Longer days, sunshine, short shorts and the great outdoors – what’s not to love about an Aussie summer? Well, you’d be excused for feeling less than enthusiastic if you’ve been hiding your body beneath layers of clothes and woolly jackets, and it’s certainly not uncommon to pack away a little extra winter ‘padding’. But, the thought of reclaiming your body – or more importantly, reclaiming your vibrant health in time for summer shouldn’t result in mild heart palpitations and there’s absolutely no need to resort to the latest fad diet. With just a little common sense and nutritional know how, you’ll be rocking that teeny-tiny bikini without a care in the world. Let’s get to it:
Eat Right for Your Type
Generally speaking, we all sit somewhere along a sliding scale of body types, more accurately these are termed ‘somatotypes’. While very few of us fit perfectly into just one of these categories, our physical characteristics can provide us with valuable information about our metabolism, hormonal profile and body’s preferred fuel source or macronutrient profile. But what does that actually mean in practical terms and how should it affect our food choices?
- Ectomorphs are characteristically fine boned and naturally lean. Think of your typical long distance runner or hard-gainer in the gym, or your BFF that can go back for thirds at the buffet and still not gain a kilo! This body type is linked to a fast metabolic rate and a relatively high tolerance for carbohydrates.
- Mesomorphs are characterised by an athletic looking body shape. They gain muscle easily and naturally have less body fat. Think of your typical figure athlete who stays close to contest shape all year round. This body type typically does best on a balanced diet of fats and carbohydrates.
- Endomorphs typically have a larger structure with naturally higher body fat, and in trained individuals, higher muscle mass. This body type needs to keep the closest watch on diet and exercise adherence to see results. Think of your girlfriend who complains of just walking past a bakery and gaining five kilos! She’d make an awesome power lifter, but that isn’t likely to be the look she’s going for. Endomorphs respond best to a lower-carbohydrate diet and an emphasis on higher fats.
Where’s the protein you ask? It goes without saying that good quality protein is the cornerstone of any training girl’s diet and should make up around 25 to 35 per cent of your total nutritional intake for the day, keeping in mind that your body does not store proteins and amino acids (there is a constant turnover of protein) but adequate fats and carbohydrates will have a protein-sparing effect.
To read the rest of this article, be sure to pick up issue 81 of Oxygen Magazine on sale 17th November. Or click here to subscribe