by Elliot D. Abravanel, M.D. and Elizabeth King Morrison

If you’re new to Dr. Abravanel’s Body Type System, this Frequently Asked Questions page is a great way to get started. Please also join us at the Body Type Chat Room with your own questions and comments. Note that many of the questions below assume you already know your Body Type and have read either the book or the Guide to Balance. So if you haven’t taken the Checklist and received your Guide yet, you might want to do that first  (just click on the Checklist icon).


 Q: I am close between two Body Types, and I don’t know which one I am. What should I do to determine it?

A: If you are close between two types, you should first take the test with someone else whom you can trust. If you do the test by yourself, you may have trouble seeing your body from all angles. Also, we all tend to be too hard on ourselves. You may think your rear is large, for instance, and someone else will tell you, "no, it’s not that big."

If you're still not sure, you should focus on the questions relating to body shape primarily. Count only the answers to these questions. If you still feel you are not sure, it’s time to think about a professional Body Type Determination from a trained Body Type Counselor. You can order this service at the Body Type Store. Also, check the Counselor section and send out some emails inquiring about this. There is a charge for the service, but it’s quite reasonable and may be worth it to settle this all-important question.

 Q: I think I am a mixture of two Body Types. Do I combine the two programs?

A: No, you should find your type and follow that program. Even if you are close between two, you do have a dominant gland, so you do have just one Body Type, and that is the program you should follow.

    Of course, we are all mixtures of all four Body Types. because we have all the glands (unless one has been lost through disease or surgery), and they have all influence our body to some extent. We always say, “we are looking for your dominant gland, not your only gland.” You will definitely have answers from all types on your Checklist. However, one of your glands is the dominant one, even if it's just a little bit dominant, and that determines your Body Type.

Q: I’m having trouble deciding between Adrenal and Thyroid Type. What are the most important differences between these two types?

A: In the area of body shape, look carefully at your rear end. A's have quite a flat rear end, and the T rear is more rounded. Look at your waist. T's keep a waist even if they gain quite a few pounds. A's tend not to have much of a waist even if they're quite slim. Look at the shape of your face--A's are square or round, T's are longer. A's are more solid-looking in general. T's are finer boned in general. Also, think about your energy. Is it up and down or steady? T's are almost never steady, so if you have good energy all day, that is a big check in the A column. Think about these things, and if you're still not sure, consider a professional Body Typing.

Q: What if I’m not sure between T and G?

A: If you’re well balanced and close to your best weight, this can actually be quite difficult. It is hard to tell a well-balanced G from a T. When a G loses weight from her rear, she will look more like a T. But if a G or a T has a little extra weight, it is easier to tell them apart.

One difference is breast size. T’s always have bigger breasts than G’s. Another difference is hip width. G’s have their weight more behind them, while T’s usually are wider than G’s when you look from the front or back.

As a general rule, if you’re hesitating, it is more likely you are a T than a G. That’s because G is a very distinctive Body Type. There is really only one way for a G to look. She has a small upper body, a solid lower body, and a rear end that sticks out straight back behind them. She also has stronger, steadier energy than the more up-and-down or variable T-Type energy.

By contrast, there’s is more variation in the way a T can look. Some T’s are very fine-boned, and others are built more strongly. They may indeed be larger below the waist than above, but the weight will be in their hips, thighs and rear, not JUST in their rear. Their rears are more rounded and don’t go straight back behind them.

Often, T’s want to be G’s because the diet appeals to them more. They think, "I’d much rather have fruit for breakfast than eggs. I hate eggs." (See the egg questions below.) "Therefore, I must be a G." Or, they think, "I’m a vegetarian so I must be a G." If you are thinking anything resembling these thoughts, it strongly suggests you are a T. A vegetarian program will not work well for T-types, and you do need the eggs!

And again, to be really sure, consider a professional evaluation of your Body Type.


Q: What can I substitute for the eggs? I am a T-Type and I hate eggs.

A: This is the single most common question we get. I feel I have dedicated years of my life to explaining the value of eggs to T-Types! I call it my "egg speech," and I wish I had a nickel for every time I have given it. Here's a typical question which is a direct quote. "I'm really confused with the process of determine my body type. I got 9 answers from A Type, but 10 from T Type. The thing is that for T-type bodies, I have to eat 2 eggs for breakfast everyday, and I HAAAAAAATE eggs, milk or anything that can be related to them. I need to get something that can be taken instead of them. Please help!"

