What can I learn from my body type? Part 2- Nutrition and Exercise

After reading Part one (click link if you haven’t) you should now be able to identify which body type you are.  This is very helpful in helping you understand your body and learn to love who you are.  However, sometimes we still want to change for the better, whatever that may be.  For any body type, exercise is going to help you lose fat because it will help you achieve a calorie deficit (your body is using more calories than you are eating).  However, the rate at which you will lose the fat can be changed by simply changing your macros and fitness routine. Remember, what works for you and your body type won’t necessarily work for others.  This is why when I say everyone is different, I truly mean it. Not because you look different but your body responds differently as well.

Let me explain…

Protein seems to be the new must have buzz word in nutrition these days, I mean you even see it on Mac and Cheese commercials.  It is essential for weight loss and muscle gains, and all body types respond to protein in a similar way.  Instead I want to talk about the other macro nutrients: carbohydrates (carbs) and fats.  Our bodies are amazing organisms, they have mastered the ability to survive in scarcity.  The body feeds off of food for energy and knows how to go into starvation mode, storing and protecting its fat, when you are at an extreme calorie deficit.  This is why an extremely low calorie diet (like 1200 calories) with intense workout is counterproductive.

Fat is a very good energy source; it has 9 calories (energy) per gram.  Our bodies have evolved to store as much of this rich energy source as possible. We need it to help regulate hormones as well as provide the body with sustainable energy. Fats have often been looked at as “bad” and should be avoided.  I say, eat your cheese, cream and your avocado and don’t feel guilty! Fats in moderation are not something to be afraid of but can be beneficial to your health.  Fat is necessary for normal bodily function.

When you plan your daily menu you need to plan for fats taking longer to be converted to usable energy than carbs.  This means, if you are not an active person, or are on a rest day, your body does not require a lot of quick energy (carbs).  The body will not burn through them and then holds onto both the quick and sustainable energy.   It isn’t the fat in food as much as it is the caloric surplus that is making the fat gain occur.

Carbohydrates are a source of quick energy made from glucose (sugar); this is your bodies source of energy that is easiest to metabolize and its most readily available source.  If you are inactive your body converts the glucose to glycogen to be stored in the muscles and liver. If you consume more calories from carbs than your body can burn, it will chemically convert the glycogen to fat. Because carbs only have 4 calories of energy per gram, you can burn through them quickly, which doesn’t make them a great source of sustainable energy.  While carbs are necessary for muscle growth, not every body type processes them the same. Carbs are tricky and don’t always play nice!

So how can this all work for your body type?


As an endomorph, having a very consistent nutrition plan and tracking is key to keeping the weight off and achieving your fitness goal.  With this body type you have some degree of carbohydrate and insulin sensitivity.  This means the body has a natural tendency to store the sugars that are processed in carbs such as breads, pastas, and refined sugar as fat instead of burning those calories. For other body types, the energy they get from these foods are usually well utilized when they are strength training and lifting heavy. However, because of the genetics in you endomorphs, your body has a tendency to store them even with strength training.  This in no way means you can’t ever eat bread, or most importantly, a cookie!  It just means that compared to other body types, like ectomorphs, your carb ratio is lower, not non existent.

The carbs you need to eat are non dense, low calorie, high fiber foods like vegetables, quinoa and some fruits. Eating foods like pasta, breads and high starchy foods (potatoes) should be eaten moderately.  Fruits are full of vitamins and minerals but are also high in sugars, which means higher in carbs.  You must be careful to not eat more than one serving of fruit a day, OR swap out another carb source so you can have an additional fruit serving for the day. Eating twice the serving size of vegetables as fruit will help your body consume more for few calories.

For some people the idea of having to really restrict their carbohydrate intake might make them cringe.  Trust me, I am one of them!  Even as an endomorph, you do not need be on a low carbohydrate diet the rest of your life, if you can incorporate the proper fitness routine.  The combination of HIIT for cardio and strength training is HUGE for endomorphs.  Not only will they see results in muscle gain quickly, but strength workouts allow the body to consume more carbohydrates because it needs to replenish the glycogen stores that were depleted during strength training.

