The mesomorph body type is characterized by a naturally athletic physique with well-developed muscles. If you have this body type, you likely are able to put on muscle easily when you lift weights and find it fairly easy to gain and lose body weight. However, this doesn't mean you can eat whatever you want and lie around on the couch all day. You still need a targeted diet and fitness plan that helps you avoid fat gain and improve your overall health.
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Balance is important for the mesomorph, who falls between endomorphs and ectomorphs -- the other two body types characterized by excess body fat and skinniness, respectively. Registered dietitian Ryan Andrews of Precision Nutrition recommends that mesomorphs follow a dietary plan that is nearly balanced between the three macronutrients -- 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat. At each meal, Andrews recommends that men consume two palms of protein foods, two fists of vegetables, two cupped handfuls of carb-dense foods and two thumbs' worth of fat-dense foods. Women should consume half that amount at each meal.
Mesomorphs can gain fat less easily than endomorphs, but more easily than ectomorphs, so they still need to watch their calorie intake. Make calories count by choosing whole foods over processed foods, which tend to be more nutrient-dense and lower in unhealthy fat, salt and sugar. Focus on nonstarchy vegetables, fresh fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, low-fat or nonfat dairy products and nuts and seeds.
Sample Meal Plans
For breakfast, mesomorphs can enjoy a serving of oatmeal with fresh berries and sliced almonds and one egg. At lunch, a large salad with leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and mushrooms makes a good base for quinoa and either beans or grilled chicken breast for lean protein. Get healthy fats by drizzling your salad with olive oil or topping it with sesame seeds. Dinners are easy: Pair a serving of lean protein, such as salmon, with sauteed veggies and a serving of whole grains, such as brown rice. Low-fat dairy foods like cottage cheese paired with fresh fruit make a healthy snack.
Hitting the Gym
Just as they should eat a balanced diet, mesomorphs should engage in a balanced fitness regimen including both cardio and weight training, says Muscle & Strength. Dr. Peter Fong recommends mesomorphs lift moderate to heavy weight in order to stimulate muscle growth. But Fong warns not to overdo it. Once a mesomorph has reached his ideal physique, he can train to maintain, says competitive bodybuilder and author Lee Hayward. Mesomorphs don't need to do as much cardio as endomorphs, but they should still engage in cardio exercise such as running or cycling for 35 minutes three days a week, says Fong.