Eating Right For Your Body Type (Hint: It Doesn’t Include Dunkin Donuts)
Normally I try to avoid writing about controversial topics such as blood type diets, colon cleansing, intermittent fasting and such, because in all honesty, I think it’s a bunch of voodoo nonsense. Not to mention I know someone is going to get their panties up in a bunch and write some long rant in the comments section on how misinformed I am/I’m an idiot/how I owe them alimony/when am I going to call them back/their lawyers are going to be contacting me soon/blah blah blah. Nevertheless, I’m just not a big fan of stirring the pot.
It wasn’t too long ago where I scoffed at the notion of designing a diet based off of someone’s somatotype (body type). If they ate like crap, they’d be fat. If they cleaned it up, they’d be less fat. It’s a wonder I’m not a scientist. All the same, in light of some recent research, and upon listening to Dr. John Berardi speak on the topic, I’m starting to think that adjusting one’s diet based off their somatotype seems to have quite a bit of validity.
Generally speaking, one’s somatotype determines some key hormonal and sympathetic nervous system characteristics, and these characteristics can be directly linked to metabolic differences between people.
Ectomorphs: (small bone structure, “hard gainers,” think: Steve Erkel)
As Berardi notes, these people tend to be more thyroid and sympathetic nervous system dominant, with higher outputs or higher sensitivity to the catecholamines (epinephrine, norepinephrine). This “profile” is linked to a faster metabolism and a higher carbohydrate tolerance. As such, these individuals do best on a higher carbohydrate diet with moderate protein and a low(er) fat intake. A good starting point would be 55% carbohydrates, 25% protein, and 20% fat.
Mesomorphs: (medium sized bone structure, athletic body holding significant amount of lean mass, think: actor Ryan Reynolds, AKA guy who’s married to Scarlett Johannson and just so happens to make my list of people I hate because I’m not him).
Side Note: Okay ladies, I included that picture just for you. In light of the fact that I have an affinity for posting pictures of hot chicks being hot, I thought I’d mix it up a bit and give you some photo shopped eye candy to mull over. I didn’t like doing it, but I always put my readers first. God dammit he’s an attractive man.
These individuals tend to be testosterone and growth hormone dominate. As a result, these are the people who have a propensity to add on muscle without even blinking an eye, and are able to maintain a low body fat percentage year round. Interestingly enough, mesomorphs tend to do best by following more of a Zone style diet where there’s an even balance between carbs, proteins, and fats. This would consist of about 40% carbs, 30% proteins, and 30% fats.
Endomorphs: (larger bone structure, higher amounts of total body fat, think: your typical lazy, fat bastard of a husband that never puts the toilet seat down, and didn’t so much as acknowledge Valentine’s Day last weekend).
Berardi explained how these individuals tend to be more insulin dominant. As such, they have a greater propensity to store energy in both lean and fat compartments of the body; as well as exhibit lower carbohydrate tolerance. Accordingly, endomorphs typically do best with a higher fat and protein intake, with carbohydrates playing less of a role in overall energy intake. A general starting point for this type of person would be 25% carbohydrates, 35% protein, 40% fat.
I should note that rarely does anyone ever fall into one somatotype category. Meaning, no one is ever purely an ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph, etc. Rather, most people tend to be a mix and match of two somatotypes combined. Unless of course, your name is
Pieter von Unibrow, Bilbo Baggins, The Guy Who Married Christina Aguilera, then I don’t know what the hell you are.
Anyways, the point I’m trying to make is that nothing is set in stone. While the above numbers are definitely great starting points, it only makes sense that it “may” take some experimentation as far as what will work for you. Of course we could go even further and discuss endless topics such as nutrient timing, what foods should you eat, where can you get them, what the heck is a protein, etc. Luckily Dr. Berardi just released Precision Nutrition v.3 not too long ago.
Easily the most comprehensive nutritional resource out there. While most sequels to anything suck (yeah, I’m talkin to you Brett Ratner. Don’t think I forgot about that shit-storm of a movie you called X-Men United), Precision Nutrition v.3 is like The Return of the King. What a horrible analogy. Whatever, I’m going with it. All the same, the third edition comes with some revamped material, a new section specifically for vegetarians, as well as a plethora of added bonus. Check it out here.