Here, then, is the egg speech. "You need to follow the T program and--guess what--you need to eat the eggs! Eggs are very, very balancing for T-Types. They are the keys that will get you over the various problems of T-Type imbalance, such as sugar and starch cravings, fatigue, and mood swings. This is because eggs will build up your adrenals, take stress off your thyroid, and generally create balance. So you see there is no Plan B and no good substitute for the eggs!

Since you hate eggs, you need to try and find a way you can stand them. Maybe you could stand them hard-boiled? Maybe you can try them scrambled with a little salsa or nutmeg. Most T-Types don’t like eggs when they start, but they’ve come up with, and shared, many great ways to make them. You can also try psychology on yourself: tell yourself they are your medicine. They are! I'm sorry this isn't what you wanted to hear. But after all these years of working with the Body Type System, we know our T-Types and we do know what helps them. If you eat your two eggs for breakfast every day for a month, you will feel so much better that you will bless your eggs forever.

Q: But isn’t 2 eggs a day too much cholesterol in one's diet? I had always read that eggs are fine but not more than 2 or 3 times/week due to the cholesterol. Would we get the same benefits from eating 4 egg whites?

A: We do actually mean 2 whole eggs each day. Egg whites would definitely not do the same thing. In fact it is the egg YOLK that is most balancing for the T-Type metabolism. As for the cholesterol, not all cholesterol is bad for you. Eggs have a form of cholesterol that is very helpful to T's, one which supports and nourishes the adrenal glands. The adrenals are your balancing gland. Stronger adrenals mean less stress on your thyroid, fewer allergies, fewer sweet and starch cravings, and all kinds of good things.

Here is a quotation from a Counselor whose client dealt with this issue. "One of my phone clients, Dottie, was concerned because her cholesterol was borderline high when she started the T-type diet. Her physician’s nurse was concerned also that she was starting a diet instructing her to eat 2 eggs every morning. Well, she had her cholesterol checked at the beginning of the T-type diet program, and then about a month later she had it checked again, and it had gone DOWN 40 points! When the nurse gave her the results she told Dottie to stay on her medication because she couldn't believe how much her cholesterol had gone down, and Dottie told her she wasn’t on medication! So the nurse told her to keep doing whatever she was doing because it sure was working. So Dottie is continuing to eat her 2 eggs every single morning!"

Please note that Dottie did the right thing by consulting her physician before starting the program. We can’t guarantee these results for everyone. But we can say that it has happened very often in our years of working with T-Types.

 Q: But I can’t have the eggs because I am allergic to them. I find eggs upset my stomach and cause a lot of phlegm in my system. Can you please give me some advice on allergies of this nature.

A: This problem is a big issue for many T's and we have, of course, given it a lot of thought. You are right in saying that there is no real substitute for the eggs. Again, the reason you need them so much is to build up your adrenals, the balancing gland for T's. With weak adrenals, T's are very prone to allergies. Adrenal Types, by contrast, have very strong adrenal glands, and rarely have any allergies as strong adrenals protect against them. So, you need eggs to become less allergic, yet you are allergic to eggs! Catch 22. The solution is to build up your tolerance to eggs gradually. If 2 eggs a day is too much, start with 1 egg a day, plus 2 ounces of some other protein such as chicken, or fish. If that’s too much, try one egg every other day--or whatever you can do. The point is to keep adding in more eggs until you reach the 2-egg-a-day level, and to substitute other forms of protein in the meantime. Don’t substitute any carbohydrates as that will not do the trick. This CAN be done. Many T's have done it and they are SO GLAD THEY DID, and you will be too. I know it's hard. Hang in there. You will feel so much better you won't believe it.

 Q: What is a good protein substitute for T-Types? I am a vegetarian.

A: We are in sympathy with the desire of many T’s to be vegetarians. Unfortunately, in our experience it simply does not work well for this Body Type. If you can eat even a little bit of chicken and fish, and also have the eggs every morning, you will feel so much better and be much more balanced. Philosophically, you might ask why T’s couldn’t be vegetarians. We don’t have an answer--we can only reflect that we didn’t create this metabolism, we just identified it. It is what it is, and if it works better with a bit of animal protein, then perhaps it really is best to go with what it needs.

