There are no shortages of diets in the world. You can go keto, paleo, Whole 30, gluten-free, low FODMAP, South Beach, Atkins, carnivore… It’s a lot.
The information about these diets is abundant and we spend a lot (a lot) of time researching, planning, meal-prepping, and scrolling to educate ourselves on how to count macros or make the ultimate paleo version of cookie dough. We commit a lot of time and energy into learning how to be healthier or more fit, but what a lot of people are not doing is taking the time do the most important research – on our own bodies.
How do you know if a diet is going to work for you if you don’t really know your own body? And I’m not talking about the problem areas we see in the mirror – I’m talking about the inner workings of our own bodies and the vital systems that we need to function properly every day.
If you’re struggling to lose weight or don’t have the energy to hit your workouts with intensity, there are probably some underlying issues that should be addressed or at least examined before adjusting macros or conditioning. I know for me, I was struggling to lose weight even though I was exercising with intensity every single day. It turned out that my testosterone levels were extremely low and I was on the hypothyroid end of the spectrum – a perfect storm for making it nearly impossible for me to lose weight.
But I wouldn’t have known this if I didn’t take an extremely important first step in my personal fitness journey – getting my bloodwork done!
So, instead of ‘dieting’ – and I think the entire world can benefit from eliminating that word from our vocabulary – start focusing health and what your own unique and beautiful body needs. Get to the doctor every year for your well checks, but also get your bloodwork done by a medical professional or clinic that specializes in hormone therapy to find out if your hormones are in balance, if your thyroid is functioning properly, and if there are any deficiencies that might be impacting your overall health.
And while you’re getting that blood work done, make sure you grab your blood type.
And here is why….
I am a big proponent of writing about things I have tried myself and the latest thing I have done for my personal health goals is getting a complete blood work-up done so I have all the information I need about my own body. I have had a long-time problem with gut health, inflammation, slow metabolism, and energy. As a single mom approaching 37, I want to look good, but I also wanted to stop feeling like garbage everyday at 2:00 pm.
The daily fatigue was real and it was starting to impact my ability to be a high performer at work, at home, and at the gym. I was beyond frustrated with my fatigue, so I made the best investment in my personal health I have ever made – I hired a trainer who focuses on holistic health and who personalized a program based on my actual body and blood type.
Yes, my blood type!
Believe it or not, our blood type is an incredible indicator of foods that can cause inflammation, gut problems, or hinder weight loss. I might have cried a little when I saw coffee and peanut butter pop up on my ‘Avoid’ list, but I got over it once I started to feel BETTER.
I wanted to understand more about this approach to personal health, so I went straight to the person that was building my program and who personalizes health and nutrition plans for some of the highest performing athletes in the amateur and professional bodybuilding circuit, IFBB Pro Michelle Lindsay.
Michell is certified with the The Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) as a Holistic Health Coach and National Academy of Sports Medicine – NASM as a Personal Trainer.
Why is it important to get blood work done?
Michelle: Nothing captures a more accurate view of what’s going on on the inside quite like bloodwork. It’s so important to get regular blood work to make sure our bodies are not deficient and functioning optimally.
Your blood can tell a great deal about your current state of health! Bloodwork is one of the most common preventative medical services, and when performed regularly, blood work can reveal health concerns before they become major issues.
Whether you are five or eighty-five, having regular blood work is important because it helps your doctor identify problems – if there are any – and makes it possible to give accurate recommendations for lifestyle changes, fitness and nutrition advice, and for optimizing your overall health.
What is the philosophy behind the blood type diet?
Michelle: A blood type diet is one that makes health and nutrition recommendations based on our unique genetic individuality. A person’s blood type is an important tool for understanding how they will react to various types of food, habits, and stressors.
A blood type diet operates on the premise that people with different blood types (O, A, B, AB) should eat corresponding foods and develop other lifestyle habits that are most suitable to their specific genetic makeup.
Why do you recommend the blood type diet for your clients?
Michelle: Due to the variability in a person’s chemistry, a person’s blood type is said to determine which types of foods he or she will be able to digest best — for example, animal proteins or fruits — as well as which types they will most likely struggle with. In doing so, we are able to reduce inflammation, digestive issues, auto-immune conditions, and even eliminate the need for certain prescription medications over time.
By reducing/eliminating inflammation in the body it is much easier to achieve an overall learner body composition that is maintainable.
What are the benefits to blood type dieting vs a traditional “diet”?
Michelle: One of the most important factors in maintaining weight and a healthy lifestyle is a person’s diet. But for some people, no matter how strictly they adhere to a diet, those pounds won’t come off. Our bodies process food differently based on our divergent blood types, foods that are considered “healthy” are not always healthy choices universally.
Traditional “diets” are referred to as “diets” because they are not made to be sustainable, they are aimed more towards a quick fix with short-term results.
Blood type dieting is a more lifestyle approach, teaching us how to feed ourselves to be our healthiest for life. The knowledge I pass on to my clients will allow them to take this with them for the rest of their lives, helping them better understand their bodies and how they function and feel at their best.
How was the blood type diet impacted your own personal health journey?
Michelle: As a Holistic Health Coach, discovering blood type dieting not only changed my life, but has helped me change the lives of so many other men and women.
I have been able to maintain my overall health/wellness with a strong immune system and a very lean body composition over the years almost effortlessly. It has been some of the most valuable knowledge I’ve acquired and gives me so much balance to enjoy life. It brings me so much joy to pass this on to my clients.
To learn more about Michelle or to follow her own coaching advice, visit her website at https://mlindsayfitness.com/.