'The Flow' Blog - Movement is your Medicine
Do you know your BioSignature?
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Do you know your BioSignature?

Column #26, 15th September 2007

Qualifying as a BioSignature Technician earlier this year was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.  It answered many questions I had on topics related to nutrition, supplementation, achieving good health and avoiding and recovering from illness and disease.

BioSignature Development

Charles Poliquin, a renowned strength and conditioning coach, developed the BioSignature Modulation Technique to improve health and performance in a wide range of clients including many elite athletes.  Read on or have a look at www.charlespoliquin.com to find out more.

Spot Reduction of Body Fat

In terms of fat loss, is spot reduction possible?  There is certainly the demand for it, with the increasing availability of pill and cream products, various techniques and pieces of equipment that claim to spot reduce.  The jury is still out on them, but Poliquin has developed this scientific method that can target specific areas for fat loss.

Sign In to read articles on each hormone and BioSignature Modulation to get rid of stubborn body fat.

 

The Principle of The BioSignature Technique

The smooth functioning of our body and our body composition is largely dependent on all of its systems working efficiently and its biochemistry being in balance.  When they are out of balance then problems occur:

  • Increased body fat %
  • Greater risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Lower energy levels
  • Reduced brain function
  • ……..and any other dysfunction you can think of….

By measuring various body fat skinfolds on the body we can calculate the distribution of relative fat about the body.  There maybe one problem area, or several, but once you are armed with this knowledge you can get to work on making targeted changes.  Based on research, the distribution is related to hormonal levels, which hold the key to the changes you can make.

What Type of Changes?

As discussed in previous articles, we must treat the cause of a problem, not just the symptoms.  Typical changes the BioSignature approach will advise include:

  • Nutritional
  • Exercise
  • Sleep patterns
  • Supplementation

Again, each of the above will be designed specifically to modulate the individual’s profile.

Will it Work for Everybody?

It is not a fad or one-size-fits-all diet.  Its principle is that everybody is different and requires very specific approaches to develop good health, free from illness and disease.

This method of hormonal profiling is being used to great effect and is a tool along with others (such as genetic profiling, blood/hair analysis, stool analysis) that provide information about the functioning of the body, so that we can make informed decisions about managing our health.

You will find that it is an approach that is based around what we need to be able function optimally.  All our systems should be in balance.  At Functional Trainer the technique is integrated into the established holistic approach, which enhances the management of factors such as exercise and nutrition.

Sign In to read articles on each hormone and BioSignature Modulation to get rid of stubborn body fat.

 

Find Out Your BioSignature Today

Call now for your FREE 15min Consultation

UK - 07792761324

 
BioSignature - The Hormone Link Overview
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BioSignature - The Hormone Link Overview

Column #27, 29th September 2007

How much do you know about hormones?  How many are there and what do they do in the body?  This knowledge could help us improve our health and fitness dramatically.  Today I will review several key hormones that regulate systems in the body to keep us in good working order.  Each one in turn will be investigated over the next few fortnightly articles.

As you read through, take note of anything that sounds familiar.  This could be your key to:

  • Increased energy levels
  • A stronger immune system
  • Prevention and Recovery from illness and disease
  • Fat loss (stubborn fat loss)
  • Improved sleep
  • A boost in training effects
  • Enhanced performance

Sign In to read articles on each hormone and BioSignature Modulation to get rid of stubborn body fat.

 

Cortisol

The main stress hormone.  When you experience stress, your body releases cortisol.  This activates bodily systems and enables you to act appropriately.  The problem that exists today is that stress is acting on us in many ways:

  • Incorrect nutrition and sleep patterns
  • Traffic Jams and Deadlines
  • Emotional situations
  • Over working / Over training
  • Bright lights and late nights

Although hard to control, if this is you, you are possibly disrupting the natural cortisol rhythm and therefore disturbing physical and mental health and immune function.

Insulin

Its primary role is in regulating blood-sugar levels.  Insulin also functions to store sugar and fat and aid in protein synthesis.  Obesity, blood sugar and Diabetic problems are well documented in relation to insulin and there are a number of steps from exercise to nutrition that can normalise the function of insulin and the workings of the pancreas.

