Your body type doesn’t just help determine what sports you’re good at, influence what type of exercise you’ll love, and how easily you lose and gain weight, but can also affect how much and what type of foods best fuel your body and help you lose weight.
While many ectomorphs for example, can eat just about anything without gaining a pound, endomorphs are more sensitive to what they put in their body. Endomorphs need to pay particular attention to their diet to lose weight and improve health.
One of the reasons endomorphs struggle with their weight, is that endomorphs appear to be more sensitive to the over-consumption of food. This means that the extra calories are more likely to be stored as fat compared to ectomorphs, resulting in a greater propensity for fat storage.
The calorie excess we’re taking about could simply be a chocolate bar a day too much. That’s it! On average popular chocolate bar treats contain 400 calories, or more. Let’s assume you consume 300 extra calories a day. That would work out at 2100 extra calories per week. This amounts to 2.6 lbs (1.2 kgs) of fat gain per month and a whopping 31 lbs (14 kgs) per year!
The difference between people with an endomorph body type and ectomorphs, is that ectomorphs appear to be better at burning off extra calories, helping to defend against weight gain.
Does that mean calorie counting until the day you die? Not at all. But for the first few months you do need to closely watch your diet until you have a firm sense of how and what to eat. And at regular periods you might want to do a spring clean/ inventory of what your diet looks like. Reviewing your diet for any bad habits that have crept in, and then to re-evaluate and reset your diet.
What Should Endomorphs Eat?
For endomorphs, it isn’t only calorie intake that’s important. Macronutrient ratio (the ratio of protein, carbohydrate and fat) is also a key factor in an endomorph’s diet.
Carb sensitive. People with an endomorph body type often have some degree of carbohydrate sensitivity and insulin sensitivity.1 Carbohydrate rich foods are converted to sugar in the bloodstream faster leading to spikes and dips in blood sugar. These carbs are also more likely be stored as fat by the body, rather than be burned for energy. This is one of the reasons endomorphs tend to do better on a lower carb diet. A moderate reduction in carbs can make a significant difference in helping carb-sentive endomorphs lose weight.
Type of carbs. The carbs you do eat should be “good carbs” (i.e. complex carbs) – predominantly vegetables and some smaller amounts of unrefined, high-fiber starches, such as quinoa and amaranth.
Fruits are rich in important nutrients, but also higher in sugar. Therefore, aim to eat more servings of veggies than fruit.
Stick to eating largely complex carbs most of the time. If you can, limit eating carb-dense foods to the pre- and post-workout period when your body wants them most – for energy and when it will help your body repair and recover from your workouts and also limit fat gain.
Go to: Calorie calculator
Carbohydrate: 30 – 40%
Protein: 30 – 35%
Fat: 30 – 35%
You can start with more carbs such as a nutrient distribution of 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fats, and if you find you’re not losing weight reduce your carb intake further. For example, 30% carbs, 35% protein, and 35% fats.
Go to: Macronutrient calculator
You needn’t follow a complicated diet to make these changes. This ratio of protein, fat, and carbs doesn’t have to be pinpoint accurate. Think of it simply as eating a diet higher in protein and fat, and lower in carbs.
A moderately low carbohydrate, higher protein and fat diet will help endomorphs to:
- Lose weight and maintain weight loss.3
- A higher protein allows for a reduction in calories, while minimizing any feelings of deprivation or hunger. A protein rich meal is more satisfying and leaves you more full after eating, compared to carb-heavy meals.4
- About 20-30% of the calories from protein are burned by the body in the process of digestion. This is called the thermic effect, which is higher for protein than for fat or carbs. While anything eaten in excess is likely to lead to fat gain, a diet higher in protein is less likely to be stored as body fat than a diet high in carbs or fat.567
- Moderate carbs with higher protein will help prevent the muscle loss that occurs when lowering calories to lose weight.8
- Provide enough carbohydrates to fuel metabolic needs and maintain energy levels, while keeping blood sugar controlled and minimizing risk of diabetes and other diseases.
- Help make eating like this a lifestyle choice and a habit, as it isn’t restrictive, doesn’t exclude entire food groups and is easy to stick with.
A Paleo-like diet can work well for endomorphs, as each meal contains protein, vegetables and healthy fats, such as avocado or olive oil.