Body type nutrition: Here's how to eat right for your body type.

Body type nutrition:
Here's how to eat right for your body type.

By John Berardi, Ph.D.

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Nope, this has nothing to do with your blood type, your eye color, or whether you prefer blondes or brunettes. Instead, this has everything to do with your somatotype.

somatotype-body-types
The 3 Somatotypes Are Outlined Visually Above

Interestingly, research is now showing that whether you’re an ecto, meso, or endomorph this determines some key hormonal and sympathetic nervous system characteristics. And these characteristics can be directly linked to some interesting metabolic differences between people. Specifically:

Ectomorphs – or, those thin individuals characterized by smaller bone structures, and typically thinner limbs – think endurance athlete – tend to be thyroid and SNS dominant with either higher output or higher sensitivity to catecholamines – like epinephrine and norepinephrine.

Interestingly, this profile is linked to a fast metabolic rate and a higher carbohydrate tolerance (and needs).

As a result, ectomorphs do best on higher carb diets with moderate protein intake and lower fat in the diet. A typical ballpark for this type of athlete would be around 55% carbs in the diet, 25% protein, and 20% fat

Mesomorphs – or those individuals characterized by a medium sized bone structure and athletic bodies holding a significant amount of lean mass – think gymnasts – tend to be testosterone and growth hormone dominant.

This profile obviously leads to a propensity for muscle gain and the maintainance of a low body fat.

As a result, mesomorphs typically do best on a mixed diet, consisting of a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Indeed, in this type of individual, a zone-style diet works quite well. And this would consist of about 40% carbohydrate in the diet, 30% protein, and 30% fat.

Endomorphs – or those individuals characterized by a larger bone structure with higher amounts of total body mass and fat mass – think power lifters – tend to be PNS dominant. They are generally less active, and are not as efficient at burning off excess calories.

This profile leads to a greater propensity to store energy – both in lean as well as fat compartments. It also leads to a lower carbohydrate tolerance (and needs).

As a result, endomorphs typically do best on a higher fat and protein intake with carbohydrates being better controlled. A typical ballpark for this type of athlete would be around 25% carbs in the diet, 35% protein, and 40% fat.

In general, nowadays you hear a lot of people talking about how you have experiment until you “find what works for you”. And this is certainly one way to go about doing things. However, if you don’t want to waste a lot of time using trial and error, I guarantee that by eating right for your body type you’ll fast track your success.

Eat, move, and live…better.©

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