down. Or if the fight or flight (sympathetic) branch of your nervous system was too strong we would support the other rest and recovery branch (Parasympathetic) by eating the appropriate foods that stimulate this.

It is way too simplistic to classify a person without going through a full analysis which is analyzed by computer to account for the weighting of different factors but in general you could say each metabolic type would display certain characteristics.

A slow oxidizer would typically find they are not hungry all that often, can skip a meal and would have a drop in energy when they eat red meat or high fat foods. A fast oxidizer on the other hand is often someone full of energy and often eating, snacking and feels hungry. They respond well to red meat and fat yet would soon be hungry again if they ate just a piece of fruit.

A parasympathetic dominant person would be typified by having good digestion and a strong immune system, e.g. they would not get ill that often. A sympathetic dominant person would find they have a very logical left brained business like personality characteristics, good neuromuscular reflexes but may have poor digestion and often suffer colds.

Putting the science of metabolic typing aside the main thing you need to be aware of is that there is no one diet or food that will balance everyone’s body chemistry. Therefore in order to be healthy you must know exactly where you are at the moment and which foods are needed to balance your systems. Therefore certain vegetables, even though commonly believed to all be ‘good for us’ can in-fact unbalance certain metabolic types.

A final point to note is the difference between this and the traditional Protein, Carbohydrates and mixed type metabolic typing protocol 7. This is an easier to use but less specific analysis. This more simplistic test often does not reveal the true metabolic type of many people and does not classify people along the two major systems. The reason it works is that the fast oxidizers and parasympathetics have similar needs as do sympathetic and slow oxidizers. However there are many real and significant differences between the classifications. It is a question of how far do you want to take your health. Do you want to use the general guide or find out the specific foods that will make you and your clients truly healthy.

How much to eat?

When you are eating the right foods you will go a long way towards achieving your goals. To complement this you must also eat these foods in the right amounts. This is important because to ensure metabolic typing is successful and allow the body to be healthy the cells must be able to effectively utilize energy. This can occur only when the cells receive everything they need in the right amounts. This depends very much on the type of food you eat (as determined above) but also the relative ratios of protein, carbohydrates and fat consumed.

Due to the relative ratios of reaction intermediates within the Kreb cycle 3,8 we do not all need to consume the same amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat at each meal. Each metabolic type will have a ball park amount that they should open up with when discovering what their body needs. This can vary greatly between individuals, even of the same metabolic type and also during different times of the day.

When the right amounts are consumed the body effectively can produce energy within the cells. This gives off a series of positive body language signals .e.g. feel energized, not craving food, not hungry etc. When the wrong proportions are eaten negative reactions occur such like sugar cravings, the feeling of hunger soon after eating, energy dips etc. Can you think of a time when you or your clients complain of snacking an hour after eating a meal? Or get a drop in energy or bloating feel? All signs that the meal was miscalculated and in need of further investigation. This is central to my metabolic typing programs and ensures my clients achieve long term results.

What not to eat?

Metabolic typing looks closely at the issues of what foods to avoid, as this can upset the balance in one or more of the body’s ten systems. Primary to the theory is avoiding non metabolically correct foods. Remember this includes certain vegetables and fruits, recall how there is no one food that is healthy (balances your metabolic type) for all of us.

Isolating intolerances to certain foods is vital to success. A food intolerance is the negative reactions of the body to a certain food source. It occurs because the body has difficulty in handling the food for a variety of reasons.

Any food can become intolerant to your body but it is usually the most commonly eaten foods that develop into intolerances, especially those with certain properties making them more difficult to handle. Some very common food intolerances include pasteurized dairy, wheat (gluten) and oats. Any health attempt will be totally undermined if you are eating foods you are intolerant to.

To lose weight it is essential you allow your endocrine glands to be at their optimal health. This fundamental system looks at which one gland is more active in comparison to the others. These glands (adrenal, thyroid, pituitary and ovaries) will influence the pattern in which you store your body fat. Look at your clients; do they store most their fat below the waste? On their stomach? All over their body? These are clues about the internal body chemistry of the endocrine glands. It is believed over reliance on the specific foods that excite your dominant gland can play a major role in fat storage. To lose fat we therefore restrict the specific foods that stimulate your dominant gland, this will allow balance to be restored to this system.9,

Blood type influences are dependent on the blood type interactions with specific proteins called Lectins. In a certain individuals this can cause food intolerances, immune responses and agglutination of the blood10. This can lead to many negative health complaints. The blood type recommendations therefore refer to which foods to avoid within the nutrition plan.

Other issues

Food quality and preparation technique are a foundation of any metabolic typing regime. Eating inferior food products can completely undermine the effect of that food on your metabolic type. This subject is discussed extensively elsewhere on this site and in print1,2,3,,11,12.
In addition to this metabolic typing looks at the issues of supplements and tailors a few specific supplements to increase metabolism, restore and maintain digestive function and make up for the short fall of current nutrition practices13, 14.

In summary, metabolic typing allow you to discover exactly what foods to eat, how much of them to eat and what foods to avoid. It covers all aspects of nutrition and supplements. It is rapidly growing because it is the most sophisticated and accurate system of finding out your individual needs. The rise of its popularity is because it gets amazing results with all types of client. To discover your metabolic type or learn more information then feel free to visit my site


2) Truth in nutrition Part 1, Craig Burris,
3) The metabolic typing diet William Wolcott and Trish Fahey, Doubleday,
4) Biochemical individuality, Dr Roger Williams, Keats
5) Nutrition and physical degeneration, Dr Weston A price, Price-Pottenger foundation
7) As seen in the metabolic typing diet and in other sources
8) George Watson: nutrition and your mind, Bantam
9) The body typing diet, Dr Abravanel. Bantam
10) Dietary Lectins: Food intolerances and blood type, Laura Power PhD, Townsend letter for doctors,
11) Eat move and be healthy, Paul Chek
12) Nourishing Traditions. Sally Fallon, ProMotion Publishing, 1995.


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