Your strength training needs to focus on lower weight and higher reps.  As an endomorph, you can easily create a more large musclualr if you train hard and heavy.  If that is your goal, you will see growth in no time!  However, if you want to stay more cut, you need to strength train with higher reps (12 being the minimum), and super set multiple muscle groups together.  Incorporate HITT training 15-20 minutes for every workout. Cardio/strength circuits that can be done at home are a great way to workout this body type.  Learn to love cardio because your body needs it!

For nutrient timing, when you eat during the day, you need to eat your heavier carb meal post workout.  This is essential because  your body needs to replenish the depleted glycogen stores and is less likely to store it as fat.  Eat up after a workout and enjoy every bite of your calorie dense food.  You sweated, you deserve it!

Macro ratio for fat loss that works well is 35% protein, 25% carbs, 40% fat with a calorie defecit.
To increase muscle mass the macros shouldn’t change much, 35% protein, 30% carbs 35% fats staying within maintenance calories.




Mesomorphs are the one body type that the macro ratio can be both a high carb/low fat, or low carb/high fat diet and be successful.  You will pick the diet based on your fitness goal.  As a mesomorph, you will do well in achieving a fitness goal when you are tracking macros and staying consistent.  Your athletic build allows your body to process carbohydrates a little easier, and your body already has a good base for lean muscle mass.  If your goal is to build muscle, you have a good chance at meeting those goals.  If you want to get lean and cut, you can as well. You are in the drivers seat with how you want your body to look.  However, your success in your fitness goals will require you to be deliberate.

Having a well balanced macro ratio works well for this body type.   The carbs you eat can be calorie dense (breads and pastas), but you also need a good amount of high fiber foods like vegetables and fruits.  If you are strength training, calorie dense foods are your friend. If you are opting for a lighter strength training program, you need to eat those types of carbs moderately and focus on getting full on fiber rich foods.

Even as a mesomorph you still need to incorporate HIIT training into your fitness routine. You do not need to do it daily, but your body type does well with variety.  Switching up your workouts throughout the week, as well as changing them up completely every 4 weeks, is the key to not hitting plateaus.  Strength training should be part of  your weekly routine at least 3 times a week with HIIT training 2-3 times for fat loss/maintenance.  If you chose to do minimal cardio your fat will not shred as easily.

Strength training should be done hard and heavy with little rest between sets.  You want to keep the heart rate up while focusing on strength.  Super sets are great to help keep the heart rate elevated.  You can also focus on one muscle area for a workout and hit that muscle hard for that day, with no cardio.  Strength circuits that can be done at home with resistance bands, mini bands and dumbbells can also help you achieve any fat loss or strength goals.  Play around with your workouts.  You can be creative and not to structured and still see slow results.

For nutrient timing, a higher carb meal should still be consumed post workout.  You always need to eat to restore and rebuild.  This body type does well with spreading your carbohydrates evenly throughout your meals.  If you are strength training to build muscle make sure you are eating frequently, 5-6 times a day. If you are trying to lose fat, eat frequently but with 2 meals at a high carb ratio and the rest of your meals/snacks on having an even P/C/F  (Protein/Carbohydrates/Fats) ratio.

Being mesomorphs, allows you to easily change your body depending on your macro ratio. If you are seeking fat loss a very balanced macro ratio of 30% Protein, 35% carbs, 35% fats with a calorie deficit will get you there.

If you are wanting to increase your muscle mass, increase your carbohydrates to a higher carb ratio of 40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fats and be in a slight calorie surplus. 


