Diets are two a penny these days, and so many of them are popular for a while and then fizzle out after a limited period of time.
I was sceptical about trying out the Genotype diet but because of the success and popularity of its predecessor “The Blood Type Diet” was so impressive – I was, however, excited too.
One of the things I like about the Genotype diet is that unlike most diets it doesn’t make the assumption that everybody is the same and should thus eat the same. It actually struck me before learning about Dr D’Adamo’s work that a large number of people had great results with the Atkins diet but many had a negative experience.
The Genotype diet is a comprehensive eating and lifestyle plan that is tailored to your genetic makeup, and works by grouping each person into one of six different categories or “Genotypes”.
The Different “Genotypes”
There are six different Genotypes which are:
The Hunter. Tall, thin, and intense, with an overabundance of adrenaline and a fierce, nervous energy that winds down with age, the Hunter was originally the success story of the human species.
The Gatherer. Full-figured, even when not overweight, the Gatherer struggles with body image in a culture where thin is “in.”
With a “Whoever dies with the most wins” motto, Gatherers have thrifty genes whose primary goal is to hang on to every ingested calorie for dear life — literally.
The Teacher. Strong, sinewy, and stable, with great chemical synchronicity and stamina, the Teacher is built for longevity — given the right diet and lifestyle.
The Explorer. Muscular and adventurous, the Explorer is a biological problem solver, with an impressive ability to adapt to environmental changes and a better-than-average capacity for gene repair.
The Warrior. Long, lean, and healthy in youth, the Warrior is subject to bodily rebellion in midlife. If Warriors are physically active, their metabolism burns hot; when they lead a sedentary life, they tend to put on the pounds with alarming speed.
The Nomad. A GenoType of extremes, with a great sensitivity to environmental conditions — especially changes in altitude and barometric pressure — the Nomad is vulnerable to neuromuscular and immune problems.
Discovering My “Genotype”
There are a variety of tests that are given to determine your Genotype including finding out your blood type, measuring the difference between your index and ring fingers and measuring your leg to body ratio. They are backed by some comprehensive calculator tables; using one of these it was very easy for me to determine my Genotype as a Hunter.
I am blood type O with ring fingers clearly longer than my index fingers on both hands; this was enough to determine my Genotype. This might sound like ‘new age hocus pocus’ but to back it up every physical thing typically associated with the Hunter Genotype applies to me, such as being symmetrical with a square jaw, ectomorphic body type (generally slim), and legs longer than the torso.
Also, the other typical features of a hunter apply to me, hair-trigger responses to infections, viruses, allergens, joint problems and depression (when I don’t exercise). This was enough for me to take this seriously. The slogan for a Hunter is “Shoot first, ask questions later.”, and superstar hunters include tennis star Maria Sharapova, Michael Jordan and Thomas Jefferson.
I was quite pleased to learn of my Genotype because Dr D’Adamo explains they probably have the best metabolism of all the genotypes, a Hunter is like a top of the line sports car requiring the highest quality gasoline.
Each Genotype has strengths and weaknesses, Hunters for example do not do well eating many of the foods introduced in more recent times such as wheat based foods and dairy products. They also do not function well without regular and intensive exercise.
What I should eat as a hunter:
In the book Dr D’Adamo recommends for a Hunter a diet high in meat, fish, certain vegetables, fruits, and juices. Some of the main things to avoid are all wheat based foods, dairy, pork and caffeinated drinks. Foods are broken down into categories, for example carbohydrates, fruits and live foods. Within each group there are super foods to emphasize and foods to limit or avoid.
Exercise as a hunter:
Each Genotype has different recommended exercise and for my Genotype exercises that are vigorous such as running or martial arts are of preference.
For some of the other Genotypes more relaxed exercises are advised. Do not worry if you are not into vigorous exercise because you may turn out to be one of the other Genotypes such as the Teacher – who should participate in less vigorous activities such as yoga.
When I first started the Genotype diet I made sure I ate mainly the recommended super foods such as beef, lamb, fish, and sweet potato.
As a life long tea drinker stopping caffeine was difficult but I found the replacements such as green tea and camomile tea made it easier. After a few days without caffeine I felt so much better, my thoughts were clearer, I slept better and didn’t get tired during the day.
The main thing I noticed was that within about two weeks fat that had built up around my waist disappeared. I was never really overweight but for years had some excess fat on my stomach; I believe it was all the bread I had been eating. Another thing I noticed is that my previously itchy and flaky scalp cleared up, and my skin started to look healthier.
Dr D’Adamo also recommends supplements for each Genotype, I tried several of them and my favourite is Rhodiola Rosea (Roseroot) which is used to get stress levels under control.
I definitely have found that I am less prone to stress since using this supplement. The other supplements have been beneficial too, something I have noticed is the skin around my fingernails no longer peels off like it use to and I put this down to both the diet and the supplements that were recommended.
Long Term Effects
I have been using the Genotype diet for over a year and a half and find that when I follow it I feel and look very healthy. I’m not always very strict with it but I know it’s always an option that works for me should I need it.
I now tend to follow the guidelines to the extent with which I feel I need to. For example I tend to limit dairy and wheat but on some other foods I’m not as strict. For example apples are not recommended for Hunters, but I do enjoy an apple every now and then.
I was worried that too much red meat would be bad for me so I decided to measure my cholesterol; the results I found were quite remarkable. After a year of eating 10-15 times the recommended red meat intake, my cholesterol measured only 1.97 mmol/L, under 2.6 is considered optimal and corresponds to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Genotype Diet Pros
- It’s a diet that is personalised to your genetic makeup rather than being a one size fits all diet
- Each Genotype has a vast array of food and drink to choose from
- Lots of support by way of forums, email tips and the Genotype diet website
- Many recipes are available on the website
- It works for me!
Genotype Diet Cons
- Eating out and dining with other people can be tricky
- May require some adjusting to the changes if for example you eat a lot of bread but it is not recommended for your Genotype
- Having different Genotypes within a family can make preparing meals tricky
To summarize: The Genotype diet definitely works for me. Maybe it’s just because it enforces sensible eating practices, but I don’t think so. The Genotype diet goes against the normal food pyramid and the way I feel when I use it is enough to convince me!
The Genotype Diet book by Dr D’Adamo is fantastic, and essential for following the diet. You can buy it here on Amazon.