William Sheldon, a US-based psychologist in the 1940s, came up with the concept of somatotype, which means body type is based on certain factors including genes. He classified the human body into three basic types—ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. Ectomorphs have a thin physique while endomorphs fall on the heavier side. Mesomorphs have medium-build body types that are naturally lean, strong, and athletic.
Mesomorph Body Type and Influence factors (Diet and Lifestyle)
Women who fall under the mesomorph category have an hourglass figure while men have wider shoulders than the hips. They generally are perceived to have a positive attitude and are bold, competitive, and courageous. However, there is no evidence for behavioral and character patterns based on the body type. This was proposed by Sheldon and ruled out later.
Mesomorphs do not struggle like the ectomorphs to gain weight, nor do they have to worry about excess weight gain like endomorphs. Mesomorphs can gain muscle and lose fat easily. In order to gain weight, the mesomorph diet must be hyper-caloric. The mesomorph body type is the best body type for bodybuilding and weight training.
Most people are a mixture of at least two of these types. For instance, a lean and active person that builds a good muscular physique due to weight training, is likely to be a hybrid of ectomorphic and mesomorphic body types. There are perhaps very few people who have only one body type.
There are several factors such as diet, lifestyle, increasing age, health issues, medications, pregnancy and motherhood for females, and so on, that bring about changes in our body structure. If you plan on becoming a mesomorph, which is difficult but not impossible, it’s essential to take all these factors into consideration before starting an exercise regime and diet plan for mesomorphs.
What Is a Mesomorph Diet?
Mesomorphs gain weight more easily than ectomorphs, and so they must keep a watch on their calorie intake. So, what should a mesomorph eat? Tom Venuto, fitness writer and author of the book, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, says a mesomorph diet should consist of 50% carbs, 30% protein, and 20% fat.
According to strength coach Phil Learney and nutritionist Ryan Andrews, the mesomorph diet must have 40% carbs, 30% fat, and 30% protein. Andrews insists that proper nutrition for mesomorphs includes a diet rich in proteins accompanied with vegetables, carb-rich foods, and some fat-dense foods. Generally, the mesomorph diet must be a balanced diet which doesn’t focus on any one particular component.
The mesomorph diet plan must contain three meals and some snacks per day. Eating frequent meals helps mesomorphs control their caloric intake, and thus, prevents them from overeating. Mesomorphs must dedicate half their plate to carbs like fruits, veggies, and whole grains; one-fourth to proteins like egg whites, chicken, or lean beef, and the rest to healthy fats from nuts, seeds, or fruits like avocados.
Mesomorph Diet Plan for Males
Athletes like gymnasts and wrestlers fall into the mesomorph category. Mesomorph diet plans are different for males and females. Mesomorph men should have the following portions of food with every meal:
- 2 handfuls of carb-rich foods
- 2 fists of protein-rich foods
- 2 fistfuls of veggies
- 2 spoons of fat-dense foods
To have a good muscle growth, mesomorph men should eat low-fat proteins such as Greek yogurt, eggs, seafood, and chicken. They must also eat a lot of whole grain foods, green veggies, and low-sugar fruits. Mesomorph men must include high-fiber foods in their diet such as beans, to keep them full for a longer period of time and to help boost metabolism. High-fiber foods help in digestion. They can have whole wheat bread, oatmeal, sweet potato, and honey in the morning.
Mesomorph Diet Plan for Females
Mesomorph females should have the following portions of food with every meal.
- 1 handful of carb-rich foods
- 1 fist of protein-rich foods
- 1 fistful of veggies
- 1 spoon of fat-dense foods
Mesomorph women should include protein sources that are low in saturated fats. They should include eggs, chicken, salmon, fish, and lean beef in their diet. Carbs must come from healthy sources such as whole-wheat bread, sweet potatoes, winter squash, brown rice, and fresh fruits. Unhealthy sources of carbs such as white bread, desserts, and soda must be avoided. They can opt for fats such as seeds, nuts, olive oil, avocados, and fatty fish. Mesomorph women must include fibrous vegetables in their diet to stay full.
A sample meal plan for mesomorph females includes steamed broccoli, a few almonds, and brown rice. A salad made of grilled chicken, raw vegetables, wheat crackers, and a few slices of avocado, or a bowl of steel-cut oats with yogurt and topped with walnuts and blueberries is ideal.
Here is a Pumpkin Pie shake recipe for mesomorphs which can be a great pre- or post-workout drink.
Pumpkin Pie Shake
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or rice milk
- ½ cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon chia seed
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 4-5 ice cubes
Add all the ingredients inside a blender, except the ice cubes, and blend until a smooth paste is formed. Add ice cubes one by one and blend until you get the required consistency.
Pour it in a glass and have it fresh.
Workouts for Mesomorph Males and Females
Male mesomorphs should concentrate on keeping their body fat percentage low with cardio workouts. They must include a lot of medium to heavy weight training exercises in their routine to build muscle. Female mesomorphs should also include a lot of cardio in their workout routine to stay in shape. They should aim to shape and sculpt their muscles and limit the use of weights. They can also try circuit training to build strength and stamina.
The mesomorph body adapts quickly to exercise, so different exercises must be included to challenge the muscles. However, ensure that workouts are fueled with a proper mesomorph diet. Mesomorph diets and workouts are not restricted to natural mesomorphs, as most people have hybrid body types. Those who are keen to develop a mesomorph physique can follow this diet and workout.
If you are endomorphic, it might be slightly difficult initially, but not impossible. You may be an endomorph due to factors such as health issues and age as mentioned earlier, but genetics also plays a part. With the right approach, advice, exercise regime, and diet based on your health condition, age, and basic body type, anything is possible. However, it’s highly recommended to consult your doctor prior to training with heavy weights, and before taking any protein and other supplements.
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“Mesomorph Body Type,” Super Skinny Me web site; http://www.superskinnyme.com/mesomorph-body-type.html
“Mesomorph Meal Plan,” SF Gate web site; http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/mesomorph-meal-plan-11480.html, last accessed February 7, 2017.
Andrews, R., “Body type eating:,” Precision Nutrition web site; http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-body-type-eating, last accessed February 7, 2017.