When designing a personalized meal plan for yourself, it’s important to understand that not all foods are created equal. A 2,000 calorie meal plan made up of low-quality, processed foods will affect your body differently than a 2,000 calorie meal plan made up of high-quality, whole foods. Furthermore, it is important for you to customize your meal plan to your own unique body chemistry. A meal plan made up of 30% carbohydrates will affect your body differently than a meal plan made up of 60% carbohydrates. The following questionnaire is designed to help you determine your metabolic type and the optimal macronutrient ratio (carbs:protein:fats) you need to achieve optimal health and performance. Note: Individuality still applies. Email me directly and speak to your health-care provider if you have any questions or concerns.
Recommended Reading: The Metabolic Typing Diet by William Linz Wolcott and Trish Fahey
The Questionnaire (from How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek)
When answering the questions, circle the answer that best describes the way you feel, not the way you think you should eat! If none of the answers suit you with regard to a particular question, simply don’t answer that question. If the answer A suits you some of the time (in the morning, but not the evening, for example), and answer B suits you other times, you may circle both provided that the answers refer to how you may feel on any given day, not within a period of 24 hours.
1. I sleep best:
A. When I eat a snack high in protein and fat 1-2 hours before going to sleep.
B. When I eat a snack higher in carbohydrates 3-4 hours before going to sleep.
2. I sleep best if:
A. My dinner is composed of mainly meat with some vegetable or other carbohydrates.
B. My dinner is composed mainly of vegetables or other carbohydrates and a comparatively small serving of meat.
3. I sleep best and wake up feeling rested:
A. If I don’t eat sweet deserts like cakes, candy or cookies. If I eat rich desert that is not overly sweet,such as high-quality full-fat ice cream, I tend to sleep okay.
B. If I occasionally eat a sweet dessert before I go to bed.
4. After vigorous exercise, I feel best when I consume:
A. Foods or drinks with higher protein and/or fat content, such as a high-protein shake.
B. Foods or drinks higher in carbohydrates (sweeter) such as Gatorade.
5. I do best-maintain mental clarity and a sense of well-being for up to 4 hours after a meal-when I eat:
A. A meat-based meal containing heavier meats such as chicken legs, roast beef and salmon, with a smaller portion of carbohydrate.
B. A carbohydrate-based meal containing vegetables, bread or rice and a small portion of a lighter meat such as chicken breast or white fish.
6. If I am tired and consume sugar or sweet foods such as donuts, candy or sweetened drinks without significant amounts
of fat or protein:
A. I get a rush of energy, but then I am likely to crash and feel sluggish.
B. I feel better and my energy levels are restored until my next meal.
7. Which statement best describes your disposition toward food in general:
A. I love food and live to eat!
B. I am not fussed over food and I eat to live.
8. I often:
A. Add salt to my foods.
B. Find that foods are too salty for my liking.
9. Instinctually, I prefer to eat:
A. Dark meat, such as chicken or turkey legs and thighs over the white beast meat.
B. Light meat such as chicken or turkey breast over the dark leg and thigh meat.
10. Which list of fish most appeals to you?
A. Anchovy, caviar, herring, mussels, sardines, abalone, clams, crab, crayfish, lobster, mackerel, octopus,oyster, salmon, scallops, shrimp, snail, squid, tuna (dark meat)
B. White fish, catfish, cod, flounder, haddock, perch, scrod, sole, trout, tuna (white), turbot.
11. When eating dairy products, I feel best after eating:
A. Richer, full fat yogurts and cheeses or desserts.
B. Lighter, low fat yogurts and cheeses or desserts.
12. With regard to snacking:
A. I tend to do better when I snack between meals.
B. I tend to last between meals without snacking.
13. Which describes the way you instinctually prefer to start your day in order to feel your best and to have the most energy?
A. A large breakfast that includes protein and fat, such as eggs with sausage or bacon.
B. A light breakfast such as cereal, fruit, yogurt, breads and possibly some eggs.
14. Which characteristics best describe you:
A. In general, I digest food well, have an appetite for proteins, feel good when eating fats or fatty foods, am more muscular or inclined to gain muscle and/or strength easily.
