U Rock Girl! by U Rock Girl!
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Look around at a group of people and what do you see? No two people are built the same. But if you look at little closer, you might find that there are similarities in body shapes. The majority of individuals can be grouped among one of three different body types: mesomorphs, ectomorphs and endomorphs. Each requires different diet plans and training methods to achieve overall health, fitness goals and successful weight management. Most people are a blend of two body types, with one being more dominant. Ectomorphs tend to be long and lean with a fast metabolism, so gaining weight and muscle can be a challenge. Mesomorphs are naturally muscular and have the ability to lose weight or gain weight easily. This article addresses the unique characteristics and needs of endomorphs, who typically have a larger bone structure, store fat easily and struggle with weight loss.

Physical Characteristics

Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Sophia Vergara and Marilyn Monroe are some of the most famous female endomorphs. They all could be described as curvaceous, small-waisted, full-figured and pear-shaped. Endomorphs generally have a smooth, round body, medium-large bone structure, small shoulders and shorter limbs. They usually carry their weight in the lower abdomen, hips, and thighs rather than evenly distributed throughout the body. This pattern of fat distribution makes it a bit harder to lose weight, but with the correct training and nutrition program, they can achieve positive results. 

Metabolic Characteristics

From a metabolic perspective, endomorphs usually have some degree of carbohydrate and insulin sensitivity. High-carb foods are quickly converted to sugar in the bloodstream and are more likely be stored as fat than be burned for energy. As a result, many endomorphs have a higher body-fat percentage, putting them at greater risk for of developing diabetes, infertility, certain forms of cancer, gallbladder conditions, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and depression. Fortunately, hormone imbalances can be prevented or corrected with a nutrition and fitness program that achieves a reduction in body fat.

Diet and Weight Loss

Because endomorphs tend to be carbohydrate and insulin sensitive, the best nutrition plan for this body type focuses on an even distribution of macronutrients, with carbohydrates coming mostly  from vegetables and smaller amounts of unrefined, high-fiber starches, like quinoa and amaranth. Stay away from the bread, cereal, cracker and cookie aisles of the supermarket! A Paleo-like diet is best suited for an endomorph, where each meal contains protein, vegetables and some healthy fats, like avocado or olive oil. Aim for a nutrient distribution close to 30 percent carbs, 35 percent protein and 35 percent fat.

Better Breakfast Choice

Starting the day with a high-protein breakfast is a great way to jumpstart metabolism and keep insulin levels from skyrocketing. Our favorite choice for endomorphs is a frittata or omelet, like this one from our cookbook, No Excuses! 50 Healthy Ways to ROCK Breakfast!

Pretty Pomodoro Frittata (serves 4)

Ingredients:

3 eggs + 3 egg whites, whisked together
1/2 cup nonfat milk
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup basil, sliced thin
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a glass pie plate with olive oil cooking spray. Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl and pour into a pie plate. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the eggs are set. Remove from the oven and let cool five minutes before slicing into wedges.

Fitness Goals

Endomorphs typically have a difficult time losing fat with diet alone, so a well-rounded fitness program is a must for the endomorph. Exercise is essential to boosting metabolism and must include both weight and cardio training. In general, endomorphs must commit to a lifelong program without overtraining. Building muscle comes easily for endomorphs; however, a slower metabolism and extra body fat make it much harder for endomorphs to stay lean. To begin, find a few different activities that can be rotated to prevent overtraining or boredom.

Cardio

Endomorphs’ basic disposition is to take it easy and relax, but they must stay in motion almost every day to fight against the urge to chill out. The cardio-training component is imperative for the endomorph to burn calories and create a greater calorie deficit.

Cardio Training Recommendations for the Endomorph:

Incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) two to three days a week for no more than 30 minutes per workout. Try this HIIT workout on the elliptical

Incorporate 30 to 60 minutes of steady-state cardio, two to three days a week. 

Weight Training

Maintaining or building lean muscle mass and losing body fat, while also revving up metabolism, is the focus during weight-training sessions. Developing more active muscle tissue will help increase resting metabolic rate and encourage the body to burn more fat for fuel.

Weight Training Recommendations for the Endomorph:

Focus on large muscle groups (e.g., legs, back) and high repetitions (15 reps)

Compound exercises

Circuit training with very little rest time between sets

 

Circuit Training Workout #1:


Exercise

Time

Squat with overhead press

50 sec - work

Rest

10 sec - rest

Stationary lunge with lateral raise (right leg front)

50 sec - work

Rest

10 sec - rest

Stationary lunge with lateral raise (left leg front holding dumbbells)

50 sec - work

Rest

10 sec - rest

Plié squat/upright row (dumbbells or kettlebell)

50 sec - work

Rest

10 sec - rest

Push-ups with single leg knee drives

50 sec - work

Rest

10 sec - rest

Plank with triceps extension (dumbbells)

50 sec - work

Rest

10 sec - rest

Alternate step-ups with hammer curls (dumbbells)

50 sec - work

Repeat three times

 

Other Factors to Consider for Endomorphs

Watch less TV

Avoid excessive sleep, become an early riser

Work out with a partner, hire a trainer, make a running list of goals, enter a competition

Consistency and diligence with eating and exercise to help facilitate weight loss