Couple these associated problems with high stress levels (see above) and things get even more complicated.

Androgens and Estrogen

There is a lot of emerging evidence in the link between androgens and health and disease.  They are commonly known as male hormones and include testosterone.  It is important to note however, that both men and women require specific levels in order to prevent disease and promote adequate growth and repair.

It relation to this men and women require certain levels of estrogen.  Again, problems occur when there are inadequate or excessive levels of these hormones working in the body.

Thyroid

The master gland of metabolism and energy.  If you or anybody you know has experienced hypo or hyperthyroidism, you will have witnessed the effects that imbalances in thyroid hormones can have on human function.  If we can control the function of the thyroid gland then we can aid our well being in many ways.

Growth Hormone

If you have problems sleeping or often have interrupted sleep from waking babies or shift work, then your growth hormone may not be able to perform efficiently.  This is important because GH is a major regulator of growth until adulthood, and continues to contribute to growth and repair into adulthood.  Extremely important for those of us who wish to remain strong and healthy and reach new performance goals all through life.

If you need any more evidence to support the immense influence that hormones can have on the body, just consider the muscle-gaining effect of the anabolic steroid or the changes caused by hormonal fluctuations during menopause.

Sign In to read articles on each hormone and BioSignature Modulation to get rid of stubborn body fat.

 
BioSignature - The Cortisol Hormone Link
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BioSignature - The Cortisol Hormone Link

Column #28, 13th October 2007

 

If we are aware of the role that hormones have in our body, can we improve our health and avoid illness and ailments that have thwarted our attempts so far?  Emerging research suggests that hormones could be the critical link.  These chemical messengers are the engine of the body, while the nervous system is the throttle.

Cortisol:  A Stress Hormone

Cortisol is released in the body whenever we experience stress.  This enables the body to respond appropriately and has been necessary for human existence and survival.  It is cortisol that facilitates the fight-or-flight response that is essential to surviving a threat.  Without it we couldn’t effectively mobilise energy stores and draw on our strength and act.

However, this survival mechanism was not developed with modern-day contributors of stress in mind.  Stress includes;

  • Psychological / Mental (work, goal setting)
  • Physical (exercise)
  • Nutritional (malnutrition, digestive issues)
  • Chemical (toxicity from pollution)

There are many beneficial and detrimental examples for each stressor.  Physical stress in the form of exercise can promote well-being, but over-training can cause injury, immune suppression and illness.  You may suffer detrimental mental stress from pressures at work or a positive form from setting yourself goals that you enjoy and strive to achieve.

Why is High Stress Detrimental to Health?

Ideally (and simplistically), cortisol levels naturally rise in the morning and wake us.  During the day levels steadily decline and in the evening they are low enough to allow the body to be in a restful state (higher sleep hormones), ready for a quality, continuous night’s sleep until we rise again.

Disrupting this pattern are things like:

  • Stressful/busy jobs, traffic
  • Stimulants like caffeine
  • Alcohol, processed food
  • Over-training
  • Family and emotional stressors
  • Watching TV and bright lights at night
  • Eating and going to bed late

Chronically raised cortisol levels are linked to weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, fatigue, insomnia, low sex drive, suppressed immune function, cancer, anxiety depression, Alzheimer’s, poor gut health, osteoporosis, arthritis and accelerated aging.  A fantastic book to read up on this subject is ‘The Cortisol Connection’ by Shawn Talbott.

A Stress Reduction / Control Approach

Are You Stressed?  Considering the above, it is more than likely that you and most the people you know experience higher than ideal stress levels.  You may be at risk from the associated problems, or indeed suffer from them already.  So what do you do about Stress?

Reduce the stressors in your life?  Although extremely effective, ‘easier said than done’ is often the response to that.  However, this tow sided coin approach will work - reduce stressors and enhance your ability to deal with steess.  Your first focus to eradicate unnecessary stressors will typically involve improving sleep patterns, modifying nutrition, and programming exercise.

