by Rebecca Douglas, Owner, Fit Body Boot Camp
FBBC, ASFA, PN1 Certified Nutrition Spclst
For 6 months, two best friends have been working out together doing steady state cardio on treadmills, reading the same fitness magazines and following the same diet… thinking they were doing all the right things. Both are frustrated at their lack of results.
In my line of work, I see this pattern all the time… individuals designing their own workout and diet plans based on media messages and what their friends are doing, ultimately being eternally frustrated because the weight is not coming off. So much goes into weight loss; habits, daily diet, workout style, and (for the sake of this article) body type.
When considering health and fitness goals, there are three main Body Types:
Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph.
Knowing your Body Type can provide valuable information about how you respond to food intake and ultimately how to eat for your specific goals.
Ectomorphs are typically thin with small bone structure and have a hard time building lean muscle: think long distance endurance athletes. This group does better with more carbohydrates, moderate protein and lower fat intake.
Mesomorphs typically have a medium bone structure and a naturally athletic “look”: think gymnasts and wrestlers. They have an easier time building lean muscle. This group does best on a mixed diet, with balanced carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Endomorphs have a larger bone structure with higher amounts body fat: think football lineman and powerlifters. They tend to be naturally less active. This means that excess calories are more likely to be stored as fat. This can also mean a lower carbohydrate tolerance. Endomorphs typically do best on a higher (healthy) fat and protein intake with carbohydrate intake being controlled and properly timed around exercise.
Most of us are a mixture of two types, with one being more dominant. We may also be fooled by lifestyle and environmental factors such as obesity. It’s easy to think an overweight Ectomorph is an Endomorph or an underfed/sedentary Mesomorph is an Ectomorph. With all the conflicting information from multiple sources, including magazines, social media, TV “gurus” and well meaning best friends, we have become an overweight society, frustrated that we can’t find a magic pill that will melt the fat off our bodies. But, once you determine your Body Type and how, what and when to eat based on that information, reaching your goals will become easier and less of a mystery.
So, back to the two best friends. After a short conversation, I was able to determine that one is an overweight Mesomorph and one is an Ectomorph with a little extra weight. Up to this point they were both eating and working out like they were Endomorphs. No wonder they weren’t seeing any results! A few tweaks in their individual food plans and workout strategies and they started seeing shifts and changes within two weeks.
Remember, there is no “one size fits all” fitness plan. A certified nutrition coach can help you determine your next course of action.