Metabolic Typing and its Role in Weight Loss

By John M. Burgstiner

Diets,
diets everywhere!  Diet pills, diet drinks (uggh!), diet plans... some
of which are dangerous (especially the pills), all of which are
confusing and contradictory.  Why does one diet give tremendous results
to your neighbor and make you feel like death warmed over?  Or as the
ancient Roman philosopher Lucretius asked, why is it that one man's
medicine is another man's poison?  According to Metabolic Typing
experts like Bill Walcott, the answer lies in your genes.
 
What is Metabolic Typing?

Metabolic
Typing is a system of analyzing, evaluating, and interpreting one s
inherited patterns of metabolism that dictate his or her individual
responses to foods and nutrients.  We all inherit specific patterns of
biochemical and neurological strengths and weaknesses that determine
our individual nutritional requirements.

There is no objective
blood test that will identify your metabolic type.  Blood tests can
tell you if you are over-consuming proteins, carbs or fats in general,
but they can't tell you which ones to eat or avoid or in what amounts.

Different
metabolic types have specific patterns of metabolism (like a
constellation) that are identified through computer analysis of a
weighted questionnaire (Health Excel). Once your metabolic type is
identified, careful study of your reactions to types and combinations
of food is needed to rebalance and fine tune your metabolism.

There
are three distinct Metabolic Types: Protein, Mixed and Carb.  According
to researchers, each is equally represented in the population.

Not a New Idea   

Five
thousand years ago, the concept of Metabolic Typing was proposed in
both Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine. In 1919, Francis Pottenger
published "Symptoms of Visceral Disease - Food and the Autonomic
Nervous System, the first modern paper to discuss the merits of
Metabolic Typing. He embarked on an exhaustive study of different
cultures in order to investigate his theory.            

In the
1930's, another great pioneer of nutrition in medicine, Weston Price
linked diet and genes studying 14 indigenous cultures in which there
appeared to be no degenerative illness. The work of these pioneers
showed us what we already instinctively know: There is no such thing as
a one size fits all diet!

There are Two Major Homeostatic Control Sytems in the Body:

1. The Autonomic Nervous System
(ANS) - Serves as the master regulator of metabolism. Autonomic nerve
fibers go to every cell of the body, controlling subliminal body
functions such as breathing, heart rate, and basal metabolism. The ANS
is made up of two complementary but opposing systems: Sympathetic and
Parasympathetic.

    The Sympathetic System
(think of Fight or Flight) involves activities where energy is being
consumed. The sympathetic dominant person has stronger organs (anterior
pituitary, thyroid, adrenal medulla, heart, kidneys) and is
characterized by an increased metabolic rate. Their body type is tall,
lean, large pupils, pale skin, weak digestion, acid body pH, dry skin,
and slow healing.

    The Parasympathetic System
(think Digest & Repair) involves regeneration of the body
(generally more active at night). The parasympathetic person has weaker
organs and is characterized by a decreased metabolic rate. Their body
type is short, wide, gains weight easily, small pupils, ruddy
complexion, alkaline body pH, sweats easily, oily moist skin, and fast
healing.

Dominance:
There is a constant interplay between sympathetic and parasympathetic
systems in which glands and organs are stimulated or inhibited by each
(Examples: heart rate, digestion).  The strength or weaknesses of those
responses determines your metabolic type.  Dominance of either system
indicates a fundamental metabolic imbalance.

Balanced or Mixed Type - Neither system is dominant (no fundamental imbalances exist).


2. The Oxidative System- (George Watson) - Nutrition and the Mind

The
Oxidative System controls how efficiently carbohydrates are converted
into energy in the cells. It is made up of two types - Fast Oxidizers
and Slow Oxidizers.

Fast Oxidizers
(Parasympathetic Dominant) are Protein types. They produce and consume
energy faster, so protein (which breaks down slower) is needed to
maintain level insulin and blood sugar levels. They are most
susceptible to damage from refined sugar and grains. The faster you
burn fuel, the more wastes are created, which means more aches, pains
and inflammation. Protein types are sometimes called purine types
because they need meats that contain purines (dark, rich meats).

Slow Oxidizers (Sympathetic
Dominant) are Carb types. They produce energy slower, so carbs (which
break down faster) are needed to maintain level insulin and blood sugar
levels.

Metabolic Typing Theory holds that by eating the right
kinds of foods in the right order (eat the food that most pushes you
toward metabolic balance first), you can balance your metabolic
strengths and weaknesses to improve the efficiency of your cellular
energy production. Cellular energy is the key to metabolic typing
theory because:

Happy cells make happy tissues; happy tissues make happy organs and
glands which make happy metabolic control systems, and happy metabolic control
systems means a happy you!

The Result: Metabolic Balance

Proponents
of Metabolic Typing claim that by simply identifying your particular
metabolic profile, you can have more peaceful energy, relaxed
alertness, emotional poise, mental clarity, and positive mood.  Because
your cells have balanced nutrition, cravings disappear and ideal weight
is eventually achieved.

What about Blood Type (Dr. D Adamo)?

Blood
type has a role to play in understanding biochemical individuality, but
it is secondary to metabolic typing because it has nothing to do with
the autonomic nervous system (master regulator of metabolism) or the
oxidative system (which controls energy production in the body). 

Knowing
your blood type tells you a few foods that should be eliminated from
your diet, but it doesn't help with the right foods or ascertaining the
proper protein/carb/fat ratio for an individual.  According to
Mercola's clinical findings, metabolic types are evenly distributed
among different blood types.

Seven Steps to Vibrant Health and Natural Weight Loss

   1. Take the Metabolic Typing Health Excel Intermediate Questionnaire (www.mercola.com).
   2. Eat the right foods for your MT in the right order, and in a relaxed environment.
   3. Chew thoroughly and don t overeat!
   4. Take your supplements!
   5. Get regular exercise (mandatory for happy cells!)
   6. Plan and prepare your meals.  Avoid refined or processed foods.
   7. Before you can eat right for your MT, you must shop right for your MT!

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