HOW YOUR BODY CHEMISTRY AFFECTS RESULTS YOU GET FROM YOUR DIET AND TRAINING
Ever wondered why a diet or a fitness and training regime has been working wonders for a friend or colleague, yet when you try the exact same programme you can’t lose any weight or seem to get any fitter? It could have a lot to do with the different body chemistry between you and more precisely your different blood types.
In Peter J. D’Adamo’s book written in the late 90’s “Eat Right 4 Your Type”, he analyses and discusses at depth the differences in the body chemistry of humans depending upon their blood types. In later books he goes even further, with deeper analysis depending on the rhesus (positive or negative) and other factors.
In case you aren’t aware, there are four main blood types: O, A, B and AB. You will be one of these. They each identify you as surely as your DNA. Your blood type is a genetic blueprint for who you are. In human evolution, type O is the oldest and dates back to primitive times. Primarily hunters, they had little or no tools or techniques to grow their own sources of food. Type A evolved with the human societies learning to farm and use the land to harvest crops and graze animals. Type B emerged as humans migrated into colder, harsher territories, needing to adapt to the geography that produced different food sources. Type AB is a modern adaptation as a result of the intermingling of the different groups.
Some of the latest diets in fashion like the paleo eating plan (eat like a caveman) may not be totally suitable to your body chemistry unless you are Type O - the ‘hunter and the meat-eater’ type. These blood types have a hardy digestive tract most compatible for eating meat, in particular red meat. Type O also benefit from vigorous cardio-based exercise like running, boxing training, contact sports, hiking, stair climbing or swimming. 4 or more sessions of at least 30 minutes a week will give great benefits.
If you are Type A, a suitable plan would include a lot less meat and a lot more vegetables, nuts and legumes. If this is you, you will find your health improving by reducing intake of meat and sticking to less stressful physical activities such as yoga, Pilates, tai chi, golf and brisk walking. Type As display a lot of nervous mental activity, which is quieted down with stress-busting, calming activities like those aforementioned. Their heightened sensitivity reacts negatively to stress and in turn, produces anxiety, irritability and hyperactivity. In addition, their sensitive nervous system reacts by gradually fraying, resulting in their delicate antibodies; necessary for strong immune systems, no longer being protected.
Type B, like type O, do not cope well with gluten found in wheat germ and whole-wheat products. The gluten has an effect of enhancing other metabolism-slowing foods. When food is not efficiently digested and burned as fuel for the body, it gets stored as fat. See how a type B who eats a lot of bread and pasta could gain weight as opposed to their type A partner who does not. Type B is much like type O and is even described in D’Adamo’s book as a “sophisticated refinement of type O in the evolutionary journey”. There are of course some differences between the two, one for example is that type B have a much higher tolerance of dairy products. Type B respond with harmony and balance between intense physical activities enjoyed by type A and the calming more inward focused activities type A find benefit with. Three to four times a week finding their ‘balance’ would work for them – sound like any balance-seekers you know?
Finally, type AB, very rare and only around 5% of the population, is a modern merging of types A and B and adopt a chameleon’s response to changing environmental and dietary conditions. They sometimes react like type A, and sometimes B, depending on the circumstances. Wheat also decreases their metabolism rate and leads to inefficient use of kilojoules. They can take more dairy like a ‘B’, yet definitely do not do well with meat like an ‘A’. When it comes to dealing with stress they definitely react like type ‘A’ and need to undertake physical exercise with the aim of releasing tension and reviving energy, with the best benefits achieved by performing one of the exercises at least three or four times a week.
So now you can see it can’t you? It does make sense why some people’s immune systems are heartier than others and why vigorous exercises can be beneficial to some but not so to their peers. Research it more to get a better understanding. There are many resources on this subject and the book has been a perpetual health and lifestyle best-seller for over a decade. Don’t know your blood type? Get tested next time you’re going for a check-up. Or better yet, become a blood donor, you get a card for free with your blood type on it! Donating blood is a great thing to do for your community. Not enough people do it and chances are we all need a blood transfusion at some time in our lives. Oh yes, they give you free cookies and a drink afterwards too!
I personally am a rare type AB, so when I finally gave up red meat and jogging and discovered yoga and mediation, the weight literally dropped off me and as I result I have lots more energy and cope far better with the stresses of today’s fast-paced society.
Edward J Cassidy
Reference: D’Adamo, Dr. Peter J. “Eat Right 4 Your Type” (Century Random House, 2001)