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Every Meals Counts: A Complete Body-Type Nutrition Guide!

Here's a breakdown of what it takes for your body type to get the results you need and exactly what to eat and what supplements to take. Keep reading to find out exactly what to eat to ensure that you get results!

By: Marc Lobliner

"What is that in your bottle and what does it do?" We get asked this everyday when drinking our Xtend (BCAA, L-Glutamine and Citrulline Malate) during our workout. But how many times have you sat down at a restaurant and had people ask how that meal was going to benefit your workout tomorrow? Probably never.

We are here to tell you that it is not just the workout nutrition that fuels your training, but the many meals before training that enable you to get your pump on and attain the Holy Grail of Bodybuilding - Fat Loss and LEAN MASS GAIN!

In this article, Team Scivation will break down what it takes for your body type to get the results you need and exactly what to eat and what supplements to take. Keep reading to find out exactly what to eat to ensure that you get results!

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Phenotypes
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The term phenotype is defined as "The observable physical or biochemical characteristics of an organism, as determined by both genetic makeup and environmental influences." (Dictionary.com). One's body type/structure can be placed in three phenotypes:

  1. Ectomorph - Naturally skinny, narrow bone structure, has a hard time gaining weight
  2. Mesomorph - Naturally built, broad shoulders, can gain or lose weight relatively equally
  3. Endomorph - Naturally heavy, wide bone structure, gains weight easily

There is a clear visible physical distinction between the three phenotypes, but what is not visible and often ignored is the biochemical and metabolic differences between the three phenotypes. Your phenotype will dictate the way you should structure your diet to gain lean mass. For example, mesomorphs and endomorphs need to eat less food than an ectomorph in order to gain weight.

In this article we will go over specific strategies people with each phenotype can use to prime their bodies for growth and optimize their performance for each and every workout, but first we will go over some basic diet principles that apply to everyone.

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arrow Insulin Control:
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    Insulin is referred to as the "storage hormone" because its job is to activate transportation of nutrients (i.e. carbs and fat) into cells and to turn off the burning of nutrients.

    When you eat carbs the pancreas secretes insulin, which signals cells to increase the uptake of glucose from the blood into them. During this time, fat burning is blunted. Therefore we want to control insulin levels to keep fat burning elevated. Keys to doing this are:

    • Eat five to six small meals per day: Large meals can create enormous an insulin spike, which can cause your body to store fat. Small meals create a much smaller, more controlled insulin release thus less fat storage and more fat loss.

    RELATED ARTICLE

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    Maximizing Your Insulin!
    Insulin is one of the body's most anabolic muscle-building hormones. More specifically, it's a hormone released by the pancreas in response to nutrient availability.
    Author:
    MuscleTech

    • Never skip a meal: We don't care if meal one was at the local buffet and you ate until you had to unbutton your pants. Do not skip your second meal! Keep the motor revving.
    • Eat good fat with every meal, especially carbohydrate meals.
    • Do not combine carbohydrates and protein alone, this elicits the highest insulin response. For example, a cup of oatmeal has a moderate insulin response but when you combine oatmeal with whey protein, you get a much higher response. If you do combine these, be sure to add a fat source.

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arrow Acidity Control:
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    We are talking about controlling the acidity of your meals. Why is this important and how can it be accomplished?

    • Your body's pH level is slightly alkaline, with a normal range of 7.36 to 7.44. To maintain optimal health and results, you should attempt to keep your body in an alkaline state through diet.
    • An imbalanced diet high in acidic foods can make your body acidic. This can deplete the body of alkaline minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, making you more prone to serious health problems and potentially disrupting nutrient absorption.
    • Add fat to your meals! For example, when you eat a meal like oatmeal and egg whites, you are eating a very acidic meal. But when you put raisins and almonds in your oatmeal and have some steamed vegetables with it, you are lowering the acidity of that meal dramatically.

    Acidity
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Keep Your Body In An Alkaline State.

    • When you cannot add fat or vegetables to your meals, add two to five grams of L-Glutamine. This will lower the acidity of your meal to keep you in a more alkaline state.

    What Are Some Alkaline Foods?

