By Gigi Tynan, certified Pilates instructor and Neuromuscular Physical Therapist in training.
Do You Know Your Body Type?
Before beginning your training and nutrition regime it’s important to know what body type you are. I’m surprised by how many people who aren’t aware of their body type. Countless times I’ve listened to clients and friends say “I don’t understand why I’m not getting the results I want. I’m going to the gym and I’m eating all the right food (usually comparing it to a friend who is getting the results) “. We are all created differently and therefore, what may work for someone else may not necessarily work for you. Knowing which of the three basic body types you’re closest too, will help you better tailor your diet and exercise plan and set realistic, attainable goals that pave the way to your success.
Three Basic Human Body Types:
If you are an ectomorph you usually have difficulty building muscle despite hours in the gym. Three days of strength training coupled with two days of low-intensity cardio should be done.
What to eat:
Your diet should be high in calories, carbs, protein, and fat. Let this not be mistaken for eating whatever you want. Fats found in nuts, seeds, and avocado will bring you great results. Good news, you don’t have to steer clear of carbs try and stick to the complex kind such as sweet potato and brown rice.
Mesomorph body is characterized as a naturally athletic physique with well-developed muscles. If you are this body type, you find it fairly easy to gain muscle when you lift weights. And find it fairly easy to gain or lose body weight. Mesomorphs should train athletically. They tend to do well in sports requiring strength, power and short bursts of energy.
What to eat:
The good news is that your body type will respond well to whatever healthy food you put on your plate. A basic guideline for mesomorphs would be to consume 40% complex carbohydrates (quinoa, sweet potato, brown rice) 30% lean protein and 30% healthy fats. So for example, a plate with grilled chicken, quinoa with olive oil, broccoli, and some avocado would be an ideal dinner dish.
If you are an endomorph, you will to have a high percentage of body fat, gain weight easily and find it hard to take it off. Endomorph is the hardest body type in terms of managing your weight and overall fitness. The best kind of training for this body type is to team high-intensity interval cardio along with strength training.
What to eat:
A paleo-like diet is the best suited for this body type, where each meal contains protein, vegetables and some healthy fats like avocado and olive oil. Avoid carbs like white bread and rice, get your carbs from your veg! Nutrients from green tea and spinach will help with the fat burning process. There is evidence that extra weight around the midsection is caused by high-stress levels or low ability to handle stress. Minimize the effects of stress hormone cortisol by getting plenty of sleep and avoiding overtraining.