 Q: I’m allergic to dairy products. What can I substitute?

A: All the Body Types except Pituitary are encouraged to eat low- or non-fat dairy products. Yet there are people who don’t digest milk well. Most of these are T-types, but it can occur among A’s and G’s as well (it is almost universal among P’s, which is why we don’t include dairy in the P program.). If you can’ digest milk, our first suggestion is to try yogurt instead. Many people find yogurt easier to digest because of the enzymes. If that doesn’t work, you can simply eliminate the dairy. If you’re a T, then increase the other protein at lunch and dinner by about two ounces. If you’re an A or G, simply make another protein choice at any meal.

 Q: I don’t care for skim milk. Can I substitute yogurt or cottage cheese?

A: Absolutely, but not hard cheeses as these are too concentrated and have too much fat for the weight loss and balancing phase. Later on you can add back in a small amount of harder cheese.

 Q: I’m a T. Can I substitute soy milk for the milk?

A: Generally speaking soy milk just isn't as balancing as cow's milk. So we don’t recommend it. Yogurt is a better substitution.

 Q: I don’t like the taste of my Body Type tea. Is there a substitute?

A: Not really a substitute, but you can drink other herbal teas at any time. Dr. Abravanel has chosen the herbal teas carefully for each Body Type. If you don’t like the taste of yours, some people mix it with other herbal teas (fine to do) or add lemon. Try to find a way to enjoy your tea—it’s very balancing.

 Q: Can I substitute other vegetables in my Body Type Soup?

A: Yes, but try to use the vegetables Dr. Abravanel suggests. Then, feel free to add other vegetables, whatever you like. Some vegetables may be hard to find. If you can’t locate beet tops for the G-Type soup, substitute another dark green vegetable such as chard or kale. If you can’t find watercress, use parsley. The guiding principle is to find a vegetable that looks similar to the one you are substituting for, and which has a similar taste. These will indicate a similar composition.


 Q: I have only lost 3 pounds and have been on the program for 3 1/2 weeks. I was wondering if maybe I'm a different type and that is why I am not losing much weight.

A Actually, approximately a pound a week is EXACTLY what we would like to see. It's a good rate, you'll progress towards your goal and it will stay off, so actually you are doing well! We think weight loss that is too fast doesn’t stay off. Your body needs time to adjust and become more balanced. But think about it. At a pound per week, you can lose 50 pounds and feel better every day!

 Q: I’m doing the whole program, including the nutrition program and the exercise, and even though I feel much better, and everyone tells me I look better, and my clothes fit better--I haven’t lost as much weight as I would have thought. What am I doing wrong?

A:  This sometimes happens when you are exercising as well as losing weight. You are gaining muscle as you lose fat. Muscle is heavier than fat, so you even though you lose some weight it is not as much as you would think. For this reason we strongly suggest taking measurements as well as weighing yourself. Muscle weighs more than fat, but it takes up less room. So if you are exercising and gaining lean body mass,you may not see see the actual fat loss on the scale. But you can see it by inches when you measure. There is a measuring chart in module 2 that is a terrific chart if you are interested. Good Luck to all, keep up the nutritional program AND the exercise program!"

 Q: I’ve hit a weight loss plateau. What should I do?

A: First of all, let’s define a plateau. Sometimes people feel they have hit a plateau if they haven’t lost weight for several days. This is quite normal and a good reason not to hop on the scale oftener than once a week (once a month is better! Or just forget the scale and do measurements instead, a much better signpost to increasing balance.) It’s only a real plateau if you haven’t lost weight for three weeks or more, even though you’re following the program and are fairly free of cravings.

The best way to get off a plateau is through exercise. If you have reached a weight plateau and can't seem to make the scales budge, a good way to kick start the body again into the weight loss mode is to temporarily increase your cardiovascular workout. We call it a "body shocker". If you are new to exercise you will only want to add about 10 minutes to each cardiovascular routine for a week or so. And if that doesn't do it, and you feel strong enough, add a little more. If you are strong in the cardiovascular area and have been doing it for a while, you can add as much as 1/2 hour of cardio work to each workout. So for some of you that might mean doing as much as 1 1/2 of cardio work 5-6 X for a week. It would put the G's and the A's up to 1 1/2 hours, and it would put the T's and the P's up to 1 hour. Remember, these numbers are not for beginners! You usually only need to up your workout time for about a week to jump start the body again into the "fat burning" mode. And then you can go back to your regular routine, and the body should start shedding those pounds again!

