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Take your nutrition plan to the next level based on your body type

A good nutrition plan does not mean you have to eat raw pumpkin!

 

If you’ve made positive changes to your nutrition plan, and been following them for a few months, you’re probably seeing the benefits in both the way you look on the outside, and how you feel on the inside. As a general rule, if you’re eating three meals a day, your plates should look like this:

  • 2 palms of good quality protein with every meal
  • 2 fists of vegetables with every meal
  • 2 cupped handfuls of good quality carbs with 1-2 meals
  • 2 thumbs of good quality fats with 1-2 meals

But what often happens when you’ve been on the same nutrition plan for a lengthy period of time is your weight loss can plateau out. For you, this plateau may be perfectly fine. You’ve lost plenty of weight, you’re happy with the way you look, and love the food you’re eating. If that’s the case, that’s fantastic news and you should continue down that path. Well done.

For other people, they may want to take their fat loss and muscle gain to the next level. That means bursting through that plateau. If that’s you, then you need to determine what your body type is, and formulate a nutrition plan based on the characteristics of that particular body type.

 

What body type are you?

 

Body type number one – Ectomorphs

Ectomorphs are thin in stature. At the extreme level, think of a high-level marathon runner and you get the picture. Typical characteristics of an ectomorph include:

  • A fast metabolism – they can burn energy quickly without storing much
  • High energy – they tend to always be moving, which helps to burn off calories
  • Carbs are their friend – they can eat whatever they want, to a degree, without putting on weight

For ectomorphs, a nutrition plan high in carbs and low in fats is the way to go. What does this look like compared to the baseline nutrition plan you’ve been on so far?

  • 2 palms of good quality protein with every meal
  • 2 fists of vegetables with every meal
  • 3 cupped handfuls of good quality carbs with most meals
  • 1 thumb of good quality fats with 1-2 meals

(For women, around half as much food should be consumed)

Body type number two – Mesomorphs

Mesomorphs have been genetically blessed. They have athletic looking bodies and carry plenty of lean muscle mass. Of course, if they aren’t taking care of themselves this body type might not be so obvious. But the potential for having a great body for mesomorphs, with less work than is required for other people, is enormous. Typical characteristics of mesomorphs include:

  • The food they eat typically converts to lean muscle mass instead of fat
  • They have high levels of testosterone and growth hormones
  • They’re lucky bastards!!!

For mesomorphs, a balanced nutrition plan is the way to go. An almost even portion of carbs, protein and fats will have them looking great. Here’s what that might look like:

  • 2 palms of good quality protein with every meal
  • 2 fists of vegetables with every meal
  • 2 cupped handfuls of good quality carbs with every meal
  • 2 thumbs of good quality fats with every meal

(For women, around half as much food should be consumed)

Body type three – endomorphs

Endomorphs are rounder in stature and tend to carry a higher percentage of body fat. They find it much more difficult to lose weight and keep it off. If this is you, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to look amazing, it just means you need to be stricter with your food, and be consistent with your training. Typical characteristics of an endomorph include:

  • A slow metabolism – they burn less energy and store any excess as fat
  • Low energy – they don’t tend to move unless they have to, including involuntary movements such as fidgeting or toe tapping
  • Carbs are not their friend – they really need to watch what they eat, especially fast acting carbs like chocolate, cakes and sugary drinks

For endomorphs, a nutrition plan high in fat and protein, and low in carbs is the way to go. In fact, carb cycling is something that definitely should be considered. But I’ll get onto that in a minute. First though, what does that nutrition plan look like:

  • 2 palms of good quality protein with every meal
  • 2 fists of vegetables with every meal
  • 1 cupped handful of good quality carbs with 1-2 meals
  • 3 thumbs of good quality fats with most meals

(For women, around half as much food should be consumed)

Of course, many people are a combination of these body types. For example, I can’t seem to put any weight on my arms or legs, and carry most excess fat around my stomach. I also struggle to put on muscle mass. That makes me predominantly an ectomorph, with a couple of endomorph tendencies. As such you’ll need to experiment with the ratios of foods. If you find yourself not losing any weight after 6-8 weeks, you might want to remove some of the fats and/or carbs from your nutrition plan. If you find you’re not putting on any muscle, you might want to increase your protein intake.

Also, if you find you can’t eat that much food, you may need to lower each category proportionately. Conversely, if you find that you’re hungry all the time, you may need to increase each category proportionately as well. It’s all about experimentation and taking cues and signals from your body to understand the best eating habits for you. Listen carefully because your body is an amazing machine, and it will tell you when you’re doing the right thing, or the wrong thing.

What’s carb cycling?

Carb cycling is an easy strategy for taking control of your carbohydrate intake. In its most basic form, you eat a high percentage of your weekly total carb intake on your workout days, and a very low percentage of weekly total carbs on your non-workout days. You still stick to the same protein and fat intake every day, which means your caloric intake is higher on workout days, and lower on non-workout days.

A word of warning, before moving on to a strategy like carb cycling, make sure you’ve got your portion sizes under control, and you’re eating for your specific body type. And you’ve been doing this on a consistent basis for at least three months. If you don’t get those right first, carb cycling can have the opposite effect you’re looking for.

Nutrition plan – the main take away’s from today?

  1. Have you been consistently eating meals from the general guidelines for at least three months, i.e.:
  • 2 palms of good quality protein at every meal
  • 2 fists of vegetables at every meal
  • 2 cupped handfuls of good quality carbs for 1-2 meals
  • 2 thumbs of good quality fats for 1-2 meals
  1. If yes to number one, and your weight loss/muscle gain has hit a plateau, you may want to tweak your nutrition guidelines for your particular body type. Determine if you’re an ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph, and make the relative changes.
  1. If, after months of experimentation, you’ve nailed your eating habits based on your specific body type, you may want to try carb cycling. Carb cycling has the potential to take your fat loss and muscle gain to the next level.

Remember, don’t move onto the next step until you’ve followed your current step consistently for at least three months. Good luck.

Over to you…

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