Body type eating: Find out whether it's right for you.
All Credits go to Ryan Andrews
Body type — whether ecto, meso, or endomorph — can determine what sports suit you best, as well as what you should be eating to fuel your activities. Yes, it’s true — those darn ectos can get away with a little extra pasta!
What is eating for your body type?
Many people think that “body type” just describes the way someone looks. In fact, your body type can also provide information about how you respond to food intake and about your hormonal and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) characteristics.
Physique characteristics can thus be linked to metabolic differences between individuals. Once someone establishes their body type, they can then adjust nutrient intake to maximize body composition and health related goals.
There are three general categories of body types (somatotypes): ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.
Very few people fall perfectly into one of the three categories. People are often a mix of characteristics. Additionally, years of training and good nutrition can change the outward appearance of one’s body.
For instance, a bodybuilder might be mistaken for a “natural” mesomorph when in fact, s/he is really an endomorph who’s trained and dieted hard; or an ectomorph who’s spent years guzzling protein shakes and doing the power lifts.
An ectomorph who’s gained a little weight around the middle from a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition might assume they’re more endomorphic.
However, most folks can find their general tendencies in one of the three groups.
Ectomorphs are thin individuals characterized by smaller bone structures and thinner limbs. Think of a typical endurance athlete. They tend to be thyroid and SNS dominant with either a higher output or higher sensitivity to catecholamines like epinephrine and norepinephrine. This profile is linked to a fast metabolic rate and a high carbohydrate tolerance.
This group generally does best with more carbohydrates in the diet, along with a moderate protein and lower fat intake. A nutrient distribution for this body type might be around 55% carbs, 25% protein, and 20% fat. (But don’t drive yourself crazy with the math. Just think “higher carbs and lower fat.”)
A group of ectomorphs doing what they do best
Here’s what that might look like using our portion control guide.
Ectomorph men begin by eating:
- 2 palms of protein dense foods at each meal;
- 2 fists of vegetables at each meal;
- 3 cupped handfuls of carb dense foods at each meal;
- 1 thumb of fat dense foods at each meal.
Portions for ectomorph men
Ectomorph women begin by eating:
- 1 palm of protein dense foods at each meal;
- 1 fist of vegetables at each meal;
- 2 cupped handfuls of carb dense foods at each meal;
- 0.5 thumb of fat dense foods at each meal.