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The Bodytype Diet

How to eat to fit your genes

ByJimmy Pena

The jury is still out. The verdict on how much genetics contribute to the amount of skeletal muscle you can build naturally is still under deliberation, and rightly so. The new guy in the gym seems to have grown like a weed this year while you, the most committed lifter on the planet, haven't gained a pound in months. Your body just isn't responding to the weight cycling, exercise variety and active rest you've implemented in your program. You're doing everything right, so what's the deal? Before you place all the blame on your parents, concentrate on two things: your mirror and your table.

Sure, people come in all shapes and sizes, but those shapes and sizes all had definite beginnings -- a genetically predetermined bodytype of ectomorph, endomorph or mesomorph or, more likely, some combination thereof. You can find out which one you are by taking a good, hard look in the mirror. Are you slender and small-boned, with long arms and a thin neck? You're probably an ectomorph. If you're pear-shaped with shorter arms and legs and big bones, you might be an endomorph. And if you're thick-chested, broad-shouldered and naturally muscular (not to mention shunned by the other two bodytypes!), you're probably a mesomorph.

Once you figure out your genetically determined bodytype, you must examine your kitchen table -- or, more specifically, what you eat off it. Research shows that you can increase muscle mass only through overloading your muscles and supporting the subsequent growth with a sufficient increase in food intake. That one dictum can work for everyone as long as you know that each bodytype will respond differently to what that food intake includes. In a nutshell, however, a good meal is a terrible thing to waste. Whether you're an ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph, you have a serious responsibility to take care of business at mealtime.

A good meal is a terrible thing to waste. Whether you’re an ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph, you have a serious responsibility to take care of business at mealtime.

That being said, you still need to know several things: What types of food and how often should you eat? Should you take any supplements? Would any type of food, supplement or situation hinder you from maximizing the growth potential of your particular bodytype? To help you answer these important questions, digest the information on the following pages that's appropriate to the bodytype you most closely resemble. It could help you transform your body into the physique you've always wanted!


Just Eat!

Dietary needs: Consume 1.5-2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight; protein intake can be as high as 30% of your total daily calories. Your carbohydrate intake should be around 50%, and fat intake 20% of your total daily calories. To add muscle, the number of calories you eat daily must exceed the number of calories you burn.

Frequency of meals: Eat five medium-sized meals a day. Eating too many small meals could fuel your already high metabolism.

Supplements: Have one weight-gain or protein shake each day with a meal and another one right before bedtime. Take creatine to help your energy levels during training and aid muscular adaptation.

Things to avoid: Fat-burners, mahuang, stress.

Things to remember: Don't skip meals, and make sure you drink at least 80 ounces of water a day.

A constant flow of high-quality protein, clean carbohydrate and fat is critical. In fact, you'd need 2,000-2,500 extra calories from a good diet to add just 1-2 pounds of lean tissue from resistance training! This illustrates the unfortunate truth that the ectomorph begins at a deficit and must counter the effects of that blazing metabolism with a rush of quality nutrients.

"Don't worry about getting fat, just eat!" says three-time Ms. International and IFBB pro Laura Creavalle. "You need to increase your calories to grow, so boost your intake of starchy carbohydrates, protein and fat."

Susan M. Kleiner, PhD, RD, explains: "With this bodytype, the No. 1 thing is calories. The ectomorph has trouble getting enough, so he or she needs to eat every 2-3 hours. Use supplements to add calories on busy days; choose meal-replacement beverages, sports bars and sports drinks. Carry food and fluids with you so you don't get caught hungry or thirsty."

The ectomorph must also be aware of the need to eat properly before and after training. Evidence shows that eating a meal containing carbohydrate and protein before lifting weights may reduce catabolism during exercise; eating a similar meal afterward may promote a more anabolic profile. IFBB pro Milos Sarcev suggests eating 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight daily and increasing your intake of starchy carbohydrates like rice, potatoes and pasta. "It's even okay to add some saturated fat," he says. "Eating steak and eggs wouldn't hurt." Don't get too much saturated fat, however.

The ectomorph lives in the land of catabolism and it's an uphill battle to leave town. To make it to the freeway, you must fuel your body with something other than its own muscle protein throughout the day. Stay full with a few medium-sized meals. Basically, your motto could be, "Eat big to get big."