In reality there are those of us unable to maintain an ideal/normal cortisol pattern; can we just quit our stressful jobs or avoid the emotional demands of life?  In this case we need to support the above modifications with interventions such as specific stress-management techniques, enhanced exercise program design and greater nutritional and supplement support.

The correct use of these extremely effective interventions will provide you with the opportunity to control your stress levels and reach your potential in health and happiness. It is this holistic appreciation that is embedded into the approach at ‘Functional Trainer’ and the essence behind the ‘BioSignature’ Technique.

The BioSignature Technique and Cortisol Profiles

Studying with Charles Poliquin (founder of BioSignature Modulation), taught me that stubborn fat distribution around the umbilical site (tummy) is related to higher Cortisol/Stress levels.  When you assess your BioSignature you can quickly focus on your priorities for Nutrition, Exercise and Lifestyle, instead of shooting in the dark, or trying a one-size-fits-all approach.

Find Out Your BioSignature Today

Call now for your FREE 15min Consultation

UK - 07792761324


 
BioSignature - The Insulin Hormone Link
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BioSignature - The Insulin Hormone Link

Column #29, 27th October 2007

I have heard the hormonal system being described as a spider’s web; if you touch one part, the whole web moves.  Similarly, if one hormone is disrupted, the whole system (human function) will be affected.  How does this relate to our health if our dietary and exercise habits typically cause excessive demands on a hormone called Insulin?

What does Insulin do?

Its essential and primary role is in regulating blood sugar levels.  When we eat carbohydrates they are broken down into simple sugars and insulin’s job (with other hormones) is to prevent these levels getting too low or high.

What Causes the Disruption?

Our bodily systems have evolved over millions of years to function precisely with nutrients in their specific, natural form.  Deviation too far from this ideal (processed foods, cooking, malnutrition, over-farming), will cause the mechanisms by which we survive to fail and falter.  Furthermore if we are not utilizing these fuels with adequate functional activity, there may be further complications.

Let’s relate this specifically to insulin.  If the diet consists of refined, processed, starchy carbohydrates, then sugar is going to hit your bloodstream quickly.  The pancreas will respond by releasing insulin to stimulate our cells to uptake sugar.  With a long period of repeatedly poor diet and low activity levels, the cells in the body can become resistant to the insulin knocking at the door.  Consequently, control of blood sugar levels is impaired and problems arise.

Clearly, eating an unnatural, fad type diet is detrimental to health.  Yet it may seem surprising that even the ‘food guide pyramid’, still recommended by many health practitioners, could actually cause problems for insulin.  The suggested 6-11 daily portions of breads, cereals, rice and pasta is a very high amount of what is basically, sugar.  Curious?  Go compare the typical ‘food guide pyramid’ to the USDA guidelines for fattening cattle to find alarming similarities.

In addition, exercise also plays a major role in controlling blood glucose levels and the strain on insulin.

Manifestation of Disease

Through our dietary, exercise and lifestyle habits there are many ways that insulin levels may be disrupted.  If prolonged, we are at risk from many illness’ and diseases:

  • In the short-term: fluctuating energy levels, weight gain, poor mental functioning.
  • Over time: Acne, allergies, asthma, atherosclerosis, cancer, heart disease, fatigue, depression, adult onset diabetes, high blood pressure, peptic ulcers.

Controlling Insulin

We must control our blood sugar levels through nutritional and activity means.  By doing this we can switch off the fat-storage and turn on the fat-burning tendencies of the body.

The BioSignature technique provides a method that identifies any existing problems with insulin and a protocol that includes nutritional and activity modification and even further specific lifestyle and nutritional supplementation to bring the systems back into balance.

"It's - Get healthy to lose fat........Not - Lose fat to get healthy"

If we can control insulin then we will be able to lose excess body fat.  Insulin imbalances have even been directly related to larger deposits of body fat around the top of the hips.  Addressing the insulin problem will enable you to reduce fat from this specific area.