As stated in my previous post, ectomorphs are the body type that people envy because of the amount of food you can eat and not gain weight.  Notice though that I said not gain WEIGHT.  As an ectomorph, you can still gain FAT, although it takes a really poor diet.  It may seem like an ideal situation to be able to eat calorie after calorie but even with eating large amounts of food the “boyish” figure still remains.  The emotional aspect of being skinny, if you want to gain muscle, can be just as damaging as fat loss, maybe more.  If your goal is to be a fast marathon runner being an ectomorph can be an advantage. If you want to gain muscle, dig deep and find a love for weight training, you will need it!

As an ectomporh, the work you have to put in to change the way your body looks, no one should envy.  Your body is constantly in overdrive.  Your metabolism is a well oiled machine without having to train it to burn constantly.  Because of this, lean muscle mass is hard to keep and build on the body.  This is where the “skinny” look comes from.  It is not so much that there is not any fat on the body, but instead, there is a lack of lean muscle.

Tracking is still essential for you to achieve your  fitness goal.  Even for fat loss you need to make sure that you are not over eating in a macro nutrient ratio that doesn’t help produce fat loss.  Eating frequently with a lot of calorie dense foods is key!  You can eat your breads, pastas and starchy foods daily.  To help promote muscle gains you need to eat, and then eat some more.  This might be your biggest struggle.  Your body won’t naturally feel hungry which leads you to not want to eat. Choosing not to eat can do more damage than overeating.  A diet that is high in both protein and carbohydrates, with a moderate fat level, is ideal to help increase muscle mass.  You will always be in a calorie surplus. Enjoy it!

Your exercise regimen to gain muscle will take a lot of hard work and dedicated gym time.  It is not easy to gain the muscle needed with at home workouts, unless you have heavy weights and racks at home.  You need to be lifting hard and heavy 5 times a week.  Focus on one to two muscle groups each training session.  Take longer rests between sets to allow your body to regain the strength to continue to push heavy weights.

If you hate cardio, you are in luck! I am a huge advocate of incorporating cardio into your fitness routine no matter your body type.  However, you do not need to focus on HIIT training.  If you enjoy it, one session a week is all you need.  Low intensity steady state cardio, running at the same speed the whole time,  works better while trying to build muscle.  On really heavy lifting days, no cardio is recommended or split up your cardio and lifting sessions for different times in the day.

Don’t be scared of the heavy weights!  Your body will react completely different to them than an endomorph would.  You will not build a boxy, huge muscualr frame.  Lifting heavy will first build your lean muscle mass, and then help it grow slowly.  Your genetics won’t allow for your muscles to ever gain an extreme bulk.  That in no way means you can not be strong.  The size of your muscle has nothing to do with the strength of it!

As an endomorphs your macro ratio for fat loss and muscle gain rarely change.  Adding exercise will encourage fat loss even with a higher carb ratio.  Focus on muscle gains with a macro ratio of 30% protein, 50 % carbs, 20% fats.  The only change would be to go from a maintenance calorie to a large calorie surplus for muscle gains.

We are all SO different  that comparing yourself to others is only damaging you.  I want you to learn about YOUR body and how YOU can make it what YOU want. That is when you become the best version of you possible and results happen.  You are all beautiful and strong! Do not let someone else’s genetics make you feel otherwise.

You got this!


Breaking Through the Nutrition Chaos

I bet diet gets searched more often on google than Kardashian or The Bachelor.  (I checked; on google and diet is searched more than the two combined).  There are so many diets and everyone has an opinion.  Some are realistic and others, well they are just stupid (I won’t name names but I am looking right at you Pinterest).

If you are looking for the perfect nutrition plan for yourself it may or may not be the one that your best friend is using to give her amazing results.  It seems counter intuitive I mean it worked for her, right?  It helped her go from what she was to what she is now and you want that.  That is the problem.  Did she look just like you in her before picture and did she have the same goals as you?  If the answer is no, then don’t do what she is did; it will not get you to where you want to be.

Each person has a specific goal in mind and how they want to achieve that goal.  Do you have a lot of weight to lose?  Are you wanting to put on more muscle?  Do you want to increase your endurance?  Do you have less than 10 pounds to lose but very little muscle and want to change both?

