Ectomorph, Mesomorph or Endomorph How Does Your Body Type Affect Your Weight Loss?

Your Body Type Can Significantly Impact Weight Loss and Management

No magic pill exists for burning fat and getting fit. There are hundreds of fad supplements and nutritional programs that you can follow to help you shed pounds or maintain a certain weight. Maybe you have tried several of them. Most people do not have a metabolism capable of keeping off weight without a healthy diet and regular exercise. No one way of eating or exercising is going to work for everyone. The good news is that there are a variety of meal plans that take your body’s unique requirements into account. By tailoring the type of nutrients you put in your body to your metabolism, it will affect how easily you shed or maintain your weight.

Several factors determine what kinds of foods will keep you looking and feeling your best. Genetics, age, gender, and current health status are a few of the things that must be taken into consideration while you are trying to find an ideal way to slim down. Before you can figure out the best way to get fit, it is essential to understand the relationship between your body’s metabolic process, somatotype (e.g., body type), and how it distributes or burns fat. Once you better understand the connection, it will be easier to find a diet that fits your needs, which will result in better, longer-lasting results.

Body Type Can Influence Weight Gain and Loss

Identifying your metabolic ID and body shape will make it easier to figure out which meal and exercise plan will benefit you the most based on how your body stores and burns the fuel it gets from the food you eat. Metabolism combines calories from the foods and drinks you consume with oxygen, and this creates energy that your body uses to function. Some people are naturally more inclined to store fat as a fuel reserve, which leads to weight gain. There are several possible causes, including genetics, diet, and how often you exercise.

The three main metabolic types categorized by body shape are ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. We will go into these three terms in more detail in a separate section. For now, it is important to know that everyone fits within one of these three categories, and they determine likely you are to accumulate fat and grow muscles. Bone density is another factor taken into account for diets based on somatotype. While still relatively new to the scene, body type diets have become incredibly popular.

Where Did The Concept of Body Type Come From?

We believe it is vital to know the basis behind nutritional claims so that you can make educated and healthy decisions. While many of us have grown up hearing terms like “body type” used when referring to a person’s shape, the idea was brought forward less than a century ago.

In the 1940s, a psychologist named Dr. William Sheldon researched personality types and attempted to determine if physical attributes could predict a person’s personality traits. He concluded that there were three main somatotypes or body types. He called them endomorph, mesomorph, and ectomorph.

His findings were later expanded upon by Barbara Heath Roll and Lindsay Carter to include additional measurements. This became known as the Heath-Carter method, which researchers have praised as more scientifically accurate. Heath-Carter looked at the following characteristics to determine body type.

  1. Amount of subcutaneous fat
  2. Bone width
  3. Muscle growth

Even earlier research by dentist Weston Price and science researchers, including Roger Williams and William Kelley, found evidence that three metabolic types determine the rate at which food is converted to energy and the amount of energy expended during certain activities. This metabolic form of dieting can be used to tailor your carbohydrate and protein intake to your body’s specific needs.

Combining the concepts of somatotypes and metabolic types created the foundation for the body type diet. By matching your body type with endomorph, mesomorph, or ectomorph, you can discover the nutritional plan ideal for your metabolism.

The Primary Somatotypes

Dr. William Sheldon determined that most people have the following three main trait groupings. These are broad categories, so if you feel that you may fit into more than one, choose whichever has the most positive matches. Somatotype often changes between age groups, so your traits as a child may not necessarily be the same once you reach adulthood. The same is true for seniors. This is due to several factors, including genetics, general health, exercise, and diet.

Mesomorph Traits

While these individuals may look ideal, they also accumulate fat more efficiently than ectomorphs and require regular exercise to stay trim and fit.

  • Narrow around the waist
  • Broad across the shoulders
  • Muscular
  • Compact
  • Athletic
  • Excellent fitness results

Ectomorph Traits

These are usually skinny, slender individuals who never seem to put on any fat or muscle regardless of how much they appear to eat. Dr. Sheldon used the following traits to describe them.

  • Thin
  • Narrow
  • Delicate
  • Fragile
  • Linear
  • Poorly muscled

Endomorph Traits

Anyone who has struggled to maintain a healthy weight after eating a regular portion may recognize themselves as endomorphs. This body type easily stores fat for future fuel, which may have been advantageous for our ancient ancestors.

  • Overweight
  • Round body shape
  • Soft body
  • Thicker joints
  • Round body

Finding The Best Foods For Your Metabolic Type

Another type of diet is called Metabolic Typing, and it can be paired with somatotype diets quite easily. All of the food and drinks you ingest can be broken down into carbohydrates and proteins, which are then absorbed by the body. Some people have an easier time absorbing them than others, which can lead to weight gain. Each metabolic type will respond differently to proteins and carbohydrates. According to Chrissy Carroll, RD, MPH, the three metabolic types are carbo, protein, and mixed. Below is a list of the best kinds of foods for each of them.


