Well, this explains a lot.
I think I’ve finally figured out why I was having stomach issues last week and why I saw an annoying little jump in the number on the scale yesterday. It could even be to blame for some mild insomnia problems I’ve been dealing with lately.
Summer grilling. Lots of it.
We’ve been on a huge meat kick, ever since Brent got his new meat thermometer and a new Hy-Vee opened near us (read: excellent fresh meat options). Lots of red meat, lots of bacon, lots of…FAT.
For some reason, I forget about how fatty red meat is. My brain goes, “It’s Paleo; it’s good for you!”
But just because something isn’t “bad for you” in the same way that processed food is bad for you (no quotes needed there) doesn’t mean that it’s what your body needs.
A few weeks ago, Laura wrote about how to determine the best foods for your metabolic type and included a link to a quiz by Jillian Michaels you can take to determine your type. I actually found my way to the post through Rachel (coolest girl ever, btw), who took the quiz herself and wrote about it on her blog. Turns out Rachel is the exact opposite type as me, so if you can’t relate to some of the info below because you and I differ, feel free to check out Rachel’s post on this.
The results of the quiz can help you figure out whether you’re a “protein-type” (fast oxidizer), “carb-type” (slow-oxidizer), or “mixed” metabolic type (balanced oxidizer—very few people truly are). Oxidation is the process by which our bodies convert the foods we eat into energy, and the rate at which our individual bodies do that (based on genetics, not anything you’ve done right or wrong) impacts what kinds of foods fuel our bodies best.
So, I took the quiz. I felt like I was back in my Cosmo reading days, trying to figure out if my relationship type was romantic and sweet or adventurous and fun. And it was one of those situations where I more or less figured out my type halfway through the quiz, and then spent the rest of it worried that I was subconsciously rigging my own result because I wanted the whole thing to “make sense.”
But at any rate…turns out I’m a textbook slow oxidizer. My results came back as follows (they’ll make sense if you take the quiz): A – 27, B – 17, C – 1. (The one C comes from the fact that I like pickles!)
The kind of lunch my body prefers
So many of the characteristics of slow oxidizers were dead on for me. Like:
–I can’t handle big breakfasts. Nothing sounds less appealing in the morning than a pile of pancakes, eggs, and meat. I do eat breakfast, but it’s always something small, and it often doesn’t happen until I’ve been up for a few hours.
–I have horrible circulation and am constantly cold. I’ve gotten my thyroid checked so many times, and I’m always skeptical when it comes back normal. We keep our house at 78-79 in the summer, and I think that feels normal (sometimes even cold, no lie). I basically spend June-August battling with the AC, and the winter, wearing blankets all over the house.
–I’m sensitive about salty foods and need to guzzle water all day long to feel good.
According to this admittedly questionable source (take it with a grain of salt):
“Slow oxidizers often suffer from fatigue, sweet cravings and low blood sugar. As their oxidation rate slows further, they often become apathetic and depressed. Their blood pressure and blood sugar may be low unless arteriosclerosis or diabetes have set in. Their skin and hair are often dry, and their hair may become brittle or thin. Many experience constipation and other symptoms associated with reduced adrenal and thyroid glandular activity. Slow oxidizers may gain weight on the hips and the legs due to their metabolic imbalances.”
Check, check, check, and check. (Not sure about the hair one, though. I guess my hair isn’t super greasy, but I wouldn’t call it particularly dry or brittle either…)
“Mmmmmmm!” – my body
Here are a few more indicators for fast and slow oxidizers. (Some more strange than others.)
Grapefruit juice tastes too sour
Mustard tastes & smells too sharp
Likes avocados, olives, mayonnaise
Likes salty foods
Sweet foods often taste too sweet
Likes bacon with meats
Coffee causes jitteryness
When nauseous, salty food helps
Feels weak if doesn’t eat every 2-3 hours
Likes well-done roast beef
Likes grapefruit juice
Finds avocados too fatty
Craves sweet & sour foods
Sweets increase appetite
Likes onions with meats
Doesn’t want breakfast
When nauseous, sweet or sour foods help
Gets thirsty & drinks a lot of water
Now that I’ve labeled myself, here’s my diet prescription (from the quiz site, aka Jillian Michaels’ book Winning by Losing):
In order to best serve your metabolism and feel energized both physically and mentally, you require foods with a higher percentage of carbohydrates. Your ideal macronutrient ratio is 60 percent carbs, 25 percent protein, and 15 percent fat.
In other words, I need:
–To stick to a low-fat diet (very little red meat)
–Plenty of complex carbs (not simple ones, which convert into sugar)
–Very little high-fat dairy (I already knew this one was important for me)
–Less protein than I thought (fast oxidizers need double the amount of protein that slow oxidizers do)
Oh, and easy on the alcohol and caffeine. Well, of course it would say that. But I noticed that this applies to all metabolic types, and is actually less important for slow oxidizers. (Booyah!)
Another go-to lunch
None of this is a huge a surprise to me—I’d already sort of figured these things out on my own, but I thought I was doing them to be healthier, not because my body is extra sensitive to the alternative. But it makes sense, when I about how much I struggled with weight loss back in the day and how much my body fights back after a heavy meal. (P.S. There’s no way to “become” a fast oxidizer…I checked.)
What complicates my life even further, when it comes to food planning, is that I’m pretty sure my husband is a fast oxidizer. I’m on my own for breakfast and lunch, so those are no problem, but at dinner, he needs something heavy and satiating, while I’d be better off with a light meal of lean meat, veggies, and grains. Am I seriously going to have to start cooking separate meals for every member of my family?
What kind of oxidizer are you?