Let’s face it… when it comes to anything in life, what works for you may not work for someone else and vice versa (and that’s OK). At some point, we all have to experiment with different processes and try new things which often leads us down new paths.
Well, the metabolic typing diet is one of those things we’re referring too. It’s a method that determines nutritional needs which stems from the theory that the ability of the metabolism to optimally digest certain foods varies between individuals.
As a result, we may be able to experience faster weight loss and better health overall with a change in certain dietary factors. So we put together a guide to metabolic typing so you can have a better idea of what is and how it could work for your goals…
What Is Metabolic Typing?
Metabolic typing is likely a beneficial method for determining an ideal macronutrient (protein, carbs, and fat) ratio that is most optimal for an individual. It’s based on the theory which suggests metabolism (coverts food into energy) plays a role in how each individual processes certain macronutrients.
The nervous system and rate of cellular oxidation also come into play here as well which balances our metabolic energy and the rate at which we’re able to digest foods.
Now, there are actually three different metabolic types which are:
- Protein type – Protein and fat efficient
- Carbohydrate type – carb efficient
- Mixed type – Requires more of a balance
A protein type metabolizes protein and fats more efficiently than carbs, while a carb type metabolizes carbs better than fat and protein. Then a mixed oxidizer digests macronutrients at a similar rate.
The protein type is a fast oxidizer or metabolic Type A. This type usually craves fat and salty foods while also being susceptible to anxiety due to the consumption of these nutritional choices. Interestingly, this type is also said to have a strong appetite while also being a more talkative and outgoing individual. They also become fatigued rather quickly but their high energy seems to keep them going.
Because the fast oxidizer digests fats and proteins more efficiently than carbs, they need sufficient quality sources of protein which we’ve listed below.
The carb type is a slow oxidizer or metabolic Type B. This type usually craves sweets and has a relatively small appetite. These individuals also a hard time shedding the lbs, suffer from repressed emotions, depression and have digestive issues, in addition to experiencing premature aging.
The mixed type or metabolic Type C describes individuals who need more balance of all three macros. They also crave sweets and starchy carb sources but weight management is usually not an issue. Plus, they need a mixture of high and low-purine protein.
Back in the 1930s, a man named Weston Prince set out on a mission to learn more about the relationship between diet and health factors. As a result, he discovered just how different human dietary habits are based on several variables.
These factors include climate, genetics, environment, available food sources, and even culture.. it makes total sense! Although, heavily processed food with loads of unhealthy added ingredients isn’t good for anyone which is a big problem for western society.
Weston’s expeditions have opened up many more possibilities and questions which have caused more curiosity.
How To Find My Type?
To do it though, you’ll have to consult with a professional who can administer a metabolic type test for you. There are also tests you can take online but those are typically not as accurate. Although, some tests can be extensive so it’s a viable option.
But it’s very important to note that the theory of metabolic typing has not been extensively studied. So, there isn’t conclusive evidence to suggest that it’s completely accurate for determining everyone’s ideal nutritional needs.
What To Eat For My Type?
Foods are generally the same for the three metabolic types. Although, the amounts will vary of course.
As a Metabolic Type A (fat protein efficient), you’ll want to opt for nutritious, quality sources of protein, whole carbohydrate sources, and mainly full-fat foods.
Here are a few prime examples of ideal food choices…
- Protein: Dark meat (beef, chicken) and fatty fish (salmon, albacore tuna)
- Carbohydrates: Fruits (berries, apples, oranges), vegetables (leafy greens and variety of others), grains (oats, whole wheat)
- Oils and natural fats: Butter, healthy oils, eggs, 2% milk, whole-fat cheese
The macronutrient ratio for fat protein efficiency is 45% – 50% protein, 30% – 35% carbohydrates and 20% fats.
As a slow oxidizer or metabolic Type B, proteins should be kept low while carbs are higher. Protein sources should contain low purine and consist of light meats (e.g. chicken, turkey) and marine sources (e.g. flounder, perch). Carbs should consist of mostly veggies, fruits, and whole grains.
The ideal macro ratio for slow oxidizers is 70% carbs, 20% protein, and 10% fat.
As for the mixed type, the ideal macro ratio is a good balance between protein, fat, and carbs (about 33% ratio for each macro). Dietary choices should consist of high-fat, high-purine proteins and low-fat, low-purine proteins. Some examples include red meat, a few seafood sources (e.g. tuna, haddock), eggs, nuts, fat-free dairy.