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arrow Hydration Control:
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  • You should drink plenty of water everyday.
  • Try to drink at least eight glasses (or 64 oz.) of water per day.
  • Staying hydrated is a major key to growth.
  • If you are dehydrated you will not be able to perform in the gym. You will feel weak and sluggish and may even cramp up making it so you can't workout at all.
  • Staying hydrated should never be overlooked.

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arrow Quality Control:
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  • Choose fresh, wholesome foods over pre-packaged, processed foods.
  • Packaged foods are loaded with preservatives, especially sodium and saturated fats, and often have high amounts of sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup
  • .
  • You will be amazed at how fast you can lose fat just by packing meals from home rather than purchasing fast food or packaged foods. You also will save a lot of money!
  • Eat one to two fruit servings and three to five vegetable serving everyday.
  • Fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
  • One serving of vegetables is one-half of a cup unless leafy. One serving of leafy vegetables is one cup.
  • Fruits and vegetables provide nutrient dense calories and healthy fiber.
  • Fruits & Vegetables
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Fruits & Vegetables Provide Nutrient
    Dense Calories And Healthy Fiber.

    Now that we have an understanding of some basic diet principles we will outline specific strategies ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs can use to prime their bodies for growth and performance.

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Ectomorphs
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An ectomorph, often referred to as a "hard gainer", has a fast metabolism and needs more calories to maintain a given weight than a mesomorph or an endomorph. This elevated metabolism/increased need for calories could be due to a number of factors including resting metabolic rate (RMR), hormone levels (i.e. thyroid), insulin sensitivity, fat oxidation capacity, and the rate at which glycogen is oxidized.

RMR CALCULATOR
Resting Metabolic Rate is calculated by the Mifflin equation, which was created in 1990.
Height ft in
Weight
Age
Gender
Results
Calories

Ectomorphs tend to burn through glucose (carbohydrates) very quickly. Because of this, ectomorphs will need to follow a high carbohydrate diet when trying to gain muscle.

The number one reason causing "hard gainers" not to gain weight is under eating. In most cases increasing your caloric intake will lead to weight gain. No one should ever say "I'm a hard gainer and that's that!" because in reality you just need to eat more.

It is possible for everyone to gain muscle no matter what their genetic predisposition may be, it just might be harder for some than others. Let's get into the diet strategies for ectomorphs to gain weight.

Simply put, you are going to have to eat a lot to grow! There is no way around that. The primary factor that determines whether you gain or lose weight is your caloric intake (how many calories you eat). If you eat more calories than you burn (hypercaloric diet) you will gain weight and if you burn more calories than you eat (hypocaloric diet) you will lose weight.

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When you eat exactly the same amount of calories as you burn it is called a maintenance caloric diet. Ectomorphs trying to gain muscle need to eat a hypercaloric diet like anyone else who wants to gain weight.

A simple calculation to determine your maintenance caloric intake is to take your body weight and multiply it by 15; this gives you your total calories to be consumed each day. For example, a 200 pound person would consume 3,000 calories a day. Now this is a very basic way to determine your maintenance caloric intake.

A good starting point for ectomorphs is to set your calories to 500 calories over maintenance. Remember that you want to gain lean mass, not fat. It would be easy to gain weight by just eating junk food all day, but you would most likely gain a chunk of fat with the muscle you do gain. Instead I recommend eating good, nutrient dense foods. If you do not gain weight at 500 calories over maintenance then increase your calories more.

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arrow Tips For Daily Eating:
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  1. Eat lean protein with every meal - Good proteins include chicken, lean beef and turkey, tuna and other fish, eggs (also has fat) and egg whites, and protein supplements.
  2. Eat unprocessed carbs - The bulk of your carb consumption should be in the form of quality, unprocessed, low glycemic carbs such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, rice, whole gain pastas, breads, and cereals.
  3. Eat fruits and vegetables everyday - Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, and many nutrients vital for good overall health, wellness, and growth.
  4. Eat good fats with every meal (except post-workout) - Dietary fat is very important for proper body functioning and hormone production. Most people have an unbalanced view of dietary fat and therefore limit it. Good sources of fat include almonds and almond butter, peanuts and peanut butter, avocado, flax seed and olive oil, and eggs.
  5. Don't eat until you feel like you are going to vomit - When trying to gain weight, some hard gainers eat to the point of vomiting. This is not healthy or necessary. Instead of eating huge meals, I recommend eating 6-7 decently-sized meals that make you feel full but not stuffed and bloated.
  6. Cook meals in advance - Have food already cooked and ready to go when it is time to eat makes getting enough calories much easier and less of a burden.

