How to determine the best foods for you- part 2

Hi everyone!

Today I am continuing the discussion about how to determine the best foods for your body. The best way to learn is by listening to your body and noticing how you react to food and what your body asks for, but this is very hard to do when we are constantly surrounded by food and have  every possible temptation in our grocery store (and sometimes cupboards)!

I am sharing 5 of the tools I use to help my health coach clients sort out what does and does not work for them.  Each of these could claim to be THE way to eat, but I find it most helpful to layer them and use that information alongside your personal experiences.

If you missed part one of this series, you can find it here. Number one and two were ancestry and blood type.

3) Metabolic type testing

The oxidation rate was first connected to individual metabolism by Dr Watson in the 1970s, and he discovered two types that do not use energy efficiently: the slow oxidizer and fast oxidizer (or slow burner and fast burner). A few people are balanced types, but most lean more one way or the other.

Ann Louise Gittleman says:

Each of us shows a distinct metabolic profile from the standpoint of ANS (Automatic Nervous System) influence.  This is determined by genetically inherited differences in the degrees of sympathetic or parasympathetic dominance…

A metabolic test can help you determine how your body metastasizes food.  I prefer the test in Gittleman’s book for my clients (similar to this one ).  The results can help you determine if you are a protein-type (fast oxidizer), carb-type (slow-oxidizer), or mixed metabolic type (balanced oxidizer).

Both types can have difficulty with their weight, not just the slow burner.  The slow burner can feel sluggish, causing him/her to reach for sugary treats, soda or simple carbs (white flour) for quick energy.  The fast burner burns through carbohydrates so quickly they also go searching for more simple carbs and can have intense sugar cravings.

Both can benefit from adjusting their diet to speed up or slow down their metabolism.

Energy in the body is created by the interaction of two biochemical processes, which require specific vitamins and minerals.  Individuals should increase the nutrients needed for their type.  In addition, slow burners need more lean protein and less fat to provide a steady supply of energy and prevent blood sugar swings, while fast burners need more fat and protein to create satiety.

Gittleman’s book, Your Body Knows Best, is a great resource for more information.

Again, the key is to understand that there is no one diet that works for everyone.  This is partly why nutritional information can be so conflicting.  What works well for some people can have adverse reactions in others (especially dairy and grains).

Removing the labels and learning to listen to your body is freeing and ultimately, can lead to your best health.

I’ll continue with information on the final two tools next time!

Do you know if you’re a fast burner or a slow burner? Do you pay attention to how particular foods make you feel?

48 thoughts on “How to determine the best foods for you- part 2

  1. love love love this.
    for me all my changes came about because i STOPPED and listened to what my body said after each meal/food went into my mouth.
    I journaled.
    I sat with the feelings
    I made changes.
    and twenty years later Im so glad I did.

    • One way to tell is by your appetite: fast burners tend to be hungry and can feel like they need to eat every two hours to avoid getting light headed or weak (especially if they’re overdoing the carbs). There are also personality differences that are common- slow burners tend to be more relaxed while fast burners tend to be more anxious and stressed!
      Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..How to determine the best foods for you- part 2My Profile

  2. Interesting. I didn’t have time to take the full test – and some of it is hard to determine since I don’t eat meat. But, I think I may lean more towards a fast oxidizer. I wonder if they have any tests like that for vegetarians.

    • The one thing I didn’t like about her approach is that it’s very pushy toward meat eaters- but in general, you can find your type whether or not you eat meat. One of the signs of a fast burner is that you need to eat frequently throughout the day, and tend to be high energy, thrive on intense exercise and are prone to anxiety– I would guess you are more of a fast oxidizer, too. And the protein/fat recommendations are just as applicable to vegetarians- you can increase your protein and fat without meat!
      Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..How to determine the best foods for you- part 2My Profile

      • Definitely sounds like you’re describing me 😉 It was just hard to answer lean meat vs red when you don’t eat anything like that. It’d be like trying to say craving beans vs tofu LOL (or in my head anyway). I can definitely tell when I’m not getting in enough protein. I do find that I am often struggling to get in enough though. I do better eating more tofu/soy vs just going with beans but I know you’re not supposed to overdo the soy. Been trying to add in egg whites, but I really don’t like eggs. Anyway, thank you so much for this post!
        Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..The (Running) Heat is OnMy Profile

