We at Active Image take a holistic approach to health and fitness. Every program is individually tailored to your goals, lifestyles and needs. So we are excited to present this information to you on eating and exercising for your needs as it fits right in with our mission. No two bodies are alike so it makes sense that neither should your fitness or meal plans and at Active Image you can be sure that each program we design will be specific to your needs. Enjoy the article!
It seems that we are bombarded daily with health and fitness information from every possible source and much of it is contradictory! What do you do -- your friend tells you one thing and the latest magazine tells you the opposite; your pharmacist tells you a different dosage than you read on a web-site. So how do you learn what you need in an industry that seems to contradict itself?
There is one expert who always knows what’s best for you – that’s yourself! Your body is a perfectly regulated system; it knows exactly what it needs; it will always let you know how well you did in supplying its needs, if you learn how to interpret your own "body language”!
Since no two bodies are the same, it makes sense that no two exercise programs or meal plans should be the same. To learn what is right for your body, let’s take a look at some of the factors to consider in determining the best types of food and exercise.
There are numerous diets – almost as many as there are people! The most popular ones at the moment are low carbohydrate including the South Beach, Atkins and Zone diets. (The term “zone” refers to optimizing the body’s metabolism through a diet containing a certain ratio of protein, carbohydrates and fat.) Low Fat Diets became very popular in the 80’s and many people still follow them today.
Why do some diets work for some people and not for others? There isn’t one diet that fits everyone’s needs -- no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ diet. This is because we all process nutrients very differently; some people metabolize proteins better, while others are better at metabolizing carbohydrates.
The key is to learn what’s right for your body, considering several factors most importantly, your metabolic type as well as blood type, any food sensitivities, level of physical activity and stress levels.
Let’s examine metabolic typing in more detail. Start by eating the proportions of proteins, fats and carbs according to your taste and appetite. Next, listen to your body to find out if your choices were the optimum ones! Within a few hours make a note of your energy levels, mental acuity, ability to focus, feelings of satiety, any sweet cravings or need to snack before the next meal. You will be able to pick up cues as to whether your body needs more carbohydrates or more proteins.
Here are a few tips to help you eat the right foods for you
Have you ever followed the “perfect” exercise program only to find out that it doesn’t work for you? Like diets, there are no one-size-fits-all exercise programs! It should be tailored to your goals, body type, genetics, time availability, stage of life (pregnant, stressed, age) and metabolism. If your metabolism does not match the type of activity or sport you’re doing, you will probably find it more difficult.
Let’s look at body typing as one example:
What Is Your Body Type
To get the most from our exercise programs, we need to know to which of the three basic body types we belong: endomorph, mesomorph, or ectomorph. Each of these has specific characteristics that respond best to different types of workouts:
|Physical characteristics||Tall and thin. Thin chest small hips, petite (Prince)||Strong bones, soft, round, curvy appearance (Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce)||Athletic appearance, medium to large frames, wide shoulders (Madonna)|
|Metabolic characteristics||Fast metabolism. Slow muscle gains||Slower metabolism. Likely to carry a little excess body fat||Can gain and lose weight easily|
|Training Tips||Weight loss comes easy. Naturally fit. Will benefit from weight training-work compound exercises- squats, push ups-||Naturally strong. Quick to gain muscle.- isolation exercise for individual muscles, lateral flyes, bicep curls, need lots of cardio||Responds well to both resistance and aerobic training|
|Training negatives||Slow to gain muscle. Too much cardio. can cause weight loss||Finds it difficult to lose weight.|
Needs to work on fitness.
|Can become over trained quickly. Variety is the key.|
In choosing your exercise routine, always consider your preferences since you are more likely to stick with an activity that you enjoy. Of course any physical limitations have to be considered; for example, running might not be a good choice if you have lower back pain or arthritis.
Once you’ve made the commitment to begin a program, contact a fitness professional for assistance in determining training guidelines such as frequency, intensity, type and duration (time). This is know as the FITT principle .
Following are some sources to learn more about somato (the fancy name for “body”) typing and metabolic typing.
The Metabolic Typing Diet by William Wolcott and Trish Fahey
Cathy Morenzie © April 2004