Determining whether to eat more fat or carbohydrates as part of your diet depends on several factors, including your individual dietary needs, health goals, and just maybe a look at your metabolic type.
Metabolic typing is a method of categorising individuals based on their unique metabolic needs. This approach suggests that each person has a distinct metabolism, and therefore requires a specific set of nutrients and foods to function at their optimal level.
The concept of metabolic typing has been around for many years, but it gained popularity in the 1980s when William Wolcott developed a program to help people determine their metabolic type.
The idea behind this program was that by identifying one's metabolic type, they could tailor their diet and lifestyle to better support their body's needs.
There are three primary metabolic types: protein type, carbohydrate type, and mixed type.
Protein types are individuals who thrive on a diet that is high in protein and fat with minimal carbohydrates. They tend to have a higher tolerance for fats and proteins, and a lower tolerance for carbohydrates.
Carbohydrate types, on the other hand, require a diet that is high in complex carbohydrates, with moderate amounts of protein and minimal fat. They tend to have a higher tolerance for carbohydrates and a lower tolerance for fats and proteins.
Mixed types require a balanced diet that includes a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
So how do you know which metabolic type you are?
There are several methods for determining your metabolic type, including:
1. The questionnaire method: This involves answering a series of questions about your dietary preferences, cravings, and energy levels. Based on your answers, you can determine which metabolic type you are.
2. The muscle testing method: This involves testing the strength of your muscles in response to different foods. Your muscle strength can indicate which foods are most compatible with your body.
3. The blood testing method: This involves analysing your blood for various markers that can indicate which metabolic type you are. This method is more precise but also more expensive.
Once you have determined your metabolic type, you can begin to tailor your diet and lifestyle to better support your body's needs. For example, if you are a protein type, you may benefit from a diet that is high in protein and fat, with minimal carbohydrates. If you are a carbohydrate type, you may benefit from a diet that is high in complex carbohydrates, with moderate amounts of protein and minimal fat. If you are a mixed type, you may benefit from a balanced diet that includes a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
It is important to note that while metabolic typing can be a useful tool for optimising your health, it is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Each person is unique, and their metabolic needs may change over time, even hour-by-hour.
It is important to regularly reassess your dietary needs and adjust your diet accordingly.
For some clients I assess this with a simple questionnaire to think about cravings, including what they crave Vs what they ate and then look at the impact it has on their energy and outcomes after eating.
In addition to diet, other factors can also impact your metabolic type, including genetics, exercise habits, and stress levels. Therefore, it is important to take a holistic approach to your health and consider all aspects of your lifestyle when determining your metabolic type.
For example, equatorial eating types (people whose heritage is closer to the equator) may benefit from a diet that is higher in carbohydrates and lower in fat, as traditional equatorial diets tend to be rich in starchy vegetables, fruits, and grains. These foods provide a source of slow-burning carbohydrates that can sustain energy levels throughout the day.
For people whose heritage comes from land that freezes in the winter, plants would become scarce and therefore may benefit from a diet higher in animal proteins and roots.
It is important to note that factors such as age, gender, physical activity levels, and underlying health conditions can all influence dietary requirements.
Take a bodybuilder and stop them training for a while, their desire for eating protein will fall.
Take an un-trained individual and get them really active, they get hungry, sleep like a log and hydrate, naturally.
The body is really smart and will tell you what it wants, if you're listening.
As always, prioritise whole, nutrient-dense foods and avoid highly processed, refined foods regardless of macronutrient composition.