Weight

  I am not a doctor – so I can’t help you with any medical advises. For these you will need to consult your doctor. But you will find (on the bottom of each page) medical articles on which I based my information. My advise is that after you read the information I presented – to print the references and have a discussion with your doctor.

  While I can’t help you medically, I am a certified Life Coach and Professional Engineer (PEng). So I can counsel and encourage you in taking the best decisions in your personal life.

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Before starting talking about weight and diets I want to say that I was and I am not an adept of dieting by starving yourself. I never could do it and I never plan to do it. When I talk here about diet, I refer to a lifestyle and what I consider to be the best healthy foods. This term of “healthy foods” is used so much that almost lost it’s meaning. I will use it here to define the foods that are really good for our human bodies, the foods that our bodies find easy to digest and don’t flare up in all kind of inflammations.

  We tend to think that weight is all about fat. And partially that is true. But where the extra weight is located seems to be as important – if not even the most important. The fitness community is talking about two classifications for the body types based on the weight distribution:

  • pear, apple, inverted pyramid, hourglass   
  • ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph   

Medical community prefers to talk about weight in terms of % of BMI.

I found that doesn’t matter what you call your body type, in the end, there seems to be a consensus that it influences the way your metabolism works and the way you can lose weight.

  Before going deeper in some diets that I found to be the most effective, I will go through all these classifications and how they are linked with managing the weight.

Pear, Apple, Inverted Pyramid, Hourglass

Apple

  This body type tends to carry all or most of its weight through the belly area. The legs and arms of the Apple are generally fairly slender without much extra weight. Even though this body type is at the greatest health risk due to excess visceral fat, the belly fat that’s deep inside the midsection, it’s easy to get rid of.

  Common cravings: Starchy or sugary foods, diet sodas, caffeine.

  Response to a poor diet: Lacks energy and experiences cravings, particularly around mid-morning or after lunch.

  Hormone to watch out for: Insulin. The key to losing weight for the Apple is getting his or her blood sugar levels under control.

  What to eat: Start with a foundation of clean proteins (chicken, lean beef, pork, fish) and supplement with healthy fats (eggs, avocado, nuts, seeds, nut butter, coconut oil, olive oil, full-fat cheeses). Also include plenty of leafy greens (spinach, kale, romaine).

  Limit: Starchy carbs to one meal a day and low glycemic index fruits (berries).

  Eliminate: Coffee or caffeinated beverages as they can throw off cortisol and insulin. Sugary refined carbohydrates, like sports drinks, store bought energy bars or sweetened yogurts.

Pear

  This body type tends to gain weight through the hips and thighs, often with a small lower abdominal “pooch” (this is subcutaneous fat, not to be confused with visceral fat). This body type appears to have a significantly smaller upper body, with little excess weight through the arms and chest.

  The Pear may run into a little frustration when it comes to weight loss as the subcutaneous fat through the hips and thighs is difficult to mobilize. In fact, the Pear may notice other parts of her body losing weight before the target area. It’s highly likely that this body type is dealing with estrogen dominance. By eating foods that help flush out estrogen while eliminating the foods that mimic estrogen leading to an excessive amount, this body type will lose weight.

  Common cravings: High-fat dairy, lattes, rich desserts.

  Response to a poor diet: Will experience unusual hunger either in between meals or at the end of the evening, after dinner.

  Hormone to watch out for: Estrogen. Even though estrogen, as a group of hormones, isn’t necessarily bad, an imbalance of too much estrogen to other hormones, particularly progesterone, can promote lower body weight gain.

  What to eat: Start with a foundation of high-fiber vegetables and fruits, supplement with healthy amount of oats, quinoa, buckwheat and brown rice. Also include small amounts of lean protein and clean, non-dairy fats. Just a note here. If you find yourself getting a lot of bloating, gas and other digestive problems – it may be that you have sensitivities to fructose and sucrose. Before going to more restrictive measures you can try taking a digestive enzymes supplement. If that seems to not help then you can eat same vegetables pickled and eat citric fruits (like oranges) and high in glucose but much low in fructose (like bananas, all berries, kiwi …). I detailed more about food sensitivities under IBS and SIBO pages.

  Eliminate: High-fat dairy (cheese, cream), non-organic produce and meats (that contain pesticides or hormones), caffeine, alcohol, unfermented soy (tofu).

Inverted Pyramid

  This body type tends to have broader shoulders that taper down toward the waist and hips. They usually carry quite a bit of muscle mass in the upper body, but are prone to storing extra fat through the chest, back of the arms and above the bra line.

  Common cravings: Salty, fatty and fast foods; alcohol.

  Response to a poor diet: Has a decent amount of energy early in the day, loses steam in the evening and succumbs to cravings.

