How it works

Reckon those sizeable thighs, wobbly butt-cheeks or spare tyre tummy can’t be shifted because they’re genetic? Think again! The latest eating plan sensation from the United States works on the theory that it’s possible to take control of some of that genetic make up and make changes for a slimmer, happier you.


The new eating plan is the brainchild of naturopath Dr Peter J D’Adamo, and is based on the belief that we have the power to alter the behaviour of our genes. “Whether you realise it or not, you’ve spent a lifetime altering your genetic activity,” he explains. “When you took your first sip of beer, you turned up the volume on your body’s genetic ability to detoxify alcohol. When you pick up an infection – even one as mild as a cold or flu – you boost the activity among your bone marrow genes, which produce the white blood cells you need to get better.”

If you ‘re-program’ your genes – by feeding your body the nutrients that will tackle specific issues – you have the power to tackle the health problems and body shape tendencies specific to your genotype, claims Dr D’Adamo.

Overeating for two could cause serious problems down the line

Which genotype am I?

“Your genotype determines details like the shape of your teeth, the length of your legs and the pattern of your fingerprints,” says Dr D’Adamo. “It also decides which foods will help you lose weight and achieve vitality – and which illnesses you’re most at risk of developing.”

Dr D’Adamo believes that we all fall into one of six genotypesHunter, Gatherer, Teacher, Explorer, Warrior or Nomad. He’s developed individual diet plans, comprising the foods and supplements that will work best to create optimal health, weight, and vitality for each of them.

More like this

Each genotype has different issues concerning weight and metabolism, which is why each benefits from a tailor-made diet. Following your genotype diet and exercise plan will give your body all the support it needs to attain and maintain your optimal weight.

So, now all you have to do to start shifting those extra pounds is work out your genotype – and begin eating the right foods to help fit into your genes.

Meat is an important source of iron for growing babies


Character traits

You’re tall and thin with a masculine body shape and adrenaline-driven – like tennis star Maria Sharapova. You can become stressed if not well-nourished and can be sensitive to allergies. Your ring finger is often longer than your index finger.

The foods to eat

Try a meat-rich, low-gluten diet including red meat, poultry, and berries for their antioxidant benefits. Monounsaturated oils are beneficial, so hemp seed oil, cod liver oil and walnut oil are all fine – as are cranberries, grapefruit, fish rich in omega-3 and omega-6 hard cheeses and artichokes.

What to avoid

Cut down on soft cheeses. Watch your intake of wheat, bran, and white flour. Steer clear of mushrooms, sugary treats, nuts, grains and seeds.

Some babies react to citrus fruit and kiwi, so don't introduce straight away


Character traits

You tend to be fuller figured with a less defined waist. You have a tendency for emotional highs and lows and are a problem solver – just like TV presenter Oprah Winfrey. You may have a longer index finger than ring finger and lower leg shorter than upper leg.

The foods to eat

Aim for a high-protein, low-glycaemic diet and opt for low-GI foods for a steady blood sugar level. You’ll find detoxes beneficial, too.

Lamb and mutton are good. For seafood, stick to herring, mullet and sardines. A choice of oils is essential to get your metabolism going: the best are olive or walnut oil. Cottage cheese and ricotta suit you best. Other foods include exotic fruits, such as guava, loganberry and papaya.

What to avoid

Stay away from feta, Manchego and mozzarella cheeses. Avoid avocados, cucumbers and microwaved and fried food. Sugary drinks, such as juices and colas, are also out.

Certain cheeses should be avoided for young babies


Character traits

You have a strong, sinewy body, great stamina, a good immune system, but a sensitive digestive system – like kooky musician Björk. You have a calm outlook and a love of nature, and tend to be of average height or shorter.

The foods to eat

Mainly concentrate on vegetables and seafood – consuming too many sugars and starches will put a strain on your immune system.

Take your pick from turkey; black beans, tofu, peanuts, white fish (such as cod or chubb), blue cheeses (such as Gorgonzola, Stilton or Roquefort), olive oil, lemons, avocado, carrots, pak choi and Brussels sprouts.

