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Your metabolic type determines the right mix of carbs, protein, and fat you should eat to have optimum health. Keeping this balance when you’re in menopause could help counteract some of the more negative symptoms.
Metabolic typing is the process of assessing various characteristics you may have to determine which metabolic type you are.
Here’s the deal: the process by which your body converts food to energy is different for everyone. Hence the three different types.
Do you like sweet or salty foods? Perhaps you prefer a mixture of both. Each of us has a unique metabolism type which means the foods we eat affect our waistlines as well as our personalities.
This is great because I’m Type A which means I can blame eating buckets of chips and salted cashews on my metabolism type and not my inability to control myself!
The metabolic typing diet suggests that people have different kinds of metabolism and so have differing fat, carbs and protein requirements. It is certainly true that we each have different nutrient needs however the idea that we as a large group should eat a particular diet is not something that many experts agree with. Especially as the suggested diets can be unbalanced.
What is Metabolism?
This is how your body converts food into energy for movement and function. Think of it in terms of how efficiently your body turns the fuel you take in into the functions your body needs to perform. These functions could be walking, running, sitting, thinking or even supplying your heart with the energy to pump the blood around your body.
To maintain a healthy weight, lose weight as well as enjoy optimal functioning it is important to consume the best types of fuel for your particular body. However, that doesn’t mean cutting out whole food groups in the quest to only eat what your metabolic type dictates for the perfect body. It is still important to keep your diet balanced.
In menopause, our metabolism slows down so knowing our metabolic type could help with making sure we keep our metabolism functioning at an optimal level. It may make it easier to lose weight that so easily goes on at this time of life.
Where Did Metabolic Typing Come From?
It was devised by William Wolcott when he deteremined that there is a relationship between the body’s oxidative system and the autonomic nervous system. This allows people to optimize their health and fitness by identifying their own nutritional needs and tailoring their diets accordingly.
One of the best books written on the subject is Guide To Your Metabolic Type. Included in this book are detailed strategies for dealing with the dieter’s curse – food cravings and lists of which foods to eat and which (mostly processed foods) to avoid in each type. You can check it out here. If you want to definitively know which type you are and what you can do to make the most of that I can fully recommend this.
Check it out by clicking on the image to see more.
According to the metabolic typing diet, there are three different metabolic types, A – protein, B-carbohydrate, and C-mixed.
What is my metabolic type?
Determine your type by taking a metabolic typing test.
Head on over to Dr Oz and click on the picture of the yummy looking hot chips to take this simple quiz which will help you determine your metabolic type. Then make sure you come back to see what you should be including in your diet. Or, if you prefer, take this more involved quiz.
As with any diet it is generally recommended that you limit simple carb intake such as sugar and flour in favour of more complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits in their natural form and plenty of vegetables, especially broccoli, cauliflower and leafy greens. Not too many fruits though as some contain quite a bit of fructose which acts just as sugar does in the body.
While I was cutting down on my carb intake I particularly found this book to be helpful. And it comes with a handy dandy journal.
GET YOUR FREE PRINTABLE CHEAT SHEET
A list of each type's personality traits and foods to eat to have at your fingertips
EAT ACCORDING TO YOUR METABOLIC TYPE
If you are this type it is probable you’re an endomorph shape and struggle to lose weight. If you have this body type it is likely that you have thicker arms and legs, more overall body fat and a larger bone structure, a round body shape and you can gain weight quite easily. Losing it again is a bit more difficult.
Type A is known as a PDB or Protein Dominant Burner and generally burn fats and proteins more efficiently than carbs. Your calorie intake is key so keep a close eye on what processed foods you’re including in your diet.
This is the biggest group at 74% of the population.
The most common characteristics of a person with type A metabolism are:
- A strong appetite
- Cravings for fatty and/or salty foods
- Fatigue and anxiety
- An expansive and open personality
- Weaker upper body muscles with strong leg muscles
You’re likely to have a slightly slow metabolism thanks to your body’s incredible ability at storing nutrients.