The Heat Is On

Dietary needs: Above all else, limit your fat intake. All your protein should come from lean sources such as low-fat fish, skinless chicken breasts, egg whites and lean turkey. Consume a variety of vegetables, but never use plant sources for protein. Limit fruit to the early part of the day. Eat only quality complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, long-grain rice and lentils.

Frequency of meals: To get the calorie-burning benefits of constant digestion and absorption, eat 5-7 small meals every day. The thermogenic nature of food is critical.

Supplements: Thermogenic products and protein shakes (unless inadvisable for health reasons).

Things to avoid: High-fat dairy products, deli sliced luncheon meats, incomplete protein sources, alcohol and soft drinks, second helpings.

Things to remember: Don't eat too late or too quickly, and make sure you leave the table before you're stuffed.

"The endomorph has less room for error," Kleiner begins. "Just as with the ectomorph, calories are the controlling factor. Yet if your goal is to taper, calories need to be restricted and each macronutrient amount (protein, carb or fat) has to be more exact." Also realize that while some foods will boost your metabolism, some will slow it down. This thermic effect is a process the endomorph needs to take control of now!

Here's the skinny on what this means for you: For roughly every 100 calories of protein you ingest, your body will use 20% of its own calories just to digest, absorb and distribute the protein. And for every 100 calories of carbohydrate you eat, your body will burn roughly 10%-12% of its own calories to do the same. As for fat, well, your body will burn just 5% of its own calories to digest and absorb 100 calories.

As you can see, even though fat is essential, it won't "stir the pot" like protein and carbohydrate. To get the most out of your protein, Creavalle, also an accomplished bodybuilding chef, suggests making skinless chicken breasts, fish and scrambled egg whites your mainstays. "This way you can eat more and have a full feeling without eating too much carbohydrate and fat," she notes. Milos agrees, but adds a twist: "If you want to lose fat, eat more fibrous carbs than starchy carbs. Eating frequent meals that are high in both protein and fibrous carbohydrates will help."

All in all, be careful what kinds of carbs you eat, watch your fat intake and utilize the thermogenic nature of protein.


Get With the Program

Dietary needs: Eat 1 gram of lean protein (scrambled egg whites, lean turkey, skinless chicken breasts and fish) per pound of bodyweight daily. Your carbohydrate intake should remain high: 60%-65% of your daily calories. Limit fat to 15% of your daily caloric intake.

Frequency of meals: 5-7 meals per day.

Supplements: Protein shakes and meal replacements.

Things to remember: Don't eat the same things in the same amounts each week -- variety is the spice of life! Rather than trying to stay too lean all year, increase your calories now and then to pack on the muscle. You can gain muscle and lose fat easily, so make the most of that gift of balance.

Mesomorphs are blessed, to say the least. Not only do they look sensational, but their bodies have an innate ability to keep them that way. Research shows that muscular bodybuilders have a higher 24-hour energy expenditure, meaning they burn more calories both during activity and at rest than their non-bodybuilding counterparts of the same age, height and percent fat. Who could ask for more?

Even though you're able to gain muscle and get rid of unwanted fat easily, don't rest on your laurels! You still need to strive to make a good thing great. As Kleiner says, "The mesomorph has the tendency to be lazy, and to eat and train without a system or a strategy." Get with the program by eating the proper amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrate and supplements -- all the right building blocks, if you will -- to make serious gains and reach your potential. After all, "You can't build a mansion with five bricks, even if the bricks are the best bricks you can buy," Milos explains.

Is there hope for your bodytype? Absolutely. No matter what Mother Nature has given you, knowing how to make the most of your own personal combination of muscle and metabolism will help you turn some heads!

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saturated fat = no double bonds , limit intake of it: walnuts, mayonaise, pork stuff, butter, veg oil

unsaturated fat: olive / canola oil, peanut butter, primrose oil, almonds, peanuts, good stuff


i'm a mesomorph but i find it hard to stay in shape. if i don't stick to a specific diet or gym routine, i gain weight easily. it sux, one must really watch themselves, I would prefer to be the bony type

Originally posted by elitesnautica

Good read, but it should have explained the difference in saturated and unsaturated fats and not grouped all fat into one category.

Unfortunately, I am an endomorph.



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