3 basic Metabolic Body Types
Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph.
The experts agree every body and its metabolism is different. However body types are not very often referenced in fitness plans but knowing your body type you are born with will help with your goals and get a fitness advantage
Awareness of these metabolism categories essentially gives you better knowledge on how to lose weight or gain muscle and stay healthy. Although you are not able to change your metabolic type, there are plenty of ways you can increase your metabolic rate naturally, including making changes to your workout regimen, eating and sleeping habits. Also, following a metabolic diet based on your body type may prove helpful.
Experts say that people have different macronutrient needs based on their metabolic types. Bodies come in many shapes and sizes, depending on both your genetics and lifestyle choices. If you’ve ever seen someone constantly eating and not gaining an ounce, whereas you even look at a slice of cake you gain weight, the different metabolism types could help to explain why. There are plenty of people with a mixed type, a blend of body types, so no need to stress about fitting into only one type, just follow your dominant type. We are all born beautiful no matter what body type you have.
Ectomorph Metabolism – the carbo type
Ectomorph metabolism bodies typically tend to be smaller in frame and bone structure.
- Slender with small joints and a light build, naturally thinner with a lean body
- Flatter chest and small shoulders
- They have a fast metabolism, which allows them to burn up calories quicker than other metabolism types
- Prone to periods of hyperactivity
- They often find it hard to gain weight. To gain weight, ectomorphs usually need a huge caloric intake.
For ectomorphs, workouts should focus on the big muscle groups. Making sure to include a blend of cardio and strength training, with more focus on strength training than cardio. Workouts that target specific muscle groups rather than full body movements are usually best.
As with any training program, diet is a major part of results. Starchy carbs can be their best friend because they’re high in calories and give quick energy to power through intense workouts. Because ectomorphs have to eat such a large number of calories, supplements can be a game changer. It’s also a good idea to eat before bed to prevent muscle catabolism during the night.
Endomorph Metabolism – the protein type
Endomorph bodies are typically a softer, rounder body or a short, stocky build, have a larger bone structure and more overall body fat.
- This metabolic category generally has thicker arms and strong leg muscles
- Medium to large joints and bones
- Gain muscle, weight and fat easily
- Fatigues easily
- Slow metabolism
It can be hard for an endomorph to lose weight, but not impossible!
When it comes to fitness and training, a blend of cardio and strength training can help prevent fat gains. For dieting, they want to lower their carb intake and increase their protein and fats. In most cases, supplements aren’t necessary as long as they are including enough protein in their diet.
Mesomorph Metabolism – the mixed type.
Mesomorphs typically have an athletic, medium build and can gain muscle easily. Unfortunately, they also gain fat easily, so they need to be careful not to overeat—which they may tend to do because they take their naturally athletic body for granted.
- Medium-sized body structure
- Broad shoulders
- Gains muscle easily
- Responds well to exercise
- Extra body fat tends to be carried in the lower body
Also referred to as the athlete’s body, mesomorph metabolism types usually have rectangular-shaped body and muscular build. This is considered the ideal type for bodybuilding.
This type gains fat more easily so they want to watch their caloric intake. They also have an easier time losing weight.
Now this part is really key!
It’s not uncommon to consider yourself a blend of two or more different metabolism types. Most people find they overlap with two. Finding your metabolism type(s) is important because of its role in your fitness routine.
Your metabolism determines how your body converts calories into energy dictating your fuel burning capabilities. Some metabolism types will use fuel immediately upon entering their body (these are ectomorphs). Others may allow fuel to linger around for a time before being used (common with mesomorphs and endomorphs).
Understanding your metabolism and how it works for your body can give you the upper hand in making food work for you. Feeding your body the right foods that will allow you to reach your goals faster whether it’s putting on muscle or shedding fat is key.
Nutrition recommendations for your body type.
A metabolic diet simply put is prioritizing foods and nutrients that are easily digested, absorbed, and utilized by the body for boosted energy. Understanding about body type metabolism can help you exercise and eat specifically for your body type.
According to Fahey and Wolcott who wrote “The Metabolic Type Diet” years ago, protein types have a fast metabolism and need to eat slow-digesting foods like fat and protein. They focus on macronutrient distribution and recommend protein types follow a diet consisting of 45% to 50% protein, 20% fat, and 30% to 35% carbohydrate.
Carbo types have a slow metabolism and need to eat a diet consisting of foods that digest quickly. This means a diet high in carbs and low in fat and protein with 70% to 80% of calories coming from carbs, 5% to 10% from fat, and 15% to 20% from protein.
Mixed types have an average metabolism. They don’t burn calories too fast or too slow. According to the Metabolic Typing Diet, people with a mixed metabolic type need 40% to 45% of calories from protein, 50% to 55% from carbohydrates, and 10% to 15% from fat.
Although this diet has been around for many years, recent studies have created a trending upswing reintroducing this lifestyle into 2022.
Ectomorph body type.
- Ectomorphs tend to be Triple Macro Burners. Your body tends to use all three macronutrients equally.
- Eat a greater amount of healthy whole grains, complex carbohydrates, especially post-workout.
- Always eat breakfast as a part of your diet.
- Eat 6 smaller meals (more frequent meals) spread over the course of the day instead of 3 larger ones
- Supplement with high protein shakes.
Mesomorph body type.
- Mesomorphs tend to be Duel Macro Burners so your carb and protein intake may be higher.
- Get a healthy mix of complex carbs, proteins, and fats ensuring your carb intake is heavy on plants and high in fiber.
- Avoid white flour and especially sugar as your body tends to like sugar.
- Include a good source of protein with every meal. Your main focus needs to be on lower-fat foods.
Endomorph body type.
