No single diet or exercise program is a perfect fit for everyone.
Your individual body type plays a critical role in determining which meal plan and food choices will help optimize weight loss.
There are three main body types, and each one is pre-determined by your genetic makeup.
Each body type burns fat and gains muscle at varying rates. Below, we will discuss each body type, and which foods are recommended for optimal fat loss.
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In the 1940s, William H. Sheldon, PhD, M.D., introduced somatotypes - the concept of various body types.
He then devoted his life to the observation of how exercise and nutrition affected these various body types. He determined that each body type was based upon three tissue layers:
After years of careful study, Sheldon devised a list of characteristics for each body type. They are as follows:
Ectomorphs generally have very little muscle, little body fat, and are tall and lean. They often have a difficult time gaining and maintaining weight.
A small frame, long, thin limbs and small joints characterize ectomorphs.
Endomorphs have a tendency to gain weight easily, have lots of body fat, and lots of muscle mass.
They typically have a heavier shape, although they may not be overweight. Endomorphs have wide shoulders and hips with short limbs and larger joints.
Mesomorphs are strong, athletic and solid.
They can both gain and lose weight with little to no effort. Mesomorphs generally have shoulders that are wider than their hips, with large bones and a medium build.
Each body type can gain or lose weight easily, depending on what and when they eat. Because each type metabolizes "fats", "proteins" and "carbohydrates" differently, careful attention must be paid to which percentage of each one of these types of foods is being eaten.
These foods will also help fuel muscle growth, which in turn will give you a more toned, shapely figure.
The metabolic typing diet recommends the following nutritional guidelines for each body type:
Endomorphs generally have a sluggish metabolism, and should eat several small meals throughout the day, roughly 2 to 3 hours apart.
This body type’s diet plan should be comprised of 45 percent high quality protein, 30 percent complex carbohydrates, and 25 percent healthy fats.
Simple carbohydrates and all types of sugars (except berries) should be avoided.
Mesomorphs typically gain weight easily, and should avoid fatty foods and refined carbohydrates.
Their nutritional blueprint should consist of 45 percent complex carbohydrates, 35 percent high quality protein and 20 percent healthy fats.
Three small meals per day with an occasional snack are recommended.
Ectomorphs generally find it difficult to gain weight, and generally do well with three larger meals and a few snacks per day.
This body type should avoid trying to gain weight by consuming fatty foods, and instead focus on complex carbohydrates.
Ideal nutrition for an ectomorph consists of 55 percent complex carbohydrates, 30 percent high quality protein and 15 percent "healthy fat".
Sample diet plans
Now that we have discussed the varying body types and how their metabolisms differ, we will look at a sample diet plan for each one based on the nutritional guidelines outlined above.
This body type should concentrate on foods such as nuts, olive oil, lean proteins, fish, complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables and beans.
- 1 serving instant oatmeal
- 1 banana
- 4 ounces orange juice
- 1 slice of sprout bread
- 1 serving of peanut butter
- sandwich made with 2 slices whole-grain bread, 1 teaspoon low-fat mayonnaise, 2 ounces lean deli meat, 1 slice reduced fat cheese, tomato and lettuce
- 1 celery stalk
- 5 baby carrots
- one half cup grapes
- 4 ounces grilled salmon
- one half cup cooked brown rice
- 1 small beet topped with 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 cup green salad with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette dressing
Mesomorph Hour Glass Diet
This body type should concentrate on healthy fats such as avocado and olive oil, and limit their carbohydrate intake.
- 1 egg, scrambled with 2 tablespoons mozzarella cheese and one fourth cup spinach
- 1 ounce ham
- 1 slice whole-wheat toast with one half teaspoon pure butter
- small apple with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- salad made with 2 cups mixed greens, one hard-boiled egg, 1 ounce avocado, 2 ounces cooked skinless chicken breast, 2 tablespoons reduced fat Italian vinaigrette and 1 tablespoon reduced fat feta cheese
- 6 whole grain crackers
- 3 ounces shrimp/seafood
- 1/4 small pumpkin with 1 tablespoon sour cream
- one half cup steamed broccoli drizzled with 1 teaspoon olive oil
Endomorph Pear Shape Diet
This body type should concentrate on a low fat, low calorie type diet that is also low in carbohydrates.
- Omelet made with 2 eggs and one fourth cup each chopped bell pepper, mushrooms and shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 chicken sausage
- Green Salad
- one fourth cup each almonds and raisins
- 1 cup black bean soup
- salad made with 2 cups spinach, 1 sliced hard-boiled egg, one fourth cup sliced mushrooms, 1 chopped slice of turkey bacon, 2 tablespoons vinaigrette dressing
- 1 slice whole-wheat bread with one half teaspoon of pure butter
- 4 ounces grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast, topped with one fourth cup diced tomatoes and one half cup string beans
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1 cup salad spinach with 1 tablespoon low-fat dressing and 2 tablespoons shredded low-fat cheese
- 1 slice of whole grain bread
By following the above nutritional guidelines, you can optimize fat burn, feed your muscles, and achieve the best possible results for your own unique body type.
What's your body type? Do you enjoy eating a Paleo based diet or do you do better eating fruits and vegetables? Leave us a comment below. We'd love to hear what foods your body dose well on.
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- "Metabolic Type Testing Fixed My Ailing Body." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, n.d. Web. 24 July 2015.
- "Nutritional Typing - Eat the Right Food for You." Mercola.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2015.