B. I am more lithe of build, prefer light meats and lower fat foods, am more inclined toward endurance athletics.
Determining Your Metabolic Type
To score your test, add the questions you circle A and the number you circled B.
Ø If your number of A answers is 3 or more than B answers, you are a Protein Type.
Ø If your number of A and B answers are tied or within 2 of each other, you are a Mixed Type.
Ø If you number of B answers is 3 or more than A answers, you are a Carb Type
Protein types are generally people who live to eat. You don’t want to get between a protein type and food when they are hungry. When protein types follow the food pyramid or the dietary advice given in most exercise magazines, they can become chunky, fat and downright miserable. Since protein types burn through carbohydrates quickly, they must eat more protein and fat than carbohydrates to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates in their bodies. Protein types also have a higher requirement for purines, a type of amino acids prevalent in dark meats such as chicken legs and thighs, red meat, fish roe,sardines and anchovies. They tend to have a greater appetite for salt, which is okay as long as they consume high-quality, unprocessed sea salt, not regular, table salt.
Protein types, against the advice of many health experts, frequently find that they sleep better and wake rested if they eat a meal that is higher in fat and protein closer to bedtime (within 2-3 hrs or even less). This is largely due to the fact that protein types tend to rapidly burn carbohydrates in their metabolic pathways, leaving them hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) if they don’t consume adequate fat and protein to tie up and slow down the carbohydrates. If your blood sugar drops during the middle of the night, your body is stressed in an attempt to raise blood sugar levels. This often results in a yo-yo fluctuation of your hormonal tides and rhythms throughout the night, which disrupts the release of melatonin (sleep and immune hormone) as well as other growth and repair hormones. As a result, you wake up feeling like you’ve been wrestling all night and will usually head straight for a pot of coffee to start the process all over again.
This is the very reason why protein types need to be very careful of what they have for dessert and what they drink, particularly within a few hours of bedtime. If they eat or drink too many carbohydrates, they’re setting themselves up for visits to doctors and therapists for many seemingly unrelated, nagging conditions for which they often get treated with arsenal of creams, pills and other medications. I’ve often seen symptoms such as chronic headaches, depression, chronic fatigue, poor concentration in the morning, back pain, neck pain, constipation and low sex drive clear up by simply balancing blood sugar levels in protein types, particularly at dinner and before bed.
Protein types also need to be wary of performance bars and drinks. Such products generally contain large amounts of sugar (any word ending In “ose” like sucrose, dextrose or fructose) that will cause problems for a protein type if not balanced by adequate fat and protein. The lack of quality fats, protein and sugars in most of these sports nutrition bars is of course a concern for all metabolic types.
Protein types do better on full-fat dairy products. If they eat low-fat yogurts and cheeses, for example, they’re usually hungry again in no time. Remember, protein types “live to eat” and if their bodies don’t sense satiety, they go back into hunter mode on the prowl for food.
If protein types are going to drink coffee, they should not add sugar or non/low fat milk. Remember, protein types go through carbohydrates very fast, easily rendering themselves hypoglycemic. If you need to add something to your coffee, try an organic full fat cream or even whipping cream. Add sugar to caffeine and your poor little adrenal glands start doing back flips. You’ll experience the same roller coaster ride as when you eat too many sweets before bed, but this time you get a cognitive experience because you’re awake. By adding a little full fat cream with no sugar you’ll at least be able to enjoy your vice without taking a chain saw to your pancreas and adrenal glands. And please, don’t use artificial sweeteners because they’re poisons, casing a plethora of problems. An alternative sweetener is Stevia.
Many protein types, particularly those needing to lose body fat, will find that they do better eating smaller balanced meals more frequently. There is some controversy in literature these days regarding how much protein one can metabolize at any given time, suggestion that it’s better for digestion to eat more frequent, smaller meals. Generally, if your post-meal responses are in Power Zone, You’re not eating too much protein.
POWER ZONE – represents the optimal response to any given meal or snack
Happy, normal state of well-being, ideal blood pressure, ideal HDL:LDL ratio, capacity to handle stress, can last between meals with good energy, good mental focus and clarity of thought, no cravings, optimal response to exercise, optimal health.