Carbs should be veggies, fruits, and whole grains.
Is There A Caloric Recommendation Too?
There are no recommendations for an optimal caloric intake with metabolic typing. You just have to portion your macros. But, calories do play a big role in body composition and weight goals.
The number of calories an individual needs on a daily basis depends on the individual and/or their goals. Factors that determine the ideal caloric intake include age, sex, height, weight, and level of physical activity.
According to USDA guidelines, the caloric recommendations are 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day for adult women and 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day for adult men. The low end of the range is optimal for sedentary individuals while the higher end of the range is ideal for active individuals.
You’ll need to be in an energy deficit to lose weight, a surplus to gain weight or maintenance to remain at the current body weight.
When to eat isn’t specified with this eating style. But the most important thing to note is the Metabolic Type A needs a decent amount of quality protein at every meal. So, whether you eat two or six meals a day, include a hearty protein source.
Your food choices will likely be key to better health and optimal functioning. Now let’s talk about the pros and cons of the metabolic typing diet efficient diet…
Metabolic Typing Pros
- Specific to the individual
- Utilizes a test to determine the appropriate macro ratio
- Based on nutritious foods
The metabolic typing diet is very personalized to the individual which could potentially eliminate food habits that result in less than optimal health. You’ll have a test done by a holistic doctor or nutritionist to determine your type which is ideal for accurate dieting.
Knowing your metabolic type may potentially improve or prevent certain health factors although, long term, we just don’t know how healthy making certain diet changes can be for an individual.
Metabolic Typing Cons
- Limited research
- Unbalanced macro ratio (may not be a bad thing)
- Emphasis on saturated fats which aren’t healthy in excessive amounts
As mentioned above, studies are not conclusive on the theory of metabolic typing for the proposed benefits. It’s that simple. However, limited research doesn’t mean it’s ineffective. In fact, Weston Prince was definitely onto something as a result of his expeditions to learn more about human diets and health.
Now, certain diets such as keto which limit carbs to less than 50g per day have been shown to elicit several health benefits. It’s been proven as a very effective weight-loss approach as well but scientific literature hasn’t come to a long term (beyond 2 years) conclusion on the safety of this diet. (1)
Also, keto is not sustainable for a lot of people. That doesn’t mean it’s not great for others but severely limiting specific macronutrients isn’t advised based on the research and evidence we have on healthy nutrition. Food choices should be of high quality and varied based on health guidelines.
That means eating too much-saturated fats is unhealthy and you should limit these food sources while having a balance of everything. These fats can cause high cholesterol (LDL) which isn’t ideal although the negative effects have likely been exaggerated according to recent research. (2)
But we highly recommend getting your health check regularly if you’re going to eat for your metabolic type.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is metabolic typing?
Metabolic typing is likely a beneficial method for determining an ideal macronutrient ratio that is most optimal for an individual.
For instance, one person may do better with more protein while someone else will benefit more from eating majority carbohydrates.
The metabolism converts food into energy for cellular function and the amount of each food type you eat can potentially make a difference for weight and health.
Who should try metabolic typing?
Only healthy individuals who do not currently have health issues that could result in undesirable side effects.
You should, however, always consult with a medical professional who can monitor you or advise you on an optimal health plan specific to you.
Are there side effects from following a metabolic typing diet?
If you’re healthy, changing up your diet may only cause minor side effects such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, etc.
But for those who have more severe health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and even kidney issues, we recommend you don’t consume too much of a single macronutrient.
And, as previously mentioned, we advise against following a metabolic typing diet if you suffer from any health conditions.
What if I can't stay on track with a metabolic typing diet?
It’s definitely not for everyone. However, if you currently have an unhealthy relationship with food then you’ll need to address this before you should ever consider implementing a restrictive eating regime.
Is metabolic dieting better than other types of diets?
Remember, metabolic typing diets are not fully understood and the current information we that have on this eating regime is not sufficient enough to make a definitive comparison.
However, metabolic typing diets can be restrictive which is not ideal for many people. But you have to find what works best for you as we can only provide you with currently available information on the topic.
Metabolic typing may offer many benefits for improved health and body goals. We can’t promise it’s right for you but if you’re healthy and curious about optimal nutrition that may work for you, then it might be worth looking into.
Just make sure to consult with a medical professional and get a check-up every now and then to ensure your health is in check.