When we search for the tools to help us get in shape, we tend to look at the latest diet trends. Low fat, low carb, high protein, gluten free, no carbs etc. What we overlook is our body type. Our thoughts about body types only go as far as our physical appearance, our body “shape”. You may hear words like “apple”, “pear” and “banana”. From there www.carmenshawnfitness.com you will find a workout that will try to turn an apple into a banana. This, unfortunately, is not likely! No workout can stop you from being an apple. For the best results in losing fat and getting in shape, you also need to eat for your body type. With the proper nutrition and workout combination, you can trim down that apple shape and help maintain a shape you are comfortable with. Remember, you will always have that body type. Changing your nutrition back to what it used to be will bring back the shape you worked so hard to trim down.
We are all different. We metabolize foods differently which in turn will affect our physical appearance. So if you are eating too much of one macro that your body type can’t metabolize properly, you will gain fat.
Have you ever done a “diet” that a friend got great results on and you don’t lose an ounce?! This is more than likely because your body types are different! Your nutritional needs for a healthy body weight will be different and knowing what those needs are can be life changing! There are actually 3 somatotypes or body types: Endomorph, Mesomorph, and Ectomorph. There is a distinct difference in physical appearance between the three types, but what is not visible and often ignored, is the biochemical and metabolic differences. If your body tends to store fat easily, you will need to eat your macros (protein, carbs, fat) in different amounts compared to someone who burns fat easily.When food is broken down, oxidation occurs; converting carbs into glucose, then it’s released into the blood. This stimulates the pancreas to release the hormone insulin to pick up the glucose/sugar from the blood. How this is done and how fast it is done, will determine how much body fat you have or don’t have! There are fast oxidisers (endomorphs), slow oxidisers (ectomorphs) and balanced oxidisers (mesomorphs).
Most people are a mix of two body types. You can be an ectomorph but gain body fat from poor eating and lack of exercise. This would make you an ecto-endomorph, you have a low overall body weight but higher levels of fat than you should. If you are muscular and gain muscle easily but have a tendency to put on fat easy as well, you would be a meso-endomorph.
ENDOMORPHS: Tend to have a larger frame with higher amounts of body fat and total body weight. They gain weight easily and have a hard time losing fat. They are fast oxidisers and need to adjust their macros accordingly to lower body fat and keep it off. As mentioned, fast oxidisers store fat easily. This is due to nutrients in their food being broken down very fast so this means the carb content is broken down to glucose and released into the blood almost at once. This sudden blast in blood sugar so quickly causes vast amounts of insulin to be released to pick up the extra glucose, which the body then stores as fat. The more carb’s a fast oxidiser eats the more energy will be available right away. Problem is there is way too much, so it is stored as fat. Insulin tries to quickly remove the glucose from the blood, causing a dramatic rise and fall in blood sugar levels. For a person who oxidises carbs fast, meals that are higher in carbs will therefore cause fatigue, carb cravings and fat storage. Endomorphs therefore have a lot of carbs stored and will not need to consume as many calories from carbs. The fat cells in endomorphs are more per kg of body weight than that of an ectomorph (slow oxidisers). The fat cells may shrink when they diet and swell when they overeat. You can never get rid of fat cells, they just get smaller.
Endomorphs should eat more fat to satisfy the fat cells, or hunger and cravings can occur. Fast oxidisers will benefit more from eating higher levels of protein and fats in their meals to slow down oxidation and insulin release. This will also promote stable blood sugar and energy levels. Timing of carbs is also important. Eating them after workouts, sports or other strenuous activity is the best way to consume carbs as an Endomorph.
ECTOMORPHS: Tend to be thin with smaller bone structures. Their limbs are thinner and have a hard time gaining muscle and overall body weight. Ectomorphs are slow oxidisers burning through their food slowly and don’t release glucose from carbs into the blood quickly enough. This will delay the conversion of glucose into energy and in turn makes it impossible to gain muscle or store fat. Ectomorphs have very little stored carbs, so they need to consume sufficient calories from carbs in each meal. Protein and fat would be lower in meals due to them slowing down the rate of oxidation; carbs need to be the higher ratio. In order to gain muscle they need to increase energy production by eating more carbs.
MESOMORPHS: Tend to be athletic with medium bone structure. They put on muscle easily when active. For the most part they have a lower body fat percentage. Mesomorphs are balanced oxidisers. They can’t have high levels of carbs but need a good amount to feed their muscular frames. They do best on balanced macros. Close to equal amounts of protein, carbs and fat will give them what they need in order to get results. This balance helps control insulin release and maintain stable blood sugar levels.
- Need lower amounts of carbs
- Higher amounts of protein and fat
- 20-25% carbs, 30-35% fat and 40-50% protein
- Lower tolerance to carbs
- Eat carbs after exercise or activity
- Need higher amounts of carbs
- Moderate protein and lower fat intake
- 50% carbs, 30% protein and 20% fat
- Higher carb tolerance
- Eat carbs in every meal
- Need moderate amounts of carbs
- Moderate protein and fat intake
- 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat
- Average carb tolerance
- Eat most of your carbs after your workout or activity. Lower amounts in your other meals.
Remember it is more than likely you are a mix of two body types. Once you get your macros right for your body type, you will see positive changes. If you are an ecto-endomorph, so higher body fat, it may be you are just eating too much fat and protein and not enough carbs. So once you make the adjustments, you will see the changes! Keep in mind the numbers are suggested amounts and will vary for every person slightly. Don’t worry about counting or calculating just know what each body type requires and adjust accordingly. We are all different and our requirements for results will be different. Both your nutrition and your workouts should be based on your body’s needs and goals for your optimal health.
If you have further questions or need advice on your body type, leave a comment below or send me an email at [email protected].