Everyone is born different due to our genes & heritage. There are 3 main body types: 1) Ectomorph, 2) Endomorph And 3) Mesomorph. The idea that human body types are genetically pre-set into one of three camps is nothing new. Plato mentions it in The Republic, which was written around 380 BC, and 19th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche referred to the idea in The Antichrist years before the American psychologist William Sheldon popularised three broad categories of body in the 1940s.
Since Sheldon’s conclusions were published it has become widely recognised that most people have a body type. (Take a test to find out your body type here.) What does it mean? Let’s take a look at a brief overview of body types:
1) Ectomorph: Lean and long, with difficulty building muscle
2) Endomorph: Big, high body fat, often pear-shaped, with a high tendency to store body fat
3) Mesomorph: Muscular and well-built, with a high metabolism and responsive muscle cells
Depending on your body type, you’ll need a different workout and diet to develop your best body. The Fit Loco will now elaborate on the advantages and disadvantages on each body type & what diets and workouts will best suit each category.
Most resistant to weight gain because of a fast metabolism.
Ectomorphs are usually more inclined to excel at cardiovascular activities. They often have a fast metabolism, which allows their bodies to burn calories rapidly.
In other words, ectomorphs are often able to overeat while gaining little or even no weight. As a result, they’re often quite lean without much body fat.
Models who grace the covers and pages of most fashion magazine tend to have an ectomorph body type.
Limitations on the ability to put on muscle mass.
Being relatively lean with narrow frames and long limbs, Ectomorphs have more difficulty in building muscle and as a result, there risk of being “skinny fat”, meaning you’re a relatively low weight and/or small size, yet still have high body fat.
One thing Ectomorphs need to be weary about is that with age, their metabolisms will slow down, primarily due to low muscle mass, which can result in an unhealthy gain in body fat.
Ectomorph Diet & Nutrition
Ectomorphs have a fast metabolism, which is both a blessing and a curse. In the fitness world, we would refer to them as “hard gainers.” Since your genetic makeup burns calories quickly, the misconception is that an ectomorph body type should pile on calories to gain weight. Well, this is not true exactly.
Adding more calories to your diet can help you put on the pounds. But this doesn’t mean you should stock up on junk food. There are ways to increase your caloric intake by eating more healthy fats and proteins like meat, fish, nuts, and seeds.
To maximize body composition (lean-mass gain, body-fat loss) as an ectomorph, eat good-quality fats with moderate protein intake of 25 to 30 grams per meal. If you are hitting the gym, aim to have four meals per day & have a pre-training mini-meal along with good-quality carbohydrates.
Protein Shake with Banana & Peanut Butter (1 Serving)
- 1 scoop whey protein
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 large banana
- ¼ cup oats
- 2 tablespoon peanut butter
- 2 tablespoon almost nuts
- Cocoa powder or chocolate syrup to taste
Blend all together and shake well before consuming.
Nutty and Fruity Amaranth Hot Cereal (1 Serving)
- 1/3 cup amaranth
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice milk
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries / blueberries / raspeberries / cherries
- 1 Tbsp. chopped nuts (Recommended: Walnuts, Cashews, Almond, Pistachio, Pumpkin Seeds)
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 Teaspoon Flax Seeds
Bring water to a boil in a pot and add the amaranth. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the water is absorbed. Stir in the rice milk, cranberries, nuts and chia seeds. Pour into a bowl and serve.
Snacks: Wheat Bread Peanut Butter & Banana (1 Serving)
- 2 slices of whole wheat bread
- 2 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon jam
- 1 large banana
Don’t make a fool out of yourself by choosing white bread or multi-grain bread – those are just processed garbage. Rather, use whole wheat bread whole grain bread. You can even replace banana with your favorite fruit of similar proportion.
