There are a lot of diets out there that claim to be the best diet for weight loss—and while they each offer a unique and effective approach to dieting, there’s one diet that is piquing our interest as of late, and that is the body type diet.
Choosing certain foods to eat based on the shape of your body might sound a bit obscure, but the shape of your body can actually give you some important clues about your particular risks and strengths when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.
If you’ve never heard of the body type diet before and are curious what it’s all about, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about eating for your body type, the best type of exercise for your body, and how it can help you reach your ideal weight. Plus, you can take our body type quiz to learn what body type you have and which foods are ideal for you! Here’s what we’ll cover…
Article At A Glance
- What is the body type diet?
- What are the different body types?
- Body type quiz: What body type am I?
- Best diet & exercise plan for your body type
What Is Eating For Your Body Type?
Eating for your body type allows you to better understand the physical characteristics that contribute to how your body might metabolize food compared to other body shapes. This information can be especially useful for learning how to adjust your nutrient intake to align with your health goals and see desirable results.
Generally speaking, there are three body type categories that people identify with, however, it’s important to note that people can often be a combination of these body types. Using the body type diet as a starting point can help you make healthier food choices but make adjustments as you see fit.
What Are The Different Body Types?
Categorizing the shape of the human body was originally introduced in the 1940s by Dr. William H. Sheldon. According to Sheldon, the shape of the human body can be defined by a few characteristics but primarily how our bodies distribute fat mass. His initial research on, what he called somatotypes, led to the three distinct body types that we know today: the ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. 
1. Ectomorph body type
People with the ectomorph body type tend to have long, lean limbs with a thin and delicate frame. They can have a harder time “putting on weight” due to their naturally fast metabolisms but can have a higher percentage of body fat because of their lower levels of muscle mass. Some well-known ectomorphs include Taylor Swift, Nicole Kidman, Kendall Jenner, and Paris Hilton.
Characteristics of an ectomorph:
- Long and lean limbs
- Thin and delicate frame with a tendency to stay skinny
- Difficult to build muscle and put on weight
- Fast metabolism
- Shoulders and hips are the same width, with little to no distinct waistline
2. Mesomorph body type
Mesomorphs fall in the middle of the spectrum of the body types. They can be lean and muscular simultaneously and can easily gain and lose weight without much of a struggle. Mesomorphs are one of the most common body types amongst the population and tend to have an athletic build. Some well-known mesomorphs include Jessica Biel, Blake Lively, and Halle Barry.
Characteristics of a mesomorph:
- Athletic build with well-defined muscles
- Can be lean and muscular simultaneously
- Shoulders and hips are the same width with a clearly defined waistline
- Hourglass shape
- Can gain and lose muscle/fat relatively easily
3. Endomorph body type
Endomorphs are typically stocky in build and have a wide frame. People with this body type tend to have more muscle than the rest of the population but also a higher percentage of body fat making them stronger than most. However, these individuals have a hard time losing weight, often due to their slower metabolisms and store their fuel (muscle and fat) primarily in the middle to the lower half of their body. Some well-known endomorphs include Rebel Wilson, Rachael Ray, Marilyn Monroe, and Meghan Trainor.
Characteristics of an endomorph:
- Curvy body with a large/wide frame
- Stocky build with short limbs
- Has more muscle and a higher percentage of body fat
- Slow metabolism
- Typically strong individuals
- Hips are generally wider than shoulders
- Stores fat in the midsection and lower half of the body
What Body Type Am I? (Body Type Quiz)
If you’re curious what body type you have, take our body type quiz!
Answer the questions below and take note of the number that corresponds with your answer. Add up your totals in how many of each number relate to your answers. Use the answer key at the bottom of the quiz to determine which body type you are.
1. My shoulders are…
A. Wider than my hips
B. The same width as my hips
C. Narrower than my hips
2. A pair of relaxed-fit jeans (with the correct waist size) fit me…
A. Loose around my glutes
B. Perfect around my glutes
C. Tight around my glutes
3. My waistline is…
A. Straight up and down
B. Smaller than my hips and shoulders
C. Wider than my hips/shoulders
4. My body tends to…
A. Stay skinny
B. Stay lean yet muscular
C. Carry a bit of extra fat
5. My body looks…
A. Straight up and down, like a ruler
C. Pear-shaped or apple-shaped
6. If I encircle my wrist with my other hand’s middle finger and thumb…
A. The middle finger and thumb overlap
B. The middle finger and thumb just touch
C. The middle finger and thumb do not touch
7. Concerning my weight, I…
A. Have trouble gaining weight in the form of muscle or fat
B.Can gain and lose weight without too much of a struggle
C. Gain weight easily, but find it hard to lose
- Mostly A’s—You are an ectomorph! To learn more about eating for your body type, exercise, and supplementation, click here.
- Mostly B’s—You are a mesomorph! To learn more about eating for your body type, exercise, and supplementation, click here.
- Mostly C’s—You are an endomorph! To learn more about eating for your body type, exercise, and supplementation, click here.
Best Diet & Exercise Plan For Your Body Type
Knowing your body type can be extremely helpful when deciding what foods to incorporate into your diet and the type of exercise that supports your metabolism. It’s important to remember that using your body type to determine your diet and exercise routine should be used as a guide and to establish a good starting point. Since many people have a combination of body types, some adjustments might be necessary in order to find the right balance for you.
