Back in the 1940’s a psychologist, William Sheldon, came up with the idea that there are three body types (and that they relate to personalities.)
You’ve probably heard about the three body types and you may be wondering if you should be eating or exercising in a particular way and according to your type.
While Sheldon came up with three types, we know that there are many more, in reality, most people are a combination of two or three body types.
The three body types Sheldon described are ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph.
Ectomorphs are thin and have low fat and muscle.
Mesomorphs are athletic with broader shoulders.
Endomorphs have higher fat.
As stated earlier, most people are a combination of two or three types so it’s difficult for most of us to pinpoint the exact category we fall into and it turns out that’s perfectly fine because we don’t need to eat or exercise differently.
According to Precision Nutrition, the majority of people meet their goals and are healthy when they follow BASIC eating PRINCIPLES.
This isn’t to say someone wouldn’t benefit from eating to match their body type, but for the many people, it’s an unnecessary distraction.
If you’re an elite athlete or you’ve already tried the basic principals without success, you might need some more specific guidance and, in that case, you’ll want to talk with a specialist, but otherwise start with the Basic Eating Principles below. This is especially helpful if you have 20 or more pounds of body fat to lose.
BASIC eating PRINCIPLES:
1.Eat whole foods.
Cut back on the processed foods you’ve been eating an add the real stuff. Whole fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, seafood are examples of whole foods. This includes cutting back on alcohol.
2. Consume more vegetables and protein.
Most people get enough grains, sugar and fat, but they lack the healthy vegetables and muscle preserving protein. You don’t have to add those 7-9 veggies today, but adding a cup or two of cooked veggies to your lunch and a salad to dinner isn’t hard to do.
3.Chew your food.
Believe it or not, many people don’t chew their food well enough.
Digestion begins when you see/smell/think of food and the mouth is the first place for breaking the food down. When you chew your food, you digest it better and you feel more satisfied and full with less of it, plus you absorb the nutrients from the food better.
Chew until it’s liquid!
4. Eat until you are comfortably full.
You want to feel satisfied, but not uncomfortably stuffed. Make sure you are eating enough to feel 80% full, but don’t over eat to the point where you feel uncomfortable. There should be only One Thanksgiving meal per year!;)
NEED A LITTLE MORE HELP?
One strategy I advocate for is to use a food journal and track what you eat.
This one little tool is the best way to figure out what’s working and what’s not working for you.
You’ll see trends that you otherwise don’t recognize, like eating a handful of healthy almonds when you get hungry every afternoon, or you the daily ice cream that you thought was only a couple of times a week.
Being aware of what you are eating is half the battle!