Do you know what your somatotype is? If not, don't worry, you're not alone. Somatotypes are a relatively unknown concept to the average person. But understanding your body type is crucial if you want to optimize your diet and training. In this blog post, we will discuss what somatotypes are and how you can use them to improve your fitness results.
Somatotype is. an anthropological description of the human figure that appeared in the 1940s. The American psychologist William Herbert Sheldon, used it to define personality traits. He argued that the physique and temperament of a person can be predicted.
Today, the definition of the somatotype is a bit outdated, but it still supports nutritionists and trainers in choosing an individual diet and training plan. Based on the characteristics, the specialist determines whether a person is an endomorph, an ectomorph or a mesomorph. Most often, body composition is a combination of features characteristic of different somatotypes, one of them being the dominant one. It is rare for someone to be just a textbook mesomorph, etc.
Endomorphs are commonly referred to as having "thick bones". Characteristic for this type of body build is a massive, rounded figure, as well as short or medium height.
Endomorphs have a slow metabolism and a greater predisposition to overweight and obesity. It is difficult for them to shed excess belly fat. That is why it is so important for endomorphs to implement a diet with an appropriate caloric supply for them and remember about regular physical activity. This will help reduce the risk of problems with excess abdominal fat and therefore certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.
How to calculate the caloric content of a slimming diet for an endomorph?
First, use the appropriate formulas to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (PPM). Then multiply its value by the coefficient of physical activity. Due to the fact that one of the biggest problems of endomorphs is a slow metabolic rate and too much fat, it may be necessary to plan an appropriate caloric deficit. It is recommended that it allows you to lose weight at a rate of 0.5-1 kg per week (although based on an individual assessment, a specialist may decide to reduce body fat faster).
In addition, in the endomorph's diet, special emphasis should be placed on increasing the amount of products that are a source of protein. These include, for example, lean types of meat, fish. It is also advisable to eat products that are the source of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, including olive oil, linseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts.
What about carbohydrates?
The endomorph's diet should primarily contain complex carbohydrates, providing about 30% of energy. Highly processed products that contain simple carbohydrates are not recommended.
In turn, training should be based mainly on aerobic exercise. Depending on the possibilities and preferences, it is recommended, for example, running, swimming, cycling. These are exercises that, in combination with a properly balanced diet, help reduce body fat.
A person who is referred to as a mesomorph can maintain a healthy body weight without much effort, and building muscle mass is easy for her.
What are the characteristics of the mesomorph?
At first glance, you will notice that it has a V-shaped silhouette, that is, a narrow waist and a wide chest. The mesomorph's body structure is described as athletic.
What you cannot see, but which is equally important in establishing a properly balanced diet and training, is the potential to quickly build muscle mass and burn fat. Of course, this does not mean that the mesomorph can eat what it wants and lead a sedentary lifestyle. While the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle usually show up later in the body than in the endomorph, it's important to keep in mind what's going on inside the body. A poorly selected caloric content of the diet, eating a large amount of highly processed food rich in simple carbohydrates and trans fats, and the lack of physical activity can contribute, among others, to to the development of insulin resistance or lipid disorders.
What to pay special attention to in the mesomorph's diet?
This type of body structure is characterized by low levels of body fat, fast metabolism, and ease of building muscle mass. Therefore, it might seem that you do not need to follow any special diet.
True, the mesomorph's diet does not have to be restrictive. However, despite everything, it should be based on the principles of healthy eating. Therefore, pay special attention to:
- regular consumption of 4-5 meals a day (preferably at intervals of no more than 3-4 hours);
- adjusting the caloric value of the diet to individual needs (taking also into account the level of physical activity);
- appropriate protein content (both of animal and vegetable origin) without which building muscle mass is not possible;
- the presence in the diet of foods that provide carbohydrate, which are "fuel" for working muscles, as well as healthy fats derived from vegetable oils, fatty sea fish, nuts, seeds and seeds;
- exclusion from the menu of highly processed products, rich in saturated fatty acids, trans fats, simple carbohydrates, flavor enhancers, emulsifiers and dyes - despite the mesomorph's fast metabolism, their frequent consumption may contribute to problems with body weight and health.