Here is another thought on plateaus. This one comes from a reader. "I have to tell what I have experienced with plateaus. When I had lost about 50 pounds and had around 17 to go, I was on a plateau for months on end. Here's what I was doing for exercise. Mon-Wed-Fri I would do an hour of cardio, in which I used every cardio machine in the health club to cross-train. Tues- Thurs I would do a half hour of cardio and then half hour of weight machines for total body. On Saturday I would work out for 2 hours with a half-hour being weights and the rest cardio. I would work really hard and be totally soaked in sweat when I was done- I always checked by heart rate for safety. I tried interval training to spur my body to lose weight. Nothing worked. I thought something was wrong with me and needless to say I became very discouraged and gained back weight gradually until now where I am starting over. I was not on the Body Type diet then, but on another diet that in some ways resembles the T-type diet. Ok, here's the point and the thing I learned. I was often cheating on the diet and thinking that my exercise would surely off set the little cheat I did. WRONG!! Now, I am very carefully following the T diet and I am losing weight. There wasn't anything wrong with me after all. I was just eating too much food. I refused to believe this because it didn't seem like too much really. So, if you are on a plateau, honestly look at how you are following the program. Are you thinking that little bit won't matter? It does."

We’d just add: the exercise this reader did was great and it definitely helped her. But neither the eating plan or the exercise program can do it alone. You need both!



 Q: How do I know this diet will work for the long run? I’ve been on so many and I’ve always gained back whatever I lost.

A: This answer comes from a reader and is straight from someone who has been there. "I think the reason why diets seem to work only until the weight is off is because the classic way of dieting is not built around a change of lifestyle(think the 2-day Hollywood Juice diet-major deprivation!). Since I have started this program I determined I would change my lifestyle and that included eating habits. Knowing my metabolism and nourishing & resting my dominant gland are the keys. It’s my thyroid! As I look back, it was only hard for the first two weeks, after that it has been pretty easy, gotta get the good habits going strong!

"What Elizabeth says is right, you shouldn't be deprived. I've given up sweets, and you know what, I am not feeling deprived! I can think more clearly, can maintain my energy level with no problem, and admittedly feel more "womanly". Life is better WITHOUT sugar!! Just a few days ago I went out with my family and decided to order a piece of chocolate pie, a no-no for me. I wasn't craving it, just thought I'd have me a rare "treat". I couldn't take more than 3 bites. It was as if my body was revolting against it. I've become in only a short month super-sensitive to sweets. I can now walk by cookies without drooling and I used to be the world's biggest cookie monster! When I shop for food I don't even think about going down the pastry aisle, I make a beeline to the deli. Of course I am on the supplements and they are wonderful (I've tried many brands while I worked in a health food store and NONE of them compare!). I have inspired my mother to get serious with the diet with just my own accomplishments with it. This is a change of life so much for the better. Have faith and keep that in mind. You are doing something your body has needed for a long time. Find that determination, you DO have it! In time the changes you make won't feel like a "diet", they will be a part of your lifestyle. Take good care of that body!"

Elizabeth adds: I love our readers! I certainly couldn’t have said it better.

 Q: In the book, Dr. Abravanel recommends nutritional supplements for each Body Type. How do I get these?

A: We used to manufacture the supplements ourselves, but we haven’t done it in a long time. So, we must apologize that they are not available. What you should do is to take your book with you to a good health food store. We have been around for so long, most of them have heard of the Body Type program. Just ask for help in putting together a program for your type. You can do very well that way.

 Q: What is the video "Exercise Right for Your Body Type" that I see in the Body Type Store?

A: the Body Type Institute produced this wonderful video. It is choreographed and directed by our Exercise Consultant and Phone Counselor Kevyn Vanlehn. There are four instructors, one of each Body Type. You go through the video following your own instructor. They are clearly labeled with a letter right on their shirts! It’s 50 minutes long and contains a warm-up, a cardiovascular workout, strength training and a cool-down and stretch. It’s the best way to get going on a program that’s right for you. It’s available on our web site and also on Amazon.com.


 Q: Should I use a Body Type Counselor? What will she do for me?

