Exercising regularly and consuming a healthy diet are two of the best and most important things you can do for your body.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, boost your fitness level, or simply feel better physically and mentally, eating well and moving your body are crucial.
However, exercise and nutrition are not one-size-fits-all. Everybody is different, and different body types respond in various ways to certain foods and exercise regimens.
What might be the perfect diet and exercise plan for one body type might not work so well for another.
Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, but there are 3 basic body types: endomorphic, mesomorphic, and ectomorphic.
Today, we’ll be walking you through the best nutrition and exercise plans for each body type to help you on your health and fitness journey!
The endomorphic body type is often characterized by a wider bone structure that is able to carry more fat, especially in the midsection and around the hips.
If you find that you are able to put on weight more easily than you can lose it, you might have an endomorphic body type.
If this is the case, you probably have a slower metabolism. This could be due to a sedentary lifestyle but an underlying condition such as hypothyroidism could also be responsible.
If you are an endomorph and are hoping to lose weight and build muscle, you will benefit from a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. You should also include plenty of sources of healthy fat in your diet.
Foods that are high in both protein and healthy fat include nuts (especially walnuts and macadamia nuts), fatty fish like salmon and tuna, egg yolk, cheese, avocado, beef, and seeds such as sunflower seeds and chia seeds.
Remember, limiting your intake of carbohydrates doesn’t mean avoiding them altogether. This could actually be dangerous for your health.
Just try to reduce your intake of simple carbohydrates like bread and pasta, and prioritize complex carbohydrates like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
If your specific goal is to lose weight, you might need to adjust your calorie intake. A small reduction of 200 calories per day can go a long way.
Endomorphs should aim to do between 30 and 60 minutes of moderate to low-intensity exercise two or three times each week.
If you have an endomorphic body type but prefer high-intensity exercise, experts recommend two to three HIIT sessions per week, no longer than 30 minutes each.
Weight training is also important for endomorphs. Strength-based circuit training, deadlifts, squats, and push-ups are all good strength exercises for this body type.
The mesomorphic body type can be generally described as the athletic body type. Muscles are typically more developed and the bone structure tends to be medium.
A mesomorphic body will have wider shoulders than hips and most people with this body type will have an efficient metabolism. This allows for easier weight loss as well as weight gain.
In terms of dietary components, mesomorphs can benefit from a similar kind of nutrition plan to endomorphs.
The food group to prioritize for mesomorphs is protein, although carbohydrates and fats should still make up about 30% of the diet each.
Because mesomorphic body types often have more muscle mass to maintain, high-protein foods are key. Protein sources for mesomorphs include chicken breast, Greek yogurt, fish, lentils, beans, and eggs.
Mesomorphs should try to get carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fats from avocado, nuts, and seeds as well as high-protein dairy are good for mesomorphs.
Unlike endomorphs, however, mesomorphs may not need to lower their calorie intake for health reasons.
In fact, some mesomorphs might need to consume more calories than the average person due to their muscle mass and exercise regimens, although this is a very individual decision that should be made with the help of a doctor.
A combination of cardiovascular exercise and weight training is recommended for people with mesomorphic body types.
Three to five times a week, mesomorphs should aim to do anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes of cardio.
This could be anything from HIIT to swimming, although mesomorphs with less body fat may want to reduce cardio accordingly.
Many mesomorphs respond well to fairly intense weight training regimens, up to five sessions per week.
A mesomorph’s strength training sessions should be rotated between different areas of the body for even muscle development.
If you struggle to put on weight, you could have an ectomorphic body type. Ectomorphs will have shoulders and hips that are proportionally narrow compared to their height.
They have a smaller bone structure and usually find it hard to build muscle.
Ectomorphic body types are often the result of a naturally fast metabolism. However, certain health conditions may also speed up a person’s metabolism and cause difficulty gaining weight.
If you are an ectomorph, putting on weight and muscle will be more difficult for you than for most people.
Ectomorphs also respond much better to high-carbohydrate diets than other body types, so the ideal nutrition plan for an ectomorphic person will feature lots of complex carbohydrates.
Fruits, grains, and starchy vegetables are important for ectomorphs since these are all healthy carbohydrates.
Brown rice, sweet potato, and wholewheat bread, accompanied by your favorite fruits and vegetables, will form a good foundation.
Ectomorphs should also make sure to get plenty of protein in the form of lean meat, white fish, beef, and eggs, as well as plant-based protein sources like lentils, quinoa, and chickpeas.
Healthy fats should make up the smallest percentage of an ectomorph’s diet as ectomorphs do not typically respond well to high-fat diets.
Ectomorphic people should source the fats in their diets from nuts, seeds, avocado, and fatty fish.
If you are an ectomorph, you will want to limit the amount of cardiovascular activity that you do each week.
That’s not to say that you can’t do aerobic exercise, but ectomorphs often benefit from focusing on strength training.
30 minutes of cardio 3 times a week should be sufficient for most ectomorphs.
This should be accompanied by weight training approximately 4 times a week, with a focus on gradually lifting heavier weights and building muscle in different areas of the body.
Whether your body type is endomorphic, mesomorphic, or ectomorphic, we hope that this article has helped you to create your optimal diet and exercise plan.
Remember to consult your doctor before making any major changes to your diet, and if you suspect that your difficulty to gain or lose weight may be caused by an underlying condition, please seek a medical opinion as soon as possible.