How You Can Create Effective Diet Plans by Understand Your Body Type
Many of us have gone through this before. One day, we make the sudden realisation that we need to do something about our weight. As we draw inspiration from people around us, we decide that, yes, it is finally time to diet and exercise. So we take less meals and run more. We tell everyone who is willing to hear our ambitious targets of losing 10-20kg in this calendar year. And at the end of each workout, we are breathless, full of perspiration, and probably aching all over, but we chalk it off as a successful day of a healthy lifestyle.
Yet, after a couple of months have passed, we find that all the effort has resulted in minimum progress. Feeling demoralised, we revert to our previous habits, and the cycle repeats.
But here’s the thing. What if we told you that the key to a successful fitness regime begins before starting? It starts from knowing your body type, and what to do specifically for that body type. Then based on that knowledge, you can achieve much more with the same amount of effort! Let’s start understanding effective dieting!
Understanding Body Types
First of all, read and see which applies to you the most:
1) You easily gain AND lose weight
2) You cannot easily gain OR lose weight
3) You easily gain weight BUT cannot easily lose it
When we translate this into body types, you get this:
- Mesomorph Body Type
- Ectomorph Body Type
- Endomorph Body Type
These are also known as somatotypes, which was introduced by researcher and psychologist William Sheldon in the 1940s. We are born with them, and these body types cannot be changed from diet and exercise alone. However, we can tweak our diet and exercise to best compliment our body type. But before we start formulating diet and exercise plans, let’s look into each somatotype and understand what they mean for each of us.
Mesomorphs will find that they tend to have a medium frame, and that they’re capable of developing muscles relatively easily. Many will find that they can eat whatever they like, since they can as easily lose the excess weight gained from a binge session or two, if they work to keep it down, of course.
Ectomorphs tend to look skinny and not particularly muscular. That’s because they have high metabolism, making them resistant to weight gain. While it might be a good sign for some as it means they can overeat and not gain weight, some ectomorphs can be “skinny fat”, which means having low weight but high visceral (internal) fat which does not translate to outward appearances.
Endomorphs usually sport a softer and rounder look. People with these body types have low metabolism, which unfortunately for most means that the body cannot burn off the food they consume quickly, causing them to gain weight faster than they can lose it. Endomorphs must make a dedicated effort to maintain their body weight.
It’s Not Just About Eating More/Less
To want to gain or lose weight is not a matter of simply eating more or eating less. For ectomorphs, their high metabolism will simply burn off the increased food intake, but fats that do not get burned off get stored as visceral fats, which in large amounts will create vulnerability to many major health issues, such as Type-2 Diabetes and heart diseases.
For endomorphs and mesomorphs, remember that the body constantly requires energy to function, and simply eating less will not help you lose weight if your body doesn’t have the necessary nutrients to function properly.Conversely, when you starve your body, it lowers its metabolism to prioritise survival, therefore defeating the purpose of losing weight through eating less.
Rather than eating more or eating less, the correct solution is in eating right! Consume the food that gives your body the necessary nutrients, and compliment that with a consistent exercise regime. Incidentally, the types of food you consume and exercise you partake is dependent on your body type as well.
The balanced nature of the mesomorph body type also means that meals can be easily altered depending on your wants and needs (gaining muscle or maintaining weight). Generally, it is recommended to have meals consisting of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fats. If you are trying to lose excess weight, consider reducing carbohydrate intake. For those building muscle, you can try endurance training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or plyometrics. Focus on whole grains, healthy fats and protein-rich foods such as fish (salmon, tuna), chicken, eggs, fruits and vegetables, almonds, cashews, beans and brown rice.
Ectomorphs looking to gain weight should focus on gaining muscle mass. Consider having meals in a ratio of 45% carbohydrates, 35% protein and 20% fats. Complement your food intake with weight or resistance training to build muscle density in your body. Focus on fibre-rich foods, whole grains and protein-rich foods such as white fish (cods), chicken, eggs, fruits and vegetables, almonds, peanuts, sweet potatoes and brown rice.
The low metabolism of endomorphs makes reducing carbohydrate intake a priority. You’ll be looking at 20% carbohydrates, 40% protein and 40% fats. HIIT and CrossFit training as well as endurance training are great ways to burn off fats and keep in shape. A protein-rich, low-carb, healthy fats diet could consist of chicken, salmon, yogurt, fruits and vegetables, almonds, sweet potatoes, brown rice and oats.
Knowing our body types is a good way to start our journey into a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, when we go deeper into understanding ourselves we realise our bodies are different and require a little more help. Apart from the three body types we’ve mentioned, some of us can have a mix of the two which adds to the challenge. Or our bodies might have certain conditions which can throw a spanner into the works. Or we just have personal preferences and we don’t know how to best create a plan that would be enjoyable for us.
If you feel that you fall into any of these categories, consider hiring a coach to help you with these plans. Love Fit Couple is one of those coaches who has impacted the lives of many through their online 24/7 mentoring programme. They will guide you over the duration of the course on meals and workouts. By the end of the course, you will see that you have made tangible progress and the habits cultivated during the course will stick with you and help you even more! You can check out Love Fit Couple here