Hi I’m Andrew, nutrition coach and success trainer.
We created the FoCo Academy to teach and mentor people like you to achieve true health and healthy relationships through nutrition, exercise, mindset and lifestyle changes.
We are in the full swing of summer, school is out and I am sure everyone is ready to hit the beach and the pool parties.
You may be scrambling to lose a few pounds so that you can look good in your swimsuits, so you try a new fad diet, some “super food” or some crazy “sweat till you drop” kind of work out program.
But are you eating or exercising for YOUR particular body type?
I am not talking the apple, pear, hourglass, rectangle or what other terms people came up with to describe different body shapes. I am talking about something more scientific.
You may have tried some exercise program your skinny friend has tried. One that she sweared worked for her; but it didn’t work for you, no matter how hard you tried. You may even have gained a few pounds if you followed the wrong exercise plan.
Why is that? Why does some exercise plans work for me and not you? Why does some diets work for her and not me? The reason could very well be, that you have different body types.
There are 3 main body types, ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs.
Your body will be predominantly one of these body types, but most likely you will have the characteristics of 2 or even all 3 of these body types. And because we have different dominant body types, it is important to choose the right types of exercises and activities that are most effective for your physique and abilities.
First, let’s talk about Ectomorphs
Ectomorphs typically have a smaller, lighter frame. They are naturally skinny and they tend to have leaner bodies and lankier, long limbs. You will notice that they have smaller bone structures such as skinny ankles and skinny wrists.
Ectomorphs are high revving and seems to be full of energy.
They are usually very fidgety, loud and picky with their foods. They have a fast metabolism and they lose fat easily and rarely gain any weight. They tolerate carbohydrates really well and can eat them without gaining weight. These are the people that we tend to be jealous of!
However, they usually have lower muscle mass and they naturally lack muscle strength.
They tend to like endurance activities, like marathon running, cycling, and swimming where they can use their height or leanness to an advantage.
If you are predominantly an ectomorph, because you are not naturally strong or muscular, you should concentrate more on Resistance training and weights. Strength training exercises will help you build strength and give you a leaner and toned body shape. You probably don’t need to do much cardio though.
Food wise, I recommend that you eat whole unprocessed foods. With about 25% protein, 55% carbs because you tolerate carbs so well, and 20% healthy fats such as avocadoes, coconut and olive oil and Omega 3 fish oils.
The second type is Mesomorphs.
Mesomorphs usually have the most desirable body shape. They are naturally toned and athletic.
They seem to have energy on demand whenever they need it. They also have broader shoulders and narrower waist than the ectomorphs.
Since they are naturally more muscular, even when they are at rest, they will burn more calories than the other two body types.
However they have slower metabolisms than ectomorphs and do not tolerate carbohydrates as well as ectomorphs do.
Since mesomorphs are naturally strong and athletic, they can easily gain muscle and stay lean with proper nutrition and exercise. They tend to like quick, explosive activities where they can use their speed and strength such as mountain biking, tennis, badminton, soccer or hockey.
If you are a mesomorph, then for training I would suggest that you do a combination of strength training and cardio workouts.
In terms of diets, it would be best to always eat whole unprocessed foods. With about 30% protein, only 40% carbs and 30% healthy fats such as avocadoes, coconut and olive oil and Omega 3 fish oils.
Your percentage of carb intake is lower than ectomorphs because your body type does not tolerate carbs as well as ectomorphs do.
The third Body type is Endomorphs.
Endomorphs are built for comfort and not for speed. For women, they tend to be more rounded and curvy so they are sometimes mislabeled as being “big boned”.
Endomorphs tend to have less energy and they also take longer to warm up.
They tend to like slower-paced activities, such as golf, baseball or weight lifting where they can use their size and strength to their advantage.
Since endomorphs have a much slower metabolism than the other 2 body types, they do not tolerate carbohydrates well. That’s why endomorphs tend to put on weight very easily and they are also the hardest to lose weight.
Their body fat is usually concentrated in their middle section, lower back and thighs.
If you are predominantly an endomorph, then for training I would recommend doing more resistance strength training. That’s because strength training will help with your Muscle-to-fat ratio. The higher the muscle-to-fat ratio, the faster your resting metabolism will be, and therefore will help you burn more calories.
As you start to lose weight and gain more energy, you can slowly add some cardio exercises to your routine. But just remember that for endomorphs, strength training is more important than cardio training. You want more muscle mass to burn more calories at rest so that you will lose weight faster.
As for your diet, I always recommend eating whole, unprocessed foods. With about 35% protein, 25% carbs and try to get your carbs from whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, and 40% healthy fats such as avocadoes, coconut and olive oil and Omega 3 fish oils.
Timing matters for endomorphs too. The only time you should eat carbs is when you are working out.
Endomorphs are prone to inflammation in their bodies and so you should stay away from inflammatory foods such as most vegetable oils (corn oil, peanut oil, soybean oil and stick with olive, coconut, or avocado oils).
Also, minimize your consumption of margarine, dairy, cereals, red meat, sugary foods, peanuts and refined carbs such as white rice, white bread and pasta.
So which body type are you?
Remember I mentioned that most of us are a combination of 2 or 3 of these body shapes. I am an ecto-mesomorph because I have the energy of the ectomorph but the metabolism and muscle mass of a mesomorph. So for me, I have to watch my carb intake because I tend to put on weight easily, especially in my mid section when I over indulge in carbs.
If you are have a skinny friend and she looks like she may be an ectomorph, well take a closer look.
Some people may look skinny because they have lanky arms and legs and they have very little muscle tone, but if you look closer, they have a muffin top.
A muffin top is a layer of fat concentrated in the waist area and lower back. They also don’t seem to have the energy and endurance of an ectomorph and they get tired very easily.
They are not true ectomorphs. This body type is actually an Ecto-endomorph. Even though they look skinny, they are actually fat or even obese.
This condition is called “skinny fat”.
Skinny fat is when they look like an ectomorph but in reality they are an endomorph, and the reason is usually because of their diet.
Even if they start off as an ectomorph, if they have a high level of toxins in their foods, the toxins will cause insulin dominance and bad nutrient absorption. People who have skinny fat can work out all they day long and may build some muscle tone, but they will never lose the fat around their mid session unless they have a lifestyle and diet change.
For you to have the best results, make sure that you know your body type, accept your body type and learn to eat and train according to your body type. It’s not just for your appearance but it really is for your health!
Your action for this week is to find a sport, an exercise or an activity that you enjoy doing. If you like what you do, you will find it easier to fit into your lifestyle.
Also, always remember to eat whole foods and stay away from highly processed foods that come out of a box, bag, bottle, or a can.
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Until next time, love what you live, and live what you love.
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