Senior year of high school, when I was still a naive foodie, I decided to become a pescatarian. I wasn’t really in love with meat and figured I would follow the hype of the veggie life. There’s constant controversy surrounding the subject of meat-eating, so I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I didn’t try a type of vegetarian diet to lose weight like many people do, although I did shed some lbs as a result. This was especially surprising because I was eating the same amount of calories — if not more — as before, and I just felt so much better in general.

bread, toast, sandwich, fish, salmon, smoked salmon, canape, cheese, lox, tomato
Marie Chantal Marauta

Once I got to college, I met a fellow foodie who had been a vegetarian for a couple of years and she soon became one of my best friends. In the spring of our freshman year, we both decided to quit our meatless ways because we had amped up our workout routines (hello, half marathon training!) and felt like our university’s dining hall didn’t have enough vegetarian protein sources.

However, we still were conscious about which meats to eat and which to stay away from. She thrived almost instantly, feeling a huge spike in energy that led her to discover a love for CrossFit and heavy weight lifting, and ultimately started following a paleo diet.

vegetable, seafood, parsley
Stephanie Gaudreau

As for me, I just didn’t understand how meat and weight lifting were giving her so much energy. I felt as if the meat I was consuming constantly weighed me down and I usually felt best doing long intervals of low intensity exercise.

It seemed like our roles had switched: I was sleeping more and getting weak easily, the same symptoms she had felt when she was on a vegetarian diet.

This past summer, I was desperately looking for a fix: something to make me feel like I had energy again. I knew the college schedule couldn’t be the only part of my life that was draining my energy.

coffee, pizza, tea, beer, wine
Caroline Zambelli

I went back to being a pescatarian and felt exponentially better within just 2 weeks. My best friend and I found ourselves disagreeing on what foods were healthy and beneficial. We each followed such different diets, yet both felt so energized and happy. I then finally found the solution to why we were so different: the blood type diet. This was a simple yet obvious answer that Dr. Adamo came up with.

It turns out that being blood type A, I’m supposed to follow a vegetarian diet centered around raw foods, and follow a lighter exercise routine. I was astonished at these characteristics and promptly asked my friends what her blood type was.

I wasn’t surprised to learn that she’s blood type O: the meat-eating type that builds muscle more easily. The blood type diet is based on the proteins in foods called lectins, which react differently based on what blood type a person has. The lectins actually bind to different types of molecules, so it’s no wonder that digestion is different between blood types.

Andrew Zaky

My best friend and I couldn’t fall on more opposite ends of the spectrum. The two other blood types have their own defining dietary characteristics as well. People with type B are able to eat a good amount of food without feeling weighed down like type A and O, while the lucky ones with type AB can basically able to eat whatever they want without feeling those draining effects (jealous).

Most people think that this blood type diet is just another fad diet that doesn’t actually work. When looking at it in my eyes, it’s not just a quick weight loss solution, it’s just the diet someone should follow throughout their life. I’m not saying that everyone should function like robots and eat exactly what the diet says, but being a little more aware of how food makes you feel can help out so much in the long run. Who doesn’t want to have more energy?

nut, almond, walnut, apricot pits, hazelnut
Torey Walsh

After adjusting my eating habits according to my type A, I don’t really miss meat like my friend did back when we were both vegetarians. Yes, I crave one of these burgers here and there, but since adopting the ways of the blood type diet I’ve been more energetic and efficient than ever.