The BioSignature Technique and Insulin Profiles

Studying with Charles Poliquin (founder of BioSignature Modulation), taught me that stubborn fat distribution around the sub-scapular and supra-illiac sites (upper back and hip) are related to dysregulation of insulin and blood sugar issues.  When you assess your BioSignature you can quickly focus on your priorities for Nutrition, Exercise and Lifestyle, instead of shooting in the dark, or trying a one-size-fits-all approach.

Find Out Your BioSignature Today

Call now for your FREE 15min Consultation

UK - 07792761324


 
BioSignature - The Androgens Hormone Link
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BioSignature - The Androgens Hormone Link

Column #30, 10th November 2007

Today we will explore Androgens.  The aim is to highlight how important these hormones are in achieving and maintaining optimum levels of health.

What are Androgens?

Androgens have been described as any chemical with testosterone-like action.  They are the ‘male’ sex hormones.  That is not to say that they are not important for female function; the ovaries produce small amounts of testosterone.

There is a wealth of research that highlights the role of androgens in health and disease.  Androgens are responsible for:

  • the development of our reproductive organs
  • behavioural characteristics
  • growth and development
  • immune system function

Androgens and your Performance

Whether you desire to enhance your athletic performance or want to live a happy life in good health, you can benefit from being aware of the action of these hormones.  Research indicates that androgens have a role in treating disease states where loss of muscle mass occurs.  For any of us this is a critical point.  It suggests that if we want to maintain and increase muscle function (metabolism, strength, power, flexibility, coordination) for daily living, avoid injury and enhance athletic performance, we must have the correct levels of androgens in the body.

This relevance extends to the female where the level of testosterone is important for sexual response (libido), muscle strength and bone health.

Associated Problems

The ‘Functional Trainer’ approach appreciates that illness and disease may manifest itself from a variety of causes.  An imbalance in the function of the body will express itself somehow.  Excessive and deficient androgen levels have been linked to:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Infertility
  • Emotional well-being
  • Affected menopausal symptoms
  • Cancers (typically prostate and breast cancer).
  • Weight (body fat) gain.

Simple Steps to Take

Although you are advised to consult your health practitioner if you are concerned about your hormonal levels, the following is good advice to follow if you are looking to enhance your health and balance your levels of androgens:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Cut out excessive intake of refined carbohydrates (sugars)
  • Eat quality, lean protein (meat and fish)
  • Stay well hydrated
  • Establish any anaemic conditions that you may have.
  • Avoid any supplement that may interfere with androgen function (for example milk thistle)
  • Avoid alcohol.  Androgen synthesis could be disrupted and Oestrogens could become dominant in the body (feminisation).
  • Investigate your digestive function.  Are you able to use the quality foods that you are purchasing and consuming?
  • Sleep well.  Quality sleep will enhance your well-being in a variety of ways.

The BioSignature Technique and Androgen Profiles

Studying with Charles Poliquin (founder of BioSignature Modulation), taught me that stubborn fat distribution around the pec and tricep sites (chest and upper back of arm) are related to dysfunctional androgen levels.  When you assess your BioSignature you can quickly focus on your priorities for Nutrition, Exercise and Lifestyle, instead of shooting in the dark, or trying a one-size-fits-all approach.

Find Out Your BioSignature Today

Call now for your FREE 15min Consultation

UK - 07792761324


 
BioSignature - The Oestrogen Hormone Link
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BioSignature - The Oestrogen Hormone Link

Column #31, 24th November 2007

Why might drinking lager feminise the body?  Today we look at Oestrogen; the female sex hormone.  Whether it hurts the male ego or not, members of both sexes need to be aware of the importance of this hormone for our health.

What is Oestrogen and what does it do?

Oestrogens are the female sex hormones, but they are produced in males too and have important roles for both genders.  They have very specific biological activities in the body and having correct levels is important:

  • Normal oestrogen function (along with other hormones) is required for a controlled ovarian cycle and fertilization.
  • During Puberty;
  • Stimulates growth of reproductive organs.
  • A role in body hair and bone growth.
  • Determines pattern of fat distribution.
  • Could decrease insulin sensitivity, leading to blood glucose control problems.
  • Protects against bone loss
  • May have a role in regulating blood pressure.

