Eating for your specific body type

Regardless of your body type, having a healthy body composition and the ability to utilise the food you consume efficiently, should be your focus.

Most of us think that “body type” is just a description of the way someone looks. But there is more to it than that. Knowing your body type, can help determine what foods are best to fuel your body appropriately, to enable you to function at your best.

In fact, your body type plays a role in how you respond to the food you consume. With our body types having these influences, our individual physical characteristics can therefore be linked to the varying metabolic differences we individually experience with fat loss, muscle mass composition, weight maintenance, and overall health. So once we know what our body type is, we can adapt our food intake appropriately, we can maximise our health.

There are 3 general categories
of body types:
• ectomorph,
• mesomorph
• endomorph

Before I get into eating for your body type, please note some individuals may not fit into one select category. Some people often have a mix of characteristics. Furthermore, our body types can in fact

When you see someone who is an ectomorphs, they are usually thin individuals characterised with small builds, petite bone structures and thin limbs. When I think of an ectomorph body type, I usually think of what an endurance athlete may look like, like an Olympic runner. Ectomorphs tend to burn off excess calories, usually without any concern. A diet best suited for ectomorphs includes more carbohydrates in their diet, moderate protein consumption and a lower fat intake.

The nutrient distribution for this body type would therefore be similar to:
• 55% carbs
• 25% protein
• 20% fat

Mesomorphs have a bigger build compared to ectomorphs’, with a medium sized bone structure with an athletic look. Again, when comparing to ectomorphs, mesomorphs usually have more lean muscle composition. When I think of the mesomorph body type, I think of athletes like tennis players. A diet best suited for a mesomorph is a mixed; yet balance diet, made up of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Mesomorphs usually have a predisposition for muscle gain and maintenance of a lower body fat.

The nutrient distribution for this body type would therefore be similar to:
• 40% carbohydrate,
• 30% protein
• 30% fat

Endomorphs have the largest bone structure of all body types. When I think of the endomorph body type I think of power and weight lifters. Amongst this body type, there is usually more body fat, than compared to the other two body types, as excess calories are more likely to be stored as fat. This means endomorphs have
lower carbohydrate tolerance. The diet best suited for endomorphs is a high fat and protein intake with a moderate to low carbohydrate.

The nutrient distribution for this body type would therefore be similar to:
• 25% carbs,
• 35% protein
• 40% fat.

Tips to help you eat right and to get the correct nutrition distribution for your body type:

1. There is a good time and a bad time to eat carbohydrate dense foods. The best time to eat starchy foods is when you are being physically active.

2. Do not go the other way and cut carbohydrates out altogether. Ensure you get enough carbohydrates, especially when you exercise. Carbohydrates are great for refuelling, and can be beneficial for recovery. A diet that is rich in whole grains and vegetables such as oats and legumes can help you fight excessive fat gain.

3. Your intake of fats should focus on the ‘good fats’; heart healthy fats that can be found in fish, nuts and seeds, and avocados.

Ectomorph’s have a naturally lean build, endomorph’s have a heavier look with a thicker body type, and mesomorph lie somewhere in the middle of these two, with a somewhat more of an hourglass figure look.

Knowing your body type can help you plan an appropriate eating plan and allow you to consume the correct amounts of each macronutrient. To find out your body type, as you may not obviously fit into one select category, and which nutrient distribution is most suited for you, I encourage you to experiment with different nutrition plans and strategies to find what works best for them.

Regardless of your body type, having a healthy body composition, an overall good health status, and the ability to utilise the food you consume efficiently, should be your focus. Having the correct nutrient distribution is important.

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