Thursday, December 15, 2011

What's My Type?

When clients have problems losing weight it is often due to diet and body type.  People say “Everything I eat goes to my thighs!” or “It all just ends up on my stomach!” a lot.  This is because we all have different body types. So, we should all be eating according to our type.  Doing that can give you a real advantage with weight loss or muscle gain.  The three main body types are - Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph. 
Ectomorph - People with this body type look like chili peppers and make up a very small percentage of the population.  These lucky individuals are tall and thin.  They tend to have long lean legs and arms.  However they also have problems maintaining their weight because they burn calories quickly.  They make great models, ballet dancers, long distance runners and basket ball players. 
Mesomorph - This body type is commonly described as being the ‘apple’ shape, which is rather misleading because mesomorphs if trained properly can look great!  Mesomorphs are often athletic looking. If you are a mesomorph you are generally muscular, shorter and have stocky arms and legs.  You’ll have a tendency to gain muscle easily.  However out-of-shape mesomorphs often find it hard to lose weight and this body type is more prone to gain abdominal weight.  Mesomorphs are great at sports that require a lot of power, e.g. sprinting, soccer, softball and gymnastics.
Endomorph - Endomorphs are popularly thought of as being like ‘pears’.  Endomorphs carry more weight in general.  You’ll have bigger bones and a larger bottom.  Unfortunately most of the weight collects in the lower extremities and refuses to shift no matter how strict they are with their diet.  Research suggests that the extra weight is a survival mechanism that evolved so our ancestors could endure long periods of famine. 
So, now hopefully you know which type you are, how can you eat appropriately?
Ectomorphs - To ensure you maintain a heathy body weight and musculature, you need to be eating foods that are high in healthy fats like avocado, not junk food.  You don’t want cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure.  Eat small meals, multiple times per day.  You may find extra protein helpful with weight gain.  Fish, olive oil, nuts, lean protein, fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates are the key to a healthy weight. 
Mesomorphs - Again, you should be eating healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.  I would strongly suggest a low carb diet such as the ‘South Beach Diet’.  You need to be eating whole foods, lean protein, limited amounts of whole grains and plenty of vegetables and fruit. If your body is well conditioned with lean muscle mass you can get away with eating slightly greater amounts as your body will burn calories more efficiently.
Endomorphs - You guys have it hardest of all.  Aim to eat a balanced diet which is low in fat and carbs.  You need lean protein and a rich variety of vegetables and fruit.  Cut out fats, sugar and processed foods as much as possible.  If you follow this you can transform your shape into a mesomorph or ectomorph. 
Everyone is obsessed with losing weight.  It is important because obesity has been linked to so many diseases e.g. cancer, heart disease and diabetes amongst others.  The most important concept to remember regarding dieting is that it is not about making bits of you shrink.  Dieting is about making your body healthier and more capable of resisting disease.  So, don’t give yourself a hard time if you don’t look like Madonna or possess J-Lo’s bottom.  Maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and learn to accept and love what you’ve been given.

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