Each one of those fitness goals requires a different nutritional and exercise plan.

When someone asks me how many calories I eat a day my response is always – It depends on what I am trying to achieve.  This is not me being vague nor not wanting to share my calorie consumption.  It is me being honest and not leading you to believe that if you eat the same way I do you will have the results you want.  This is the most misunderstood aspect of nutrition.

Today, I want to help you figure out how to start a  nutrition plan that will help you achieve whatever fitness goal you might want.

There are two common methods for making a nutrition plan.  Here is a basic explanation for the two.

Calorie Counting:

This is the number one way people start to lose weight.  They get their food journal or app and start plugging in every calorie that went in their mouth, calorie and calorie out.  Is it effective?

Yep, most of the time.

Calorie counting can be beneficial to weight loss but it can also be done in ways that won’t benefit you.  Sometimes calorie counting can make someone think that it doesn’t matter what they eat; as long as they stay under their daily caloric intake they will lose weight.  If only that were really true, all my dreams of being able to eat cookies, ice cream and kettle corn for every meal would come true! Like when I was in Europe for 2 weeks…Every. Single. Day.

Just because you have 500 calories to spare for the day doesn’t mean that at 9 o’clock at night it is OK to eat the maple glazed doughnut (delish by the way!).  Yes, this delicious doughnut may follow the rules of calorie counting but how much of that is fat are you consuming late at night.  How are you going to use that fat and sugar as energy to burn while you are sleeping?

You won’t.  Those calories will stay fat.

Your body’s metabolism has already slowed down for the day so all that energy you get from those fats and sugar will be stored for later use.  Most of the time in area’s you don’t want it.

Imagine it like this: We all like having extra cash right?!? Think of the food as money and your body as the one who controls the money (we all hate that person!).  For example, after your bills are paid and the money has been spent you get to the end of the pay period and you can’t think of anything else to spend your money on (like that would every happen…),

Then by some crazy surprise you get an extra $500!

Sweet, right?!? Now what do you do?

You work all week with no time to spend it so you put it in savings. Dang, you are so smart!!  That is exactly how your body works.  You most likely don’t need the energy through the night so your body breaks it down and stores it for later.  That is not the desired effect.

To make this easy to understand here is an example of what it would look like for a client trying to lose weight:

Calorie Counting Example

Betty is a 160 pound, 30 year old female, 5’6′ and wants to lose 20 pounds.

To lose this weight at a quicker pace she would want her net daily calorie intake to be around 1600 calories with 5 days of workouts. This number is calculated based on her Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) with a 20% decrease in calories.

The more weight she loses the less calories she can consume daily because her TDEE number will change because her weight has decreased (remember a calorie is a measurement of heating water, so less mass means less energy required for the same result).  If she stays within her daily caloric intake and eats wholesome foods she is bound to lose weight; especially in the beginning when there is more weight to lose.  If she chooses to eat small amounts of high calorie/unhealthy foods it won’t help her get to her goal.

I am not saying this method won’t work.  At times I have used calorie counting for many clients to help them get started and I have seen results.  I have also seen the reverse affect where people have not lost weight or even gained weight.  The body can be very fickle if you are not fueling it correctly.  Counting calories does however have its virtues for people who just need an idea of where to start when it comes to weight loss.  This isn’t a complicated and tedious nutritional plan that requires a lot of extra planning. However, it does not encourage a complete understanding of the nutritional value of food.

Counting Macro-nutrients

First off, what is a macro-nutrient or what us fitness peeps call a Macro?  Simply put, they are your three components of the everyday diet.  Carbohydrates, fats and proteins.  This method allows you to play with the total amount of grams per macro in your daily diet versus the amount of calories consumed.  It can easily be adjusted and easy to find where the flaws in your eating are. You are given a lot variety on what you feel you can eat throughout your day.  Nothing is off limits if…
However, it can be very tedious and time consuming.  It makes you become the “nutrition fact checker” at the grocery store. You really have to plan ahead and figure out what your whole day will be before you even start eating.