  • Complex carbohydrates (e.g., whole grains)
  • Lean proteins (e.g., chicken, turkey, seafood)
  • Fats


  • High-purine protein (e.g., organ meat, dark poultry meat, beef)
  • Fats
  • Fewer complex carbohydrates

Mixed Carbs and Proteins

  • A relatively equal amount of fats, protein, and complex carbohydrates

These three roughly correspond with the somatotypes in the following order.

  1. Carbo = Ectomorph
  2. Protein = Endomorph
  3. Mixed = Mesomorph

What Foods Should You Avoid?

Now that you know a little more about how various foods will affect the different body types and their metabolisms, it is crucial to look at what to avoid.

Processed Foods

Any processed foods contain higher amounts of refined carbohydrates, fats, added sugars, and sodium. These are all going to make it harder for any body type to lose weight. They also promote free radicals and significantly increase risk factors for a host of medical issues, including age-related cognitive decline, stroke, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Processed foods you should avoid include the following.

  • Margarine
  • Sugars
  • Meats
  • Energy drinks
  • Ultra-processed dried fruits and cereals

Added Sugars and Alternative Sweeteners

Some alternative sweeteners have dangerous chemicals that can cause significant damage to your brain and other organs. Diet sodas and fruit juice usually include these sweeteners, which should be regularly avoided. Products containing added sugar should also be avoided as they can cause significant health problems.

Alternative sweeteners that should be avoided whenever possible include the following.

  • Aspartame
  • Sucralose
  • Saccharin
  • Neotame

Fried Foods

The majority of friend foods have very high levels of fats and calories. They often include above the daily limit of sodium. Research from the Mayo Clinic indicates that the oils in which foods are fried are often more harmful than the foods themselves. There are significant risks to eating fried food regularly. They include the following.

  • Higher risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Death at an earlier age
  • Higher risk of diabetes
  • More likely to become obese or morbidly obese

Sample Menus For Your Body Type

It can be hard to translate high-protein, complex carbohydrates into a mental image of a filling meal. We have created a series of example menus for each somatotype to give a better idea of what to expect. These are healthy, balanced meals that ensure you get the right daily amount of vitamins and minerals.

The main takeaway from the samples below is how accessible this diet is for everyone. They can be tailored to fit certain lifestyles. For example, vegan and vegetarian foods work well with the Body Type diet. If you have a particular medical need or condition such as diabetes, you can easily swap out food with ones that will accommodate suggestions from your doctor.

These diet examples include three full meals and two snacks. Research has shown that eating a healthy snack between main meals can lower the chances of binge eating due to hunger cravings, and it also boosts your metabolism, which will burn more fat.

Mesomorph Diet Example

Anyone who identifies with the mesomorph type will tend to gain weight if they do not eat healthily but get in shape quickly when they work out and eat right. Below is an example of one day worth of food that a mesomorph would get the best results from eating.

  • Breakfast: High-protein dairy is excellent for mesomorphs, so Greek yogurt or cottage cheese are ideal. You can eat them with some berries, fruit, nuts, or oatmeal.
  • Snack: A hardboiled egg and an orange
  • Lunch: A healthy chicken salad with green vegetables
  • Snack: Trailmix
  • Dinner: Baked salmon, steamed vegetables, and a sweet potato

Ectomorph Diet Example

Because ectomorphs have a more challenging time bulking up and gaining muscle, they need to stay fueled through complex carbohydrates and lean proteins. Low-fat diets with high levels of healthy carbohydrates are going to work best for this category. Below is an example of what an ectomorph might eat for a day.

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with fruit or berries and nuts
  • Snack: A fruit with nuts
  • Lunch: Roast turkey, a mixed salad of fresh green vegetables, and whole-grain crackers
  • Snack: Fresh vegetables and a healthy dip (e.g., hummus, etc.)
  • Dinner: Roasted cod and vegetable kabobs with quinoa

Endomorph Diet Example

This type has a harder time growing muscles or using up excess energy. Because it is easier to gain weight, endomorphs need to balance their diet carefully. Complex carbohydrates are best, and all processed foods, including meats and sugars, should be avoided. Below is an example of an endomorph’s daily menu.

  • Breakfast: Greek yogurt with berries and nuts
  • Snack: Protein bar
  • Lunch: Healthy grilled chicken salad with fresh vegetables
  • Snack: Fresh fruit or vegetables
  • Dinner: Salmon, steamed vegetables, and cauliflower rice

Why Should You Change Your Diet to Fit Your Body Type?

Eating without taking your metabolic rate and body type into account is going to be counterproductive. You cannot keep yourself healthy and fit without making sure that what you are putting into your body is actually going to do the most good. It makes sense to take into account your body’s natural strengths and weaknesses so that you can create the most effective exercise and eating guidelines to reach your desired fitness goals. Losing weight is more than cutting calories it involves making sure the food you are putting into your body is going to strengthen and revitalize.

Advantages When Using This Method For Weight Control

There are quite a few ways to use your body type to create a personalized diet that can benefit you. Below are some significant reasons for choosing this method and ways in which they can benefit you.