Fruits & Vegetables
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Have Food Already Cooked And Ready To Go.

  1. A macronutrient ratio for bulking is 50:30:20/carbs:protein:fats - One should always get 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, this is your primary objective. Above that, carbs and good fats will make up the bulk of your calories. If you are consuming 3,000 calories, this would equate to:

    1. Carbs = 375 grams
    2. Protein = 225 grams
    3. Fat = 67 grams

CALORIE RATIO CALCULATOR
Calories
Weight
Enter Your Carbs-Protein-Fat Ratio. The Total Should Be 100.
Carbs
Protein
Fats
Results
Carbs
Protein
Fats
 
 

  1. Eat the bulk of your carbs around your workout - Weight lifting increases the body's need for glucose, therefore it makes sense to eat carbs around your workout.

    For ectomorphs who struggle to gain weight we recommend consuming a fast digesting shake post workout consisting of essential amino acids/whey protein and a high glycemic carbohydrate, such as Scivation Whey and/or PrimaForce Primal EAA + PrimaForce Carb Slam, with no fat. This same shake can also be taken pre-workout. After this post-workout shake resume your normal protein+carbs+fat meals.

  2. If you aren't gaining weight you need to increase your calories - While some people might be able to gain muscle on 3,000 calories you may need to eat 4,000 or even 5,000 calories a day in order to grow. It is important to monitor your weight and body fat% so you can tell whether or not you need to increase your caloric intake.
  3. A cheat meal here and there won't kill you - If you eat 6 meals a day that means you are eating 42 meals a week. Having one or two "off" meals will not kill you and can be psychologically refreshing. If you want to enjoy a meal out with your friends and family that is fine and encouraged.

Fruits & Vegetables
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Having One Or Two Cheat Meals A Week
Can Be Psychologically Refreshing.

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Mesomorphs
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Mesomorphs tend to be in the middle when it comes to metabolic rate. While ectomorphs struggle to gain weight and endomorphs have trouble gaining too much weight (specifically fat:muscle ratio), mesomorphs seem to have the best of both worlds; they can gain muscle with limited fat gains.

Mesomorphs naturally have more muscle than ectomorphs and have better insulin sensitivity than endomorphs, which makes it easier for them to gain more muscle and less fat when eating a hypercaloric diet.

The primary factor that determines whether you gain or lose weight is your caloric intake (how many calories you eat). If you eat more calories than you burn (hypercaloric diet) you will gain weight and if you burn more calories than you eat (hypocaloric diet) you will lose weight.

When you eat exactly the same amount of calories as you burn it is called a maintenance caloric diet. Mesomorphs trying to gain muscle need to eat a hypercaloric diet like anyone else who wants to gain weight, but they do not want to eat too many calories above maintenance.

A simple calculation to determine your maintenance caloric intake is to take your body weight and multiply it by 15; this gives you your total calories to be consumed eat day. For example, a 200 pound person would consume 3,000 calories a day. Now this is a very basic way to determine your maintenance caloric intake and should be used as a starting point. For mesomorphs I recommend starting at 250-500 calories above maintenance calories with their calories come from:

  • Carbohydrates = 40%
  • Protein = 30%
  • Fat = 30%

Using the 3,000 calorie as an example this would be:

  • Carbohydrates = 300 grams
  • Protein = 225 grams
  • Fat = 100 grams

A 200 pound mesomorph would want to start 250-500 calories above their maintenance caloric intake, so adding 500 calories to the above example we get:

  • Carbohydrates = 350 grams
  • Protein = 263 grams
  • Fat = 117 grams

MESOMORPH CALORIE CALCULATOR
Weight
Additional Calories
Enter Your Carbs-Protein-Fat Ratio. The Total Should Be 100.
Carbs
Protein
Fats
Results
Carbs
Protein
Fats

In addition to controlling your caloric intake, as a mesomorph you want to control insulin secretion. This can be done by limiting carbohydrate consumption, specifically high glycemic carbohydrates. Managing your insulin levels will allow you to keep your gains leaner.

