Before you go on a diet, check your body type.

Alternate Title: 
Nutrition Program for Mesomorphs.

I was a thin person (at 115lbs) when I left the condo this morning and came back a few pounds heavier. Chalk it up to momentary depression when I went home to visit my parents and found that becoming thinner also meant that I would lose an inch from all the important measurements. Gah!

Then I was told:

“You are a walking mass of pure muscle. A mesomorph. Where else would you lose fat but in the only areas where you have it!? Check nutrition programs FOR MESOMORPHS because you’re following the weight loss program of an endomorph. Endomorphs need to cut carbs because they have slow metabolism. For you, cutting carbs isn’t the solution. Why are you trying to lose weight? Is it really for health reasons?”

I pondered on this question. There were many reasons why I’m trying to lose weight. The first urge was triggered by my knee accident. A few months ago, I fell off an escalator and it resulted in my right knee bleeding profusely and my left knee becoming weak (because it absorbed the impact of my weight during the accident and when the right knee bled for days).

It has been three months since the accident and my knees still hurt sometimes. I wanted to strengthen them.

My second reason has to do with the fact that I am recovering from other illnesses due to stress and fatigue. I want to be stronger and healthier. I want to boost my immune system.

The third? Well, vanity. I’ve blogged about that before, too. But it’s only now that I am understanding that I look fat in most clothes because of my bulk. It’s kinda embarrassing to admit that I am more muscular than most Filipino men.

In the end, I started looking up nutrition programs for mesomorphs like me. According to Yahoo! Voices:

Mesomorphs are considered athletic, with a hard muscular body. Females will have that Hourglass or Rectangle shape while males will be more triangular or rectangular. Mesomorphs will typically be your professional athletes, fitness models, bodybuilders and the like. This body type can pack on muscle mass easily and has no problems losing weight. Generally, Mesomorphs have great posture and thick skin. Mesomorphs have only a moderate risk of becoming obese.

Yup, I was working my way back to 110lbs (from 120lbs) and I was already at 114lbs within 2 weeks. It was faster when I was younger. I could lose 10lbs in less than a week if I wanted to. But back then, I desperately wanted to gain weight. It’s a little bit harder now that age is catching up with me.

Anyway, two weeks ago, I started cutting down carbs. Since I moved into Makati, I began walking to work and back. Here’s what I noticed, though:

  • I cannot conform to our company’s strict breakfast-lunch-break meal schedules. I would be really hungry in between meals, like I always had been.
  • I cannot live on lessened carbs. I feel like I’m being starved.
  • I cannot live without protein, especially ones that come from meat (my sources are always chicken and fish). I would feel very weak and light-headed.
Reading up on mesomorphs I found out that we are not meant for the traditional 3-meals-a-day routine. Growing up, I had been used to eating a minimum of 6x to about 8x a day. We are supposed to eat frequently, and in small portions. That was how I had always eaten. No wonder I would pack on the pounds whenever I get a full-time job!
Mesomorphs cannot cut carbs from our diet. In fact, it’s recommended that we consume complex carbohydrates and carbs with low glycemic index (for building lean muscle mass). By cutting this down, I nearly risked getting diabetes because I would crave for carbs with high glycemic index!
Proteins are the most important component of a mesomorph’s nutrition. Yup, I burn carbs so quickly that I’d be famished if all I ate were carbs. I must have protein. I am one of those people who cannot be vegetarians simply because of the way I am built. I still don’t eat beef that much and I absolutely detest the smell of pork (unless it has been turned into bacon), so fish and chicken would still be my staple source of protein. Oh, and soy and/or almond milk.
Here’s another thing: We don’t need to do cardio exercises that often. What we need is strength training and a mix and match of exercises because we get used to routines too quickly. That’s one downside that I didn’t count on. It’s like my body also has ADHD (it’s hard enough that I am mentally afflicted with this already).
Anyhoo, for mesomorphs out there, I found that cooking your own meals is still the best way to get the nutrition that you need. Well, I discovered this when I got stuck in the condo for two days because of the recent flooding, and lo and behold! Despite the lack of exercise (I didn’t walk for 2 days), I lost 2lbs.

If you want to whip up some nutritious, but easy-to-make dishes (great for mesomorphs), here are a few suggestions.

For breakfast:

Herb fetuccinne noodles with home-made pesto, tuna, black olives and tomatoes. I like my tomatoes chunky so this is how I usually cut ’em up.

