A Personalized Diet - Metabolic Differences
We have relinquished self-responsibility and awareness in our eating habits as we have in so many other areas of our lives. Few people are in touch with themselves and knowledgeable enough about their own metabolism to design their own nutritional programs. We therefore follow patterns we learned as children, or the recommendations of experts," or the lead assumed by the advertising media. Because nutritional education is filled with talk of "norms," "minimum daily requirements," "average weights," and "ideal diets," it is easy to become confused and forget our uniqueness.
If you watch what people eat and observe their resulting bodies, you soon realize that what works for one may be the downfall of the other. One friend consumes huge quantities, has tremendous energy, rarely gets sick, and never gains weight. Another generally eats sparingly and yet constantly battles overweight. A chronically overweight woman complains that she merely has to drive past a bakery shop and she puts on a few extra pounds!
The realization that differences exist in the ways our bodies metabolize food was offered by Dr. George Watson of the University of Southern California in the 1960s, when he observed the different effects that foods had on people's emotions.* Around the same time, Roger J. Williams, PhD, was developing his similar theories expressed in his book Biochemical Individuality. Williams remarks: "If normal facial features varied as much as gastric juices do, some of our noses would be about the size of navy beans while others would be the size of twenty-pound watermelons."
Williams believes that we all come into life with unique biochemical needs that can be met only with a proper balance of nutrients. Failure to supply these nutrients in the right amounts results in disease.
Furthermore, what is excessive for one may be insufficient for another. According to Williams, there is no such thing as the "average" man or woman.
Our metabolic needs are all subject to periodic fluctuations as well. The change from summer to winter, falling in love, preparing for a crucial exam, the death of a dear one - each of these factors will alter the body's chemistry and motivate a change in eating habits. Yet these factors are rarely appreciated and honored. Our diets are imbalanced because we often don't know what we really need. The paradox is that few of us give our automobiles as little preventive care as we give our bodies.
* Journal of the Nutritional Academy,
Vol. II, No. II (August 1979)."