Everyone knows that one size does not fit all, right? So why do we think that one diet would be right for every person? Each person has their own metabolic and genetic blueprint that determines how they utilize their food.
It’s up to each individual to figure out what the optimal foods for their constitution are. This can be tricky.
In my nutrition practice I see many people who have some serious health problems. I also see people who are relatively healthy and just want to “tweek” things a little. There are others who are having difficulty losing weight no matter what they do.
In these circumstances I would be a poor clinician if I just gave everyone the same dietary advice. While I do utilize concepts from traditional diets and healing diets, attention is paid to each individual and what their particular metabolic circumstances are.
Studies can be found (here, here, here) that show benefit for high protein/high fat/low carb diets. At the same time, other studies show benefit for low protein/lowfat/high carb diets (here, here, here). It’s confusing! You have to ask yourself — “what is right for me!”
Nutritional body typing has been established from the concept of individual biochemistry. This concept is characterized by the fact that the same nutrients can be processed in different ways in different people. The result of this is that some people assimilate nutrients better on one diet and others may do so on a different diet.
Consequently, disease processes can develop for totally different reasons in individuals of different body types.
The concept of body typing goes back thousands of years. In the ancient Ayuvedic medicine system in India, everything on this planet, including our bodies and minds, consists of five elements: fire, water, earth, air, and space.
According to Ayurveda, every individual is a unique combination of these five elements. Disease develops when we disconnect from nature and when we stray from our constitutional type.
Ayurveda groups the five elements into three basic Ayurvedic Body Types. These three principles are called doshas. Most of us have one or two doshas, which are most dominant in our nature, with the remaining one(s) being less expressed.
The three doshas are known as: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Ayurvedic treatments of disease are based on a person’s dosha. Treatments include dietary advice for that particular body type.
Weight gain occurs out of the inability to properly metabolize the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in the diet. The energy that should be metabolized from these foods are not received and it is stored as fat.
Cravings emerge from a lack of variable nutrients that the body desperately needs. Cravings are also from an imbalance in the gut flora. Healthy gut flora assist us in metabolizing our food. Pathogenic flora play a part in this improper metabolism of food.
Most people who are overweight are actually malnourished. They are starving for the correct balance of nutrients that will increase their metabolic rate. This would convert the food they are eating to energy instead of storing it as fat.
You must give your body the food that it can efficiently convert to energy in order to lose weight permanently. Portion control becomes easier when you are not craving foods out of malnourishment.
Just like you wouldn’t put diesel fuel in a gas car, you need to think about what is the best fuel for your body. Even if you put the best foods into your body — organic, pastured, pure fresh drinking water, etc. — if you are eating for the wrong body type you may not be receiving the nutrients from that wonderful food properly.
If you are having health or weight problems in spite of eating the best food possible, it’s time to start thinking about your body type.
If you do, then it is time to think about nutritional body typing. Focusing on your specific body type may illustrate to you what foods you are eating that are really not good for you even though they are of excellent quality.
If you are feeling well it is still a good idea to identify your body type and check the foods that go along with it.
This may be the next step to a higher level of health.