Metabolism is a general term that relates to the chemical reactions that take place within your body, and it is your diet that generally governs how your metabolism functions. Because everyone's genetics are different, peoples' metabolisms also vary. Changing your diet to match your metabolic type might help you feel healthier, perform better and improve your body composition.
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The main idea behind eating for your individual metabolic type is that there's no single best diet that's best for everyone, notes trainer Tom Venuto. The first main foray into this method of dieting was proposed in "The Metabolic Typing Diet" by metabolism researcher William Wolcott, published in 2000. Paul Chek's 2004 book "How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy" also examined the idea of metabolic typing.
Find Your Type
The first step in eating for your metabolism is to figure out what category you fall into. In Walcott's initial diet, you have to answer 65 questions, all designed to find what type of diet you respond best to. Using your responses, you'll see what diet suits you best -- a protein type diet, a carbohydrate type diet or a mixed diet.
According to Type
Once you've discovered what type you are, it's time to start tailoring your diet to your metabolism. Wolcott's plan advises that protein types eat a diet made up of 45 percent protein, 35 percent carbs and 20 percent fats. Mixed types need 30 percent protein, 50 percent carbs and 20 percent fat, while carb types need 25 percent protein, 60 percent carbs and 15 percent fats. Chek's recommendations differ slightly, as he advises 40 percent protein and 30 percent each for carbs and fat for those on a protein diet, 40 percent protein, 50 percent carbs and 10 percent fats for those on a mixed diet, and 20 percent protein, 70 percent carbs and 10 percent fat for those on a carb type diet.
Planning Your Meals
The easiest way to set up your diet to adhere to your suggested type is to divide your plate into sections at each meal. You can eat the same sorts of foods, regardless of what type you are, but quantities and proportions will need to vary. Take a meal of a lean steak, sweet potato and asparagus for instance. On a protein type diet, the steak should take up nearly half your plate, the potato and asparagus roughly a third and you can fill the rest of your plate with a fat source, such as a little butter on the potato, or some olive oil on your vegetables. Mixed types should reduce the steak size, eat more sweet potato and veggies and keep fats roughly the same, while carb types need to load up on sweet potato and asparagus, go for a slightly smaller steak and half the serving of oil or butter.