So what’s the ideal body type for you? The correct answer is the one you have! A+ if that was your answer.
Let’s face it though, the human condition is that we want what we can’t have. Ask me, I wanted a curvy body for most of my teenage and young adult years. Alas, it was not to be.
This is me, fresh out of high school. With my clothes noticeably hanging on me. Or was it the fashion at the time? I don’t remember now.
Fast forward a few years later and my friends always enviously tell me that I look super fit. That I would not stand out in a group of college students. Thanks :). Thats my silver lining all these years later. But growing up, boy, was I jealous of my more endowed friends. Makes sense that they would probably be ‘endo’-morphs (body type classification), as in , endo’-wed. I’ve let that particular desire go, or grown up, don’t remember which happened first. I hope for you reading this it won’t take you a lifetime to get there too.
As fate would have it, our metabolism determines our body type, or vice versa. The jury is still out on whether you can change your basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR is the total number of calories you burn just to maintain your body weight as it is. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there is a 2nd type of metabolism in your body, total metabolism (TM). It is the total number of calories you burn, period. And this one you can change, anytime actually. Just by standing up right now and doing jumping jacks, your total metabolism increases. Eating anything will also increase your TM. But if you stop doing any of these things, you will burn fewer calories and “lower your metabolism”.
Here’s 5 ways you can boost your total metabolism. Shocking that eating less is not one of them! Maybe time to rethink all those fad diets everyone wants you on that are too restrictive?
Or you could read this book by a medical doctor. It could help you “cheat the system” and burn calories while you sleep. Disclaimer: I’ve never read it, I just found it on the internet. It is by a doctor so it must be backed by science, right?
These guys nailed it, you sometimes need to eat more to lose more.
I talked about the starvation response in my Free 7-day Email Course on Day 6 (if you didn’t already sign up you can do so at http://j.mp/freeURhealth ).
While you can change your TM quickly, BMR unfortunately moves and changes at a snail’s pace. In fact most of the factors that determine your BMR are not something you can intentionally change or control. They include your age, gender, height, body type, and even genetics. So today we discuss body type, also known as somatotype, and why it really could be the key you need to get that weight off or on.
If you don’t already know your body type I set-up a free test you can take here to determine it. Or take it here below.
An Overview Of The 3 Body Types
Narrow hips and shoulders
Small joints (wrists/ankles)
Stringy muscle bellies
Long and round muscle bellies
Thick rib cage
Wide thicker joints
Hip as wide as (or wider than) shoulders
A Crash Course on Macros and Nutrition
Before we go intro the descriptions, here’s a crash course on macro’s and nutrition since we’ll be talking about them in the next few sections. There are some general recommended ratios for your health goal. You health goal will depend on your body type. For example Ectomorphs will most likely want to bulk up whereas Endomorphs may want to shed weight. We will go into more detail on that in the next section.
In this section, I want to quickly introduce you to the recommended portions of macronutrients (macros) to support the associated goals for each body type.
I had the question during the Q&A session that I held the past Wednesday about where vegetables fall. I’ll say that they can fall in any of the groups depending on which vegetable. For example kale is both a carbohydrate and a protein. Take a look at this nutrition profile for raw kale like you would have in a vegetable smoothie. Kale is what you’d call a fibrous carbohydrate. Notice that the carbohydrate content is placed at only 3% or 3 g for a serving size of 100g . Dietary fibre makes up another 8% or 8 g and refers to the ‘fibrous’ part of the carbohydrate.
In the nutrition profile below you see that a whopping 84% of kale, in this case 85 g, is water. And this is the general profile of fresh fruits and vegetables.
For this reason some experts advise, and I agree, that you can freely eat green leafy vegetables without their having much of an impact on your macro ratios. So whenever you are hungry, go on and reach for some veggies. When talking starchy carbohydrates, it’s a different matter. These will then count towards your carbs. This listing of healthy types of carbs may be helpful when trying to decide. If you’re like me, this discovery has totally turned all your high school science ed on its head. Takes a little getting used to to refer to veggies as carbs!
Below is a list of common sources of the macro groups.
You can read a good rule of thumb here, go the section at the bottom on “Simplified Counting Rule Suggestions”. You may also use this handy hand guide to allow you to have a starting point for the average calorie intake, then reduce or add as you’d like based on your weight goals. This refers to the recommended portions for a Mesomorph female of average build. A Mesomorph male would take 1.5 to 2 times this amount on a daily basis.
If you really want to go into the detail of it, go here to calculate your particular macros. I’ll offer some suggestions below based on the body type you discovered that you were.
So there you have it. Macros 101 :). Now onto the juicy stuff in case you’re wondering how all this applies to you. Suggested approaches by body type.
The Ectomorph is typically a tall, skinny, high metabolism type body. Kenya has ectomorphs in our endurance runners and cross country type athletes. Ectomorphs are also usually always moving, fidgeting, and on the go.
That describes my daughter to a ‘T’ , it was the fidgeting that sold me :). I’m actually a cross between an Ectomorph and the next type, the Mesomorph. The only time I put on weight was when I’m pregnant. And it drops off pretty easily. That’s why the ectomorph should focus on a higher carbohydrate type diet since we really need it as we are always on the go. Or too busy to eat mindfully as tends to my problem when I’m doing something I love like writing this blog post. And when the hunger hits, its hits with a vengeance. Thankfully I have my breakfast beside me and I’m eating as I write this.
Don’t emulate me, this is the way NOT to eat.
Typical macros (larger food groups) for the Ectomorph should be close to 55% Carbohydrate, 25% protein, and 20% fat.
- Vegan or Vegetarian
- Higher Carbohydrate Diet
- IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macro, which typically involves higher carbs)
The Mesomorph normally has a natural athletic type build.
Mesomorphs have a natural tendency to put on muscle and mass and this is a definite advantage for them. A typical mesomorph has wide shoulders, broad chest and back, narrower at the waist, and athletic legs.
The typical macros for the mesomorph are 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, 30% fat.
- Paleo (with higher carbohydrate, typically around workout)
- 21 Day Challenges (many of popular Beachbody programs are focused around this, with 40/30/30 macros)
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (adding carbohydrate at certain periods of the week). Note: for the typical Mesomorph a regular Ketogenic or just a Low Carb Diet is tough to follow any longer than just a few days).
The endomorph has a wider waist, narrower shoulders. They put on weight easier, and generally are little bit lower in energy. You’d hear them say “I can just think about food and gain weight!”
This body type tends to be a little more carb sensitive. So, for weight loss, the goal is to replace carbohydrates with fats and keep protein about the same as the other types.
Unfortunately most weight loss programs target this body type but do it mostly through low fat methods. These are usually the fast track to increased cravings unfortunately.
The recommended macros for this body-type are 60% fats, 25% protein, 15% carbs. It may sound like a lot of fats but the increased fats will keep Endomorphs fuller and more satiated.
Which Body Type Are You?
Can you tell which body type you are? If not, take the quick quiz and get results instantly to help you plan your nutrition and training. Along with the basic principles that we’ve covered during the email course, I hope this post has helped you clarify which diets or eating regimes would be more beneficial to you. Hopefully it will save you some time when doing your research to determine what approach to take. In a nutshell, as an Ectomorph, you don’t want to waste your time with low-carb. If you are an Endomorph, you’ll want to ignore the low-fat diets! I’ll be starting a 30-day Low Carb Challenge next week. I’d advise it for those of Endomorph body type mostly. If you are interested please like my Facebook page to get the weekly updates with resources to support your progress.
Which of these 3 body types do you fall under? Comment below and feel free to share this post with your friends who might find value out of knowing which body-type they are!