Your need for salty foods is an indicator that your body is calling for more protein. Unfortunately, your anxiety could be caused by your eating salty and fatty foods. You often feel wired and on edge.
You should balance your meals like this:
- Protein 50%
- Fat 30%
- Carb 20%
- Limit empty carbs opting instead for plenty of fruits and vegetables but avoid the starchy ones.
- Eat plenty of fibre to keep you feeling full.
- Eat good quality protien such as lean beef, the leg of chicken or turkey, salmon and tuna.
- Full-fat dairy will help with those fat cravings NOT the fats found in chips and biscuits.
- Avoid sugar which will increase your blood sugar and anxiety.
- A paleo or low carb diet would work well for this type.
PDB Fitness plan
You need fat converting energy type workouts that use a combination of cardio and strength training to build muscle and lose fat. HIIT combination style trainings would work well.
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People with this type are usually ectomorphs who lack muscle mass, so they are typically slender with small joints a light build. Women who are this body type need to definitely include weight training as part of their fitness routine in order to build muscle.
Unfortunately, women of this body type also gain body fat easily so it is important to not overeat if you’re trying to bulk up.
You would be considered TMB or Triple Macro Burner. To gain weight add in more carbs and be careful to still eat enough protein as this is the best for helping to build up that muscle, stabalise your blood sugar and keep you satiated. Maybe consider smoothies with lots of healthy fruit and vegetable carbs and some protein.
Ectomorphs account for 23% of the population
The most common characteristics of a person with type B metabolism are:
- A poor appetite
- Crave sweets
- Sensitivity, ambition and are organized.
- High levels of stress
- Dependence on caffeine
That skinny friend who seems to be able to eat anything they want without ever putting on weight. She’s most likely an ectomorph.
If you consider yourself to be and ectomorph you should balance your meals like this:
- Carbohydrate 70%
- Protein 20%
- Fat 10%
- Eat lower protein (not no protein) and low fat.
- Include plenty of healthy complex carbs without the extra sugar.
- Instead include lots of vegetables and fruits and whole grains.
- Drink green tea instead of coffee, try to get as much of your protein as you can from pulses and nuts. Eat light protein such as lean chicken, turkey, and white fish.
- Supplement with a protein shake
- Muscle building activites are best for your type. You may struggle to start but stick with it.
- As each weight level gets easier go up to the next weight. Consistency will give you good results
The 10 Weight Loss Mistakes women in midlife make cheat-sheet
If you are this body type you are likely to be a mesomorph and gain muscle easily.
Make sure to include strength training as part of your fitness routine as your naturally athletic body will welcome it.
As easily as you gain muscle you can also gain weight, probably because you can take your athleticism for granted. If you do find yourself with extra body fat your body will respond well to a new workout routine.
You are known as a DMB or Dual macro burner.
This type makes up only 3% of the population.
The most common characteristics of a person with type C metabolism:
- An unpredictable appetite
- Cravings sweet and savoury
- Fatigue and anxiety
- Little trouble with weight control
Type C crave both sweet and savoury so if you are unable to decide between B or A, you are most likely to be a C. You burn fats, proteins and carbs easily, and have a physique that is equal in strength as it is in endurance. You have a fluctuating appetite and can experience aches and pains. You likely have little trouble with weight control but can tend toward fatigue, anxiety and nervousness.
More evenly balanced diets are better for this type. But consider upping your protein if you need to gain muscle.
- Protein 33%
- Fat 33%
- Carbohydrate 33%
- Try to make the fats you eat healthy such as olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.
- Get healthy carbs from fruit and vegetables, the more fibre the better.
- Your carb and protein intake may be higher but avoid high carb grains and sugar.
As a mesomorph your body is naturally athletic so will respond well to exercise and gain muscle easily. Unfortunaltely you also gain fat easily so take care not to overeat. Combine equal sessions of cardio with strength training for best results.