Pasta is a great source of complex carbohydrates, while tuna is a wonderful source of protein. I don’t need to state why vegetables are essential, right?

For lunch:

Baked potato with home-made salsa and unflavored yogurt. I love making baked potato, even though the only tools I have are the microwave oven and the oven toaster. Yogurt helps me digest so it always accompanies my meals.

Potato is rich in potassium, contains vitamins A, C, and E, iron, and its skin is rich in fiber. Careful, though. Potato is starchy and LiveStrong.Com cites the “Palm Beach Diet” when saying that we must eat all starch carbs before 3PM.

Merienda or Dinner:

These are crispy tortillas I popped into the oven toaster for about 3 minutes. I turn them after 3 minutes, so that both sides are deliciously crisp. Again, you can see some yogurt on a small dish and there’s the last of the remaining home-made salsa. All three things present in this meal — tortilla, plain yogurt, and salsa — have low glycemic indexes.

It was our CEO, mountain-climbing enthusiast and tri-athlete, Niel Dagondon, who told me about the glycemic index. The closer you are to sleeping time, the more you should watch your food’s glycemic index. According to the University of Sydney: “The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating.”

Well, anyhoo, that’s it for the Mesomorph body type. If you don’t know what your body type is, you can look up “ectomorph” (very thin people who have problems putting on weight) or “endomorph” (people that can gain weight easily).

Suggested readings:

8 Comments

  1. Den Alibudbud

    August 13, 2012 at 4:12 am

    thanks for the resources! una ko ngang naisip is, so what body type am i? will definitely be reading about this more. 🙂

  2. skysenshi

    August 13, 2012 at 5:16 am

    Yup! That's why I left links to some resources. I wanted to discuss more but this blog post is already too long. So I left citations everywhere to make things shorter. 😀

  3. forsakinghalfloves

    August 15, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I think I'm an endo-mesomorph. I also have cuts sa abs (which I can only see when I wake up, because I haven't eaten yet, haha!) and the muscles in my upper arms are pretty defined (probably from years of swimming) but I have a slow metabolism and I also gain weight easily, especially around the abdominal area and hips and thighs.

    I think I just need discipline and consistency when it comes to food. Ang pinaka-problem ko is I'm an emotional/stress eater.

    Regarding exercise, I think I'm OK with yoga, since it pretty much works the whole body. I've been viewing videos of different styles and I've been trying them out (at least until I got sick last week haha), so there's variety.

  4. skysenshi

    August 16, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Ahh, sige, I will do more searching for stuff that the other body types need. Baka kasi you might need a bit of cardio as well.

    Most people nga are somewhat in between eh, then we kind of become closer to endos as we age. My officemates were also asking me about their body types so yeah, baka puwede nga gawa ako isa pang post for this.
    My problems with the company's weight-loss program is that pansin ko, everyone is doing a one-size-fits-all kind of scheme in their diets. Naloka nga ako kagabi when I saw them all eating ONLY YOGURT for dinner. I sorta chided them because really, no one should eat only yogurt for dinner. Those live microorganisms are going to find something to digest.

  5. forsakinghalfloves

    August 17, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Yogurt lang? Whoa, that's too much. I usually eat it with cereal (for breakfast) or a piece of bread at night.

    Yeah, I think my mom's company had a weight-loss program or healthy eating initiative din. I don't know if it's still active, but yes, these programs are not usually as diverse as we want it to be, taking into consideration our age, body type, eating habits. So many factors.

  6. skysenshi

    August 17, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Honestly, programs such as this are good but they must get nutritionists on board. Natatakot ako when people starve themselves. That's just as much as unhealthy as eating everything in sight.

  7. MrsMartinez

    August 24, 2012 at 4:30 am

    Bea

    It's true ah that losing weight is easier when we were younger. No matter how hard I try, nahirapan pa din ako to lose 1-2 pounds man lang ; p

    xoxo
    MrsMartinez

  8. skysenshi

    August 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Oo grabe! Although nag-lose ako ng 4 lbs agad on my first week…the remaining weeks talagang hindi ko maibaba. And when finally I got to 113 lbs, pagkauwi ko ng BF, shetness! I gained a lot of it back. Magkamali lang ako ng kain actually. Hindi dapat bumaba ang protein or carb intake ko.

    Kaso sa BF, puro TABA. Parang 80% taba, 20% protein. Diosko.

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