Excess and Deficiency

Like most things, we need the right levels and balance of oestrogen.  If there is an excess, deficiency or dominance (from natural levels) in the body, there are invariably problems.  Although this depends greatly on gender and stage of life, the following problems have been associated with oestrogen imbalance:

  • Body fat accumulation (typically around the upper legs)
  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer in males
  • Osteoporosis / reduced bone health

Menopausal Considerations

Menopause, the cessation of menstruation marks the end of the reproductive years for the female.  This is accompanied by a drop in oestrogen production, which can lead to reduced bone mass / density.  This is of major consequence to our health and not something we should accept lightly, if we want to age without brittle bones and the fear of fractures.

Action to Take

Some health professionals believe that Hormone Replacement therapy (HRT) is beneficial post menopause to maintain hormonal levels.  However other health practitioners are sceptical about medicinal oestrogen and its side effects.  They believe that the body can produce adequate levels of oestrogen necessary to carry out its key non-reproductive functions.  The key point for us to take from this is that if we provide the right environment for our body and mind, then nature will provide us with good health.  However, can we expect to deal with fluctuations and changes as we age when our environment, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle has not been optimal for health.

High levels of oestrogens may be caused by xeno-oestrogens (toxins from outside the body), which mimic the hormone.  Steps to take are to avoid such toxins like fumes, pesticides and plastics and to nutritionally detoxify them.

Further prevention is in the form of regular suitable exercise and a quality nutritional intake, which is free from refined sugars and processed food.  In addition it is important to have a healthy digestive system and unfortunately alcohol is the main culprit of disrupting oestrogen levels.

Research

It is important to note that research is still developing our knowledge of the effects of this hormone.  It could be that levels are to naturally decrease at a certain age, without certain consequential problems.  Is this what nature intended and if we look after ourselves, does the body find a way of staying free of illness and disease?

The BioSignature Technique and Oestrogen Profiles

Studying with Charles Poliquin (founder of BioSignature Modulation), taught me that stubborn fat distribution around the quad and hamstring sites (thigh) are related to imbalanced Oestrogen levels.  When you assess your BioSignature you can quickly focus on your priorities for Nutrition, Exercise and Lifestyle, instead of shooting in the dark, or trying a one-size-fits-all approach.

Find Out Your BioSignature Today

Call now for your FREE 15min Consultation

UK - 07792761324


 
BioSignature - The Thyroid Hormone Link
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BioSignature - The Thyroid Hormone Link

Column #32, 8th December 2007

Could you have a thyroid imbalance?  What are the symptoms and what do we do to regain the balance?   In essence, a thyroid gland that is out of sync emphasises the importance of all the hormones that work in our body to keep it functioning smoothly.

The following is in no way meant as a diagnosis.  Any concerns you have should be discussed with your doctor.  Today we will consider what effects an underactive thyroid (most common) has on our health and well being.  The thyroid gland regulates metabolism and has an influence on just about every function of the body, so lets find out more……

Hypothyroid Symptoms Include;

  • General fatigue and sluggishness
  • Weakness and muscle aches
  • Weight Gain
  • Constipation
  • Intolerance to cold
  • Oedema
  • Decreased Libido
  • Depression and poor concentration
  • Memory loss
  • Dry skin and hair

The difficulty is that these can be vague and difficult to diagnose.  The following approach is suggested to enhance the diagnosis and treatment process.  It is designed to give you the confidence and tools to understand what is going on in your body and the to get back your energy levels and quality of life.

An Integrated Approach

-Allopathic Medicine: Health care that we are more accustomed to by Medical Doctors.  Typically, thyroid hormone supplements may be prescribed to bring the balance back.  Despite developments in other methods of treatment, this remains the most effective approach.

-Alternative Medicine:  Typically these are natural therapies like traditional Chinese medicine, which may implement acupuncture and herbal remedies.

Pulling the best of these two approaches together is your best option.  Take advantage of the developments in medicine and encourage the body to naturally heal itself.

