Author’s Note: This article was co-authored with David (Dave) Catudal, NSCA-CPT, celebrity trainer, and nutrition expert. Dave currently runs a spa and fitness center and health consulting business out of Phuket, Thailand, and serves the Asian market.
Woooooooohooooooo! It is the moment you have all been waiting for! Assuming you read my last article – Which Body Type Are You? – then you’ve been dying to know exactly HOW to eat for your body type. If you did not read my last article, SHAME ON YOU! But, seriously, go read it by clicking the orange link in the previous sentence. You need to know how your body reacts to nutrients in orderly to properly feed it—you may be doing well, but body-type eating that is this specific will guarantee you a better physique and exercise performance than wherever you are currently at.
First, let’s go over the basics:
Each gram of both carbohydrates and proteins provides 4 calories (a calories is measure/unit of energy provided by food we ingest) to the body. That means that no matter whether it is a sugar or complex carb, oats or Fruit Loops, beef or chicken, starches or fruit, pork or hemp protein, etc…. ANY protein or carbohydrate will provide 4 calories/gram to the body.
Fats, on the other hand, are a b$!*h !! Each gram of fat provides the body with 9 calories. Again, the fat source, whether animal fat, whipped cream, olive oil, eggs, or avocados…. It does not matter. It is still 9 calories/gram. Now, to be fair, fats have many, MANY benefits, and should make up a large part of our diet, however, we still must account for the much higher energy content or we will end up with a caloric surplus regardless of how healthy we may be eating. We need to be aware of both the quality and quantity of what we eat.
Before going on to your body-type specific eating guide, remember the following: the basics of a healthy diet are THE SAME for each body type. The ratios and quantities change, but the staple protocols remain. You should get healthy, natural foods, even organic, where possible. You should eat lots of fresh, raw veggies. You should consume lean proteins with healthy fats. You should drink lots of water. You should eliminate all processed foods, fast food, and soda/juice drinks. You should be consuming only as many carbohydrates as you need.
Do you see yourself there? Do you remember the characteristics, pros, and cons of each body type from the last article? Good! If not, go back. Remember, the following guidelines are just that–guidelines! They will be a very good estimate and will be significantly better than your current regimen, however, you will need to tweak according to your height, weight, goals, and exact body type. What do I mean by that? Some people are mixed-bodied, for example ecto-meso, or meso-endo. Also, some people reading this strictly want to lose weight, while others want to add muscle. Start with my exact guidelines, then tweak accordingly.
**The following are caloric estimates based on the mentioned weight range and average person within each body type. This is not a muscle-building diet but a definition, weight loss, and health plan.Comment below for specific cases, I ANSWER ALL COMMENTS. Now, here’s how to master your body!
First, we address endomorphs. The truth is that this is the body type that has to be the most careful about what they eat, in regards to energy, physique transformation, and performance.
Assuming that you are an endo who is not an athlete or distance runner/cyclist, the only starchy carbohydrate portion (maximum 30g/serving) that you should consume in a day are with the meals before or after a workout, ideally 1.5hrs before, and after. The best option for carbohydrates is rice, steamed pumpkin or sweet potato, squash, or even soaked and sprouted quinoa. If an endomorph wants to lose fat, and does not work out frequently, the most effective way to accomplish this and sustain the results is with a diet where 80% of the total carbohydrate intake comes from fresh vegetables, for a total of about 80g of carbs daily.
If you are mostly a sedentary person with an endomorphic body type, a 9-5 job, and who squeezes in 1 hour of physical activity a few times per week, you do not need more than 80-100g of carbs daily. To give you an example of how little that is, it is one glass of orange juice and 1 slice of bread with a little jam… 3 things that should not be on your regular diet, but it’s an example of how fast carbs add up. With little or no exercise, anything totaling more that 80-100g of carbs per day will likely lead to fat storage, and will certainly not allow fat loss to occur. Please remember this, and be aware of your carbohydrate intake. Remember, carbs are your fuel. If you don’t use it but keep pumping it in, you will have a surplus of unused energy, and this will become fat in your body.
Maintenance macro & daily calorie range for Endomorphs: Based on a 140-190lb person with moderate energy expenditure
Total daily protein intake: 100-140g (400 to 550 calories)
Total daily carbohydrate intake: 80g carbs (300 calories)
Total daily fat intake: 60-70g (500 to 600 calories)
Low range (for women or less active individuals) 1200 calories. High range (for men or more active individuals) 1550 calories
Endomorphs looking to add more muscle mass should increase their protein intake about 50g per day, while only adding 20g extra carbs. ~200-300 calories above maintenance will lead to a slow, but lean and maintainable growth with little or no fat gain.
Mesomorph body types have more freedom in their diet due to the fact that they have more efficient insulin systems and generally have a faster metabolism. Mesos naturally have a significant amount of muscle mass, which on its own is a metabolic enhancer. When a meso wants to get lean and toned, man or woman, the task can be handled in most cases with a 45 minute high intensity weight training exercise program 3-4 days per week and a clean diet consisting of about 35% total calories from protein, 45% from fats, and about 20% from carbs. Many mesos don’t need to do cardio to initially lose fat, and an intense workout routine is more than enough to stimulate muscle hypertrophy and fat burning. Of course, as a meso gets leaner and has the desire to get into very low body fat levels (under 10% for a man, or under 17% for women) then cardio is advised so that they don’t need to be in such a dramatic calorie-restricted state in order to achieve that goal.
Maintenance macro & daily calorie range for Mesomorphs: Based on a 140-190lb person with moderate energy expenditure
Total daily protein intake: 100-150g (400 to 600 calories)
Total daily carbohydrate intake: 100-140 (300 to 560 calories)
Total daily fat intake: 70-80g (500 to 700 calories)
Low range (for women or less active individuals) 1300 calories. High range (for men or more active individuals) 1860 calories.
Mesomorphs looking to add muscle can increase both their carbs and protein about 40-60g a day each, averaging about ~500 calories above maintenance levels.
An ectomorph who wants significant muscle mass will face a challenge in a similar yet opposite way to an endomorph who wants to be very lean. Both are absolutely possible, but a special approach needs to be made in order to achieve this goal. An ectomorph is what we refer to in the gym world as a “Hardgainer”, as they typically have a difficult time putting on muscle mass. To gain significant muscle mass, an ectomorph needs to eat about 4g of carbohydrates per kilo of total bodyweight, and about 4g of protein per kilo of body weight. For an example of a 70kg ecto which is 15% BF, who desires to significantly “bulk up”, they will need to consume almost 300g of carbs daily, as well as 200g of protein. An ectomorph with this goal of significant muscle gain also needs to be very careful about cardio… and most times need to avoid cardio completely while in this mass-gaining phase, or it will become very difficult to gain mass.
Maintenance macros and daily calorie range for Ectomorphs: Based on a 140-190lb person with moderate energy expenditure
Total daily protein intake: 100-140g (400 to 600 calories)
Total daily carbohydrate intake: 120-160g (480 to 650 calories)
Total daily fat intake: 80g (700 calories from fats)
Low range (for women or less active individuals) 1580 calories. High range (for men or more active individuals) 1950 calories
For significant muscle gain or endurance sports, an ectomorph would benefit from adding about 30-40g of protein per day, and about 60-80g of carbs, for a total of about 600 extra calories above maintenance.
These eating guidelines are critical for you to understand and apply to your body type. Perhaps you are of of the thousands of gym goers, joggers, or otherwise fit people who just never got results proportional to the time you put in. THIS is why!