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arrow Control Your Caloric Intake And Meal Size With Frequent Meals:
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    One way to control your caloric intake is to eat frequent meals. Going long periods of time with no food causes your body to send signals to the brain telling it the body needs food.

    If you eat sporadic meals you will most likely overeat on those meals. It is better to eat smaller, more frequent meals to prevent overeating. Eating smaller meals allows insulin secretion to be more controlled. Eating a 600 calorie meal will result in less insulin secretion than eating a 1,200 calorie meal (macronutrient content aside).

Smaller Meals
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Eating Smaller Meals Allows Insulin
Secretion To Be More Controlled.

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arrow Limit The Bulk Of Your Carbohydrates To Specific Meals:
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    Limiting the bulk of your carbohydrates to times when your body needs them most will aid in muscle growth and limit fat gains. I recommend mesomorphs to limit the majority of their carbohydrates to breakfast and pre/post workout. For example, if someone workouts at 6 PM I would recommend they consume the majority carbohydrates at:

    For all other meals mesomorphs should consume less carbs (i.e. 1/4-1/2 cup rice), green vegetables, and small amounts of fruit. If you workout first thing in the morning, I would recommend following a similar setup, keeping your carbs in your first three meals (pre-workout meal, post-workout meal, and third meal of the day).

    No matter what your schedule is I do not recommend consuming dextrose, maltodextrin, or other high glycemic carbs post workout for mesomorphs. Some mesomorphs may do very well using high glycemic carbs, but our general rule is for mesomorphs to stick to low glycemic carbs.

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Are Carbs Anabolic?
The main focus of this article will be to determine whether or not carbohydrates can be considered anabolic or not. Read on to get the details.
Author:
Layne Norton

    Skeletal muscle has the ability to uptake glucose post workout without "spiking" your insulin levels. Weight training increases GLUT-4 translocation in skeletal muscle, allowing the muscle to uptake glucose more efficiently.

    Studies do show that increasing insulin levels post workout does enhance protein synthesis, but I do not feel one needs to jack insulin levels through the roof with dextrose. I do feel that it can be beneficial for mesomorphs to take some high-glycemic carbs pre workout. Studies have shown that protein synthesis is elevated the greater when high glycemic carbs combined with free-form essential amino acids (EAA) are consumed pre workout.

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arrow Eat Quality Foods - Don't Skimp On Your Fruits And Veggies!
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    By consuming low glycemic index carbs, such as oatmeal and sweet potatoes as suggested above, one can limit the insulin output from their carb meals. For low carb meals I recommend consuming green vegetables and fruit.

    Green vegetables and fruit are both low GI carbs and contain fiber and numerous nutrients. On top of that, they are very filling. An example of a low-carb meal would be 4-6 oz. of chicken with 1 cup green beans and 1/2 an apple.

    In addition to carbs and protein, one should add fat to their meals to decrease insulin output, prolong digestion time, and to provide essential fatty acids (EFA). Examples of good fats include almonds and almond butter, peanuts and peanut butter, avocados, and flax and olive oil. One could simply add 20 almonds to the above meal to obtain their EFAs.

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arrow Don't Slack On Non-Workout Day Nutrition:
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    You grow outside of the gym. Weight training provides the stimulus for growth, but your diet governs your growth. Your diet should be just as strict on non-workout days as on workout days. More than anything your total caloric intake will govern how much weight, muscle, and fat you gain

    While the above guidelines will help limit your fat gains, your overall caloric intake is the number one factor that will decide if you gain fat. If you overeat you will probably gain some fat. So start by eating 250-500 calories over your maintenance caloric intake and increase calories when weight/muscle gains stall.

Calories
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Increase Calories When Weight/Muscle Gains Stall.

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Endomorphs
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I want to note that throughout this article, when I talk about endomorphs I am referring to a person's natural phenotype and genetic make-up, not someone who is overweight simply due to years of a sedentary lifestyle and overeating.

