Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Losing Weight by Body Type

At times it can be a struggle to lose weight. In general it is because of an imbalance in calories in and calories out, or it can be your body is just having a week where it plateus. But if it continues to be a challenge, it could be because you aren't exercising for your body part. There are lots of exercises that work for everyone, but it is good to know what type you are and what works best. So, brought to you from the wonderful, here is an overview of body types and weight loss.

You were born with a genetic predisposition to grow into a certain frame, according to Dr. William H. Sheldon, who in the 1940s introduced the concept of Somatotypes. Sheldon said that you either fit into one of three body type categories or you might have characteristics of some or all of them. Whatever your body type, there are exercises and diets that can help you lose pounds.

Step 1
Determine your body type and shape. Dr. Sheldon's Somatotype theory described three basic human body types: the endomorph tends to store a lot of body fat and has trouble burning it off; the mesomorph is generally shorter and more muscular with stocky arms and legs; and the ectomorph doesn't have a lot of fat or muscle. You also fit into a distinct body shape category, based upon the size of your features and the proportions of your body. Men tend to be either rectangular or cone shaped, and women tend to be pear, apple, hourglass or ruler shaped. While weight loss techniques can focus on specific combinations, this article will focus primarily on weight loss for the three main body types.

Step 2
If you're an endomorph: Because people with endomorph body types tend to store body fat easily, they usually struggle with weight loss. To keep their metabolism burning at a high rate, endomorphs should eat five or six small meals, mainly lean protein and green vegetables, every few hours throughout the day. A combination of fast-paced weight training and 30 minutes or more of daily moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise are needed to burn more calories. Exercising and eating first thing in the morning can help rev up the metabolism from the get-go.

Step 3
If you're a mesomorph: Mesomorphs are generally more muscular than endomorphs and ectomorphs, and they can also gain and lose weight more readily than other body types. When mesomorphs do cardiovascular exercise, they have the advantage of being able to lose fat while maintaining a muscular physique, which enables them to burn even more calories. However, they should avoid being lazy with exercise and eating junk foods, because they can gain that weight back about as quickly as they lost it. Mesomorphs benefit from doing combinations of workouts that include circuit training, high-intensity cardiovascular activity, moderate weights, strength and core training. They should also should eat six small protein-rich meals to help sustain energy and muscle bulk. Moreover, they should eat more complex carbohydrates than simple carbohydrates, and make fats and oils no more than 20 percent to 30 percent of their diets.

Step 4
If you're an ectomorph: Ectomorphs are mainly tall, thin people who have fast metabolisms. This causes them to have trouble gaining weight and muscle, no matter what measures they take to bulk up. However, not all ectomorphs (or ectomorphs combined with another body type) stay skinny as they get older; they just have the predisposition to have thin frames. Ectomorphs should be careful when trying to lose weight, because cutting too many calories can cause them to burn muscle to a greater degree than other body types. Doing too much cardiovascular exercise (more than two or three days per week) can cause ectomorphs to lose more calories than they should, so loss of fat should be accomplished through muscle building exercises under guidance from a trainer or medical professional. Just like endomorphs and mesomorphs, ectomorphs should eat healthy and balanced diets that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, while reducing intake of junk foods.

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