The Best Fitness and Diet Advice for Your Specific Body Type

The Best Fitness and Diet Advice for Your Specific Body Type

Do you gain weight easily or do you struggle to lose weight? Are you unable to gain a significant amount of muscle, no matter how many hours you work out in the gym each week? Knowing your body type can come in handy if you’re trying to build muscle, lose weight or improve fitness.

In the 1940’s behavioral psychologist William H. Sheldon and his team proposed a classification system based on physique (somatotypology) namely, ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph.

Today somatotypology is studied by biologists, nutritionists, sports and fitness coaches, exercise physiologists, personal trainers, sports scientists and doctors around the world.

The aim of the somatotype approach in wellness is to tailor exercise and nutrition advice for an individual based on their body type.  Keep in mind that exercise and nutrition recommendations are not one-size-fits-all. Every body type responds and reacts differently to exercises and calorie intake. Having an awareness of your body type will take out some trial and error so you can begin losing weight and/or improving your fitness that your body will respond better to.

1. Endomorphs

The endomorph body type has less muscle mass and higher body fat percentage. Endomorphs are shorter, with a somewhat slow metabolism and round build. This body type tends to be sensitive to caloric intake and have lower tolerance for carbs.

  • Dietary recommendation: Maintain a calorie deficit with lots of protein.

Protein is more satiating, preventing unnecessary snacking and cravings. It’s also needed to build muscle mass and reduce the body fat percentage.

Experts also recommend that endomorphs prioritize fats over carbs as this body type is more likely to gain weight with carbs. The intake of carbs should be focused before and after workout to utilize it for energy instead of storing it as fat.

  • Exercise recommendations: Focus on fat burning and muscle building.

Most endomorphs show better response with weight-lifting and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Most endomorphs will benefit from  4-5 training sessions each week in short durations (30 minutes or less).

2. Ectomorphs

Ectomorphs as naturally skinny, with smaller bones, less body fat and a narrow structure. They usually have a wiry build and are lanky. They have a very fast metabolism but struggle to put on muscle.

  • Dietary recommendations: Consume more protein and carbs to support muscle growth.

Ectomorphs don’t gain weight easily but at the same time they also have a hard time building muscle mass. To address this, you must keep your daily protein intake between 1.8 to 2.2g /kg of body weight. Aim to have a caloric surplus of up to 500 calories per day if you want to achieve muscle development.

  • Exercise recommendations: Prioritize strength training over cardio workouts.

Ectomorphs often excel at aerobic exercise due to their lean physique and higher number of slow-twitch muscle fibers. But if their goal is to build muscle then they should focus more on

strength training and keep cardio workout intensity low. Doing 2-3 sessions of 60-minute LISS workouts each week is recommended. Doing a full body resistance based workout 2-3x a week should also be done.

3. Mesomorphs

Mesomorphs are more genetically gifted than the other 2 body types and can use macros optimally. They have more freedom in the food they eat but should avoid large amounts of ‘junk’ food.”

  • Dietary recommendations: Diet should be based around fitness goals and activities.

If the goal is to support muscle maintenance, then consuming 1.5 to 2g of protein per kilogram of body weight is recommended. If the person needs more endurance and stamina for their workouts, carb intake should be increased.

  • Exercise recommendations: There should be a balance between strength training and conditioning exercises.

Mesomorphs are naturally muscular and respond well to strength training. Structure your workout to suit your overall fitness goals.  A combination of LISS or HIIT can be done for your cardio sessions, along with 3-5 days of weight training.

Here’s a video guide on how to eat for your specific body type if you’re a mesomorph:

Eating For Your Body Type

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