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One size does not fit all

Have you ever wandered through the nutrition aisle at Borders and thought, how can all these “experts” be saying literally opposite things about the same subject? Have you ever had a friend rushed to the hospital because they mistakenly ate a dish that had peanuts in it and found yourself wondering- how can peanuts be life-threatening for her and fine for me? Have you ever had a co-worker who lost a bunch of weight on a particular program, tried the program yourself, and actually had the opposite result? Our everyday experience is full of examples such as these that demonstrate our individual body’s unique response to food.

Science has proven this concept of “biochemical individuality” long ago. The variety in types of cuisine from culture to culture has pointed its finger to the fact that human beings can live and thrive off very different types of food as well. Whenever I talk with people about nutrition there is an intuitive understanding, which often makes them say, “That seems like common sense.” So the million dollar question is…..why does every book you read and every weight loss program you come across say, “this is without a shadow of a doubt what you need to do!!”

The answer to that question is easy. Money.

From a business standpoint, it's not the best practice to tell people "You know, this may or may not work for you, but give it a shot anyway." The reality of the situation is that any practitioner or researcher who works with nutrition, knows that individual responses vary significantly. So what should you as an individual do to figure out what works for you? I have two suggestions:

1. Answers can be found within programs that do not ignore uniqueness, that take it as a given and work with individual uniqueness to figure out what balances out your metabolism. As we all respond differently to food, the program should have a way of helping you to figure out what foods you respond best to. The program should not have a “one size fits all” approach.

2. Qualify your results in your experience. If your metabolism is being properly balanced out, your individual imbalances should start to right themselves. If you need to lose weight, you should start losing weight. If you are lethargic and fatigued, your energy should increase. If your immune system is weak and you get sick all of the time, your immune system should strengthen and your sick time will lessen. This may seem obvious, but I work with individuals all of the time who have been working hard at following programs that are not helping to bring them in the right direction. If your program is not working, and you are doing all that it asks, question the program and make some changes.

Craig A. Morgan is a N.A.S.M. Certified Personal Trainer and Performance Enhancement Specialist as well as a Certified Metabolic Typing Practitioner. His interests include golf, tennis, basketball, skiing, and cooking.