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Three Human Body Types: Their Proper Training and Diet Plan

Do you have trouble losing body fat? And yet you feel like you can gain it quickly even when you slip for just a little bit with your diet? Or do you find it very difficult to gain weight no matter how much you can eat for days? Well, the truth is this has something to do with your body type.

Somatotype (or Body Type)

Generally refers to an idea that there are three body compositions, namely, endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph. This theory came from Dr W.H. Sheldon back in the early 1940s. He stated that these body types could directly influence a person’s personality.

Endomorph

  • Characterised as round or fat, typically short and most have difficulty in losing weight
  • With massive digestive viscera, they tend to store more body fat, especially in the legs and arms
  • It’s much more complex for an endomorph to gain muscles and a lot more challenging to lose weight

Mesomorph

  • Their body structure is naturally hard and strong
  • Relatively predominant with muscle
  • They can put on muscle quickly and generally the ideal type for bodybuilding
  • They have strong legs, broad shoulder, narrow waist
  • Mesomorph is in-between endomorph and ectomorph

Ectomorph

  • Characterised as skinny, weak and usually tall
  • The predominance of linearity and fragility
  • Very thin, has narrow hips and shoulders and deficient body fat

Once you identify which body type you align to, you can now consider the structural and metabolic changes associated with it. Then only you can tailor your exercise training program and your dietary needs based on your body requirement.

Following a Somatotype Diet

The advantage of knowing your somatotype can help you in determining the nutrient intake, which can help your body fuel best if your goal is to lose weight more effectively. It can also help you avoid extreme diets that don’t work or, worse, backfire. Working and learning your body type can help you understand how to maximise your body’s potential not get frustrated with your limitations.

Endomorph Diet

The most popular diet recommendation for endomorphs is Paleo-style (or caveman diet), which, according to Mayo Clinic, is focused on fruits, veggies, meat, fish nuts, seeds and oils. Endomorphs perform best when focusing on reducing calorie intake and taking in more healthy fats, protein, and low carb foods. It will help best in trimming the fat, reducing the waistline and improving insulin resistance.

Here are some of the food lists for endomorphs:

Meat and Fish

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Cod

Dairy

  • Yoghurt
  • Milk

Fruit and Vegetables

  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Asparagus
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Greens (spinach, kale etc.)

Nuts and Seeds

  • Nut seed and butter
  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds

Grains and Starchy Vegetables

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squash
  • Brown rice
  • Beans
  • Oats

Training for Endomorphs Body Type

  • Compound movements or total body workout works best for the endomorph. It burns the most calories.
  • This can be combined with bodyweight training and moderate lifting.
  • Work with 8-12 reps and 3-5 sets for the upper body while 12-20 reps for the lower body.
  • Incorporate cardio for 3x to target your heart rate for about 20-30 minutes
  • As much as possible, don’t put too much strain on your knees when it comes to cardio. There are other ways that you can do cardio with lesser impact like, swimming, biking, hiking, walking or elliptical.

Ectomorph Diet

Lower fat diets can work well for ectomorphs; although it may sound pretty old fashioned, it’s what’s best for this body type, including a vegan or vegetarian.

Here’s a food list for ectomorph:

Meat and Fish

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Whitefish
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Lean steak or beef

Dairy

  • Fat-free yoghurt 
  • Low-fat milk (keep to just one serving per day)

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Berries
  • Mango
  • Oranges
  • Apple
  • Pears
  • Banana
  • Cauliflower
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Squash

Nuts and Seeds

  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Peanuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds

Grains and Starchy Vegetables

  • Whole wheat bread.’
  • Quinoa
  • Farro
  • Sweet potato

One great news about this ectomorph diet compared to endomorph and mesomorph diets are that you can eat carb-heavy dishes like pasta without as much risk as with the two other body types, thanks to your higher metabolism.

It is also best advised to increase your protein intake and then combine it with weight training to stimulate your body to build more muscle. The benefit of this is not only to develop your muscle mass, but it can also protect your bones as you age.

Training for Ectomorphs Body Type

  • Well, since you already have a skinny built, you require a very minimal cardio exercise
  • You should train with heavyweights, though and lots of rest in between sets (2-3) minutes as well in between exercises 5 minutes
  • You must at least aim for 5-10 reps and 6-8 sets for each exercise
  • Unlike endomorphs, where they should be doing whole-body workouts, ectomorphs should train at least 1-2 body parts per training day to prevent too much caloric expenditure
  • Take plenty of rest in between workouts

Mesomorphic Diet

  • The least complicated diet is the mesomorphic diet. Mesomorphs tends to do best in a well-balanced diet which is 40% carbs, 30 % protein, and 30% from calories
  • The eating pattern should be smaller and more frequent meals

Here are some food list for mesomorphs:

Meat and Fish

  • Fish (salmon, tuna)
  • Chicken
  • Lean steak
  • Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Protein shake

Dairy

  • Yoghurt
  • Cottage cheese

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Oranges
  • Avocados
  • Cauliflower
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Brussel sprouts

Nuts and Seeds

  • Nut or seed butter
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

Grains and Starchy Vegetables

  •  Sweet potato
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice

Training for Mesomorphs Body Type

  • You get better results for doing more varied training.
  • You can do light, heavy or bodyweight training.
  • Try to do basic exercises like (squats, lunges, deadlifts, rows, chest press, shoulder press, etc.) followed by isolation work out with moderate and lightweights.
  • Aim for 8-12 reps for most exercises but make an exemption with the legs. You can incorporate weighty weights for the leg training with around six reps and light or no weights at about 25-30 reps for 3-5 sets.
  • Add three days per week of cardio for 15-30 minutes.
  • You can also try mixing HIIT and LIIS training.

Final thought

Eating for your body type can give you clues about your metabolism and hormones, how you process carbohydrates and the quantity of protein you need. Different individuals have different sets of goals. Your ideal workout should always depend on your plan. If you want to drop weight, do lots of cardio, but if you’re going to build muscles, weight lifting will help you get that goal quicker.

Meat and fish

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1 thought on “Three Human Body Types: Their Proper Training and Diet Plan”

  1. I think I am more of a mesomorph type. Right now, I have been gaining weight because of streses from work and academics. What should I do to maintain my figure? How should I start with my diet?

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