The primary factor that determines whether you gain or lose weight is your caloric intake (how many calories you eat). If you eat more calories than you burn (hypercaloric diet) you will gain weight and if you burn more calories than you eat (hypocaloric diet) you will lose weight.

When you eat exactly the same amount of calories as you burn it is called a maintenance caloric diet. Endomorphs trying to gain muscle need to eat a hypercaloric diet like anyone else who wants to gain weight, but they do not want to eat too many calories above maintenance.

A simple calculation to determine your maintenance caloric intake is to take your body weight and multiply it by 15; this gives you your total calories to be consumed eat day. For example, a 200 pound person would consume 3,000 calories a day. Now this is a very basic way to determine your maintenance caloric intake and should be used as a starting point. When weight gain stalls increase your calories by 200. Continuing with our example, this person would then eat 3,200 calories a day.

ENDOMORPH CALORIE CALCULATOR
Weight
Additional Calories
Enter Your Carbs-Protein-Fat Ratio. The Total Should Be 100.
Carbs
Protein
Fats
Results
Calories
Carbs
Protein
Fats

In addition to controlling your caloric intake, as an endomorph you want to control insulin secretion. This can be done by limiting carbohydrate consumption, especially high glycemic carbohydrates. Managing your insulin levels will allow you to keep your gains leaner.

dots
arrow Control Your Caloric Intake And Meal Size With Frequent Small Meals:
dots

    One way to control your caloric intake is to eat frequent small meals. Going long periods of time with no food causes your body to send signals to the brain telling it the body needs food. If you eat sporadic meals you will most likely overeat on those meals.

    It is better to eat smaller, more frequent meals to prevent overeating. Eating smaller meals allows causes insulin secretion to be more controlled. Eating a 400 calorie meal will result in less insulin secretion than eating a 1,000 calorie meal (macronutrient content aside).

DOWNLOAD NOW - FREE!
Bulking For Endomorphs. Bulking For Endomorphs: Gain Lean Body Mass!
By Derek Charlebois

FREE Copy! PDF (1 MB)

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arrow Limit Total Carbohydrate Consumption:
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    One of the physiological mechanisms that cause endomorphs to gain fat easily is poor insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity refers to the cells response to insulin or insulin's efficiency on cells. A cell that is very insulin sensitive needs less insulin to uptake glucose (carbs) than a cell that is insulin insensitive.

    Insulin is anti-lipolytic (blunts fat oxidation) and increases fat storage. Therefore, when more insulin is secreted, fat oxidation will be blunted and fat storage will be increased to a greater degree than if their cells were more insulin sensitive. In order to maintain better health one must control insulin.

    The consumption of carbohydrates leads to a large output of insulin since insulin is necessary for the uptake of glucose into cells. Eating large amounts of carbohydrates throughout the day will lead to elevated insulin levels, thereby decreases fat oxidation.

    Dietary carbohydrates are necessary to gain muscle mass and normal body functioning, therefore they cannot be eliminated from the diet. Instead they should be consumed during specific meals when your body needs them.

Food Database Food Nutrient Database:
Find out how many grams of protein, carbs and fat are in the foods you eat, along with the full vitamin and mineral profile.

[ Check Out The Database Here! ]

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arrow Limit Carbohydrates To Specific Meals:
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    Limiting carbohydrates to times when your body needs them will aid in muscle growth and limiting fat gains. I recommend endomorphs to limit their carbohydrates to breakfast and pre/post workout. For example, if someone workouts at 6 PM I would recommend they consume some carbohydrates at breakfast, such as 1/2 cup oatmeal, and post workout, such as 6 oz. sweet potato.

    For all other meals they should consume green vegetables and small amounts of fruit. If you workout first thing in the morning, I would recommend following a similar setup, keeping your carbs in your pre- and post-workout meals. As you add calories to your diet you can increase your carb consumption.

    If you are eating 6 oz. of sweet potato post workout you can add in an additional 2 oz. sweet potato and 1 TBSP honey (an additional 30 grams of carbs) when you increase your calories. The next step would be increasing your 1/2 cup of oatmeal in meal 1 to 1 cup of oatmeal. Gradually increasing calories is the key for endomorphs to gain lean muscle without gaining fat.

