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Hunter-Farmer Weight Solution on PBS - What do you think?

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Saw a pledge week special on PBS -- a doctor, Mark Liponis, who is or was the medical director at the Canyon Ranch Spa in the Berkshires, presented his theory on two basic metabolic types: The Hunter and The Farmer. I guess it was another somewhat simplistic "eat right for your type" approach, but there was a good amount of interesting data in his talk regarding birth weight and diabetes, stress hormone levels, blood glucose shifts in either type, etc.

The basic premise is that one type of person, The Hunter type, is born with lower birth weight and higher cortisol levels, tends to store fat around the organs (visceral fat) and to develop diabetes, and is better off on a low carbohydrate diet rich in fat and protein, with one or two large meals a day and maybe even intermittent fasting. The other type, The Farmer, tends to hold fat all over the body and under the skin (subcutaneous fat), tends toward hypoglycemia, and does best on a "grazing" type of diet with many, small, carb-based meals during the day.

Has anyone read anything by Dr. Liponis and/or tried his approach? My sister and I felt ourselves to be mixtures of the two types, something Liponis seems to suggest is not really possible -- you're either one or the other. And while I liked that he doesn't prescribe a single regimen for everyone, I felt he completely ignored the fact that many people, especially women, suffer from severe hormonal issues, often exacerbated by endocrine disruptors in our environment, and that this might, at the very least, make it harder to determine your type.

Anyway, I'd be interested to know any thoughts people here have on this way of approaching health and weight loss.

Thanks very much, Ninrn

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  1. And this is why I stopped giving money to PBS. The informercials. The guy is schilling books and collecting speaking fees.

    1. I have always had a very had a very hard time accepting any book/theory/fad diet etc.

      The basics for a healthy diet are debated ad nauseum yet at the end of the day to lose weight you still must burn more fuel than you take in. Increased vegetable intake, eating whole unprocessed foods and regular vigorous excersize just makes more sense to me than buying books etc to figure out how to torture and deny myself for the forseeable future.

      That said, i fit into neither of his two so called categories and am inclined to agree with previous commenter.

      1. Sounds too simplistic to be realistic or - more importantly - useful.

        1. It's way too simplistic.

          1. Respectfully, it's horse hooey.

            I am pear-shaped. So I'm a Farmer.

            But I weighed only 5 lbs at birth. So I'm a Hunter.

            Yeah, no.

            1. I think you answered your own question when you said " My sister and I felt ourselves to be mixtures of the two types, something Liponis seems to suggest is not really possible -- you're either one or the other." Clearly if the theory is that there are only two types, and you don't feel you're either of them, then there are more than two types and the theory fails.

              Maybe we should give him some credit: instead of a "one diet fits all" program he's promoting a "two diets fit all" program.