  Hormone to watch out for: Cortisol. Released through the adrenal glands, found on top of the kidneys. Constantly elevated cortisol levels, released through the adrenal glands, can have a cascading effect on other hormones that perpetuate weight gain, particularly insulin.

  What to eat: Start with a foundation of complex carbohydrates (oats, brown rice, buckwheat) and supplement with low-fat dairy and lots of fresh vegetable juices, leafy greens and high-fiber fruits. Again, if you find yourself getting a lot of bloating, gas and other digestive problems – it may be that you have sensitivities to fructose and sucrose. Before going to more restrictive measures you can try taking a digestive enzymes supplement. If that seems to not help then you can eat same vegetables pickled and eat citric fruits (like oranges) and high in glucose but much low in fructose (like bananas, all berries, kiwi …). I detailed more about food sensitivities under IBS and SIBO pages.

  Eliminate: Heavy meats, heavy cheese, salty snacks, protein bars, caffeinated beverages.

Hourglass

  This body type typically gains weight evenly throughout his or her body, often most noticeable in the face, but also through the arms, chest, knees and ankles. This body type has a soft, round look.

  Common cravings: Dairy, sugary carbohydrates.

  Response to a poor diet: Water retention and congestion.

  Hormone to watch out for: Master regulator of all hormones, the pituitary gland, which can have an effect on cortisol, insulin and thyroid, among others.

  What to eat: Start with a foundation of raw vegetables and fruits, supplement with whole grain cereals (oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat). Include a daily serving of lean protein and plenty of spices. Again, if you find yourself getting a lot of bloating, gas and other digestive problems – it may be that you have sensitivities to fructose and sucrose. Before going to more restrictive measures you can try taking a digestive enzymes supplement. If that seems to not help then you can eat same vegetables pickled and eat citric fruits (like oranges) and high in glucose but much low in fructose (like bananas, all berries, kiwi …). I detailed more about food sensitivities under IBS and SIBO pages.

  Limit: High-fat meats; refined and processed carbohydrates.

  Eliminate: Eliminate: Caffeinated beverages, dairy, refined carbohydrates, sweets.

Ectomorph, Mesomorph, Endomorph

Ectomorph

  Ectomorphs: are thin individuals characterized by smaller bone structures and thinner limbs. Think of a typical endurance athlete. They tend to be thyroid and SNS (sympathetic nervous system) dominant with either a higher output or higher sensitivity to catecholamines like epinephrine and norepinephrine. This profile is linked to a fast metabolic rate and a high carbohydrate tolerance.

  This group generally does best with more carbohydrates in the diet, along with a moderate protein and lower fat intake. A nutrient distribution for this body type might be around 55% carbs, 25% protein, and 20% fat. (But forget the math. Just think “higher carbs and lower fat.”)

Mesomorph

  Mesomorphs; have a medium sized bone structure and athletic body, and if they’re active, they usually have a considerable amount of lean mass. Many explosive athletes like wrestlers and gymnasts fit these criteria. Mesomorphs tend to be testosterone and growth hormone dominant. This profile leads to a predisposition for muscle gain and the maintenance of a lower body fat.

  Mesomorphs typically do best on a mixed diet, consisting of balanced carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. A macronutrient split of 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 30% fat can work well.

Endomorph

  Endomorphs; have a larger bone structure with higher amounts of total body mass and fat mass. Football lineman and powerlifters are frequently endomorphs. They tend to be naturally less active. Where the ectomorphs tend to burn off excess calories with near constant movement, excess calories in endomorphs do not seem to cause that same increase in expenditure. This means that excess calories are more likely to be stored as fat. This profile leads to a greater propensity for energy storage, including both lean mass and fat mass. This can also mean a lower carbohydrate tolerance.

  Endomorphs typically do best on a higher fat and protein intake with carbohydrate intake being controlled and properly timed (e.g., after exercise). So that’s what we recommend: more fat and protein, less carbohydrate.

  A nutrient distribution for this body type might be around 25% carbs, 35% protein, and 40% fat. Again, no math. Just think higher fats and protein, lower carbs.

BMI (Body Mass Index)

  BMI equals weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared (BMI = kg/m2).

  • A BMI of 25 to 29.9 indicates a person is overweight.
  • 30 or higher is considered obese.

  I am not a fan of the BMI approach toward dieting. The BMI does not measure body fat levels – so you could be rippling with muscle – and BMI will show obese.

  If a bodybuilder measured their BMI, they would show up as obese. This is obviously not true. It is difficult to apply a “one-size-fits-all” to unique body types. Some ethnic groups also have denser and heavier bone structure which can skew the results even more.

  BMI is also inaccurate for short or tall people – short people will think they are thinner that what they are, and tall people will have a higher BMI reading. However, for the general population, BMI is an easy assessment of weight categories.

  Still, if you are curious what is your BMI, here it is.