Restoring Balance

So if the above symptoms seem familiar and you want to restore your energy levels and regain control of your health, investigating your thyroid could be the key.  It is worth noting that there may be some typical factors that are causing problems for us that we can already change.

There are no surprises here, as we should make sure that we find an enjoyable exercise regime and a good nutritional intake.  In addition to eating a variety of fresh foods that are free from toxins and processing, it is worth considering that it may be advisable to avoid some specific foods.  Fluoride in toothpaste and soy products are controversial in that there is some evidence that they have purported health benefits, yet emerging research suggests that they may inhibit certain functions of the body, including how effectively the thyroid works.

The BioSignature Technique and Thyroid Profiles

Studying with Charles Poliquin (founder of BioSignature Modulation), taught me that stubborn fat distribution around the mid-axillary site (ribcage) is related to imbalanced Thyroid hormone levels.  When you assess your BioSignature you can quickly focus on your priorities for Nutrition, Exercise and Lifestyle, instead of shooting in the dark, or trying a one-size-fits-all approach.

Find Out Your BioSignature Today

Call now for your FREE 15min Consultation

UK - 07792761324


 
BioSignature - The Growth Hormone, Hormone Link
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BioSignature - The Growth Hormone, Hormone Link

Column #33, 22nd December 2007

Over the past couple of months we have been considering the influence hormones have on our health.  Today we conclude this review of the major hormones with a focus on Growth Hormone.  How are its levels controlled and what are the health consequences of imbalance?

How has GH helped you so far?

GH is a major regulator of growth until adulthood, and continues to contribute to growth and repair into adulthood.  Extremely important for those of us who wish to remain strong and healthy and reach new performance goals throughout life.

If we want to get the most out of the role of Growth Hormone, then we need to appreciate the need for recovery.  Everything is balance and the Yin and Yang of health includes, of course, the exercise and movement that stimulates growth, strength and function, but also, in equal measures, the sleep and rest to enable that growth, repair and healing to take place.

Sleep and your Circadian Rhythm

As described in the Stress/Cortisol article, your circadian rhythm and therefore sleep cycles can be disrupted by many things (for example, work demands, travel, nutrition, meal timing, sugar).  Without optimal sleep, the body does not produce and benefit from the action of Growth Hormone.

Will the Festivities affect your sleep pattern?

Our health efforts often take a backseat in the priorities of the festive season.  This break from routine may actually bring psychological and physical benefits as we can allow ourselves to relax away from typical stressful and routine-based lives.

The majority of us will experience disrupted sleep patterns.  They may even improve for some of us.  Changes in the pattern and amount of sleep can have very interesting on your energy levels, immune strength, growth and general well-being.  This is not a guilt-trip.  I’m not quite suggesting that you change your plans for the next couple of weeks and get to bed by 10.30pm on 31st December.

Come January reflect on the quality of your sleep.  Over the long term such disruption could cause problems.  If you have problems sleeping or often have interrupted sleep from waking babies or shift work, then your growth hormone may not be able to perform efficiently.  Some small changes could help you:

  • Regain those energy levels
  • Prevent illness
  • Recover from athletic performance
  • Enhance training effects

Quick ‘Major Hormone’ Recap

Cortisol, (a stress hormone):  When you experience stress, your body releases cortisol.  The problem that exists today is that stress is acting on us in many ways.  Specific modulation of exercise, nutrition and lifestyle factors controls cortisol to enhance health.

Insulin (blood sugar control):  Obesity, blood sugar and Diabetic problems are well documented in relation to insulin and there are a number of steps from that can normalise the function of insulin and the workings of the pancreas.

Androgens and Oestrogen (sex hormones):  There is a lot of emerging evidence in the link between these hormones and health and disease.  It appears that there are an increasing number of stress related and environmental reasons for disruption (toxins etc).

Thyroid Hormone:  Imbalances can have a major affect on human function (including energy and weight gain).  Medicinal and Functional science has developed significantly to enhance our approach to dealing with excessively fluctuating levels.

