October 09, 2020 3 min read

Have you tried a diet that works wonders for a friend, only to find it doesn't work for you? You aren't alone. The good news is that research may have found the reason for it — bio-individuality.

What Is Bio-Individuality?

Every human's genetic code is unique. Your code is influenced by your environment, lifestyle and chemistry, which subsequently influence your nutritional needs. Your individuality is the reason that a diet that works for your friend may not work for you. There simply isn't a one-size-fits-all approach.

For example, people with certain genetics may be predisposed to food intolerance, which may cause joint pain, brain fog or bloating, according to Harvard Medical School. Consuming foods you are sensitive to can make weight loss more difficult.

How Bio-Individuality Affects Your Diet

The combination of your bio-individuality, current health and wellness goals all influence what your optimal diet looks like.

First, consider the macronutrient range which can be adjusted based on individual needs and goals. This is the amount of each nutrient that should make up your total daily calories:

  • Protein: 10% to 20%
  • Healthy Fats: 20% to 40%
  • Carbohydrates: 40% to 65%

These ratios can change because of an underlying health condition, life-changing event or even your genetics:

  • Premenopausal hormonal changes can lead to weight gain. A study published in Menopause Review states a diet of 20%-25% fat, 20%-25% protein and 40%-50% carbs may facilitate weight loss for women undergoing these hormonal changes.
  • If you're training for a marathon, your body will need more carbs for optimal performance. A study published in Frontiers in Nutrition suggests that female endurance athletes should aim to eat 8 grams of carbs and 1.2 to 1.6 grams of protein for every 2.2 lbs. of body weight.
  • If you're trying to gain muscle, increasing protein may help you reach your goal, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
  • Research suggests that people who are trying to control their blood sugar might benefit from reducing their carb consumption the short term to rebalance healthy levels.

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It might take some trial and error to find the best macronutrient ratios for you, a good place to start is by eating:

  • Three servings of high-quality protein, which could include: beans, chickpeas, quinoa, hemp hearts, grass-fed and finished beef, wild-caught seafood and pasture-raised poultry and eggs.
  • At least seven to nine servings of fresh produce, organic where possible and aim to include a variety of colors. Fruit and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber.
  • Incorporate complex carbohydrates including a variety of root vegetables and gluten-free grains.
  • Approximately one to three tablespoons of fat per meal from healthy sources including extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocado, raw nuts and seeds.

A key to long-term success is to incorporate the foods you enjoy. Experiment with new foods and recipes to find what you love and also what makes your body feels its best.

Explore Your Genetic Code With Lab Testing

There are a few ways to discover your body's unique needs. If you regularly experience symptoms from certain foods, this is your bodies way of signaling to you that there is an imbalance.

A food sensitivity test provides insight into what foods to avoid, limit and enjoy. At-home comprehensive vitamin, mineral and digestion tests can uncover nutrient imbalances, heavy metal overload and levels of yeast and bacteria in your gut. Equipped with this knowledge, you'll have some of the best tools to help tailor an appropriate nutrition plan for you.

Build a Personalized Wellness Plan

Once you receive your lab results, you will meet one-on-one with a health coach who will explain them to you and give you the confidence to implement a suitable strategy. In a recent peer-reviewed study published in Nutrition, nutritional coaching led to improvements in short-term and long-term weight maintenance as well as healthy behavior changes.

And when your friends want to know your secret, you can tell them it was a plan as unique as you are, crafted through an understanding of your own bio-individuality.