Look around, and you’ll see that bodies come in multiple shapes and sizes. We all know those people who seem to be able to eat anything they want and stay thin and other people who can bulk up instantly. It turns out that body types are an important factor to consider when figuring out what to eat and how to work out. People come in three main body types: endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph. Each of these has different needs, and if you don’t know which one you are, you could be doing more harm than good with your diet and workout routine.
This article discusses the endomorph body type. We'll explore what that is, the best diet for endomorphs (including risks and benefits), and which exercises endomorphs should do.
First, we discuss body types and who developed them.
Where Body Types Came From
In the 1940s, psychologist William Sheldon theorized that a person’s body type was associated with their personality. Today, that’s not a widely accepted theory. But, the breakdown of three distinct physical body types still exists among many.
Those three body types are:
This body type is characterized as a naturally lean build with less muscle and a lower propensity for weight gain. People with this frame have a difficult time gaining weight–whether in the form of fat or muscle, no matter how much they eat or work out.
Famous people with an ectomorph body type include many actors and artists such as Kate Moss, Taylor Swift, Matthew McConaughey, and Bradley Cooper.
Mesomorphs are considered the “ideal” body types. This frame is solid and muscular. They tend to easily put on muscle when they work out, but they can also add body fat, based on their diet. Of course, “ideal” means something different to different people, so one shouldn’t put too much stock in that.
Famous people with a mesomorph body type include plenty of athletes and bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bo Jackson, Jackie Chain, and Anna Kournikova.
Lastly, there is the endomorph body type.
What is an Endomorph?
An endomorph is a body type characterized by a large frame and relatively short limbs. While endomorphs can be any weight, they are more likely to be overweight or obese than the other two body types. Endomorphs often have rounder features, and store fat more easily. They typically can gain weight easier than they can lose it.
Some of the world’s most famous athletes and action-movie stars are endomorphs, including LeBron James, Chris Pratt, Tom Hardy, Jennifer Lopez, and Usain Bolt. While endomorphs may have to work harder than other body types to stay in shape, they are capable of achieving amazing things.
What is the Best Diet for Endomorphs?
When it comes to choosing the right diet, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The only tried and true rules about weight loss are that if you burn more calories than you eat, you will lose weight. While basing your diet on your body type should help you, remember that no diet works 100% of the time or fulfills all the needs of everyone.
One of the most common diet options that seem to work for many endomorphs, is a diet that contains foods that will help you to stay lean and muscular. This means limiting carbs like white bread, sugar, and processed foods. Popular diets include the keto diet, the Mediterranean, and paleo.
It’s also important for endomorphs to consider their macronutrients and the ratios they use for each.
Endomorphs tend to have a higher percentage of body fat, and they often struggle to lose weight. While endomorphs can still enjoy carbohydrates, choosing complex carbs such as legumes, sweet potatoes, and whole grains is important. These complex carbs are absorbed slowly by the body, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels and prevent cravings. Carbs should be about 25% of an endomorphs diet.
Protein is essential for everyone, especially those who want to build muscle. Since building muscle is so important for endomorphs, proteins should be a major focus of their diet. Consider lean proteins like chicken, fish, and eggs. Try for a ratio of 35% protein in your diet.
Finally, healthy fats are also an important part of the everyone’s diet, and especially endomorphs. Avocados, nuts, and olive oil all provide essential nutrients while helping to keep you satiated. Consider a diet around 40% fat–as long as they are healthy fats.
By following these dietary guidelines, endomorphs can achieve their ideal physique.
Risks and Benefits
Diet recommendations are always tricky. Ultimately, you should confer with a nutritional specialist to determine what’s right for you. Age, current weight, overall health, and any deficiencies you may have play major roles in determining diet of individuals.
Benefits of the Endomorph Diet
One of the benefits of the diet is the emphasis on lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs. Typically, this is a diet that is suitable for many people, even non-endomorphs. Complex carbs are great sources of slow-burning energy while simple carbs raise blood sugar levels and can lead to higher weight gain.
Similarly, healthy fats can improve your cholesterol levels, decrease inflammation, and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Risks of the Endomorph Diet
It cannot be stressed enough that you should always consult a professional before embarking on a specific diet plan. While there are no common risks associated with the diet listed above, there is typically difficulty in maintaining a restrictive diet over a long period of time. To have success over the longhaul requires a commitment and an understanding of how you or your body reacts to those restrictions. Ideally, you should maintain a tolerable number of calories, instead of focusing on excessive restrictions to reach your goals.
Foods to Eat on the Endomorph Diet
Here is a quick guide to foods that make the most sense to include in an endomorph diet.
Proteins: beef, chicken, eggs, salmon, and turkey
Dairy: milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt
Fruits: berries, avocados, and melons
Vegetables: high fiber veggies like greens, asparagus, and broccoli
Grains/starches: whole grains like brown rice, quinoa and starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, and squash.
Fats: olive oil, avocado, and seeds
Exercises for Endomorphs
Endomorphs benefit the most from exercises that build muscle and burn fat.
High-Intensity Interval Training
Endomorphs often benefit from high-intensity interval training, which involves brief periods of intense activity interspersed with rest periods. This type of exercise helps to boost metabolism and fat burning.
Compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups simultaneously are great movements for endomorphs. These exercises include squats, lunges, and deadlifts.
Strength training is essential for weight loss, especially if combined with cardio. Consider working bigger muscle groups to help your body increase muscle and improve your metabolic rate.
By including these exercises in their workout routine, endomorphs can build muscle, burn fat, and improve their overall fitness level.
If you’re an endomorph and you’ve wondered how you can lose weight or gain muscle or maintain a healthy weight, than following the above guidelines should provide a strong foundation for you to build on. While it would be nice if we all could fall into the “ideal” category of body types, oftentimes success means working with what you have and making the best of it. Good luck!
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.