Stay Strong and Healthy

You get all the essential vitamins and minerals in the foods that will keep you within a healthy range for your body type. The focus on fresh fruits and vegetables also ensures that you get a boost in antioxidants, which can help keep your cells protected and strong. It has been proven that mood and physical health are closely linked, so by eating healthy, you will be improving your mind and body.

They Are Safe

You will not be in danger of a vitamin or mineral deficiency. The number of nutrients will keep you looking and feeling great. Eating a healthy diet will significantly lower risk factors for various diseases, age-related disorders, and other medical conditions, including the following.

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke

Avoid Useless Fad Diets

There are hundreds of diets that are at best useless and at worst dangerous because they do not ensure that you get the right level and kinds of daily nutrients. By choosing a healthy, safe meal plan, you keep yourself from the pitfalls that come with fad diets. Do not waste your time, money, and energy on something that will not keep you healthy.

Easy to Implement

We have all seen how some diets have dietary plans that are full of expensive food that is not easy to get from your local grocery store. Those are unrealistic, expensive, and problematic. This diet is simple and straightforward, with affordable ingredients you can get from any store. You can even tweak some of your current favorite meals by simply removing fatty items and replacing them with more healthy alternatives. For example, if you like tuna salad and sandwiches, it is easy to replace that with baked salmon and whole wheat crackers. It does not have to be a huge shift.

Body Type Shows Limits

It is good to have realistic expectations about your body and how it is capable of looking. If you are mesomorphic, then chances are you will not be able to pack on the muscle as easily as an ectomorph. It will take more effort and concentrated exercises to get the same result that an ectomorph might arrive at naturally. Endomorphs will never have the delicate features that mesomorphs have naturally because they have bigger bones that you cannot shrink through exercise or diet. Having a realistic self-image is a critical component of a holistic approach to health. Knowing the strengths and limitations of your somatotype ahead of time can make it easier to get fit.

Disadvantages When Controlling Weight Based on Body Type

Everything has a downside, but even those can be enlightening and helpful in the long run. These are some of the disadvantages that come with using the Body Type method to determine your diet plan.

Limited Research

There has only been limited peer-reviewed research and clinical studies looking into the way that somatotype impacts the outcome and long-term effects of diet. Most studies targeted specific demographics, including age, gender, or medical conditions. More research is needed to determine its effect on the general public.

Not Everyone Fits a Type

Humans come in all shapes and sizes. As we age, the way that we look and how our bodies perform will change. This means that not everyone fits into a tidy category or that they will stay there over time. While most people will fit essentially within one of the three body types, not everyone will, and those who find themselves skirting several types or not falling within any of them might not benefit as much from this type of diet.

Health Conditions Need to Be Taken Into Account

Several health conditions require specialized meal plans that do not always conform with what may fit best for a specific somatotype when following the metabolic ID diet. Several common health issues that may interfere with the efficacy of this approach include the following.

  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Cancer

How Body Shape Can Impact Your Health

Your specific, detailed body shape within your body type can have an impact on your health. For example, if you identify with the endomorph category, then you may have a “pear” or “apple” shape. “Apples” tend to hold their weight more in the belly area, while “pears” usually hold it in their hips. This is an important distinction because research has shown that individuals with fat gravitating towards the belly area tend to have a harder time responding to insulin. It may cause something called metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of issues including high blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol. They may require more limited diets to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, or stroke.

Is a Body Type Centric Diet Right For You?

This diet is not meant to replace regular exercise or eating healthy food. Adding foods to your daily meals that fit well with your determined body type will not create a positive outcome unless you choose a holistic approach to your health. Staying hydrated, getting enough quality sleep at night, and exercising regularly will ensure that your body can properly utilize the nutrients that you get through your meals. A body-type-centric diet will be useful to anyone willing to take these steps.

You must decide whether this is the right diet plan for you, but there are many advantages. It is an excellent way to introduce more fresh foods into your diet. These will have proteins and carbohydrates that are easier for your body to absorb and breakdown. By cutting down on processed foods and overly sugared drinks, you are going to be doing your body a favor. There still needs to be further research done to fully determine the long-term positive effects of your Metabolism Type combined with a complimentary somatotype diet. It can help you keep your simple carbohydrates down and promote a healthier approach towards eating.

Further Resources

The internet is full of resources for the many different diets available. A quick search will pull up instructional videos, forums, and other useful resources for anyone wanting to get started with the Body Type method of dieting. If you want to learn more about body-type-centric meal planning, then you can check out the following books and ebooks.

There are also podcasts and other mediums where you can hear from trusted medical professionals regarding the daily ins-and-outs of the Metabolic Type and Body Type diets.

When you’re ready for a Diet and fitness system that works. Check us out!



Anthony MSc. Nutrition CPT

Anthony is a certified personal trainer, Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, and Strength and Conditioning coach. Today he works as a full-time fitness coach, writer, blogger, and author. In his spare time, he is an avid sailor, boating enthusiast, hiker, and backpacker His goal is to take the confusion out of weight loss and health and make it simple and easy to understand and follow. Anthony McGarr NASM CPT, CHHP, MSc. Nutrition, Certified Holistic Health Practitioner And Creator Of The Trans4m Diet

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