In the context of maintaining a healthy body weight and building muscle tissue, the question often arises: what is the caloric requirement of the mesomorph? It is also important to find an answer to the question about the proportions of macronutrients, i.e. protein, fat and carbohydrates, and valuable ingredients that should appear in his diet.
Due to the fact that the mesomorph has a fast metabolism, it does not need a reduction diet as often as it does to endomorphs. Which does not mean that you can forget about the need to calculate the correct caloric value of your diet.
How do you plan it to enjoy a slim figure and build muscle mass at the same time?
You will need to use formulas to calculate your basal and then total metabolic rate.
Although fast metabolism and low body fat are typical of a mesomorph, there may be times when you need to lose weight. In this case, it is recommended to reduce the caloric content by about 500-700 kcal per day, which will allow you to lose weight at the rate of 0.5-1 kg per week (without the so-called yo-yo effect and nutritional deficiencies).
The demand for protein, fats and carbohydrates
Keep in mind that it is not only important to provide the individual ingredients in the right amounts. What products they come from is just as important. Therefore, when planning a menu, choose:
- lean meat, fish, fermented milk products, legume seeds, quinoa, amaranth, nuts, e.g. walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, as well as pumpkin and sunflower seeds;
- oily sea fish, vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and seeds, e.g. chia, linseed - as a source of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids;
- whole grain cereals, raw or short-cooked vegetables, fresh fruit, preferably in season, as a source of carbohydrates;
At the same time, avoid products that contain a lot of simple carbohydrates, trans fats and saturated fatty acids, as well as food additives such as preservatives. They include, among others sweet and carbonated drinks, energy, some fruit juices, sweets, salty snacks, low-quality meat and fish products, dairy products sweetened with sugar, and fast food dishes.
The need for other ingredients
What about other ingredients such as dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals? In the case of fiber, it is recommended that you consume a minimum of 25 grams per day. It is an ingredient that helps maintain normal blood glucose levels, improves intestinal function, and reduces the risk of lipid disorders, and thus cardiovascular diseases, and promotes the feeling of fullness after a meal.
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, special attention should be paid to those that neutralize free radicals (their excess resulting from intense training is harmful). Compounds with antioxidant properties include vitamin A, C and E, as well as zinc and selenium. You will find them in products such as fresh fruit and vegetables, e.g. apricots, peaches, nectarines, citrus, currants, strawberries, peppers, broccoli, spinach, carrots, in whole grains, nuts, pulses, vegetable oils, fish and fruits sea, as well as pits and seeds.
In addition, it is important to meet the demand for magnesium, potassium, calcium and B vitamins. They are necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system and muscles, which is very important during training. The source of these vitamins and minerals are, among others whole grains, pulses, meat, milk and dairy products.
Training plan for the mesomorph
Mesomorphs should focus on whole body training. A popular training system is the one called "split". It consists in focusing on specific parts of the body in separate training sessions or combining exercises into sets (e.g. those involving the arm and leg muscles, or biceps and dorsal muscles.
Due to the quick adaptation to exercise, it is recommended that endurance training consist of short but intense interval sessions. It should be remembered that these are general recommendations. In order to maintain a healthy body weight and build muscle mass, it is useful to establish an individual training and nutritional plan.
People traditionally referred to as ectomorphs are slim. This type of body structure is characterized by a low level of adipose tissue and muscle tissue. In addition, ectomorphs can be identified by slim arms, long arms and legs, and a narrow chest.
People with this type of figure have a very fast metabolic rate. Therefore, reducing body fat is not their biggest problem. They usually struggle with building muscle mass and looking too thin.
Therefore, they are advised to eat a high-nutrient, protein-rich diet. However, this does not mean that ectomorphs can eat anything. Additional calories should be found in high-quality products that provide ingredients valuable for health. It is recommended to increase the caloric content of the menu by adding cold-pressed oils, nuts, avocados, fatty sea fish and wholemeal grain products. Despite the fast metabolism, it is inadvisable to eat high-calorie products with low nutritional value, e.g. sweets, salty snacks, sweet drinks.