All this time and effort can make a huge difference in achieving very specific fitness goals.  If you really want to bulk up or get extra lean, counting your macros is the only way to go.

Let’s look at what the same example above would look like with a macro lifestyle.

Macro Example 1

Betty is a 160 pound, 30 year old, 5’6″ female and wants to lose 20 pounds.

There are two ways to calculate your macro amounts.

First, her macro-nutrient ratio could be something like 40P, 40C, 20F (proteins, carbs, fats).  To figure out how many grams per macro she would consume daily here is the math to find out:

Protein = 4 calories per gram
Carbohydrates = 4 calories per gram
Fats =9 calories per gram



40% of calories are for protein
1600 x .4 = 640 calories
640 / 4 = 160g



40% of calories are for carbohydrates
1600 x .4 = 640 calories
640 / 4 = 160g



20% of calories are for fats
1600 x .2 = 320 calories
480 / 9 =36g


Her macros would be 160g P, 160g C,36g F

Macro Example 2

The second method doesn’t use ratios based on macros themselves but instead a ratio of your current body weight to gram.

Betty  wants to lose weight so she should consume a higher lean protein diet.  To do this, it is best to make the protein intake a ration of 1:1, 1g protein to 1 pound of body weight. Sometimes this can be a lot of protein for someone to consume when just starting out.  Starting a little lower will help introduce high protein into her every day diet.

So we will start Betty at a .8g per 1 pound of body weight which will encourage weight loss and be easier to incorporate.


.8g per body weight
160 x .8 = 120g
120 x 4 = 480 calories


Next we move onto fats.  This should be the lowest consumed macro. Because she is on a weight loss plan, this ration will be on the lower end of .25g per 1 pound of body weight.  This can vary depending on your fitness goal:


.25g per body weight
160 x .25 = 40g
40 x 9 = 360 calories


Whatever we have leftover is going to be used towards her carbohydrate consumption.


480 + 360 = 840 calories
1600 – 840 = 760 calories
760 / 4 = 190g

 Her macros would be 120g P, 190g C,40g

Here is where macro’s can be really effective.

If Betty lost the weight and now wanted to lose a little more fat and increase her muscle mass she would only need to tweak her macros.  If she was just counting calories her calories wouldn’t change and she likely would not see a difference in her muscle mass.  Here is what her new macro’s would look like.

Her TDEE would change from 1600 to 1900

Betty’s new weight is a 140 pounds


1.2g per body weight
140 x .1.2 = 168g
168 x 4 = 672 calories


Next we move onto fats.  Because she is still wanting to lose a little, her fats will only increase a little. This ration will be .30g per 1 pound of body weight.


.3g per body weight
140 x .30 = 42g
42 x 9 = 378 calories


Whatever we have leftover is going to be used towards her carbohydrate consumption.


672 + 378 = 1050 calories
1900 – 850 = 850 calories
850 / 4 = 212g

 Her macros would be 168g P, 212g C,42g

I know what you are all thinking.  She should be a math teacher!

Ok, maybe not. Chances are you were probably thinking how different her macro’s changed based on her fitness goal. Your fitness goals determine your nutrition.  It is never a one size fits all.  Counting macros can be a lot of numbers to think about every day.  If  you can break it down by meal everything looks much more manageable.


Daily Macro chart

Now that you know your options how do you apply it?

That’s the trick.  You need to figure out YOUR  fitness goal and then you can establish a nutrition plan that is going to help you achieve YOUR goal.  After some trial and error you will get the hang of it and it can become second nature.

Nutrition is only as complicated as you choose to make it.  Have fun with it!!   Enjoy the idea of trying new foods and finding recipes you love. Own up to your food weaknesses and do not eliminate them but find how they can make you stronger, happier and healthier!  Because life isn’t sweet without a little sugar. 😉


How to break through the nutrition chaos

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