What is Metabolic Typing?
Every year, around 45 million Americans go on a diet of some type, whether it’s standard calorie counting and exercise, or one of the latest fad or trend diets. Unfortunately, many people fail to see any real results from their dieting efforts — some of them despite trying every trend diet that pops up on television or social media. Is there any way to step off the never-ending diet treadmill and actually get healthy?
The answer may lie in metabolic typing. Rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss, a metabolic typing diet takes in your personal body factors and provides nutritional guidelines that are uniquely designed to create optimal health conditions for you. So what is it, how does it work, and most importantly how can you use metabolic typing to lose weight and regain your health?
What is the Metabolic Typing Diet?
Metabolic typing is not a new concept. It was first introduced in the book “The Metabolic Typing Diet” by Dr. William L. Wolcott, published in January 2000. In the book, Wolcott explores the reasons why typical cookie-cutter diets don’t work for everyone, and introduces the concept of metabolic typing.
The basis of metabolic typing centers on the fact that every person is different, with different ancestries and genetic backgrounds. This means a diet that is healthy and optimized for one type of person, is likely to be unhealthy for other types of people.
Metabolic typing uses personal health and background information to determine which of the three metabolic categories you fall into:
- Protein type: This is the type that tends to fail when attempting a low-calorie diet. Protein types often experience fat or salt cravings, have low energy levels, and are frequently hungry.
- Carbo type: Those who are carbo types struggle with weight management and don’t have much of an appetite, although they can easily tolerate sweets. Carbo types tend to rely on caffeine for energy.
- Mixed type: Also known as “balanced” type, mixed types often crave starch or sugar. Their appetites are average, and they may struggle with anxiety and fatigue.
How is Metabolic Typing Personalized?
Beyond the three category types, the metabolic typing diet takes into account even more personalized factors to deliver a truly tailored approach to health and diet. The self-test for metabolic typing takes into account the body’s three main energy systems:
- Autonomic nervous system: With metabolic typing, each person is categorized as either sympathetic, parasympathetic, or balanced.
- Oxidative system: This system also contains three separate categories, which are fast oxidation, slow oxidation, and mixed oxidation.
- Endocrine system: The endocrine system refers to the glands that regulate human performance. In metabolic typing, your diet may be attuned to the pituitary, adrenal, thyroid, or gonad gland.
The classifications for these factors consider how an individual reacts to specific types of nutrients, and uses the nervous and endocrine system factors to further fine-tune a diet that will help your body reach optimal health and energy levels.
How Does the Metabolic Typing Diet Work?
With metabolic typing, you determine your own type, and then tailor your diet to meet your body’s unique needs. Each metabolic type is keyed to a different dietary balance that is optimal for weight loss and overall health, allowing you to both lose weight and restore your energy levels.
For protein types, the optimal diet is one that’s high protein and high fat, with a corresponding low carbohydrate intake — similar to the popular “keto diet” of today. One important distinction for the metabolic typing diet is that protein types should focus on proteins with high purine, including liver and other organ meats, dark meat, and red meat. The best fats for protein types are healthy omega-3 fats found in fish, nuts and seeds, and plant oils.
The optimal metabolic typing diet for carbo types includes high amounts of carbohydrate consumption, with the bulk of carbs supplied by vegetables, along with some fruits, legumes, and grains. Carbo types should focus their protein intake on low-purine foods like chicken and turkey, and fatty foods should be avoided.
With the mixed or balance type, the best dietary combination is an equal ratio of protein (both low-purine and high-purine), carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Because metabolic typing is found along a spectrum, it can take some experimentation for mixed types to find the right balance of dietary needs.
How Can You Apply Metabolic Typing?
The first step in using the metabolic typing diet effectively is to determine your own metabolic type. You can take a self-test by working with a practitioner, to find out which type you fit into, or you can obtain a copy of the metabolic typing test found in Wolcott’s book here.
Once you know your metabolic type, you can use the guidelines of this customized dietary method to start eating right for your body, and enjoy the benefits of weight loss and energy restoration that comes with it!
If you or someone else you know could benefit from these services, you may book your free Discovery Consultation here.
Rich Jacobs is a Board Certified Integrative and Functional Nutrition Practitioner who specializes in resolving gut, insomnia, low libido, fatigue and fat issues. He uses a holistic approach and functional lab work to identify root causes such as hormone imbalances or gut pathogens that could be impacting your health.