This Metabolic Diet Thing Might Not Be A Crock

A while back I went into the bookstore looking for Jillian Michael’s Making the Cut, but after skimming through it, I realized that it would make me COMPLETELY INSANE.  So I put it back on the shelf.  But she talked about eating for your metabolic type, and I was curious, so I started perusing the shelves at the store.  And I found The Metabolic Typing Diet.  Plopping myself down on the floor, I skimmed it, and realized 2 things: first, the food that this guy thought I should eat for my type happened to be the SAME FOOD that my doctor had recommended I eat.  Like, specifically the same: not just “more protein,” but specifically “chicken liver” (among other things).  The second thing I noticed was that he says repeatedly that even when you have the “appropriate macronutrient ratios” figured out, you might still need to adjust them a little, because EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT.  So he gives a baseline, and allows for the adjustment. 

Based on those two things, I bought the book.  And I’m glad I did.

The Good:
The questionnaire is pretty thorough, considering that it’s still a do-it-yourself one in a book.  And the whole thing is easy to read, informative and relatively entertaining.  Additionally, once you’ve figured out your Type, he has further recommendations for refining your diet if you need to/want to.  I also appreciate his repeated viewpoint that if you need to move the ratios around a little, then that’s fine.  Too many diet books (in my opinion) give 1 (or 2 or 3) formats and call them the be-all, end-all for EVERYONE.  Frankly, I think that’s bullshit.  There are too many variations among people for a one-size-fits-all solution to work.  This book tells you want your approximate ratios are (protein, fat, carbs), and then gives specific instructions on how to refine it further to figure out YOUR best nutritional balance.  The method are a little time-consuming, since you’re measuring what you eat and how you feel over the course of several days, but you’ll get a more exact reading that way.  (Or you could be like me, and just use the first ratio because you’re too damn lazy to do that much food journaling.  And if you ARE like me, you’ll STILL feel better.)

The Bad:
Not enough science-y goodness.  I like to be able to track down the studies referenced, read those, compare interpretations, etc.  This book is definitely written for someone who doesn’t really care about that: there are no direct references, although because of some other stuff I’ve read, I either knew of the studies this guy was writing about, or was able to track down the ones I wasn’t familiar with.  Based on what I found, he’s not misrepresenting any research, but it would have been nice if I didn’t have to do so much Googling to figure that out.

The Caveat:
He breaks the Metabolic Types down into 3: the Protein Type, the Carb Type and the Mixed Type.  I came out a Protein Type, but apparently most people are closer to Mixed.  Here’s the thing: he provides pretty detailed analyses for Protein and Carb Types, but Mixed Types, by definition, are on more of a hunt-and-peck mission (so to speak).  He still gives some general guidelines, but they’re not NEARLY as specific as they are for Protein or Carb Types.  So my advice?  Plop yourself down on the bookstore floor and take the test before buying the book.  If you come out either Protein or Carb, just buy it.  If you come out Mixed?  You might want to spend some more time on the floor, looking through the book to figure out if the refining methods he recommends are something you would actually do, because I’m pretty sure you’d almost HAVE to do them to get an accurate diet for a Mixed Type. 

ALL that said?  I’d buy it again.  (Although I have to admit that I keep doing it a little, and then JUMPING BACK! because even though I feel better when I eat what he’s saying I should eat, I’ve totally bought into the social brainwashing about “good” foods and “bad” foods.  And the Protein Types are SUPPOSED to eat more “bad” foods: beef, pork, liver, etc.  More fat in all forms, actually.  I probably would not have bought this book if the menu he listed wasn’t the same as what my doctor had JUST told me a couple of months before, because “OMG, teh fatz!”  So just be prepared.)

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6 responses to “This Metabolic Diet Thing Might Not Be A Crock

  1. I am currently eating a hard-boiled egg and enjoying the sentence “Frankly, I think that’s bullshit.”

    Do you suppose the test is online somewhere?

  2. Thanks for the review of the book. I’ve heard Jillian talk about it often during her radio show, and I’ve been meaning to check it out.

  3. POD, I can’t find the comprehensive one, but the Jillian one is here. It’s shorter, but it was enough to get me interested. (Via Charlotte’s post, which reveiwed Jillian’s book, which also means she had some thoughts on the Metabolic diet. More good stuff on it from Charlotte here.)

    Hi Sara! Thanks for dropping by. I really did like the book, although I’m still having a hard time with the “eat more fat” thing. LOL, I might have a whole ‘nother post on THAT. 😉

  4. Well now you have me wanting to buy the book! I came out as a “carb” type in Jillian’s book and I wonder if I’d get the same diagnosis with this book as well. So are you going to try the diet he recommends?!?

  5. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for the treat on my porch!!

  6. Charlotte, I am. I’m in the middle of trying to figure out a plan that will give me some structure (because now that I’m journaling again, I love it – it satisfies Crazy Brain’s need for control) and still not be so rigid that I go nuts. I’m thisclose to figuring it out, though, and if I don’t post about it today/tonight (Friday), I’ll post on Monday for sure.

    Miz! You got them! YAY! Now you’ll have to let me know what you think. 😀

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