You feel like you’re doing everything right, health-wise. You eat salmon and quinoa, you exercise regularly, you even take the stairs. But if you're still plagued by midday lethargy, digestion issues or just can't lose weight, you might want to take something unorthodox into consideration—your blood type According to Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo, author of Eat Right 4 Your Type, whether you’re an A, B, AB or O, your blood type reveals eye-opening things about your personality and your body's needs. Here's what Dr. D'Adamo says about what foods and workouts will help you reach your blood type's fitness goals.
TYPE O 3
Character Traits: Focused, leader, energetic
Your Diet: Type Os (considered the original blood type) are descendants from hunter-gatherers who relied mainly on animal protein to survive their strenuous lifestyles.
Your Personality: You’re known for your leadership skills, extroversion, energy and focus. You consider yourself responsible, decisive, organized, objective, rule-conscious and practical. (Probably because you are.) But if you ever cheat on your diet, stop exercising or slip into a negative mindset (even boredom), watch out. You become angry, hyperactive or even manic.
What to Eat: Eat lean beef, lamb, turkey, chicken or fish (like bass, cod, halibut, sole and rainbow trout), kelp, seafood and (in moderation) salt, which lowers your levels of iodine, giving you optimal thyroid function.
What to Avoid: You might have difficulty digesting dairy, eggs and gluten, and should avoid wheat germ and wheat products like bread. Beans and legumes should also be avoided when possible, since they mess with your digestion and can wear you out or make you retain fluids. Cruciferous veggies like cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and mustard greens should be nixed because they inhibit thyroid function.
Dinner Tonight: Lamb and asparagus stew, steamed broccoli and sweet potato, and mixed fruit like blueberries, kiwi, grapes and peaches.
Your Workout: It’s especially important for you to work out regularly to stay fit, and exercising will help regulate stomach problems and ulcers you may experience because of your O-ness. Which is fine, since your blood type thrives on physical exercise anyway. Get sweating with the treadmill, swimming, running, cycling and weight training.
TYPE A 3 Character Traits: Hardworking, responsible, calm
Your Diet: When hunter-gatherer Os started thinning out, our ancestors started relying on agriculture and expanding their diet to include a semi-vegetarian approach. Type As have the digestive enzymes and bacteria it takes to digest grains and plants that other blood types might have a rough time breaking down.
Your Personality: When everyone else is panicking, you keep it cool. You’re responsible, hardworking, detail oriented and extremely organized. But you also have a classic “type A” personality—stressed and conscientious, craving success and perfection. You're the most artistic of the blood types (and even a bit sensitive).
What to Eat: Fill your plate with fruits like berries, figs, plums, apples, avocados, pears and peaches. Choose veggies like broccoli, artichokes, carrots, greens and garlic. Fish and poultry should be limited since type As produce fewer meat-digesting enzymes, which is why they have such a hard time digesting red meat. To get protein, rely on plant protein from nuts (like nut butters), seeds, beans and soy. Since your body can easily break down and get optimal nutrition from grains, carbs and proteins, cereal, breads and pastas should be staples of your diet.
What to Avoid: To balance cortisol levels (you may have high levels, which can lead to OCD, disrupted sleep, muscle loss, fat gain and insulin resistance) limit sugar, caffeine and alcohol and don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Stressful elements like extreme weather conditions, loud noise, overwork and violent TV and movies should also be avoided.
Dinner Tonight: Tofu-pesto lasagna, broccoli and frozen yogurt.
Your Workout: Since you stress easily, try something calming like yoga.
TYPE B 3 Character Traits: Individualistic, relaxed, unconventional
Your Diet: Type Bs emerged when type Os moved to the Himalayas as nomads, domesticating animals and living on meat and dairy. Modern Bs should rely on lean red meat (like lamb, venison and beef) and fish, and choose turkey over chicken. Because of a sugar present in milk, Bs should work dairy like yogurt, cheese and milk into their diet each day.
Your Personality: You throw yourself into projects you love, always sticking to your goal, even when it’s against the odds. Since you follow your own rules, you’re not the most cooperative of the blood types. And because you pay attention to your thoughts more than your feelings, you can sometimes come off as cold.
What to Eat: Fill up on leafy greens and vegetables, and fruits like bananas, grapes, plums and pineapple.
What to Avoid: Take it easy on grains and avoid corn, buckwheat, rye and wheat since they can alter your ability to metabolize. (Same goes for nuts and seeds, so avoid peanuts, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.)
Dinner Tonight: Broiled fish with roasted yams and rosemary, steamed vegetables and mixed fresh fruit.
Your Workout: Maintaining the mind/body balance is essential, so go for exercises that challenges both, like tennis, martial arts, cycling, hiking or golf.
TYPE AB 3 Character Traits: Difficult to read, trustworthy, volatile
Your Diet: Type AB is the newest blood type and is the rarest, found in less than 5% of the population. Since ABers share traits with As and Bs, they’re able to digest a wide range of foods. However, they have type B’s adaption to meats, but A’s low stomach acid, which means meat often gets stored as fat. An AB's staples should be veggies, seafood and turkey. Red meat should be eaten sparingly. ABs, like Bs, thrive on dairy and can process eggs particularly efficiently.
Your Personality: You have traits from both ends of the spectrum, making you hard to pigeonhole. You are passionate in your convictions, but you also want to be liked by others and this can create conflicts. You don't mind doing favors or helping out, as long as its on your own conditions. You may have a special interest in art and metaphysics.
What to Eat: Weak immune system? Try a vegetable-rich diet with a variety of carbohydrates. Snack on fresh fruits like cherries, grapes, watermelon and figs. (But thanks to your alkaline stomach, you might have a hard time digesting acidic foods like oranges.) Certain kinds of seafood, like mahi-mahi, red snapper, salmon, sardines and tuna, are optimal.
What to Avoid: Enjoy carbs in moderation, but bypass corn and buckwheat, which are difficult for ABs to digest. Avoid all smoked and cured meats as well as chicken, veal, beef, pork or shellfish. Steer clear of caffeine and alcohol, especially when you’re stressed.
Dinner Tonight: Tofu omelet with stir-fried vegetables and mixed fruit salad.
Your Work Out: Since you pull from both sides of the spectrum, you need to keep balance in your workout regimen, which means a combo of calming activities (like yoga or tai chi) and more intense physical exercise (like running or biking.) Visualization and carving out time alone are important, too. If you’re going to be sitting a lot (say, at work all day), break it up with some exercise. It will keep you energized for the haul.