Ahh, the world of modern nutrition. It looks like dieting and food restriction. Pictures of people with these amazingly chiseled bodies saying following my method and you’ll look like this too. Literally, everyone is on a diet most of the time. People, and let’s face it, women, focus on calories, high protein, low carbohydrate, low fat, don’t eat dairy, and a laundry list of good vs. bad foods. Diet books are national best sellers and the new wonder drug for weight loss is on every news station and social media channel. Sigh…
All this that I mentioned above has done nothing more than make nutrition complex. Make it harder for people to know what to do vs. not do. It’s confusing because one week you should eat fat, drink coffee, and eat carbs, and next thing you know, it’s the exact opposite, don’t eat fat, don’t drink coffee, don’t eat carbs. And it’s not just the food. The media including social media, has somehow even made working out confusing. Do resistance, skip the cardio, do HIIT, don’t do HIIT, you need cardio, or just walking is fine.
How did this get so complicated? How is it that we have an obesity epidemic despite the vast availability of resources within the diet industry? How can scientists be so certain that the speed of light is 670 million miles per hour and yet can’t decide if you should eat fat or not? How can two different well-respected scientific groups have one prove we should eat dairy as a necessary component of a healthy diet, and yet the other proves dairy is a detriment to our health?
That difference that can’t be explained, the reason why one diet works for one person and causes weight gain in another, is the concept of bioindividuality. Diets don’t account for the individual.
So let’s fast forward to postmodern nutrition and discuss the concept of bioindividuality a little further. What’s funny though, is the concept of bioindividuality was first published in 1956, and yet it is considered a postmodern way to look at nutrition.
Let’s focus on 3 concepts that play a role in bioindividuality.
Back then in 1956, Roger Williams wrote about personal differences in anatomy, metabolism, and how cellular structure influenced our overall health. Williams affirmed that each person has genetically determined and highly individual nutrition requirements.
Ancestry plays a critical role in what we understand about bioindividuality and was a core concept taught by Williams decades ago. You can best eat and digest what your ancestors ate and digested. For example, in African ancestry, there were a ton of beans, grains, animal protein, sweet potatoes, and green vegetables. Dairy was not so much available. It was difficult to store in hot regions, so they didn’t eat it. Fast forward to today, there is an abundance of people within the African American community that don’t tolerate dairy well.
Your blood type plays a role too. Most people don’t actually even think about their blood type unless they are donating blood. And even then, you’re only aware because they tell you your blood type on the donor card. Blood types, A, B, AB, O, have evolved over thousands of years and give us insight into the type of foods that work best for our bodies. For example, many type 0’s gain energy from eating meat, while type B’s are better suited to digest dairy. And for type A? Type A tends to do better on a vegetarian or pescatarian diet. Certain foods can cause the cells of people with certain blood types to clump or coagulate, while those same foods will have no impact on the cells of people with different blood types.
Metabolism is also affected by bioindividuality. Metabolism is basically the rate at which your body converts food into energy. Depending on your metabolic rate, your body can either quickly convert calories to energy or it can have more of a tendency to store calories. In general, there are 3 types of metabolic activity; Fast Burners, Slow Burners, or Mixed types. Fast Burners are protein types and tend to be hungry often and crave fatty, salty foods. They tend to burn through carbohydrates quickly and don’t do well on a high carbohydrate or vegetarian diet. Slow Burners are carbohydrate types with relatively weak appetites, a high tolerance for sweets, and a more difficult time with weight control. They require more carbohydrates for energy to speed up their metabolism. And the Mixed type is a little bit of both. There is a moderate craving for sweets with an average appetite. Their ideal diet is a balanced combination of protein and carbohydrates.
This post isn’t about bashing diets. I mean, that clearly works for some people. This is a post to help you stop beating yourself up for not losing weight as fast as you think you should. This is a post to help you keep going doing all the things that feel good in your body even if you don’t see it on the scale. This is a post to encourage you to know that you are becoming a better person, a person you wouldn’t have been able to become if you hadn’t been on this particular journey. You can do this. You can figure this out. Do what feels good among a community of people who love and support you. That is the path to what you seek. Follow it like your life depends on it and don’t give up.