Eating For Your Body Type

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Q: Pete I’ve been told I need to reduce fats in my diet, as my body type needs more carbs and less fats. Is this correct? What is eating for your body type?

A: It’s true – body types can not only determine what sport you’re suited to, but also to what type of food will fuel you the best. It’s called eating for your body type.



So what is eating for your body type?

Eating for your body type is a generic way to sum up the main body types. There are 3 classifications:

  • Ectomorphs
  • Mesomorphs, and
  • Endomorphs

Here’s a male example of each body type.

Ectomorph, Endomorph & Mesomorph

Ectomorph, Endomorph & Mesomorph

By identifying which body type you fall into, you can also begin to understand the best nutrition breakdown to begin with.

It’s rare to find somebody who fits perfectly into one category; often people are a mixture.

It’s also possible for looks to be receiving – for example, just because somebody has the look of a marathon runner, doesn’t mean they were born an ectomorph.

Decades of training may have transformed their shape and they are mistaken for a natural “ecto”. Similarly, a natural bodybuilder might be a natural “endo”, but has spent decades of sweat and time to transform.



Let's look at each type a little closer...

Ectomorphs

Ectomorphs are characterized by thin limbs, and lanky body frames. Imagine the stereotypical endurance runner.

They are mostly thyroid dominant, and have a higher metabolism. As a result, they can normally handle a high amount of carbohydrates without any fat gain. If you’re somebody who – like me – smells a Krispy Kreme donut and feels your love handles increasing, its fair to say you don’t fall under the ecto category.

Because of the higher carb tolerance, this body type can generally handle lower protein and fat intake. A good starting point would be roughly 55/30/15% of carbohydrate, protein and fats.

Mesomorphs

Mesomorphs are those who we all love to hate – the ones who seem to burn fat easily and simply walk past a gym to increase strength.

For many mesomorphs, they will stay lean year-round, and be attracted to a range of sports due to an above-average level of both strength and endurance.

They generally have medium sized bone structures and muscle size and tend to be testosterone and growth hormone dominants.

Because of this, they have a predisposition for muscle gain. This body type can handle a mixed diet approach. 40/30/30 of carbs, protein fats would work best as a starting point.

Endomorphs

Endomorphs are generally “bigger boned” with higher amounts of both fat and muscle mass.

Think powerlifters, rugby union props, and NFL linemen.

Endos are often insulin dominant, which means a greater inclination toward energy storage [both fat + muscle]. This also generally means a lower carb tolerance. Their carbs need to be more strictly monitored, and only really allowed during workout and post workout.

Their ideal starting point might look like 25/35/40 carbs, protein and fat. Think of a low-carb Paleo style approach.



Measure, Tweak, Repeat

This gives a very good starting point to designing your meal plan. You can then use objective numbers – such as body fat percentage or measurements – to tweak the plan until you’re getting the results you deserve. For example, you may decrease carbs if your goal is fat loss, and you’ve hit a wall.

The ONLY way to figure out if it’s working is by taking regular measurements or readings and then making adjustments. Otherwise, it’s merely opinion and not fact.



Carb Timing

 

We all have a different tolerance to carbs. Some body types can handle large amounts of carbs without any fat gain. Others put on 5kg walking through the bread aisle. Here’s how to make your tolerance level work for you.

High tolerance

If you’re on the high end, damn you! I envy your ability to devour cereals, croissants and sweets any time of the day with seemingly no negative impact.

I still however suggest timing the majority of your carbs for either during or post workout. Your muscles and your recovery will thank you for it.

Moderate tolerance

If this is you, you should minimize high carb/starchy carb foods outside the workout window.

So apart form post workout, keep your meals consisting of lean proteins, good fats, and a crap-tonne of green leafy veggies.

Low tolerance

For this body type, your best to avoid high carb/starchy carb foods outside the workout window, and keep them low until your body fat percentage nears 10-15%.

This means only veggies and fruits outside the workout window. Fats and carbs should have an inverse relationship – so if carbs are kept low, the fats can be kept at a moderate-high level.

Remember that people are generally a mixture of these three categories. This is just a guide, and there is no perfect diet solution for everyone. 

Years of training can change the outward appearance, and not be a true indication of the body type.

Talk soon,

Pete

P.S. I’d love to hear your comments below!

  • Kris

    Always the informative poster Pete.