T Nation

Diet for Ecto-Endo?


OK, so, I'm rather focused on "stuff for the newbie" given that I'm just returning to a healthy lifestyle that includes lifting. My routines are focused largely on Waterbury's TBT and Shug's "Beginners Blast-off". I figure this will carry me through at least 12 - 16 weeks of training w/ a week off between.

So, I prolly shouldn't be worrying too much about this at the moment, but I'm wondering about "training for my body type", and more importantly, just what the hell body type do I have?? And how do I feed it?

I've always considered myself an ectomorph - just out of high school I was near 6'4" and weight 147# - yes, I was a rail. Long arms, long legs, thin wrists & fingers. I could eat like a horse. And yes, was a "hard gainer".

At 33 I was about as close to "ideal" as I ever was - 193# w/32W and 48C.

But now I'm something of an endomorph - same great frame, new doughy middle! Upon renewing the diet and exercise initially the weight came out of my legs and ass (which vanished - I'm back to a "frog ass") - but the spare tire / love handles are being a real bear to lose. I'm only 10# different from that of 10 years ago - but MILES away in terms of actual body composition, and that's bugging the piss out of me....

I know that I've spent 10 years making my currently streamlined pear shape and should steel myself for the time and effort required to lose the fat - but what should I do about my diet? I really want to eat like an ecto to put on some real density, but am equally concerned that I will forever be able to encircle my navel with thumbs and forefingers, give a squeeze, and look in the mirror and see a flesh-colored, fur-covered bagel....

Comments appreciated - I've been pouring over the collected works here, but fear that I am verging on information overload... That being said - wow, there are some great articles here, I dunno how I didn't find this place 2 years ago...



Advanced trainers who've had their nutrition and training dialed in for years can focus on things like adding muscle and losing fat at the same time. Mind you, when I say "lose fat" I'm talking about guys going from 10% to 6% body fat. I'm not talking about guys who are trying to lose the spare tire.

It's much easier to add muscle without adding fat if you're already lean to start with, so concentrate on getting your nutrition dialed in first. If you're not weighing your food, planning your menus, portion controlling everything you eat, keeping track of your protein/fats/carbs you aren't being serious.

The past is past; you need to learn what's happening today and the only way you can do that is by keeping track of what you eat and what effect it has on your body composition. Everyone is different and so you'll need to do some experimenting to see. As a rule of thumb, keep the protein high, the carbs low, the starchy carbs non-existent.

I also get good results from carb/protein/calorie cycling but I would consider that an advanced technique for someone who already has their nutrition well in hand.

The older you get, the harder it is to get and stay lean, that's just the way it is and you have to deal with it.

Your training while you're in calorie deficit should be TBT using weights that allow you to stay in the higher rep ranges. I save the heavy, low rep training for when I'm eating at maintenance.

Don't underestimate how difficult it is to be lean and muscular - almost no one is. It takes real dedication and serious commitment, especially for us over 35 types.



Just got myself a decent scale. I'm dreading what my current caloric profile is going to look like, but am cognizant that a change is the only route to success for me....

Actually, this is rather "good news" for me as I have been struggling with the issues of working out at home and trying to "go big" on BPs and squats. I can use dumbbells more extensively and keep the reps up.... and not kill myself in the process.

Yeah, very true. My mind is still like 28, hopefully with some work I can drag my body back to that era as well :wink:

Thanks for the support.




I have found lots of good stuff on training routines - anyone have a suggestion on where to find the dietary advice? I don't necessarily need a meal-by-meal plan, but I'd like to find a source that talks about the right stuff to eat and when to eat it (case in point - what are the "starchy-carbs" aside from the obvious rice & potatoes)

So, if there's a single good thread / article / link here or elsewhere let me know.... As I said, I'm verging on "reading overload" and I'm not being lazy, I just didn't want to dig through a dozen nutrition articles to find one the suits me.... I guess I'm looking or the "TBT of Dieting"



This web site has tons of good information. If I was in your situation I would look for the articles published by two T-Nation authors. John Berardi and Lonnie Lowery (sic). They have a lot of experience in body recomposition and Berardi in particular stresses healthy long-term choices.

Your best bet will come at this moment from reading an article called "7 Habits" by John Berardi. I liked this article because you can start incorporating the principles right away while you read on those other issues that trouble you.

Also check out another great article called "Diet manifesto" which is a compilation of articles of this web site collected by Shugart. It gives you an idea on the best diets for each goal.

The last article I will suggest for you on dieting in particular fat loss is called "T-Dog Diet 2.0" which is T-Nation's apporach to low-carb dieting...It works very well and there are lots of people here that have done it successfully.

Hope this helps


Oh and another thing, you shouldn't worry about when you where ecto and now you feel endo, bad dietary habits will override any physical structure. Plus as we get older, sedentary lifestyle plus inactivity makes us loose muscle mass and normal eating will make us pack on the fat rather easily.

Become "agreeable" with the friendly cardio.


domo arigato!