Gaining weight with age can be difficult for most of us. I recently explored the Atkins Diet and the Genotype Diet in order to maintain a healthy weight as I grow older.
Gaining weight is new to me since I was always petite to the point of being too thin throughout my life. I can’t credit my thinness to healthy eating because thinness was in the gene pool within my family. Both of my parents were thin as rails and could eat anything they wanted without regard to calories. I was one of five children in the family and every one of us inherited that same enormous appetite and the ability to indulge.
As time went on, I noticed that both my parents began to gain a few pounds as they aged, however, neither of them ever became obese but remained near the upper limits of weight for their height. Neither of my parents were diabetic or had other health issues stemming from overeating. As the decades progressed, my mother’s blood pressure became an issue and she ended up having a number of strokes. She lived into her early 80s even after having several major strokes and having hip replacement due to osteoporosis. My father died at age 63 from cancer of the esophagus. No real warning with this disease, just a few very minor symptoms (hiccups and indigestion) and then the diagnosis of cancer. He lived less than one year after his diagnosis.
Looking closely at my family history, I also began to look at my own eating habits and my own health issues. While I do have osteoporosis, I do not have high blood pressure or diabetes. My weight, just as my parents’ weight, began to slowly increase as I reached middle age, which put me closer to a normal weight for my 5’2″ frame. It was difficult for me at that time to feel a few “extra” pounds just because I had always been too thin in the past.
As I’ve entered the decade of my 60s, I currently find myself at the upper limits of normal weight for my height. I am somewhat uncomfortable in that position and would like to eliminate a few of those pounds just for the sake of good health. I think it is better to prevent health issues and diseases as much as possible and many of those problems are directly related to our diets.
Over the past decade, I have looked into the Atkins Diet and the Genotype Diet. I was suddenly thrust into studying diet plans in order to help my diabetic husband with his eating schedule and I began to eat more like a diabetic myself. Even though I was cutting back on carbohydrates, I was taking in too many calories. This was due to my eating (socially) with my husband who has the need for food every couple of hours. As the scales kept inching higher and higher, I knew I needed to make some changes for myself.
Initially we both tried the Atkins plan and it worked exceptionally well for him, but not for me. I felt sick because of all the extra amounts of meat in this dietary plan. My stomach simply would not tolerate large amounts of meats.
Next, I looked into what was formerly known as the Blood Type Diet and is now the Genotype Diet. This is not a “diet” in the sense of the word used to signify weight loss, but is, instead, a way of life that is based on one’s genetic factors and blood type.
I am a blood type A and my Genotype is “Teacher”. One of the first things I noticed about being a blood type A is that we cannot tolerate red meat and need only very small amounts of fish, turkey and chicken. The bulk of our dietary needs are plant based. In contrast to that, my husband is a blood type O and his diet is based on large amounts of meats, which is why Atkins worked so well for him and not for me.
I started following some of the Type A Plan and found that I felt better. The food focus for a Type A “Teacher” is largely vegetarian, or at least a variation of vegetarian. Fresh vegetables,fruits and grains are the friends of “Teachers” and my body responded very well to the new eating program. I find that I am able to eat fewer calories and actually have more energy.
I also noticed that many of the foods that are appropriate for my blood type are foods that I have naturally been drawn to in the past. Of course, that is not true of every food, but many of them have been lifelong favorites. I still take exception to bananas being a toxic food for me, but nevertheless, that is what the book says so I avoid them now. Instead, I choose pineapple because it is a beneficial fruit for my blood type.
The Genotype Diet is broken down into six Genotypes and is based on one’s blood type along with other factors that are explained in Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo’s book, “The Genotype Diet”.
There are also levels of compliance with this eating style and I must confess that I’m not deeply entrenched into the plan myself. I have begun to explore it and like the results that I’ve had to date. (You might say that I’m swimming in the shallow end of the Gene Pool). It is one of many dietary plans and lifestyles that are available to anyone to who is looking for a better way to eat in order to be healthier and generally feel better. If complying with this blood type plan helps to ward off some of the genetic diseases and disorders that do run in my family, then so much the better. Right now, I am just happy to be able to eat in a way that makes sense to my body.
“The Genotype Diet” by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo