There is a common belief that losing weight is a simple process. You eat less, you exercise more, and you lose weight. But every now and then you hear about people whose weight loss efforts do not seem to be working.
Some are not slimming down, instead, they are actually gaining weight through muscle mass in response to intensive physical training.
While asking about this matter, most personal trainers will say the same thing; women cannot bulk up, they do not have enough testosterone. Yes, some girls did seem to be getting smaller from lifting heavyweight. However, these changes do not seem to apply to every woman.
How to Lose Weight Without Gaining Muscle
Generally speaking, there are 3 simple steps to follow if you want to lose weight without gaining muscle mass. The first and foremost thing to do is to learn and identify your body type in order to figure out the perfect combination of diets and exercises that will fit into your body goal.
Understanding Your Body Type So You Can Adjust Workouts and Diet Accordingly
Everyone’s body is different. We all have different muscle types, bone structures, metabolism abilities, and overall physical characteristics. As a result, when it comes to building a workout and diet routine, understanding the body type you have is critical.
There are only three body types:
Two of them can become bulky pretty easily. Continue reading to learn about each type and its characteristics.
Body Type 1: ECTOMORPHS
Naturally, an ectomorph is a skinny person with slender waists, narrow shoulders, small joints, long legs, and arms. If you are an ectomorph body type, you most likely do not have much noticeable muscle mass or body fat. Due to fast metabolisms, most Ectos burn calories easily, so they may find themselves hungry throughout the day. Resistance training like squats and HIIT are not very likely to bulk you up.
Body Type 2: MESOMORPHS
Mesomorphs is a typical average-size body with wider shoulders, strong arms and legs, and moderate amounts of body fat, which make you lose and gain weight easily. Compared to ectomorphs, mesomorphs genetically have larger bone structures and larger muscles. They are also athletic by nature, meaning they can build muscle and gain fat easily. Thus they must control their calorie intake. If you are a mesomorph and you want to lose weight without being too bulky, you should focus on cardio to reduce body fat and avoid certain types of strength training, such as heavy lifting.
Body Type 3: ENDOMORPHS
Endomorphs naturally have a wider frame with a medium-to-large bone structure, more body fat, and they tend to bulk up easily if they do the wrong type of resistance training. They usually have narrow shoulders but wider hips and store excess weight in the lower abdomen, hips, and thighs. It’s quite challenging and will take hard work for them to lose weight, thus most endomorphs should do plenty of cardio and avoid strength training if they want a leaner body shape. Moreover, you should also adopt an ideal diet plan with fewer calories but with more nutritious benefits to help speed up the weight loss process.
Best Exercises Based on Your Body Type
Below are the best exercise for your specific body type and goals.
If you are an ectomorph, then you’ve been blessed with a faster metabolism than most people. Thus, your workout should be short and to the point, rather than long-intense sessions. Opt for workouts that include heavyweights rather than cardio as cardio burns calories while weight training will tone up your skinny figure. Don’t be afraid to bulk up a little bit as your body type won’t easily build up muscle like other types.
Generally, a mesomorph is capable to put on muscle more easily than fat. So if your goal is to have a skinny body, insert more cardio into your routine then switch to weights every two or three days to prevent muscle fatigue. This method of cross-training will keep your body strong and lean.
Due to slower metabolisms, an endomorph will need longer and more intense workout routines compared to the other two body types. Workouts like High-Intensity Interval Trainings (HIIT) are a great way to boost your metabolism and burn that excess fat, apart from doing cardio as a basic routine. Varieties of HIIT workouts you can choose are as follows; push-ups, jumping jacks, bicycle crunches, plank jacks, and sumo squats
Dietary Strategies to lose weight for Each Body Types
As ectomorphs have a very fast metabolism, they need to increase their meal consumption to compensate for their high metabolic rate. However, once an ectomorph becomes older, its metabolism rate will slow down because of the loss of muscle mass. This will result in significant weight gain. To avoid it, ectomorphs should plan on build light muscle and incorporate more protein into their diet, as well as complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Avoid highly processed foods like potato chips or sugary drinks, substitute them with nutrient-dense snacks like nutrition shakes, yogurt, nuts, or chia pudding. By eating right, ectomorphs will be less likely to have a skinny fat body and they will have a more balanced body composition.
In order to achieve a lean body instead of “bulky”, a mesomorph should consume a more balanced diet combination, instead of focusing on adding a significant amount of nutrients such as protein. Be sure to also incorporate complex carbohydrates, lean protein, healthy fats, and fiber into every meal. Moreover, because mesomorphs usually gain weight easily than ectomorphs, then limiting your overall calorie intake or arranging a calorie deficit diet will help you with your weight loss journey.
Endomorphs have the slowest metabolism among other body types. If you eat a scoop of chocolate ice cream, it seems like the ice cream will turn straight into body fat. Thus weight loss will be hard work. You need to constantly maintain a calorie deficit diet, cut down carbs, always opt for clean eating, and stay away from unhealthy or processed food. Now the question will be; what diet should you adopt? Because endomorphs’ bodies is really good at converting carbohydrates into body fat, then you should limit simple carbohydrates or replace them with high-fiber sources like whole grains, and focus on protein, healthy fat, and fiber.
Why Figuring Out Your Body Composition is Important
Regardless of your body goals and health concerns, it is important to keep track of your body composition over time so that you can work accordingly to achieve the right balance. The best way to do it is by having a reliable body composition monitor that can assess your body fat percentage, muscle mass, and body fat mass accurately. Below is further explanation why you need to own a body composition monitor;
- You can measure your progress. By tracking changes in fat and muscle mass, you can determine which diet and exercise strategies work effectively to achieve your goals.
- You can spot unwanted changes. Keeping an eye on your body composition will let you spot unwanted changes easily, like unexpected fat gain or unnecessary muscle gain as two persons might have the same weight and height but can be having different body compositions. This way you can tweak your lifestyle and training routine accordingly before it changes into much bigger issues like chronic illnesses (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc) due to excess body fat.
- You can set realistic goals. Armed with reliable information from a body composition monitor, you will be able to set attainable goals for your body and overall health within a realistic time frame.
What Body Composition Monitor Can Do
Body composition monitor will measure several body composition indicators such as; body fat percentage, BMI, skeletal muscle, and visceral fat.
- Body fat percentage is a measure of the proportion of fat in the total volume of a person’s body.
- Skeletal muscles are the muscles that surround the skeleton (bones) and include the combination of bones, muscle tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. This combination is attached to the skeleton and works to provide motion and enable the movements of the body.
- Visceral Fat is the type of fat found in the abdomen and surrounds the organs and is the biggest contributor to the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Browse a complete selection of body composition monitors and get insights into your body condition rather than just weight!
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