Understanding one’s body…what to eat, when to exercise

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Lunch break

MANY people of all races have been failing to control their weight.
This is largely due to how we interact with our environment, mainly in terms of diet and physical activity.
The main cause of obesity is processed foods which often contain a lot of refined sugar, salt and oil.
Though this epidemic has no limits as to the races it affects, there has been clear observation that Asians are less prone to obesity than other races.
Scientific research has shown that even the body mass indexes among races differ.
Body mass index (BMI) is the resultant number of dividing one’s weight with height.
This supposedly indicates the level of adiposity in humans with a higher BMI suggesting higher adiposity and vice versa.
This, however, can be inaccurate if, say, one is a bodybuilder and has a high BMI because he weighs a lot owing to his or her highly developed muscles.
The BMI thus ceases to be effective in terms of indicating the adiposity of the individual for a bodybuilder in training will have a high BMI but extremely low body fat.
Though the BMI method is the most commonly used formula to determine one’s adiposity, it has been found that the average BMI for whites differs from that of blacks, while that of whites and blacks differs from Asians.
This is so since the height and weight vary by race.
Asians consider height greater than 1,7m to be tall for males while blacks and whites consider height greater than 1,8m to be tall.
Asians consider a BMI of 24 to be overweight and 28 obese. They often range between 18,5-24 BMI.
A BMI above 24 for Asians is a risk level for obesity-related illness.
But for blacks and whites, a BMI of 24 is average and safe.
The risk level begins at BMI 28 for whites and 30 blacks.
There is also a difference on how different races gain adiposity.
Blacks tend to have more muscle behind their weight than whites and Asians, thus a high BMI reading may not pose as serious a risk for blacks as the same reading would for other races.
Variations also occur according to sex and so on.
An important point to note is that weight is not the problem, but whether that weight is made up of fat or muscle.
A high BMI owing to the building of muscle is a good thing. People ought to be concerned about the elemental content of their bodies and should therefore be careful what they eat and drink, to limit fat build-up.
Another way one can limit fat build-up is to avoid a sedentary lifestyle and have regular exercise.
Fat is basically stored energy which if not used will continue to accumulate under the skin and around the organs. Visceral fat is found on the belly and is more stubborn because it self-replicates.
Another important factor to consider is that of body types. Within all races, there are basically three different body types.
One is typically thin, with a small frame, lean muscle mass, a flat chest and small shoulders.
This body type is known as ectomorph.
Ectomorphs do not gain muscle easily and have a fast rate of metabolism.
Though ectomorphs can be found among all races, they are very prevalent among Asians and this explains why they seem to be able to control their fat gain better than other races.
Another body type is typically athletic and of a rectangular shape.
The body is naturally strong and has defined muscles.
The shoulders are broad and the body is able to gain muscle and/or fat easier than ectomorphs.
This is known as the mesomorph body type. Though it can be found among all races, it is most prevalent in blacks who, in many cases, have a lot of natural muscle mass which has led to the saying: ‘Blacks have good genetics’.
The last of the three body types is typically soft and has a roundish body shape.
The body is typically short and stocky and the shoulders large. This is known as the endomorph and is known to have a slow rate of metabolism and finds it hard to lose weight.
On the contrary, endomorphs are more susceptible to fat gain than any other group but can gain muscle better than the ectomorphs.
Understanding one’s own body type could help in knowing how to eat and workout in a way that truly yields benefits to one’s body type.
For example, because ectomorphs are typically skinny, they ought to avoid muscle catabolism.
Their training sessions should be short but intense and involving the body’s big muscle groups.
They are advised to eat up to an hour before going to bed, so as to promote weight gain.
As for mesomorphs, the training prescription is different. Mesomorphs are advised to do weight training because they respond very well to it.
However, they also ought to have plenty cardiovascular exercises such as running, so as to burn fat.
These have to carefully watch their calories to keep their fat levels controlled.
Endomorphs need to exercise because they easily gain fat.
They also need weight training in order gain muscle mass. They need to watch their calorie intake.
They should eat three-or-four hours before going to bed, to avoid weight gain while sleeping.
There are different degrees to what body type one belongs to but the above stated three have been the most observed among the human family.
There also comes the issue of genetics in relation to body weight.
If a farmer has a cow that gains more weight after eating the same or less food than the others, this cow is considered genetically superior because it has a high food conversion rate.
This food conversion rate is determined by the elemental make-up of the cow which is determined by its genes.
The offspring of the cow, will in most cases inherit the same traits as the parent and will likewise have a high food conversion rate.
This is the main factor in animal breeding.
The same goes with humans, if one gains weight more than others, after eating the same or less amount of food, one has a higher food conversion rate and thus better genes.
It is how one manages that weight or those genetics, that can turn these traits into either a blessing or a curse.
Many of the overweight or obese people among us are mesomorphs and endomorphs.
These are the same body types that, if used correctly in dieting and exercise, develop outstanding physique such as that of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jai White and so on.
So the name of the game is, hard work and discipline.
Asians such as the Chinese also have overweight and obese people, just as blacks also have thin people.
Their diet plays an important role in fat control.
They eat their richest foods containing milk and other filling products in the morning when the body’s metabolism rate is high and there is plenty digestion time.
The heaviest meal is eaten in the afternoon when the body is most active.
Supper is usually early and light, since one will shortly be retiring to bed.
Most Chinese people eat supper at 6pm and their meals are mostly rice or noodles, vegetables and a little meat.
The Chinese often have various types of vegetables and typically have fish or pork.
Other types of meat are rarely eaten and pork is preferred because it is the most affordable.
A single piece of steak, which can be enough for one person in Zimbabwe, can be cut into small pieces and shared among seven people in China.
The Chinese also drink hot tea without milk or sugar throughout the day and this helps eliminate oil from their bodies and aid digestion.
Some teas, if taken daily, have weight loss benefits.
Many Chinese people exercise in the morning and/or at night.
They enjoy taking walks after dinner to use up some calories before bedtime.
These eating habits may also help many other people in battling fat gain.

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