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Metabolic Typing – The Answer to Obesity?

When I first heard about a new diet that is tailored to suit your individual metabolic profile, I was skeptical. Was this just the newest trend in the billion-dollar weight loss industry that would, in the end, only give short-term results?

Six months ago I was sitting in my doctor’s office waiting to see one of his associates. I had been going round and round for at least six months trying to get my blood pressure under control, a condition that was discovered during a trip to the emergency room for x-rays.

I had been on three different medications already, and though lower, none of the doctors in the office were happy with the numbers. I was sick to death of changing medications, and just all around feeling bad. It was to the point I honestly felt I would be better off if I just had the stroke (so long as it did it me in).

When the doctor came in the office, I expected to hear more of the same. “This medication just isn’t doing it for you, we’re going to have to try something else.” I was completely unprepared for what he actually said. “I was just going over your blood work from your trip to the emergency room. I’m seeing a pattern here and would like to order more blood work.”

“A pattern of what?” I asked. This was the first time I had ever heard the term Metabolic Syndrome.

The doctor went on to explain the key to his suspicion; both my glucose and my insulin counts were high. Insulin resistance is the tell tale sign of this condition.

As he wrote up the order for blood work, he asked me a few questions, or rather identified some truths in my life. “You can diet like mad, and don’t lose a pound, but indulge in the slightest and gain five?” I nodded, but honestly wasn’t impressed. I was more than hundred pounds overweight. Isn’t that typical?

A week later, with my husband by my side, I was back for the results of the blood work. His suspicions were confirmed. He went on to tell me he could send me to the dietitian, which my insurance may cover, but in all honesty probably wouldn’t help much.

He then suggested a private center that worked with forming diets based on your metabolic profile. It would not be covered by insurance, it was expensive, but it would do the most good. He also handed me a handful of prescriptions as he said “regardless of how, you need to take off the weight or it’s going to kill you.” He promised me if I followed a diet for my metabolic type, the time would come I wouldn’t need any medication.

I made the appointment. I went to the Metabolic Profiling System center with a head full of doubts. My overcautious mind warned me not to put too much faith in all of this. Most of my life I had struggled with diet after diet only to come away from them heavier then the last. “I’m here to get off my medications,” was the thought I repeated to myself.

They put me through a series of questioners, followed by a physical exam that looked at what seemed like bizarre things: the shape and size of my fingers, the line of my thighs, and the line of my back, to name a few.

An hour and a half later she handed me a notebook with a diet program and a list of commandments to follow: low fat, low salt, whole grains, vegetables and fruits. The key wasn’t only in what foods I ate, but the times of day I ate them. Again, I scoffed internally. What does it matter when I eat what food?

Off the cuff low fat may seem like a simple and obvious answer, but in my weekly meetings and support sessions, I learned that others with different metabolic types had very different diets; different foods to avoid, and a different timing for them. For example, my work up prescribed eating fruit twice a day, while those on a different type diet are only to have fruit twice a week. To some profiles fat is the enemy, to others it is sugar. It all depends on how your individual metabolism works

Today, I had a six-month follow up with my doctor to go over more blood work. I’m down sixty five pounds and all of my numbers are right in line. He is thrilled. I am healthier, and as he wrote out prescriptions to refill my medications he informed me if I stay on track he is confident it will be the last time he has to do so.

I have to admit, six months ago I thought metabolic typing was just another fad diet that I would probably lose 10 pounds on, only to bounce back twenty or more (as I had done with every other diet in the past). Now I believe it is the key to helping solve the epidemic of obesity. I feel better. If and when I do stray, overindulging in what’s called fun and comfort foods, I feel it immediately, and this is enough to keep me on track to a healthier me that doesn’t need a handful of pills to start the day.
minor edit: NB

About Connie Phillips

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