Does your body type determine your destiny? Can you do anything about it if you tend to be slight, muscular, or, um, a bit pudgy? How does that play out in real life?
Basic body types.
In case you aren’t aware, there are three basic body types. They are called ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. Now of course this is not the end of the story. There are all sorts of combinations, and tendencies. But, believe it or not, there are BEHAVIORAL tendencies that come along with each one. They go together. No point in trying to figure out which came first, like the chicken or the egg.
First, let’s elaborate. Ectomorph means you have a tendency to be lean, have long limbs, and not be able to build tons of muscle even if you try hard. Mesomorphs, on the other hand, are muscular, and respond well to working out and building even more muscle. Endomorphs tend to add fat instead of muscle, and have difficulty keeping the weight off.
But, here’s the thing. Ectomorphs (the lean ones) tend to be the fidgeters in the room. They are the ones who will jump up from their desks or the couch to fetch something, or will think up other reasons to move around. Mesomorphs like to move, but may be drawn to pumping iron or doing activities that require strength. This might be a physical job, or an athlete like a football running back (which is a job in itself). Endomorphs, on the other hand, tend to like to be sedentary. These are the people that can sit in a meeting or at a desk for hours at time and not feel the need to get up. In the athletic world there are exceptions. In this case, think defensive lineman or even Sumo wrestler.
Well, yes. How people like to move around (or not) affects the type of food they need for fuel, AND their relationship with food.
Apparently, those who tend to stay lean (the ectomorphs) actually can be somewhat indifferent to food. It’s not their reason for being. On top of that, because they tend to be more active, they tolerate carbohydrates well. In fact, they may even need more of them in order to stay active.
On the other hand, the mesomorphs tend to have a healthy relationship with food, can tolerate carbohydrates if they are active, and have a normal appetite.
Then there’s the endomorphs. These folks may struggle to stay lean, even if active. They do not need to eat as many carbohydrates to fuel their activities. Some of these folks find themselves hungry a lot, and have difficulty regulating intake.
Having said all that, there’s also another category to consider. That would be TRAINED vs. UNTRAINED. Even ectomorphs who can be pretty good at regulating intake, will lose muscle and bone density if not keeping up with some exercise. Mesomorphs may “carry excess fat well” because of larger bone structure. But, if not moving and being active, they will have difficulty losing excess fat, and can end up with unhealthy results. Endomorphs, being built for comfort and not speed, can get in to real trouble later on if not exercising regularly. In addition, the type of diet recommended for these folks is higher in protein, contains some fats, and is low in carbohydrates.
What’s the take-away here?
Alas, it is basically the same as always, but with a few refinements.
- It is important for everyone to stay active, exercise, move, etc.
- No matter what your body type, if you become sedentary or inactive it will lead to health problems.
- Here is the editorial part. It seems that more and more people are becoming sedentary. Does that mean they are all endomorphs? Does that mean they can throw their hands up and just say, “well, I’m and endomorph…what do you expect?”. I would venture to say “NO”! Getting out there and making time for some exercise AND some mindfulness around eating can lead to a much healthier life, no matter what.
- Hence the same old recommendations. Exercise more, watch what you eat, and be mindful of what you are using to nourish yourself and your activities. Stay away from processed foods, sugar, transfats, and anything artificial. Stick with lean proteins, lots of fruits and veggies, and high fiber items like beans, legumes, and whole grains. You’ve heard it before, and here it is again!
All the best
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