Often, we see our bodies (or those of others), and the first comments that come to our minds are likely about our looks. But the shapes of our bodies determine far more than how we appear (to ourselves or others who see us). Our bodies can actually shape the course of our health!
Read on to find out what your body type is, and how you can eat healthy for your particular body type.
THE SHAPE OF YOUR HEALTH
Generally speaking, there are three types of body shapes:
- Ectomorph (also called the Chili Pepper shape): These individuals have petite bone structure and thin limbs.
- Endomorph (also known as the Pear shape): These individuals are characterized by large bone structures, and tend to have fat mass and lean mass characteristics.
- Mesomorph (popularly called the Apple shape): People with this body shape possess athletics bodies and have medium bone structure. They gain muscle and have lower body fat.
While these are generic body types that most of the population will fit into, many individuals might not be perfectly typecast into one or other category. For instance, Endomorph bodybuilders (their “real” body type) may actually have morphed into Mesomorphs. And that’s where diets can play an important role.
WHAT’S THE BEEF?
Once you determine what shape your body fits into, you can very easily tailor a dietary plan that enhances your health, given your unique body shape.
- Ectomorphs should include greater carbohydrates, moderate levels of proteins and lower fat content in their diets. Ideally, a 55:25:20 percent mix of these three food groups should result in a healthy food intake. You’ll be healthier with a high carb and lower fat diet.
- If you are an Endomorph, you are best off with a higher fat and protein rich diet, while timing and controlling your intake of Carbs (perhaps following exercise). Ideal combination of the three essential food groups would be a 25:30:40 percent mix. Your best bet for staying healthy is higher fats and protein, and lower carb intake.
- Mesomorphs are best off with a well-balanced diet comprising carbs, proteins and fat. The ideal balance would be 40:30:30 percent respectively.
While achieving the perfect balance in food intake, so that you remain healthy, is important for your body shape, your health depends on more than simply balancing your meals. One key component, for instance, is the body’s ability to process carb-heavy foods. And that ability is greatly enhanced through physical activity. So, depending on your body type, you should time the intake of most of your starchy and sugary foods when you are physically most active.
Here are some carb-related facts based on your body type that you can use to make healthy eating choices:
- Ectomorphs have a high tolerance for carbs, and should time most of their carb intake around their exercise schedules
- Endomorphs have a low carb tolerance. It is essential therefore that all of their carb intake be timed around the time they workout
- Mesomorphs have a moderate tolerance for carbs. Carbohydrate-packed foods should therefore be timed around their exercise, with other whole-grain and starchy foods eaten during other meals
While these guidelines are generic in nature, following them can definitely help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, like all generic guidelines, they may not apply equally to everyone within a particular body shape. Nor might they work perfectly for men and women alike. It’s important therefore for individuals to experiment within the above parameters until they strike a balance for their unique body shapes.
EAT RIGHT, FEEL RIGHT
Nature has predetermined how many of us are built, and to some extent our genetically predetermined shapes have an impact on our health. However, by understanding your body shape, and recognizing what dietary changes to make, anyone can start eating healthy for their body types.