Ectomorph diet and exercise
Diet and metabolism
Ectomorphs are known for having a fast metabolism, which can be both a blessing and a curse. A fast metabolism makes it easy to lean out (or stay lean) which is great for those who love to eat! In fact, ectomorphs have a reputation of being able to eat whatever they want without gaining a pound. However, without the proper distribution of macronutrients and a thought-out exercise routine, it can present a real problem as they get older and their metabolisms slow down. This can result in an unhealthy gain in body fat primarily due to low muscle mass.
Since their body’s primary fuel source is carbohydrates (and taking a fast metabolism into account), the best diet for an ectomorph is one that is high in carbs and calories. An ectomorph should aim to get 50-60% of their calories from carbohydrates and equal amounts of protein and fat. 
Although ectomorphs are able to eat a substantial amount of carbohydrates, it’s best to proceed with caution. Ectomorphs should try to stick to a diet that is high in complex carbohydrates that are full of fiber. Foods like brown rice, quinoa, and other whole grains will help keep them feeling fuller for longer and fuel their body for activity.
Ectomorphs tend to excel at endurance-type activities, like running and cycling, and their high-carb intake gives them the energy they need to keep their heart rates up for such long periods of time. Unfortunately, they struggle more with lifting weights and don’t put on muscle easily. If an ectomorph wants to put on muscle, they should be lifting heavy weights and completing 3-5 sets of approximately 8-12 reps per muscle group and doing the minimal amount of cardio exercise recommended by the American Heart Association—which is 30 minutes, three times per week.
Due to their fast metabolisms, ectomorphs can be very lean with little muscle mass. Supplements like BCAAs can fuel your body and muscles with the amino acids and electrolytes needed for optimal health. SkinnyFit Repair & Recover is specifically designed to promote lean muscle growth and ease soreness after exercise—perfect for ectomorphs.
RELATED: Pre-Workout vs. Post-Workout Supplements: What’s The Difference? (+How To Use)
Mesomorph diet and exercise
Diet and metabolism
It’s relatively easy for mesomorphs to lose weight compared to endomorphs and ectomorphs. They are genetically inclined to build muscle, hence their athletic build. With proper eating habits and regular exercise, they can lose weight with little to no issues. However, when their diet and exercise routine suffers, they can gain weight just as quickly.
Muscle weighs more than fat—and because mesomorphs naturally build muscle, they need more calories and protein than their counterparts to feed their muscles. In general, mesomorphs respond better to a high-protein, low-carb diet with their macronutrients divided into thirds. Approximately ⅓ protein, ⅓ fruits and vegetables, and ⅓ complex carbs and/or healthy fats.
Cardio exercise is crucial for a mesomorph if they want to stay lean. Incorporating 30-45 minutes of steady-state cardio 3-5 times per week, or exchanging two days with 20-30 minutes of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) will prevent a mesomorph from packing on pounds. Similarly, a mesomorph should be lifting moderate weights 4-5 times per week. Because their muscles tend to be dense, they should aim to complete 3-5 sets of approximately 12-15 reps per muscle group when lifting weights.
Mesomorphs need a hearty amount of protein to maintain their muscle mass. Supplements such as protein powder or protein-rich collagen powder, like SkinnyFit Super Youth, can provide a mesomorph’s body with the nutrients it needs to recover from exercise and stimulate muscle growth.
RELATED: Top 5 Best Collagen Supplements & Benefits (+Which To Buy 2019)
Endomorph diet and exercise
Diet and metabolism
Metabolically speaking, individuals with endomorph body type usually have some degree of carbohydrate and insulin sensitivity.  This means that when their bodies digest foods that are high in carbohydrates, they are quickly converted into sugar, enter the bloodstream faster, and are more likely to be stored as fat than used as fuel. Endomorphs often have a higher body fat percentage that puts them at a greater risk for developing diseases like diabetes and hypertension. A healthy diet paired with regular exercise can help endomorphs reduce body fat and reduce their risk of any issues.
Like mesomorphs, endomorphs can benefit from a low-carb diet. Endomorphs have a tendency to pack on weight in their midsection, hips, and legs—a 2015 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that a diet that is lower in carbohydrates and higher in fat resulted in more fat loss in the abdominal area. However, these individuals should be careful not to exceed the calories needed to meet their total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). Fat contains over twice as many calories than carbs and protein so it’s important to be mindful of your fat content if you don’t want to gain weight. In general, endomorphs respond best with a macronutrient distribution of 25% carbs, 35% protein, and 40% fat with their carb intake controlled and timed with exercise.
Endomorphs benefit most from having an even distribution of cardio and weight training. Since they naturally have more muscle compared to ectomorphs and mesomorphs, an endomorph should be lifting 3-4 sets of light-moderate weights, with a high number of reps (15-20 reps) per body part. Similarly, endomorphs should incorporate 45-60 minutes of steady-state cardio training 3-4 times per week.
Because endomorphs tend to store more body fat, taking a supplement that contains CLA (conjugated-linoleic acid), like SkinnyFit Snack Attack, can suppress your appetite and burn fat, specifically in the abdomen. CLA has been shown to reduce body fat, improve insulin resistance, regulates cholesterol levels, improves lipid profile, boosts immunity, stimulates bone mineralization, and lower blood sugar. 
The Bottom Line On Body Type Diets
Understanding your body type can help you better understand how your body metabolizes food, in turn, helping you make better food choices that align with your goals. Nutrition science is not one-size-fits-all, so it’s important to remember that the body type diet should be approached as a guideline to give you a starting point for a healthy diet and that adjustments may be necessary for best results. Eating for your body type paired with proper exercise and supplementation can help you lose weight and live a healthier life.
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