Flavour your food with basil, garlic, oregano and rosemary. Drink coffee, green tea, grapefruit and pineapple juice.

What to avoid

Keep your intake of chicken low. Avoid white rice, red meats, wheat, sugary foods and white flour.


Character traits

Explorers are often lateral thinkers, tend to be entrepreneurs and are often left-handed. You’re muscular and broad-shouldered with narrow hips and low body fat – just like pop icon Madonna. You can be sensitive to caffeine as well as certain fragrances and medication. Make sure you include lots of iron-rich foods to build up your blood and energy levels.

The foods to eat

Tuck in to organic red meat, liver, poultry, ostrich, partridge and quail. Try oily ocean fish, such as sea bream and turbot and go for wild rather than farmed fish.

Other good foods for you include Mozzarella, paneer (Indian cheese), ricotta, monounsaturated oils, millet and basmati rice, raspberries, cranberries, artichokes, lentils, parsnips and onions. Season with garlic and thyme and drink rosehip or Verbena tea.

What to avoid

Steer clear of blue cheese, alcohol, coffee, painkillers, mushrooms, food dyes and colourings.

Are nuts safe to give babies?


Character traits

You have longer legs than your body – you lucky thing! – and are large boned and muscular – like TV presenter and former fashion model Jodie Kidd. You’re easygoing and optimistic, but also tend to hide your emotions.

The foods to eat

You can have a tendency to gluten-intolerance thanks to a sensitive digestive tract, so take probiotics and avoid mouldy cheeses, which can irritate your gut.

Choose foods rich in fatty acids (such as salmon and mackerel), red meat, calves’ liver, white fish, soft cheeses (such as Brie and Camembert), plus cottage cheese. Linseed, olive and flaxseed oils are also suitable for your genotype.

Other good foods include pecan nuts; cod liver oil, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, rice and blueberries. Flavour with basil and parsley. Beer and red wine are OK, too.

What to avoid

Keep away from gluten, barley, oats and rye, poppadoms, allspice, anise, pepper and blue cheese. Only drink coffee in moderation.

Mackerel's a good source of omega-3


Character traits

You’re long and lean and tend to be healthy in your younger years, but subject to middle-aged spread going either pear-shaped or barrel-chested. You’re charismatic – like politician Hillary Clinton – but find it hard to relax. You may have legs longer than your body, too.

The foods to eat

Go for a Mediterranean-style, plant-based diet to help defend against the ageing process and concentrate on fish rather than meat.

Take your pick from oily fish, cottage cheese, peanuts, pine nuts, tofu, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, walnut oil, brown rice and chocolate. Season with garlic, cinnamon and oregano. Drink cranberry juice and black tea.

What to avoid

Out go red meats and high-fat, white meats (such as pork); trans fats (oils that tend to be hidden in processed foods), high-GI white carbs (such as white bread and pasta), broccoli, cabbage, pears, bananas and oranges.

If you're vegetarian or vegan and pregnant, a simple salad can become a more nutritious option by adding some calcium or protein. Go nuts with the nuts!

The 10 commandments for a healthy lifestyle

1. It’s what you eat, not what you avoid, that will make you healthy. Focus on foods that are good for you, rather than just eliminating bad ones.

2. Don’t eat when nervous. Digestion suffers when you’re not relaxed.

3. Don’t eat heavily after 7pm. Studies show that people eating their main meal at night gained more weight than those who ate in the afternoon.

4. Don’t exercise to exhaustion. Pushing yourself too hard can be self-defeating.

5. Don’t diet. The genotype approach is a road map, not a straitjacket.

6. Get up when you wake up. Doing this helps to synchronise your sleep-wake cycle.

7. Never go to bed stressed. Talk things through with your partner, ease tension with a soak in a warm bath or watch some TV to unwind.

8. Avoid eating starches and proteins together. Decreasing the workload of your digestive system will help it to function well.

9. Express yourself. Enjoy following the genotype diet by keeping an open mind, exploring new foods and sharing ideas with friends.


10. Take the good, leave the rest. If something in the diet doesn’t seem to work for you, don’t force it. Concentrate on the parts you can accomplish.


Emma HartfieldHealth editor