Intermittent Fasting by Body Type | Benefits/Does It WORK?!
The idea of "eating for your body type" really comes down to the idea of bioindividuality. This simply means that each of us responds slightly different to various foods. Today, I'm breaking down the details of the concept behind eating for your "body type" and how this can be tied in with your Intermittent Fasting protocol.
Body Type + Bioindividuality
A great example of bioindividuality is how each person responds to lactose (the milk sugar). As babies, we all have the ability to break down lactose from breast milk and use as an energy source. But for some of us, as we get older, we lose this enzyme and become intolerant to dairy products. However, depending on your heritage, your ancestors may have developed the ability to keep breaking down lactose (called "lactase persistence") well into adulthood. In fact, if you are of Irish descent, chances are extremely high that you can eat dairy products. However, if you're of Asian or Australian descent, your chances are pretty low.(1)
We also know that some people have a higher insulin response to carbohydrates than others. This is typically coined as "carbohydrate sensitivity". The more insulin (storing hormone) that is secreted, the more the body will gain weight.
The Body Types
The three main "body types" have been broken down include ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph.
Ectomorph: Likely to be "small boned", lanky and less curves.
Mesomorph: May easily build muscle or have a "medium" build.
Endomorph: May gain weight more easily and have a "curvy" build.
For example, my fiancé has a very easy time building muscle. He would be classically seen as the "mesomorph" body type. I, on the other hand, have a ton of difficulty gaining muscle and would be more associated with an "ectomorph" body type.
These "body types" and "body type diets" don't have a ton of research around them, however it can give us an idea on one component of the diet ~ carbohydrate level. Some studies have found that those who have an endo- or mesomorph body type may be more sensitive to carbohydrates and therefore may gain weight more easily.(4)
If your body type is similar to that of mesomorph or endomorph, you may be more carbohydrate sensitive and therefore may need to be more aware of the carbohydrates that you're eating. If your body type is similar to that of an ectomorph, you might find that including carbohydrate rich sides, such as sweet potatoes or the occasional oats, don't impact your weight as much.
Does this mean that if you're an ectomorph body type that you should load up on pasta and rice? Absolutely not. Especially when considering that the CDC has found over 100 million Americans are living with Type 2 Diabetes or pre-diabetes.(2) Not to mention that eating highly processed carbohydrate diets are very often associated with breakouts and acne.(3) Sticking with high quality sources of lower glycemic carbohydrates are generally the best options to help decrease the insulin response, regardless of your body type.
Intermittent Fasting For Your Body Type
It's important to reiterate that there is very little scientific backing to these various "body type" diets, but it can at least give you a snapshot into your possible carbohydrate sensitivity and which carbohydrates are best for your goals. See the infographic above for possible best carbohydrates for your carbohydrate sensitivity.
Considering one of the main perks behind Intermittent Fasting is the improvements in insulin sensitivity (5) - it could also be that those who may more carbohydrate sensitive (i.e. endo- and mesomorph body types) benefit greatly with weight loss from Intermittent Fasting as a result. Those who are more ectomorph in their body type typically have less body fat, but can still receive the gut healing and de-bloating perks of Intermittent Fasting, as well.
Ultimately when it comes to adjusting your Intermittent Fasting experience, it should depend more on your lifestyle and schedule rather than your body type. Each body type has the gut healing and improved fat burning perks to gain from Intermittent Fasting. But if you aren't able to adjust your eating and fasting window to fit your lifestyle, it will never work for you and your goals, regardless of your body type.
Check out my video below for the deets on how to adjust your eating window to fit your lifestyle and schedule.