- Diet & Weight Loss
Selecting Healthy Eating Habits for Your Body Type
Do you know your body type?
Diets are only Temporary
There are so many fad diets out there right now that make some very outrageous claims of losing an absurd amount of weight in a very short period of time. Everyone claims their diet is the next best thing since the invention of the wheel. Well before you start buying into these miracle diets there are certain things you need to be aware of. Diets are temporary. Losing weight is a process and if you do not change your body composition during this process, when you come off of your diet, you will more than likely gain the weight you lost back. First off, losing 1 lb of body fat is the equivalent of approximately 3400-3500 calories. A goal of losing 2 lbs a week, which is the most suitable and safest amount of weight you can lose, you would need to rid your body of 1000 calories per day. Now If you are seriously overweight or obese, you can absolutely lose more than 2 lbs a week. However, once you lose fat and your body becomes more conditioned it will be more difficult to lose weight. If your trying to get fit and stay healthy then you shouldn't view it as a diet, it should be seen as a changing of bad habits or lifestyle change.The 2nd thing you need to understand is you will need to know exactly what kind of calories your body is taking in. A calorie is not ever just a calorie. The Glycemic index, which is the measurement of a carbohydrate's ability to affect fluctuations in the body's sugar levels. If a carbohydrate does not supply energy and fiber it will cause your blood sugar levels to increase rapidly. This dramatic increase is what persuades your body into storing fat and resulting in you gaining weight.
Proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and macrominerals are all Macronutrients. Macronutrients are the components of a diet that the body requires in large amounts on a daily basis. Most people that are athletes, body builders or fitness oriented will always recommend higher protein concentrations, moderate carbohydrates and moderate to low fats as the standard. Women who participate in the same activities will have slightly altered requirements. Different diets break down these nutritional nutrients in different amounts. Because everyone's body is different, no matter what the ratio breakdown is, there will always be someone that finds any diet befitting of their goals and body. Of course there are other mitigating factors that will determine the ratio that is best for you. You have to manipulate the macronutrient groups depending on your fitness/health goals and body type. Proteins are the building blocks of lean tissue and are required for a healthy, functioning metabolism. So cutting your protein should really be non negotiable. Just ensure your not consuming too much of it. Proteins can not be stored by the body, so if they are not used they will be excreted as waste or stored as fat. Fats are a lot like a snake. They get a bad rap and are thought to all be bad no matter what kind they are. However, there are healthy fats that are needed and those are the ones that should be focused on. Your brain and all other major body organs require fats for optimum performance/function. If your going to manipulate any group of macronutrients to assist in managing your weight, it should definitely be the carbohydrates.
The Different Body types
Factors of Different Body Types
Your gender, age and present body composition will determine the ratios required more than any of the other factors. The protein requirements for women will become greater as they age. Unless they are overly active, the need for energy from carbohydrates decreases in a woman over the age of 40. Hormonal stability is a major factor in the ratio of macronutrients in women as well. The types of carbohydrates ingested (higher or lower glycemic sources) also affects women. In order to maintain their weight and keep a healthy metabolism, a woman's protein requirements are higher after the age of 40. Even more so as they get older. Women who's goal is to lose weight and gain lean muscle definitely should increase their intake of protein. Men are basically a whole different animal than a woman. Naturally having a superior metabolism (because they have more muscle), most men can eat much higher ratio of carbohydrates without the concern of weight gain. Ironically some men can even eat large numbers of higher glycemic sources such as rice, potatoes, starch etc, and the increase in insulin (blood sugar) will actually assist in building lean tissue. Controlling weight while gaining lean mass is not really an issue with most men as it is with women. Women have more fat than muscle, which makes controlling their weight more difficult. Your history and genetic make-up/heredity are also factors that will determine ratio breakdown..
Women Body Types
There are three different body types. Most people are usually a combination of two of them. Learning and knowing your body type will also help in determining your ratio of macronutrients needed to obtain your fitness/health goals. Ectomorphs, like myself, also know as hard gainers tend to be naturally lean, have higher metabolic rates, and have an inability or very difficult time trying to gain and maintain their weight. Ectomorphs require higher carbs than protein and moderate fat. An ideal ratio breakdown for an Ectomorph would be Protein - 30%, Carbs - 50%, Fats - 20%.
Endomorphs have slower metabolic rates, tend to be husky or obese and easily gain fat weight. They are the types that can drive by a burger joint and gain 10 lbs and it's difficult for them to lose the weight. Endomorphs require less carbs, preferably from a vegetable source and low glycemic, high protein and good fats. An ideal ratio breakdown would be Protein - 50%, Carbs - 20%, Fats - 30%
Mesomorphs are usually muscular, broad shouldered and have a well functioning metabolism and tend to have a very athletic body composition. Starchy and fibrous carbohydrates should be eaten, along with any type of proteins and fats. A good ratio for them would be Proteins - 30%, Carbs - 40%, Fats - 30%.
Balancing lean mass to body fat to acquire your fitness goals has everything to do with your macronutrient ratio. More than likely you have several factors that have to be considered. Just because a particular macronutrient ratio works for someone well, doesn't necessarily mean its going to work for you. The more you learn and experiment with your own body, the more you will discover in how to manage, maintain and change the composition of your body. The only way you are going to learn if a particular ratio or routine works for you, is to try it.
Macronutrient Ratio's of Popular Diets
South Beach Diet
The Zone Diet
Protein - 40%
Protein - 50%
Protein - 30%
Protein - 30%
Carbs - 30%
Carbs - 10%
Carbs - 20%
Carbs - 40%
Fats - 30%
Fats - 40%
Fats - 50%
Fats - 30%
More Links with health and fitness information
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- Good Fat vs Bad Fat: The misunderstood macro-nutrient
Most people do not know whether there is any value in fats and just think of it as something that's bad for you. This article explores the pro's and cons of fat.