Did you know that the way you look if you do not do anything special with diet or exercise, is the way your genetics dictate. Yes, that is the unfortunate truth. You acquire the propensity to be naturally fat or lean from your parents. But that need not be the end of story. You definitely can change that. The problem is that the obesity and diabetic cases are increasing year on year. If everyone just acquired their parent’s genetics, then the proportion of healthy vs unhealthy, fat vs lean, diabetic vs non-diabetic should remain the same over time. However, that is not the case. So we are doing something wrong to make things worse. Environmental changes, increase in stressful jobs apart, our quality of diet and exercise has been on the decline. We need to improve them. But, depending on the body type, you need to adjust your diet and exercise. So it is helpful to understand your body type based on your genetics. There are three body types in general — endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph. Figure out which body type you closely resemble and apply the fixes.
Disclaimer: I am neither a nutritionist or a fitness adviser. I don’t have any certification. Take all my advice with a pinch of salt. I have been into health and fitness since 2008 and that is probably my only credibility. I am not liable for any health issues that might arise following my advice. Risk is all yours.
Endomorphs are on the bulky side with broad shoulders and wide build with large bone structure. They tend to gain fat quite easily, but they also have the advantage in that they are strong and can add muscle quite easily too. They have bigger appetite in general and tend to eat more. If you don’t have any medical conditions and you have always been chubby since childhood, you are most likely this body type.
They tend to be sensitive to insulin and sugar. So minor increase in blood sugar levels can lead to body dumping insulin to convert sugar to fat. Which is why endomorphs have difficulty reducing fat, because the body likes to convert sugar to fat more often than for other body types. These body types should avoid bad carbohydrates as much as possible. They should ideally have more proteins and even fat than carbs. Carbs should mainly come from vegetables and some fruits. Rice with high fiber (such as red or brown rice) or whole wheat should be taken in small amounts. Try to eat a lot more low carb vegetables than rice or roti. For example, breakfast could be a small cup of oatmeals and a 2 egg omelette. Lunch could be vegetable salad, small cup of curd rice and a fruit like apple. Dinner could be chicken with 1 or 2 rotis. Of course you need to figure out your daily calorie requirement and eat adequate amount of calories. But almost always avoid bad carbs. These body types benefit from calorie deficit, so eat less calories than you need. Also they should do more cardio than weight training.
These body types have the best of both worlds. They tend to have wide shoulders and narrow waist. They are usually not too fat or too lean. They can build muscle and lose fat with little effort. Their sugar and insulin sensitivity is moderate which means their body can tolerate a moderate amount of sugar in the blood before it becomes fat.
These body types have it the easiest when it comes to diet and exercise. They can have moderate carbs, proteins and fats. Cardio and weight training exercises will keep them in good shape. While they have good genetics, they still need to eat healthy food. Just that it is easier for them to stay fit and healthy. If you are good at sports and can easily shed fat with minimal changes to diet and a little exercise, then you are this body type.
We have ectomorphs on the other extreme. These people tend to have narrow shoulders and waist and find it difficult to gain weight. They have smaller appetite and food is generally not in the top of their list. And even if they eat too many calories they tend to burn it much faster. Their insulin and sugar sensitivity is quite low and can tolerate a good amount of sugar before insulin kicks in. Also called as hard gainers because they find it difficult to gain muscle.
Because these body types can eat all kind of unhealthy food and not look fat, they abuse the genetics and eat like crap. It will soon catch up with a pouch (not a pot belly) at the waistline and clog their arteries. These body types should prefer more carbohydrates than fats and proteins. The carbs should come from healthy food like whole wheat and brown rice. Because vegetables have very less calories, they need rice or roti to get adequate amount. They can have ample fruits and vegetables. They should preferably do more weight training than cardio and should eat excess calories if the plan is to gain weight.
Intermittent fasting is an excellent way to give a break to your digestive system, reduce calories and improve alertness. So I suggest you give it a try when possible. All body types benefit from intermittent fasting, but endomorphs will see the most benefit. An example of intermittent fasting can be to finish dinner on Sunday night and avoid eating anything until Monday night dinner time. That will be a 24 hour fast. You can do that every week until you reach your healthy body weight. Although some research suggests a 48-72 hour fasting gives better results. Don’t take this as medical advice and do your own research.
Many people fear starvation or worry about hunger, but our body is very well equipped to last much much longer without food. Believe me. We have so much fat, it can last a very long time. Only thing is that you need to take care of micronutrients. During the fast, you can drink tea, coffee (without milk and sugar), lemon water, plain drinking water and multivitamins / electrolytes as needed. Did you know that the longest recorded fasting went on for 382 days! The person went from 207 kgs to 82 kgs (his preferred weight) in those 382 days. He consumed only vitamins, electrolytes, tea, coffee, and water during that time.
- You need to eat the right type of food based on your body type
- The three body types are endomorphs, mesomorphs, ectomorphs
- All body types should always eat healthy
- Endomorphs should prefer less carbs and more cardio
- Ectomorphs should prefer more carbs and weight training
- Mesomorphs can go for a balanced diet and exercise
- Consider doing intermittent fasting