There are so many different diet plans and weight-loss programs out there all the terminology can get confusing. In this article we’re covering two that appear to have some crossover. The keto diet and a fat-protein efficient body, which is a term that originates from the metabolic typing diet.
If you’ve never heard of any of these terms and are just looking to lose some weight, this article is for you. And if you are familiar with the keto and metabolic typing diets and wondering if they’re compatible, then this article is also for you. Basically, there’s something for everyone.
The keto diet was developed in the 1930s as a treatment for epilepsy in children. The unexpected side benefit was that it also helps people lose weight, and so the keto diet rose to weight-loss prominence.
The point of the ketogenic diet is to get your body into ketosis, a metabolic state that burns stored fat for energy and releases ketone bodies as a byproduct. That’s how you know you’re in ketosis—your ketone levels are at or above 0.5 mmol/L, which you can check using a ketone test strip.
On a keto diet, you don’t just lose water weight. You lose stubborn fat that’s been clinging to your frame for decades. The keto diet has also been shown to lower blood sugar levels and increase concentration and energy.
So why isn’t anyone and everyone on the keto diet?
Well, because it isn’t the easiest diet to follow. It significantly reduces carbohydrate intake and increases fat and protein intake. In order to switch your body’s metabolic activities to ketosis you’ll have to follow a daily macronutrient breakdown of:
That’s just 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day depending on how physically active you are. It’s a hard ask for such a carb-dominant society.
Especially considering the average/acceptable macronutrient distribution range (AMDR) breaks down to:
That’s quite the flip!
Still, the keto diet is the most popular diet in America, with hundreds of thousands…quite possible millions…singing its praises.
And many of the stumbling blocks of the keto diet…such as the keto flu and the sacrifice of giving up your favorite sugary and starchy foods…can be avoided with the help of keto supplements and yummy recipes. Once you learn how to eat for ketosis, your taste buds will be more than satisfied.
However, the keto diet is a one-size-fits-all prescription for weight loss. If you’re looking for a more individualized program, then the metabolic typing diet may intrigue you.
Like the keto diet, the origins of the metabolic typing diet can be traced back to the 1930s, when researcher Weston Price traveled around the world to study the effect of eating patterns on the development of chronic degenerative diseases.
He discovered that every person’s dietary needs are different, as we all have a different makeup of body composition, hereditary traits, and environmental and cultural circumstances, and these differences influence our digestive systems and metabolisms.
Price was onto something, and researchers George Watson, Roger Williams, and Willam Kelly expanded on his findings by highlighting the two factors that determine an individual’s metabolic body type.
The metabolic typing diet classifies people as either sympathetic or parasympathetic dominant according to the two branches of the nervous system.
The sympathetic system burns energy quickly and is responsible for the fight-or-flight response, while the parasympathetic system conserves energy and is responsible for relaxing the body and slowing down high-energy functions.
The metabolic typing diet also classifies people as slow oxidizers or fast oxidizers according to how quickly their cells turn food into energy. Fast oxidizers are advised to eat proteins and fats that take a while to digest, while fast-burning carbs are better for slow oxidizers.
The metabolic typing diet categorizes people into 3 body types:
The fat-protein efficient body type is classified as a parasympathetic dominant fast oxidizer who thrives on high-fat and high-purine proteins and foods and low-starch carbs. Fat-protein efficient bodies are able to metabolize energy better from foods such as:
Apart from the whole grains, many of the above foods are keto approved. While the macronutrient breakdown is different for the fat-protein efficient body—45-50% protein, 30-35% carbohydrates, 20% fats—it is reasonable to assume that a fat-protein efficient body type would also do well on a keto diet, which emphasizes fats and proteins and downplays carbs.
The fat-protein efficient body also has some distinguishing features:
If that doesn’t sound like you, then you may be a carbohydrate efficient body that is sympathetic dominant and a slow oxidizer. Do you have…
If that sounds like you, proponents of the metabolic typing diet would definitely not recommend attempting a keto diet, as they would advise eating a significant portion of your calories from carbs, to the macronutrient tune of:
They recommend those calories come from foods like:
Then there are the mixed metabolic types who are neither sympathetic or parasympathetic dominant nor fast or slow oxidizers and do best eating a balanced diet of low and high purine proteins and carbs.
Here’s a quick run-down of mixed body type characteristics:
Mixed-macronutrient body types may also do well on a keto diet, so if you’re interested in seeing how your body reacts to ketosis and think you may also be a mixed body then a 1:1 experiment may be warranted.
So what’s it going to be? Keto….metabolic typing…neither?
One benefit the two diets have in common is the emphasis on eating real, whole foods rather than refined and processed foods that are stripped of nutrients. That’s a takeaway worth applying regardless of the type of diet you try.
And the cons of both are that they can be restrictive and potentially limit balanced nutrient intake, such as fiber, if you aren’t careful to get your macronutrient needs met with the appropriate foods.
As with any diet it takes vigilance and commitment. We wish you both as you embark on your dietary adventures!