The metabolic type diet for each type of metabolism
Pros and Cons of metabolic typing
Use caution if you have a medical condition while trying to conform to one of the metabolic types. If you have kidney or heart disease the type A diet, for example, could be dangerous if the protein mainly comes from meat versus plants. Those with diabetes need to tailor their carbohydrate intake to their blood sugar needs, definitely not their metabolic type.
All dietary theories are exactly that theories and for the hundreds of diets out there, there are many hundreds more research notes to support them. If Mark at Mark’s Daily Apple is to be believed eating according to one of the metabolic types is “hooey, humbug nonsense” as highlighted in his answer to a reader’s question. Check out his website he has some great recipes that could give you some delicious ideas.
It isn’t a one size fits all solution. The diet takes into account the varying metabolisms and preferences of individuals.
As with any diet sugar and white flour are advised against.
The protein diet could be high in saturated fats if the protein source is mainly meat. I would suggest getting a bulk of your protein and fats from plant sources to limit weight gain and the risk of heart disease.
The mix of carbs, protein and fats are unbalanced and with the advent of leaning towards more of a plant-based diet, these figures would, in my opinion, be out of balance.
There is no actual scientific evidence to back up this way of eating.
What is oxidisation?
This is another way to refer to metabolism or the rate at which the body converts nutrients into energy within its cells. What you eat affects your rate of oxidation and so can affect your mental and physical health.
Knowing if you are a fast or slow oxidizer will help when it comes to your food choices.
If you’re a fast oxidiser you turn food into energy readily so you are likely to be a Metabolic type B so follow the guidelines mentioned in that group above. Fast metabolism doesn’t always equate to being able to stay slim. I can mean that the food you eat turns into blood sugar quickly. It is important to engage in physical activites that can burn the energy off before it’s stored as extra body fat.
If you are a sympathetic or slow oxidiser you are likely to be a Metabolic type B so follow the guidelines for the balance of carbs to protein and fats in that group above. Slow oxidiserers do well on a diet higher in carbs with moderate protein and less fats.
Fat converting energy type diet
This type of diet deserves a special mention. This type of diet boosts your energy, mood, and brain function to their fullest ability.
As a woman over 40 rather than doing the Keto diet which can be difficult to do as we age we can instead fill up on healthy fats while slowly lowering our carb intake. In doing this we can our body’s ability to burn stored fat. And believe me, it disappears in all the right places!
Dual efficient metabolism diet plan
Along with metabolism types, there is a school of thought that some people have a “dual-efficient metabolism.”
The Dual efficient metabolism meaning is that some people equally burn through fats, protein and carbohydrates and so maintain a healthy weight easily. More like metabolism unicorns, those lucky women.
We’ve all had that friend, you know, Suz who seems to be able to shuffle down carbs and protein with gay abandon and never puts on weight while you may as well tape those carbs to your belly ’cause that’s where you know they’re going.
However, the research suggests that each person works best with a diet that suits them.
Losing weight is about finding what works for you and sticking to it. That’s why I advocate for the easiest smallest changes you can make every day.
In other words, the most effective weight-loss diet for you is the one you can stick to. Use these types as guides. Each type does have one or two foods that should be avoided and they would be an easy place to start to have some wins.
In the end
I think that somewhere in between the theories is where your optimum diet lies. You might see yourself as one of these body types or perhaps a combination of two.
The best way to find out what works for you is to try different healthy carbohydrates in varying proportions and keep a diary. Record how you feel at regular intervals. Eventually, you will come up with a balance that in true Goldilocks style will be JUST RIGHT!
If your aim is to lose weight knowing your metabolic type could be an advantage in understanding which foods and exercise activities are best for your overall health and fitness goals.
If you would like to start swapping foods out for more nutritious foods that will help keep your hormones balanced so curb the cravings and make it easier to lose weight then get my Food Swap cheat sheet below.
What balance of carbs to protein to fat do you find sustains you the most?