Ever feel like all the hard work you’re putting in isn’t paying off? Maybe you are sticking to a diet that one of your friends swears by and you haven’t lost a pound. What gives?!
You may be struggling to achieve results if the plan you’re on doesn’t best line up with what your body actually needs. Knowing your body type could help you bring your nutrition game to the next level. There are three different body types known as somatotype.
The 3 somatotypes are ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. They are each characterized based on body shape and composition. I bet you will be able to quickly identify which somatotype you must align with.
Ectomorphs are generally leaner and long limbed folks. If you are an ectomorph you may have a more slender build and find it difficult to put on muscle or gain weight at all. Many ectomorphs find themselves drawn to endurance activities like running due to their bodies natural proclivity to endurance events.
Mesomorphs are naturally muscular folks. They tend to have broader shoulders and gain muscle easily when training without putting on fat. Mesomorphs may be the classic build you picture of a gymnast or football player.
Endomorphs tend to have a larger build and may put on muscle, but also body fat easily. Classically “big boned,” these folks may remind you of a powerlifter, strong man competitor, or football lineman.
Knowing which type you are can be useful when it comes to your eating choices and may help you identify which exercises you may perform best at. Your body type helps give insights to how your genetics and body may react to certain foods. For example, are you insulin resistant or sensitive and how can you determine this?
If you are an ectomorph you may thrive off of a higher carbohydrate diet even consuming over 50% of your calories as carbs. Endomorphs who tend to store fat will do better on a lower carb diet and would do better to consume a higher protein and moderate fat diet. Mesomorphs fall into the middle and can do well with a balanced diet like a zone diet that is 40% carbs, 30% fat, and 30% protein. As you perform more strength training you may find that you are able to better tolerate carbs in your diet, because your insulin sensitivity improves.
Body types aren’t all about looks. You can also use this approach to eat in ways that support activities where certain body types thrive. For example, if you’re an ectomorph body type, you’ll thrive doing endurance activities more than heavy weightlifting. That doesn’t mean you should limit yourself though. Most of us are not purely one somatotype and you can always train in the direction that aligns with your goals. Just because you aren’t naturally inclined to a certain activity or style of heating doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your goals.
Body types are not a one size fits all approach, but can be a good place to start if you’re struggling with fat loss, muscle gain, or even fatigue. Knowledge is power and hopefully you can use this to improve your decision making around your training and diet. If you have questions just let us know!