    No matter what your schedule is I do not recommend consuming dextrose, maltodextrin, or other high glycemic carbs post workout. High glycemic carbs are a BIG NO-NO for endomorphs. Skeletal muscle has the ability to uptake glucose post workout without "spiking" your insulin levels.

    Weight training increases GLUT-4 translocation in skeletal muscle, allowing the muscle to uptake glucose more efficiently. Studies do show that increasing insulin levels post workout does enhance protein synthesis, but I do not feel one needs to jack insulin levels through the roof with dextrose. Due to endomorphs' tendency to have poor insulin sensitivity spiking insulin levels is not ideal for lean mass gain.

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arrow Eat Quality Foods - Don't Skimp On Your Fruits And Veggies!
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    By consuming low glycemic index carbs, such as oatmeal and sweet potatoes as suggested above, one can limit the insulin output from their carb meals. For low carb meals I recommend consuming green vegetables and fruit for endomorphs' carb intake.

    Green vegetables and fruit are both low GI carbs and contain fiber and numerous nutrients. On top of that, they are very filling. An example of a low-carb meal would be 4-6 oz. of chicken with 1 cup green beans and 1/2 an apple.

RELATED ARTICLE

[ Click here to learn more. ]
Eat Your Fruits & Veggies!
Fruits and vegetables are beneficial to your health and should be included in every person's diet. In this article, I'll explain why.
Author:
Derek Charlebois

    In addition to carbs and protein, one should add fat to their meals to decrease insulin output, prolong digestion time, and to provide essential fatty acids (EFA). Examples of good fats include almonds and almond butter, peanuts and peanut butter, avocados, and flax and olive oil. One could simply add 20 almonds to the above meal to obtain their EFAs.

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arrow Eat Less On Days You Do Not Workout:
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    On days you don't workout you do not need as many calories as you do on the days you do workout. I recommend isolating your carbs to breakfast only and eating vegetables and fruits for the remainder of your carbs. The amount of carbs you consume on your off days should be adjusted according to the rate you are gaining weight, specifically fat.

    If you find you are gaining too much fat, then I recommend reducing your carb intake on your off days. This does not mean that non-workout day's nutrition is less important than a workout day's nutrition, but rather you should just control your carb intake more to decrease fat gains.

Eat Less
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
You Don't Need As Many Calories
On Days You Don't Workout.

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Conclusion
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There is a lot of attention paid to pre- and post-workout meals and supplements, and rightfully so! But what we are here to tell you is that it is not only those meals that fuel your workout and progress, but the many meals leading up to and following a workout that dictate your performance and results.

Building your dream physique is a 24 hour, 7 day a week job. Your time in the gym is an investment in your physique. Don't ruin your return on investment! Follow the outlined nutrition and supplementation tips to get the most out of your training.

Every Meals Counts: A Complete Body-Type Nutrition Guide!
mlobliner@scivation.com

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Lovesicle

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Lovesicle

I need to eat more, I don't like eating, don't know why, I only eat till i'm full and sometimes i just stop, I eat to slow, I weigh myself every morning, one day i'm 192.4, the next 195.6.. I drink lots of water

Nov 13, 2012 12:26pm | report
 
Libido_Joe

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Libido_Joe

Same here with me. It's hard to know what I have to eat. I need to gain weight in muscle so I try to eat anything with protein, high in calories and carbs- low in fats and have stuff that's high in healthy fats. It's hard because I have to completely learn a new way of things. Worked out before- but never really gotten the nutrition right. This site is helping A lot.

Jul 9, 2013 7:18am | report
TheOfficialTool

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TheOfficialTool

Great read!

Jan 15, 2013 11:12am | report
 
guileboom

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guileboom

TY so much this has help me alot..

Mar 8, 2013 12:15pm | report
 
Pintmann777

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Pintmann777

GREAT post!

Jul 27, 2013 5:16pm | report
 
nicokruger

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nicokruger

very good article... very helpfull

Nov 5, 2013 6:57am | report
 
dragonborn24

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dragonborn24

This article has some great pointers for people have different body types.

Feb 4, 2014 3:48pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 7 of 7 Comments

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