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What body type are you?

By Ayah Murad , Family Flavours - Jul 29,2018 - Last updated at Jul 29,2018

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

Clinical Dietician

 

Body shape categorisation (apple, pear and so on) has left many of us focused on our body shape. Our body shape is important when we want to shop for the outfit that best suits our body, but understanding our body type can make it easier for us to achieve our long-term health goals.

Your body type can provide information about how you respond to food intake and your hormonal and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) characteristics. Body characteristics can thus be linked to metabolic differences between individuals. Once you establish your body type, you can then adjust your food to maximise your body composition and health related goals. Knowing your body type will help you understand the type of exercises and nutrition you will need to help shape or change your body composition (muscle over fat ratio).

 

Body types

 

Ectomorph

 

• Smaller bone structure

• Typically lean and tall with thin limbs

• Have difficulty building muscle

• Have a very fast metabolic rate

• Very active and alert due to their high amounts of sympathetic nervous system hormones, which explains the higher carbohydrate needs of their body

 

Dietary recommendations

 

• Higher in carbohydrates, especially from fruit and carbohydrate-rich vegetable sources

• Low fat as a high fat intake can easily supress their appetite 

• Omega 3 fat rich foods such as oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel or sardines) to help control sleep and enrich their thyroid with iodine. Studies indicate that omega 3 food sources can ease sleep

 

Mesomorphs

 

• Medium body frame size

• Tend to be lean

• Body can produce higher amounts of growth hormones and testosterone (the male hormone)

• Build muscles with low body fat

 

Dietary recommendations

 

• Balanced in general with all food groups, carbohydrates, protein and fat with a variation of fruits and vegetables

• Are at higher need of Vitamin C and Calcium as the body tends to be more acidic due to higher muscle mass

• Alkaline the body by sipping anise tea at night or drinking carbonated water, especially during workouts

 

Endomorph

 

• Larger bone  structure

• Usually accumulate weight easily

• Muscles can tolerate heavy weight lifting

• Tend to be less active and their body is not effective in burning fat

 

Dietary recommendations

 

• Reduce carbohydrate intake

• Food intake should be mainly from fibrous dark green leafy vegetables

• Moderate amounts of fruit (three — four fruits a day) due to their high needs of B Vitamin complex, zinc and iodine which will help enhance body metabolism

• Moderation in protein intake, especially from legume or fish sources, rather than red or white meat

• Focus on good fat sources that are low in saturated fat

• Yoghurt aids in reducing the absorption of fat and enriches the intestine with the microflora that is an essential source of B Vitamin

 

Despite what it might feel like at times, you’re not completely bound to one category or the other. Your lifestyle, genetics, history and training style all play a part in how you look and you can definitely change it over time. Do not give up and try to choose the most appropriate diet that suits your body type. I guarantee that by eating right for your body type, you will be on the fast track to achieving your wellness goals.

 

Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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