Trying to Trim Down? Are You Eating for Your Body Type?

After taking some time off to open my personal training studio, Body Space Fitness-NYC, I’m finally back to writing about the things that I love.  Feels good to be back!    In this post I wanted to answer a question that I’m being asked more and more:  “What should I be eating and how much should I be eating?”  This of course, is a question that could take a whole book to answer.  However, there are starting points to help you on your way.

The first thing, regarding the “What” to eat, I usually tell people to “Just Eat Real Food” (thanks Sean Croxton).  The second step is for people who are working out, eating “right” and seeing some progress but want to see more progress.  For you guys I ask the question, “Are you eating the right amount for your body type?”  It’s at this point that you can usually cue the blank stare and the 10-15 seconds of silence.  What I mean is that we know that there are three main body types (or Somatotypes):  Ectomorphic, Mesomorphic and Endomorphic.  Without going into too much detail and making this post too long I’ll refer to the graphic below.  I’ll also refer to the following article from Precision Nutrition that does a good job of detailing the differences.(http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-body-type-eating)

 

In a nut shell the 3 body types have different characteristics and macronutrient needs.

Ectomorphic – Usually endurance athletes:  Suggested Macronutrient Percentages (25% Protein, 55% Carbs, 20% Fat)

Mesomorphic – Bodybuilding and relative strength athletes:  Suggested Macronutrient Percentages (30% Protein, 40% Carbs, 30% Fat)

Endomorphic – Absolute strength athletes: Suggested Macronutrient Percentages (35% Protein, 25% Carbs, 40% Fat)

I know you’re probably thinking, “holy crap 30% of my calories from fat.”  That’s what I thought too until I tried it and it worked.  Luckily I didn’t make this stuff up, it all came from Dr. John Berardi of Precision Nutrition, who I received my Nutrition Certification for Fitness Professionals from.

So let’s do an example.  First thing we want to do is figure out how many calories we should have by multiplying our body weight in pounds by the appropriate multiplier.  A basic calorie estimator table would show the following multipliers:

Weight Loss        Weight Maintenance     Weight Gain

Sedentary (Minimal Exercise)                             10-12                                 12-14                         16-18

Moderately Active (3-4 times/wk)                    12-14                                  14-16                         18-20

Very Active (5-7 times/wk)                                 14-16                                  16-18                         20-22

 

Once we know our activity level, our goal and our body type we can then figure out how many calories of protein, carbs and fat we should be having.

Let’s say I have a 130 pound female client, who is a moderately active mesomorph.  Her goal is to lose weight while maintaining muscle mass.  With that in mind we’ll use a multiplier of 12-14 times bodyweight to determine the calorie range and a macronutrient split of 30%/40%/30% for protein, carbs and fat.  For her this means she’s looking at 1560-1820 calories per day (or an average 1690 calories per day).  This would translate to 507 calories from protein, 676 calories from carbs and 507 calories from fat.

Wait…don’t freak out on me yet.  You have to remember that we don’t really eat in calories… we eat in weight so let’s convert these to grams (4 calories per gram of carb and protein and 9 calories per gram of fat).  Knowing that, we can break it down to 127 grams of protein, 169 grams of carbs and 56 grams of fat.  To put it into perspective, one cup of avocado (150 grams) has 22grams of fat.  One ounce of walnuts (or 14 halves) has 18 grams of fatOne cup of egg whites has 26 grams of protein.  So when you get down to it you’ll see that it’s doesn’t take a lot of good, nutrient dense food to reach your goal.

It’s not easy, but if this sounds like you give this method of figuring out what to eat a try.

Disclaimer:  I am not a Registered Dietitian

About Kelvin Gary

Florida native and NYC based Personal Trainer Kelvin Gary looks to help motivate, inspire and inform those looking to better their lives through fitness and healthy living.

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