Ectomorph, Endomorph or Mesomorph, which one are you? (part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of my blog on the 3 body shape types. If you haven’t read part one yet go here. In part 1 I covered descriptions of the 3 types, and nutrition and exercise recommendations for the Endomorph type. In this blog I’ll be covering nutrition and exercise for the other 2 types – Mesomorph and Ectomorph.

A quick review of the physical features of both of these types:

The Mesomorph body type  is almost the exact opposite of the Endomorph. They are athletic, generally with a hard body. Their muscles are well defined, they are strong and gain muscle easily. They have a more rectangular body shape.

The small, delicately framed Ectomorph, tend to be flat chested, with small shoulders and on the thin side. They have lean muscle mass and find it hard to gain weight and muscle. They also tend to have a fast metabolism.

Nutrition and Exercise for the Mesomorph:

If you have this body type, you are able to put on muscle easily when you lift weights and find it fairly easy to gain and lose body weight. However, this doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want and lie around on the couch all day.

Balance is important for the Mesomorph, who falls between Endomorphs and Ectomorphs — the other two body types which are characterized by excess body fat and skinniness, respectively. I recommend that mesomorphs follow a dietary plan that is nearly balanced between the three macro-nutrients — 40 percent carbs, 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat. At each meal. Make calories count by choosing whole foods (over processed foods), which tend to be more nutrient-dense and lower in unhealthy fat, salt and sugar. Focus on non-starchy vegetables, fresh fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, limit dairy products (don’t replace full fat with low or non-fat, they’re full of added sugar to make up for the missing fat), and enjoy nuts and seeds in moderation. Get healthy fats by drizzling your salad with olive oil or topping it with sesame seeds, or adding avocado to a salad or on a lean burger.

Just as they should eat a balanced diet, Mesomorphs should engage in a balanced fitness regimen including both cardio and weight training. Lift moderate to heavy weight in order to stimulate muscle growth. But be careful not to overdo it. Once a Mesomorph has reached their ideal physique, they can train to maintain. Mesomorphs don’t need to do as much cardio as Endomorphs, but they should still engage in cardio exercise such as running or cycling for 35 minutes three days a week.

Nutrition and Exercise for the Ectomorph:

Since Ectomorphs have such a naturally fast metabolism, they must make sure to consume an adequate amount of calories and carbs. Ectomorphs typically handle carbs much better and should consume a sufficient amount of high-quality carbs every day in order to support intense training sessions. Ectomorphs should also aim to eat every two to four hours, meaning have smaller meals more frequently, 6 meals a day! Take advantage of high quality carbs (starchy, unprocessed, whole grain carbs), don’t skimp on protein. Even add some carbs to your after workout protein drink! It’s still about balance, protein is still important but Ectomorphs need and can handle a higher carb to protein ratio. Fruits and vegetables are also still important. Vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients are in these foods that are absolutely essential for you to grow and be healthy. Don’t allow being an Ectomorph to be an excuse to eat crap! A healthy diet always includes plants with every meal.

Being naturally leaner and finding it harder to gain weight, Ectomorphs should focus on resistance training and limit endurance-type training. So the name of the game is strength and building muscle. In order to gain strength and size, Ectomorphs should focus on resting longer between sets, using heavier weights for fewer reps (four to eight) and not targeting the endurance energy systems during training (you’re not running a marathon here, so you don’t want to feel as if you are).

You can do your weight session three times per week, resting a day in between sessions. You should not be doing a ton of high-intensity cardio on your off days (even if that’s your natural inclination), but you can stay active with low-intensity activities like walking or swimming. Compound movements are great for you, as they maximize your workout time by working multiple muscle groups at once. So if you’re burned out on your current workout, try incorporating lunges with biceps curls, squats with an overhead press or renegade rows with push-ups.

So, there you have it, the best way to eat and workout for your body type. Remember though that a) you may not fit perfectly into one of the body types and b) always listen to your body when changing routines and adjust accordingly. Your body wants to be its best healthy self. If we listen to it and do our best by it, it will get there!

I’m off to the gym to do my own HIIT workout and then out into the sunshine for a walk with a friend. Enjoy your day 🙂

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Only 8% of people keep there new years resolutions! Are you one of that 8%? 

I already talked about using the SMART acronym in an earlier blog (https://nourishment3.com/2014/01/01/2014/) to help you reach your goals. So today my blog is more specific. It’s some tips to help you keep that number one (most common) new years resolution: To eat healthy and/or lose weight.

1. Instead of doing a radical diet overhaul that will make you feel overwhelmed, try just changing one meal a day, but everyday. For example, instead of your egg and cheese sandwich or bagel for breakfast that you had every day last year, try fruit, oatmeal or a green smoothie in the morning. Changing just part of your day will influence other decisions you make about eating and this could be the start to making everlasting changes.

2. Don’t just say you are going to “exercise more” or “get fit” – Do something every single day that will lead to that result. Develop a habit, routine and schedule it in your day. Everyone should devote and schedule at least 1 hour a day for wellness- it does not have to be one solid 60 minute block of time, break it up if you have to. Before work, during a lunch break, or right after work are often great times for this. If you do this at the same time everyday, your body and mind will adapt and it will become easier for you to create a new habit. Focus less on the end result and more the habit forming activity that you like doing. << That is so very important!

3.  Don’t set weight loss goals. Focus less on weight and more on getting healthier for life. If you are drinking or eating things you shouldn’t – linked to obesity, cancer, etc, try replacing those foods with something better. For example, try replacing soda with sparkling water or your artificially colored and flavored chips with baked homemade ones. Also, you could replace the artificial sweetener in your coffee with organic stevia extract or coconut palm sugar. You don’t have to deprive yourself if you make better choices. Also follow the 80/20 rule (or 90/10 if you like a bit more structure)- 80% of the time you eat well and make those healthy choices, 20% of the time you’re more flexible on your choices. That doesn’t mean that 20% of the time you let go of all the great choices you’ve been making, it just means you bend a little on those choices.

4. Don’t give up carbs. Going without carbs for life is just crazy and not sustainable – could you imagine not being able to eat a piece of cake ever again? Try going for the best carbs available instead- Quinoa over rice, sprouted wheat instead on white bread.

Instead of a crash or liquid diet, add one organic green drink a day before breakfast or dinner. Chlorophyll rich foods like spinach, kale, and collards blended with fruit or juiced can alleviate cravings because they provide a burst of nutrition that the typical diet doesn’t get. When your body doesn’t get what it needs nutritionally speaking, cravings continue which lead to weight gain.

Instead of going all out vegan or vegetarian which is hard to do cold turkey, vow to only eat meat that you know the source of and that is not factory farmed. Go vegetarian one day a week, and when that becomes a habit, add a second day. You can add more and become a full vegetarian/vegan or stop when it feels right for you and your lifestyle. When you go to a restaurant to eat, ask about the meat, if they don’t have a sustainable option available go for a vegetarian option. Just make better choices as often as possible.

5. When all else fails…. try one of these habits below to start and see if you can make them stick!

Drink warm water with lemon every morning (warm as in room temperature)
Ditch refined sugar
Drink a green drink every single day
Change where you shop

More importantly…don’t give up! Take it one step, one change at a time. If one isn’t working, try something else! Take small steps if something seems too big or overwhelming. Small steps are still steps in the right direction, you are still moving towards your goals. You don’t have to, nor should you worry about, taking the same or same size steps as anyone else. You are uniquely you…do what works for you!