The BioSignature Technique and Growth Hormone Profiles

Studying with Charles Poliquin (founder of BioSignature Modulation), taught me that stubborn fat distribution around the knee and calf sites are related to imbalanced Growth Hormone levels.  When you assess your BioSignature you can quickly focus on your priorities for Nutrition, Exercise and Lifestyle, instead of shooting in the dark, or trying a one-size-fits-all approach.

Find Out Your BioSignature Today

Call now for your FREE 15min Consultation

UK - 07792761324


 
The Metabolic Typing Diet
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The Metabolic Typing Diet

Column #25, 1st September 2007

Have you ever noticed that what works well nutritionally for somebody else doesn’t work for you?  As stated by William Wolcott in his book ‘The Metabolic Typing Diet’, “one man’s food is another man’s poison”.

The Principle of Biochemical Individuality

The Metabolic Typing Diet is founded upon the principle that we are genetically and therefore metabolically individual, with additional environmental considerations.  The food that we eat will have a very specific effect in our body.  For one person a high protein-based meal could have very beneficial effect, sustaining energy levels, maintaining weight and keeping us healthy.  However, the same meal could have opposite effects for another person; fluctuating energy levels, weight problems, illness and disease.

Treat the Cause or the Symptom?

What makes sense to you for long-term health?  Whichever nutritional approach you take to health, it should relate sensibly to what the body needs.  This is why fad diets will never seem to work over time.  If we get to the root of the problem and find out the cause, then we can work towards preventing the associated problem.

This represents a shift in how many of us approach our health.  The approach at ‘Functional Health Performance’ endeavours to encourage such a way of thinking.  If we only ever treat a symptom, we are in danger of always being one step behind what is actually going on.  Fighting a losing battle, plagued with illness and disease that will influence our quality of life.

Metabolic Imbalances and Chronic Disease

The process of Metabolic Typing determines any imbalances in the way your body is functioning.  If an imbalance exists, then chronic disease may follow:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Obesity
  • Colitis
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes

In simple terms, the body demands a quality range of ingredients (including enzymes, protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals).  With these on board all of the bodily functions and control mechanisms (including blood sugar, blood pressure etc) can be regulated.  This means that all the bodily systems (including cardiovascular, nervous, muscular, immune etc) can work soundly.  Clearly a disruption in the nutrients that are supplied to the body could disturb the process of the controls and systems and dysfunction can manifest itself as disease (cardiovascular etc).

Eating Correctly for your Type

You may be wondering what the ’types’ are.  Although there are many levels to Metabolic Typing, there are initially 3 different basic types.  You may be a Protein, Carbohydrate or Mixed type (as described by the Metabolic Typing Book).  This is where the emphasis of your nutrient intake lies.  This is what your body specifically demands to enhance its well-being.  My advice is to contact a Metabolic Typing advisor for a consultation and Advanced Testing.  The website www.healthexcel.com is a great place to find more information and advisors, where I am also listed.

 

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Individual Nutrition
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Individual Nutrition

Column #24, 18th August 2007

It is obvious to state that we are all individual.  Consequently, it seems logical to suggest that we have individually specific nutritional requirements.  Put abruptly, if we ignore this premise, we run the risk of developing ill health and disease.  Deficiencies and excessive intake of macro and micro nutrients can reek havoc with your system.  And guess what?  The food guide pyramid is probably not the answer…………….

Problems with the Pyramid

Think about it, when are you ever happy with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach?  Whilst such a method may be appropriate for some people, there are always those for who it is ineffective.  Eating the wrong food may manifest disease from cancer to digestive disorders and diabetes to heart disease.  This is a weakness of any diet out there that does not appreciate that we are biochemically varied beings.

A further cautionary point is the pyramid’s recommended level of grain and cereals intake.  The suggested wopping 6 to 11 servings are potentially dangerous to many.  However, this is a whole other debate.  A great book on the topic is ‘The No Grain Diet’ by Dr J Mercola.

Why are we Different?

What is it about us that means we need a different diet to the next person?