  3. You would be VERY proud of me. Starting Monday I started eating super clean and cut out a ton of carbs. Pretty much went back to Paleo, but not all the way. Since I went to the doctor after Memorial Day Weekend I have lost 8 pounds. I didn’t weigh myself on Monday so I don’t know what my exact starting weight was. Just going off my weight from a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t used my scale in years!
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..*Belated* Friday Favorites: HelvetiaMy Profile

  4. Such great information – I am definitely a fast burner and that is why I have given up grains alogether. My body just cannot handle them and I am so much happier and feel better since I did. I

  5. Love the point that there is no single diet/plan that works for everyone. Our bodies have unique needs, so it’s important to listen up and figure out what works best. Unfortunately I think the diet industry is more concerned about making money than helping people, so I love to see resources that focus on balanced, healthy eating.
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Splish Spash: Outdoor Lap SwimmingMy Profile

  6. I don’t know if I’m a fast or slow burner, but I definitely know which foods make me feel the best. I try to have them make up most of my diet and then other (fattier) treat foods in limited amount. Life is too short to be good all the time 😉
    Karen@ La Chanson de Ma Vie recently posted..Headwaters in the SunshineMy Profile

  7. I don’t know if I’m slow or fast but I can tell you that I crave salty over sugar. Not sure if that tells me anything. I’ve always been pretty good at listening to my body but I’ve been taking more notes lately and as a result have stopped eating dairy and I’m now thinking about taking breads off the list. The bread is harder for me than the dairy.

    Great post!So helpful.
    Carli recently posted..Fit Food Swap: Clean & Lean Tuna SaladMy Profile

  8. I am wondering what you think about the blood food sensitivity tests. Here’s in Boulder – it’s a big trend. Supposedly your blood is tested against ~150 types of food and if you blood has a reaction, then you are sensitive to that type of food and should avoid it. Here’s a couple of links to a sample test and a lab that does this test.

  9. Very interesting Laura! I don’t know but I would guess I’m a fast burner. I’m off to eat fats and protein. 😉

  10. I am loving this series you’re doing – so interesting! I have no idea what type I am – I think I need to read this book 🙂

    I’ve been looking at the INN program and would love to hear more about your experience!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Family runningMy Profile

  11. I’ve surprised myself that I’m a fast oxidizer, after taking the quiz! So interesting! I just bought the book, can’t wait to read it!

  12. I think I am a fast oxidizer… I really want to get that book now! And I think this answered EVERYTHING I have been obsessing over the last couple of months. I’ve been eating many more carbs as my distances for marathon training have been getting longer and in response, I never feel full and keep gaining weight when I feel like I should be LOSING it. DUH – because I need more protein.
    Rachel B @ Busy Mama Fitness recently posted..Holy CRAP It’s THIS Weekend!!!My Profile

  13. Interesting. I am not sure which one I am, as I generally don’t crave sweets. So maybe a mix? I do sometimes get a hankering for a bread product or two!
    Travel Spot recently posted..Be YourselfMy Profile

  14. Interesting….Went through the online questions and I’m a fast oxidizer, but Type A blood which seem to be completely opposite.

    I have noticed that I when I try to just have a salad for lunch or something that I’m not satisified. I’ve been gluten-free for awhile, but have been cheating a lot lately.

    Shannon recently posted..Almost time!My Profile

  15. I’m pretty sure I would be a Slow Oxidizer, because, when I lost the most weight the easiest it always involved eating a lot of vegetables, lower sugar fruits and not too much meat. I wasn’t even trying to lose weight, I just had to deal with rising grocery costs.

    But, where I get confused is that some sites I have seen talk of this on say that slow oxidizers should eat carbs, especially whole grains and beans, and, some say that being a slow oxidizer is why you should not eat beans or whole grains.

    I can eat beans and grains, sometimes, in very small amounts, and be okay. Oatmeal, maybe even a lot and often, at times. But,mostly, I just get hot, tired and dehydrated when I have them very much at all.

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