By now, we’ve all heard the theory that not every calorie is equal. According to Gary Taubes, the controversial author of Why We Get Fat and Good Calories Bad Calories, our bodies metabolize fat, carbs, and protein differently. In the now legendary NYTimes article, Taubes argued that the human body more easily converts carbs into fat, and that we can lose body fat by consuming a protein-based diet. But recent studies suggest that each person might have a preferred source of energy: according to Randall Stafford, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine at Stanford University, “Genes may predict which people do better on which diet.” Your genes also largely determine the shape of your body, you can figure out which nutrient you metabolize most efficiently (meaning, it doesn’t get stored away as fat) by looking in the mirror.
Here’s an easy test:
Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. If it’s greater than 0.8, you are an APPLE. If it’s less than 0.8, you are a PEAR.
Type A: APPLE
Your Ideal Diet? High protein, Low carb.
When you gain weight, it goes to your midsection, and you crave sweets–both of which indicate that you don’t metabolize carbs efficiently. You need to limit the amount of carbs in your diet (optimally to around 25-30%) and increase protein to keep you satisfied. Watch out for healthy but sugary foods like smoothies and yogurt–and try not to exceed more than 3-4 servings of fruit a day. Fill up with plant-based protein for best weight loss results: try this vegan chickpea burger or summer roll with tofu and veggies, which only has 100 carb calories per roll–and zero gluten.
Type B: PEAR
Your Ideal Diet? Complex Carbs, Low Fat.
You carry your weight in your hips, thighs, and butt, and your guilty pleasure is greasy food. (In my case, yes, and yes–hel-lo, veggie tempura!) These are signs that you need to watch out for fat. The good news is that your body runs well on complex carbohydrates. Stay away from deep-fried or processed foods and focus on getting healthy fats from nuts, seeds, and avocado to flavor your food. Try the creamy avocado spinach pesto spaghetti or raw broccoli and wild rice salad with creamy tahini dressing.