In his book ‘Biochemical Individuality’, Dr R Williams states that the human body is individual in every aspect from size and shape to the cellular level.  Our genetics determine these anatomical and physiological variations and relate to our specific nutritional requirements.

Unhealthy vs Healthy?

This is where it can get tricky.  The fact is that you could be eating what is classically defined ‘healthy’ (fresh, organic, local produce), but is actually not your ideal nutrition.  Your ideal might even be slightly or radically different to your partner or children’s requirements.  If this sounds like you then you are already on the way to achieving your optimal health and you just need to do some fine-tuning.

A Diet Specific to You

Sideline your preconceptions of what is considered classically healthy (often dictated by multi-nationals).  Raise your body awareness and perception of how you feel during and after you eat.  How does the body respond?  If you feel lethargic, sluggish, bloated, aggressive, depressed, then that food may not be for you.  What sustains your energy and leaves you satiated, able to concentrate increasing your productivity and makes you happy and emotionally stable?

All too often the above positives are not being achieved.  The simple fact is that they should and can be. How to get in tune:  Subsequent articles will cover two specific approaches; Metabolic Typing and BioSignature Modulation.  Based on scientific findings, practitioners will work on an individual level to find out what imbalances exist in your body chemistry and function and provide protocols to provide the body with the nutrients required to restore health and maintain ideal body weight.

Remember, your body is asking and waiting for the correct fuel to do its job and grow stronger.  All you have to do is supply it.

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The Dairy Debate
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The Dairy Debate

Column #19, 9th June 2007

Dairy; a good source of fats, protein and minerals like calcium, or a contributor to digestive dysfunction, asthma, poor sleeping patterns and allergies?  The advice on eating diary is conflicting and the answer probably lies in the source and quality of the produce and the individual’s ability to metabolise dairy.

Introduction

We eat diary in the form of milk, eggs, cheese, butter, yoghurt and other products like kefir.  Has mass production of many of these products has led to a reduction in the quality?  Remember, our body will strive to function perfectly if we treat it correctly and feed it with quality nutrients.

Benefits and Associated Problems

Milk

Commonly consumed, but the jury is out as to whether it’s doing us much good.  Milk is typically pasteurised.  This is to kill harmful germs.  Possibly un-required these days due to much improved sanitation of milk production.  The process of pasteurisation heats milk up to kill and damage protein structures, bacteria, microorganisms, enzymes and vitamins.  However, we require these to aid food digestion in the gut and build a healthy body. To find out more, read the great work done by the Weston A Price Foundation, www.westonaprice.org/index.

Non-pasteurized, raw, organic, grass-fed milk from quality producers is full of health promoting nutrients and bacteria.  Whilst controversial, sales of raw milk have been banned in Scotland since 1983.  The Food Standards Agency for England allows the sale of raw milk encouraging ‘informed choice’, making clear all the associated risks.  Visit www.realmilk.com to find your supplier of raw milk.

A Good Egg

Would you eat your eggs raw?  Given that they are good quality, free range, organic eggs some say that’s how we should consume them.  Dr Mercola’s book ‘Total Health Program’, suggests these steps:

1, Get them fresh and un-refrigerated.

2, Don’t eat if they have a cracked shell

3, when cracked open, there should be no foul odour, the egg white should be gel-like (not runny) and the yolk should be convex and firm.

When eggs are cooked, the proteins are denatured.  When eggs are scrambled, the protein is, well, scrambled.  Your digestive system has a harder time recognising this as a nutrient and is less efficient at metabolising it.  A great book that covers the many benefits of a raw diet is ‘Raw Energy’ by Leslie and Susannah Kenton.  It has actually been suggested that ingesting cooked food triggers an immune response.

Other Dairy Products

Cheese, Yoghurt and Kefir (yoghurt-like, made from raw milk) are other dairy products.  Ensuring that they have organic, raw and grass-fed origins, enhances the quality.

It is always worth considering that you should source your food carefully.  Make sure you are consuming quality produce that your body is going to do well on.  We are all biochemically different and it may be the case that your body is not set up to digest dairy products efficiently, even if it is organic.

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