Endomorphs have a naturally "rounder" shape to their bodies, characterized by soft and undefined muscle tone. They tend to have a larger bone structure that can easily build muscle, but they often have a hard time losing body fat. A naturally slower metabolic rate may be the culprit, so endomorphs definitely need to make changes to their nutrition and training strategies to achieve effective weight loss. If this body type sounds familiar, you may want to follow a few basic weight loss tips to guide your fat loss efforts.
Weight lifting or resistance training is the most effective means of losing body fat, according to "Xtreme Lean&" author Jonathan Lawson. Not only does it burn calories while you do it, but it elevates metabolic rate for up to 48 hours or more, says David Zinczenko in "The Abs Diet." Resistance training also builds metabolically active lean muscle, which permanently promotes a faster metabolism. Do not be afraid to keep lifting heavy weights while dieting, as this will help you to keep your muscle as you drop body fat.
Cardio is important for endomorphs in particular because they need to burn as many calories as possible. "Combat the Fat" author Jeff Anderson recommends that you do 30 minutes immediately following your resistance training workout to directly target body fat. Add extra cardio sessions as needed, but increase gradually by adding an extra session per week or an extra 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
One great way to increase your workout intensity is to hit the gym more frequently. Rather than three days per week, which is usually suitable for maintenance purposes, try training five days per week, Monday through Friday. Also, decrease your rest times between workout sets, resting only 30 to 45 seconds before moving on the next set or exercise. Lawson recommends NA or negative-accentuated sets, which means that you lower the weight on any exercise to a slow six-second count. This causes micro-tears in muscle fibers that force your body to burn more calories for up to 72 hours, which is why Lawson calls it a "fat-to-muscle" technique.
Consuming too many carbohydrates spikes the hormone insulin, which triggers the body to stop burning fat and start storing it, says Mackie Shilstone in "The Fat Burning Bible." If you train in the morning, take all your carbs in during the early part of the day and cut them out of your evening meals. If you work out at night, you should still take some carbs immediately after your workout. However even in this anabolic window, where most carbs are used for rebuilding muscle, the endomorph can still experience excess fat storage. Experiment with different amounts, starting with 60 g immediately post-workout and the rest of your carbs spread among your early meals. By monitoring your appearance, body weight and body fat percentage, you can adjust the numbers as needed.
"Xtreme Lean" authors Jonathan Lawson and Steve Holman recommend that you never cut your fat calories below 25 percent of your total intake. Going too low-fat does not provide enough dietary fat to support proper hormonal function, the end result of which is that the body does not produce important fat-burning and muscle-building hormones in sufficient quantities, slowing down your weight loss. Nearly all of your fats should come from unsaturated sources like olive oil, nuts and seeds, omega-3 fish oil, flax seed oil and/or peanut butter.
- Xtreme Lean; Jonathan Lawson and Steve Holman; 2005
- The Abs Diet; David Zinczenko; 2004
- Combat the Fat; Jeff Anderson; 2008
- The Fat Burning Bible; Mackie Shilstone; 2005
- Muscle & Performance; "Five Ways to Supercharge Your Fat-Fighting Efforts"; Eric Velzquez, July 2010