- Mesomorphs tend to be Protein Macro Burners so you should focus on high-quality protein and low on carbs.
- Limit carbs as much as possible except for veggies, fruit, and whole grains.
- Eat plenty of fiber to keep you full.
- Many endomorphs see great weight loss success from a Paleo diet as Paleo diets can have a positive impact on blood sugar.
- Healthy fats are fuel and can keep you satiated longer.
- Calorie intake is key, so make sure to keep track for best results.
What you eat on the metabolic type diet depends on your metabolic type. However, all diet types encourage eating more whole foods. Brown fat burns at a faster rate than white fat and brown fat generates heat, a process called thermogenesis. Its main role is to turn food into body heat. When you consume more healthy fats, they convert into brown fat and don’t linger for as long in your body.
Protein Focused: Choose foods high in protein and brown fat. Choose proteins high in purines such as organ meats, red meat and dark-meat poultry. Carbs should come from whole grains and vegetables. *Asparagus, bacon, beef steak, berries, broccoli, chicken-dark meat, eggs, hamburger beef, leafy greens, pork chop, quinoa, rice-brown, salmon, spinach, turkey-dark meat, tuna, yogurt.
Carbohydrate Focused: Complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are the focus of the carb type meal plan. This diet recommends carb types eat a small serving of a low-purine protein with each meal, such as white-meat poultry. Carb types can also have low-fat dairy products. * Apple, apple butter, asparagus, bananas, beans-black, berries, bread-wholegrain, broccoli, cereal-wholegrain, chicken breast, chickpeas, egg, fruit-dried, green onions, Greek yogurt-nonfat, leafy greens, lentils, milk-nonfat, oats-steel cut, pork, potato, quinoa, rice-brown, strawberries, spinach, sweet potato, tomatoes, turkey breast, vegetables, veggie burger.
Mixed Focused: If you are a mixed metabolic type you can eat complex carbohydrates, all types of proteins, and an assortment of fats. Although the macronutrient content for each metabolic type differs, each diet includes food options from all of the food groups. However, all three types limit refined carbohydrates and added sugars. * Apple, applesauce-unsweetened, asparagus, avocado, banana, beef steak, beef hamburger, beans-black, blueberries, broccoli, carrots, cereal-wholegrain, cheese, chicken, chickpeas, corn on the cob, eggs, egg-white, English muffin-whole-wheat, fish, fruit salad, green beans, green salad, leafy greens, lettuce-romaine, mango, nut butter, pita-whole wheat, pork, quinoa, rice-brown, salmon, spinach, sweet potatoes, toast-whole-grain, tuna, turkey, yogurt nonfat.
Experts say that successful eating plans are individualized and take the whole person into consideration. Of course prior to starting any new diet plan, consult with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian, especially if you have an underlying health condition.
If you’re not satisfied with the metabolism nature gave you, try these to improve your metabolic rate.
Eating protein stimulates your metabolism because it requires extra energy to process all the food you take in and eating protein causes the largest thermic effect of food and can increase your metabolism up to 30%, compared to just 10% for carbs or 3% for fats.
Drinking cold water packs a double whammy for metabolic rates. It can increase resting metabolism up to 30% for about an hour after drinking it. And if you’re drinking cold water, your metabolism also increases as your body is trying to increase its temperature.
Eating smaller meal amounts in shorter intervals prevents your body from going into starvation mode and keeps your metabolism humming along. It encourages your metabolism to continually burn through fuel instead of doing the start-stop that’s common with three large meals a day.
Getting plenty of sleep has been shown to increase the hunger suppressing hormone leptin and decrease the hunger hormone ghrelin. Lack of sleep can take a toll on metabolism, which is one reason why it’s been commonly associated with obesity.
Standing instead of sitting – Yes, sitting is being compared to the new smoking. Experts show that standing at work can burn an extra 174 calories compared to sitting. Calorie burn keeps your metabolism running, so stand as often as you can.
Building muscle with resistance training has demonstrated a higher metabolism than those who did aerobic exercise or no exercise.
Endomorph Body Type
Focus on losing weight through cardio and strength combo workouts. High Intensity Interval Training routines may be your best friend.
- Push ups
For weight loss, Ditch the long, slow treadmill workouts in favor of a 40 minute HIIT session. You’ll be dripping sweat and burning fat and it is better cardio for your heart and your body than a slow, steady-state jog. Understand that because you can’t spot-reduce body fat, all the crunches in the world won’t give you six-pack abs if you have fat covering the muscle. So aim for all over body fat loss to start.
Ectomorph Body Type
If you are an ectomorph metabolic type and are looking to maintain a healthy weight while getting stronger, it’s key to get enough protein and incorporate strength training into your workout routine.
Strength training is your friend so incorporate it into your weekly workouts and prioritize strength training over cardio; focus on simple strength workouts at least 3 days a week that target all the major muscle groups.
Here are some great strength workouts for Ectomorphs:
- Bench press
- Calf raises
Often an ectomorph doesn’t give strength training a proper chance, because it feels hard to put on the muscle. Stay consistent, go heavier and you may see those muscles build.
Mesomorph Body Type
People with a mesomorph metabolic body type should get a mix of strength training and cardio, and cut back on their carb intake to lose weight.
Mesomorphs respond quickly to exercise, so your body will benefit from any activity. Combine an equal mix of cardio and strength training in your HIIT sessions for best results.
Incorporating plyometric exercises will take your fitness routine to the next level. Try these power moves:
- High knees
- Squat jacks
- Mountain climbers
The key takeaway here is to enjoy the journey to health and choose the best tools to help you along the way. Every body is beautiful and a well fueled machine can last you for a lifetime.
ACE Certified Fitness Professionals
Fahey and Wolcott – The Metabolic Type Diet