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Is the Body Type Diet Effective? Dos and Don'ts of Eating for Your Body

Is the Body Type Diet Effective? Dos and Don'ts of Eating for Your Body

You may already be aware of the three different body types: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. Each body type has unique fat distribution, metabolism, and muscle-building potential. Because of this, some experts suggest personalized diet and exercise programs to get desired results. But is the body type diet effective?

Diet tips for each somatotype

Ectomorphs

Firstly, the goal for many ectomorphs is to gain weight or “bulk up.” If you are an ectomorph with this goal, keep reading. Both men and women with this body type typically want to get stronger or become curvier. Because ectomorphs tend to have “fast” metabolisms, they should increase their calorie intake.

However, binge eating will not bring the desired results. There is a chance that an ectomorph may become “skinny fat,” which is a thin frame with high body fat percentage. This is not healthy and can lead to other health problems. More calories should come from protein and carbs to sustain energy and muscle growth. If building muscles is not your goal, protein intake should be kept to a minimum.

A suggested breakdown of daily calories should be 50 to 60% from carbs, 25% from protein, and 25% from fat. Lean meat, simple and complex carbs, and dairy products are all excellent choices. Fresh fruit is another way to get more vitamins, sugar, and hydration after a workout.

Increased caloric intake should be coupled with strength training. More muscle mass translates into healthier weight gain and better physical appearance. Women in particular should not be afraid to eat more and lift weights to achieve muscle and body toning.

Mesomorphs

Mesomorphs are often told that they have the perfect body type, as they can easily gain or lose muscle and fat. But there is no such thing as “perfect,” especially when it comes to our bodies.

For mesomorphs, maintaining your body composition is possible by having a neutral calorie balance. This means consuming as much calories as you take in. If you work out more, you need to eat more and vice versa.

In general, a mesomorph’s diet should be balanced. As a rule of thumb, calories should be distributed 40% to carbs, 30% to protein, and 30% to fat. Keep in mind that this is not a strict rule, especially if your doctor has prescribed you a special diet for another condition. Avoid processed food and unhealthy sources of fat.

Low-fat dairy, meat, and vitamin-rich vegetables and fruit are good choices. Having carbs like pasta and rice are generally not a problem for you as long as you do not have insulin resistance or diabetes.

Endomorphs

Long ago, endomorphs were the ideal body type for survival. When humans had to hunt and forage for food, having a strong body type that held onto nutrients was an advantage. However, storing too much fat is a major health concern of the current era.

For endomorphs, dieting can be especially tough. People with this type may be as strong or athletic as a mesomorph, but don’t look as “fit” due to more fat accumulation. Experts suggest that endomorphs keep their calories and macronutrients under control. Divide your calories into 30% carbs, 35% protein, and 35% fat.

Oftentimes, people with endomorphic or endo-combination somatotypes have a degree of insulin resistance. This means carbs and sugars cause more problems in these individuals than the other types.

Steer clear from refined sugars and carbs such as sweeteners, bread, and starches. Opt for healthier complex carbs such as whole-wheat bread and brown rice, along with high-fiber vegetables. Proteins and healthy fat can also help with controlling cravings and maintaining muscle mass. Special diets such as low-carb and keto diets may be effective for endomorphs.

is the body type diet effective

Combination body types

More often than not, people actually have a combination of two somatotypes. This may seem to make things more complicated, but it goes to show that dividing people into three broad categories is not enough. There are no set rules when it comes to the diet breakdowns for any of the body types, more so when it comes to the combination types.

For a starting point, determine from which body types you have overlapping qualities. If there is a type that you share more qualities with, consider this type your main or dominant somatotype. Start with the recommended calorie breakdowns for that type and tweak the values as necessary with help from your doctor or registered dietitian.

For example, if you are a endo-mesomorph, you may be able to get away with a few more servings of healthy carbs than a pure endomorph. On the other hand, an ecto-endomorph will need to find the right balance between carbs and protein. This will depend on the amount of strength training and level of insulin resistance present.

Is the body type diet really effective?

The body type diet can definitely work when done correctly: If your goal is to gain weight then you need to have a calorie surplus, while the opposite is true if you want to lose weight. Like any diet, the number of calories and macronutrients depends on your current activity level, metabolic rate, body composition, age, sex, and many other factors.

Eating for your body type will not hurt your chances of getting your dream body, just as long as the diet is well-balanced and can sustain you throughout the day. A so-called “cheat day” shouldn’t cause much trouble either.

Regardless of your body type, if you have any underlying conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or dyslipidemia, these can affect your diet and exercise goals. In addition, if you have a hormonal imbalance condition such as PCOS or are taking pills with hormones, these can affect your body composition.

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Key takeaways

In conclusion, knowing your body type and eating for your type have their benefits. But to ensure that your body type diet is effective, it’s best to avoid going to extremes in order to lose or gain weight in order to improve your body composition. In addition, exercise and proper nutrition are necessary. Therefore, be sure to consult your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise program. For more information about the right diet for your individual needs, talk to a registered dietitian.

Learn more about Special Diets here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Somatotype, nutrition, and obesity https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11199249/ Accessed February 1, 2021

BODY TYPES: HOW TO TRAIN & DIET FOR YOUR BODY TYPE https://blog.nasm.org/fitness/body-types-how-to-train-diet-for-your-body-type February 2, 2021

Somatotype, diet and nutritional status of women https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322142687_Somatotype_diet_and_nutritional_status_of_women February 2, 2021

Association of Dominant Somatotype of Men With Body Structure, Function During Exercise, and Nutritional Assessment https://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/45750/PDF February 2, 2021

The relationship of somatotype with the consumption of selected cereal and dairy products http://www.drustvo-antropologov.si/AN/PDF/2017_2/Anthropological_Notebooks_XXIII_2_Drywlen.pdf February 2, 2021

How to Eat & Workout for an Endomorph Body Type https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/5078/how-to-eat-and-train-for-an-endomorph-body-type/ February 2, 2021

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Medical reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Stephanie Nicole G. Nera, RPh, PharmD
Updated Feb 03
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