If your questionnaire identifies you as a mixed type, you enjoy the status of being the easiest to feed, and the toughest to train. Mixed types need to read everything here with regard to protein types and carb types because as a mixed type you’re both types at the same time and will oscillate back and forth between the two. Depending on sensitivity, your environment and your physical, hormonal and emotional stress levels, this oscillation can occur from meal to meal, week to week or month to month. Simply stated, this means you must master the ability to feel the messages coming from your body. As a mixed type, you’ll likely lean toward either a protein or a carb type most of the time, yet you won’t feel well if you just stick to one pattern of eating and ignore your internal body language.
The mixed types will start proportioning their meals with 50% from the eyes group (proteins/fats) and 50% from the no-eyes foods (carbohydrates). To maximize the chances of achieving health and vitality, the mixed types need to study and become intimate with the methods of fine tuning meals.
Carb types have the opposite challenge with regard to their metabolic pathways. Just as protein types don’t efficiently metabolize carbohydrates (when eaten alone), carb types don’t efficiently metabolize fats and proteins (when eaten alone). A carb type must, therefore, eat a proportionately larger amount of carbohydrates to meter the fats and proteins. Don’t forget, a carb type still needs to eat some fat and protein at each meal.
Just because you’re a carb type and can handle more carbs, it doesn’t mean you can take a multi-vitamin and have a permanent ticket to the junk food train. Vitamins are like nails, and your macronutrients are like the wood used to build a boat. It doesn’t matter if you use golden nails, building a boat out or junk wood will only result in a useless boat that sinks, taking your golden nails right to the bottom. In your case, they just go right out your bottom! My point is that while carb types feel better on a diet of as much as 70% carbohydrates, the carbohydrates need to be composed of real food, not junk food, no matter what kind of vitamin supplements you take.
Carb types often do well on only 2 meals a day, which can lead to friends and family members (especially mothers and grandmothers) putting pressure on them to eat against their instincts. To achieve optimal health, the carb type needs to focus on avoiding junk foods, even if they feel good after eating them. They must seek high-quality organic foods and remember that they also need to include some fats and proteins in each meal or snack.
The carb type will generally not do well eating full-fat dairy products or fatty meats, which often make them feel dull and more likely to resort to stimulants such as coffee and sugar to pick them up. Carb types will fare best eating light meats like chicken breast, leaner cuts of meat and light fish.
Within as little as a few minutes and over the 2 hours following a meal, you’ll begin getting signals from your body. Generally, the healthier you are, the faster you get the information and the more information you get.
If you eat too many carbohydrates and experience symptoms in the “Response to too much Carbohydrates List”, immediately try one of the following remedies:
– eat fats and protein
– drink water, or
If you eat too much fat or protein and experience symptoms in the “Response to too much Carbohydrates List”, immediately try one of the following remedies:
– eat carbohydrates (high glycemic if possible, such as below-ground veggies, fruits or grains)
– consume fresh-squeezed juice of fresh fruit, or
– take digestive enzymes containing protease and lypase
The sooner you respond to any of the symptoms listed, the better. By taking one or more of the actions directing you back to the Power Zone, you are more likely to normalize your fuel mix for optimal conversion to energy.
RESPONSES TO TOO MUCH CARBOHYDRATE
– headache – exaggerated stress response
– anxiety – depression
– don’t feel satisfied – pimples
– get hungry quickly – constipation
– may crave fat and/or protein – toxicity
– jumpy mind (ADHD) behavior – insulin resistance-diabetes
– tired but wired – headache
– jittery – neck/shoulder pain
– nervous energy – low back pain
– energy highs and lows – poor sleep
– autonomic dysregulation
– adrenal stress
– immune suppression
RESPONSES TO TOO MUCH FAT/PROTEIN
– lethargic – autonomic dysfunction
– sleepy – depression
– dull or depressed mood – obesity
– mentally sluggish or slow – toxicity
– heavy gut – fowl body odor
– feel full, but hungry – low energy
– may crave sweets – poor response to exercise (aerobic)
– may crave coffee or tea – rapid aging
– hormonal dysregulation
– abnormal blood pressure
– adrenal fatigue
– neck/shoulder pain
– low back pain
– ill health