A: So much! If you’ve struggled with weight issues in the past, if you’d like a dedicated and knowledgeable person in your corner to fine-tune the program, debug any problems, keep you inspired and motivated, and in general be your cheerleader, you couldn’t do better than to use a Body Type Counselor.

Q: How much does Counseling cost?

A: The Counselors set their own fees, so we can’t answer that. But Counseling is affordable, and absolutely worth every penny.

 Q: How do I find a Counselor?

A: Just go to click on the icon and go to the Counselors page. You’ll find a listing of the Counselors. Then send off some emails or pick up the phone. They’re all friendly and easy to talk to. So pick someone and you’re off!

Q: What are the Body Type Counseling Modules? Is there different material from what is in the book?

A: The Body Type Counseling Modules do have the same basic information that is in the Body Type book. The difference is in the way it is laid out. In the Modules it is truly a course, like at school, which you follow step by step. There are nine Modules. The first is Body Type Determination. Then you have the Nutrition Program, Cravings Control, Balancing your Body Using Taste and Smell, Body Type Exercise, Cooking Right for your Body Type, Body Type Stress Control, and finally, Expanding your Food Choices for Life. You go through the whole program week by week, with charting and journals and things to try and do at home.

We originally designed the Modules to be used by the Body Type Counselors, and that is the best way to go through them, by far. They are also available to people who wanted to try them on their own. You can order them through the web site by clicking on the Body Type Store..

 Q: How do I become a Body Type Counselor?

A: We have a wonderful training program for Counselors. There are three parts: Body Type Determination; Using the Counseling Modules; and The Business of Body Type Counseling. The course is given by one of our Counselor Trainers. You can now do the entire course through a combination of home study, telephone discussion and on-line materials, without the expense of traveling. The total cost for all three parts is $2000.00. You can do the course in three separate phases if you wish. If done separately, the first two phases cost $1000 each and the third phase is $500. By choosing all three phases together, you instantly save $500.00. Please see the Health Professionals Page or the Body Type Store for more information. The cost can be put on your credit card.

The first phase is a very full and very intense day on Body Type Determination. You will be looking at many pictures, studying classic examples of the types and learning how to correctly identify hard-to-type people.  The second day covers use of all the Body Type Counseling Modules. The final ½ day is on setting up your Counseling practice, and includes marketing and business information.

Is the Training expensive? No, not really, when you consider that you are qualified to open your own Counseling business, with the full support of the Body Type Institute. I have read every evaluation of every Counselor we have trained. We always ask if they consider the course fee reasonable, and every single Counselor has told us that now that they know what they get, they consider it more than reasonable.

If you’d like more information about Counselor Training, please contact the Body Type Institute, 331 Farallon Ave, Pacifica, CA 94044, or email Elizabeth at elizabethmorrison@mac.com


 Q: Is Bodytypes.com an official web site of Dr. Abravanel’s Body Type System?

A: Yes, it is. This web site is run by The Body Type Institute. Our telephone is 650-207-2653. I’m Elizabeth Morrison, and I created the site and answer questions. I’m the co-author, with Elliot D. Abravanel, M.D., of Dr. Abravanel’s Body Type Diet and Lifetime Nutrition Plan.

Sometimes people want to know more about me. I’m a G-Type and I’ve been on the G-Type program for 20 years. Helping people with their Body Type questions has been part of my life since the first Body Type book came out in 1983. I have never gotten tired of it. It’s a great program and has done more for me than I could ever describe. I’m now in my 60’s, in great health, full of energy and my weight is right where it should be. So I know this program works!

 Q: I signed up to take the Checklist, but my browser threw me off the site before I could get the Guide to Balance for my Body Type. Can I go back and get it without paying the fee again?

A: Yes, you can go back and get everything you need. You don’t need to pay again and you don’t need a password. All you need to do is copy this link into your browser: http://bodytypes.com/newforms/ or just click on this link: Untitled and you will be able to select your Guide to Balance and download all the information about your Body Type, including a printable copy of the Checklist so you can re-take the Body Type test if you wish.

Also, remember that you do need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the downloaded files. Reader is a free download from Adobe.com, or you can use the link on our web site to get right to it. Once you have Reader, you will be able to use it to open, read and print the Body Type files you have downloaded.


Frequently Asked Questions