So…. body typing.

On thursday I wrote about Somatyping. It’s a valid and widely used form of body typing to determine a relatively specific form of metabolic process. In that post I mentioned a far more in-depth form of body typing that I use MUCH more aggressively. That of course spurned interest in hearing more about that.

So, I will attempt to informally simplify this concept. Should you be curious in more formal reading as to the studies and findings, I can certainly point you to the books/papers/research that has been done… but that is not the purpose of this post. I will use analogies, that will of course be flawed, and I will use logic to attempt to explain what is better displayed with research. All of these things exist. But here, we’re just gonna have a little chat.

You have a dominant hand. You do. You have a dominant eye, and a dominant foot as well. Most often these three are the same, making someone just “right-side” or “left-side” dominant. However, there ARE people with strange dominance issues. Like people that are “right hand/ Left eye dominant” (this is discovered by people in shooting sports fairly frequently). There are people who are ambidextrous, by birth or training, but even they have a SLIGHT dominance.

Now, just because I happen to be right-handed, or my brother left-handed, it does not, in ANY way affect the effectivity of our non-dominant hand. My left works just fine. Sure, I can’t write as legibly with it. But I can catch a ball, throw a ball, pick something up, button a shirt… Yep, my left works just fine. My body/brain has just “decided” that when it comes to quick reactions and fine motor skills, its gonna put the line-share of the work on Mr. Righty. It’s a concept that is so utterly common-place, that no-one much thinks about it.

So that is the core concept. Your body “selects” things to be the “go to”. Not because its better… just cuz. This doesn’t stop externally. Your body ALSO selects a dominant gland. A hormonal regulator that is selected to be the throttle on your particular metabolism. And, just like an expert can look at hand-writing and definitely tell if a person is right or left handed. Or a Tracking expert can look at foot prints and tell whether someone is right or left footed… so can a person look at a physique and determine which gland is dictating to the rest of the body. There is NO “good” body type, or “bad” body type…. there is just DIFFERENT body types. And these, are they:

Adrenal, Pituitary, Thyroid, Gonadal; or As I will refer to them here out: A, P, T, G. (point of interest, SOME research has a fifth)

Each of the four female body types (males don’t have a G body type), are displayed externally in fairly unique and predictable ways, but to be REALLY clear, there are TONS of strange loopholes and exceptions. Body types are REALLY hard to determine on the very thin, or the very heavy, and genetics can always throw us a weird curve ball. But these are SIMPLY put.

“A” body type. Or sometimes referred to as the “inverted triangle” or “Apple” body type is displayed by broader shoulders, typically larger breasts, narrower hips, a rounder bottom.

“G” body type. Or “Triangle” or “Pear” is displayed by narrower shoulders, typically smaller breasts, wider hips, larger bottom, and thicker legs.

“T” body type. Or “Hourglass” (no fruit for this one), is commonly displayed by wider shoulders, larger breasts, narrow waist to wider hips, and typically a fairly flat bottom.

“P” body type. Or “rectangle” or “banana”, is commonly displayed long and lean. Whether it is narrow or wide it is a relatively straight line.  Hips, to waist to shoulders is pretty straight, typically not curvy in the breasts or bottom.

Quickly for the men, its all fairly similar.  But a few inconsistencies.
T: Broad shoulders, small waist, a little bit like an inverted triangle (don’t be confused, because in WOMEN thats an A.. NOT in men).   (matthew mcconaughey, Channing Tatum)

A: Broad shoulders, straight line to hips.  “Barrel chested” (Hugh Jackman, Laird Hamilton)

G:  NONE (all men have dominant Gonads, not being crude… just science)

P: Longer, leaner, usually gains weight, gains weight all over at first, but then in his stomach/lovehandles.

So, now that you have this information, what are you supposed to do with it?  Here is where it starts to get more complicated to simplify.

Each gland is stimulated by different things.  So, technically speaking, each body type will be prone to different cravings (obviously tastes, and background effect this a lot) but strictly speaking:
“P”s are stimulated by dairy: Craving, cheese, yogurt, milk, etc etc
“T”s are stimulated by Starches: Be it pasta or a snickers, sugar drives the thyroid
“A” is stimulated by FAT/PROTEIN:  Meat, butter, eggs,
“G” is stimulated by fat/oils/spices: Harder to be simplify to specifics, but creamy, robust, or spicy food.

But Kirk, what does this all mean?

Basically, just like if I threw you a ball, and yelled “think fast”, your dominant hand would 9/10 times be the one to reach up and grab it.  It reacts the fastest.  When something needs doing, your dominant hand gets it done.  EVEN if you INJURE your dominant hand, it is usually the stabbing pain of attempting to use it that reminds you to use the other.  Your brain/system just learns to rely on this thing.  So, what does that have to do with the above list of stimulating foods?

When eating regularly, a well balanced meal, your digestive system chooses the “best fuel first”, and saves the rest for later… so, to explain:
I (who am a T body type) go to eat with my buddy Carson (who is an A body type).  We go to an italian restaurant and BOTH order the same Spaghetti in red sauce (no meat).  His body, will take a look, see all the nutrients, but not see anything overly preferably, so it will break down the food appropriately and use it as the fuel it is designed for.  His insulin and glucose will rise, as they should, his energy will peak, as it should and fall, as it should.  It will break down the starches, the proteins, and all other nutrients.  In absence of its stimulant it will behave normally.

 HOWEVER, my body will see the pasta and go, SCREW EVERYTHING ELSE.  It will QUICKLY breakdown the starch, sending it to EVERY part of my body quickly.  My insulin will quickly rise, I will experience a SPIKE in energy, but also because my thyroid is so efficient I will also crash faster than my friend.  My body sees this as a good thing, look how GREAT that fuel was, but in a real world scenario it was far from ideal, especially due to the fact that in the background, all the other food, was told:  “Don’t worry, you chill we got this”… and was turned to fat.  In the presence  of the stimulating nutrient, nearly everything else is ignored.

However, if my friend ordered the spagetti, as he did, and I ordered, chicken marinara.  Our bodies would react very similarly, neither finding its “rocket fuel” both operating as advertised.  If we traded dinners, we’d have effectively BOTH be eating 100% wrong.

Then you add the food addiction angle.

If you are sluggish, tired, depressed, anxious, or in any form of distress physically, your body’s natural reaction is to “self-medicate”.  It knows that it can stimulate a quick, easy endorphin response with a specific type of food.  (Please take note, ice cream, actually falls into ALL FOUR CATEGORIES… just funny).  So now, you are munching on “X” be it beef jerky, or a snickers.  This is stimulating your body and giving it “pure energy”, but now any nutrients you give your body will just turn to fat.

So, if you understand fully what your body is doing with food, in some ways the HEALTHIEST thing to do, is lean on your NON-dominant “hand”.  As a “T” body type, I do have to be very weary of too many carbs, as they negatively effect my bodies readiness and willingness to process other foods, that is not to say I avoid carbs, it just means I have to use them as a tool, and not rely on them as a core nutrient, as other body types can.

I feel we’ve covered the basics today.  I know its all over the place, but that really is the broad strokes.  Ask your questions and I’ll be sure to respond.


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