Chicken Breast & Brown Rice (1 Serving)
- 150 gram skinless chicken breast
- ½ cup brown rice
- ¼ cup green salad
- Handfull of Cherry Tomatos
- 1 tablespoon butter
To cut down the fat content, use skinless chicken breast which is trimmed of fat. Add salad greens:
Your post-workout meal should be consumed 30 to 60 minutes after your workout. The ideal post-workout meal includes a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein to help quickly replenish your glycogen stores and repair and build muscle fibers. Here’s an example of a great post-workout meal from our breakfast cookbook, No Excuses! 50 Healthy Ways to ROCK Breakfast!
Additional Nutrition Tips for Ectomorphs:
- Eat every two to four hours.
- Use Protein Shakes
- Eat High Calorie Dense Foods
- Eat surplus Calories (Add at least 500 calories if you want to gain weight or muscle)
- Choose warm foods over cold foods (better for digestion).
- Best starchy carbohydrates include oats, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes and potatoes.
- Best fruit choices include bananas, mangoes, pineapple, papaya, avocado and peaches.
- Best vegetable choices include broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, beets and carrots, especially cooked in coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter).
- Nutrient dense snacks include nuts and seeds, as well as nut butters.
- A small snack or meal before sleep may also help. By eating before they go to bed, ectos can prevent muscle catabolism.
The key is to still eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in nutrients. Just because you have an ectomorph body type, doesn’t mean you should use that as an excuse to eat everything, including junk food.
It is suggested that when training, focus on power and resistance training to build strength. If needed, do low intensity cardio, but never focus solely on cardio as Ectomorph body types lose calories fast. Cardio does not build muscle mass, instead you can end up losing muscle & calories too quickly. Learn how to bulk up muscle mass with ‘progressive overload’ in the video below.
The good news is that, evolutionarily speaking, they’re badass: when food was scarce, natural selection favoured humans with fat-storing metabolisms. You have a curvier & fuller figure.
Endomorphs are adept at storing fuel, with muscle and fat concentrated in the lower body. They survive the cold alot better than other; from a metabolic perspective, endomorph body types usually have some degree of carbohydrate and insulin sensitivity. Insulin is the hormone that allows blood sugars to enter cells. High-carb foods are quickly converted to sugar in the bloodstream and are more likely be stored as fat than be burned for energy.
Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Sophia Vergara and Marilyn Monroe are some of the most famous female endomorphs. They all could be described as curvaceous, small-waisted, full-figured and pear-shaped.
The most difficult challenge for endomorphs is to keep their body-fat percentage in check. They usually carry their weight in the lower abdomen, hips, and thighs rather than evenly distributed throughout the body.
Endomorphs usually have trouble shifting weight, due to a relatively high amount of stored fat, a wide waist and a large bone structure; putting them at greater risk for of developing diabetes, infertility, certain forms of cancer, gallbladder conditions, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and depression.
This pattern of fat distribution makes it a bit harder to lose weight, but fortunately, with the correct training and nutrition program, they can achieve positive results. The key is to correct hormone imbalances with a nutrition and fitness program that achieves a reduction in body fat.
Endomorph Diet & Nutrition
Endomoprhs need to eat the right foods that will fire up their metabolism. Because endomorphs tend to be carbohydrate and insulin sensitive, the best nutrition plan for this body type focuses on an even distribution of macronutrients, with carbohydrates coming mostly from vegetables and smaller amounts of unrefined, high-fiber starches, like quinoa and amaranth.
From a nutritional perspective, steer clear of white bread, rice, cereals, cracker and cookie aisles of the supermarket!
A Paleo-like diet is best suited for an endomorph, where each meal contains protein, vegetables and some healthy fats, like avocado or olive oil. Aim for a nutrient distribution close to 30 percent carbs, 35 percent protein and 35 percent fat.
Endomorphs are more susceptible to gain fat on high carb diets, so start low and only increase carbs if progress stalls.
Pretty Pomodoro Frittata (serves 4)
- 3 eggs + 3 egg whites, whisked together
- 1/2 cup nonfat milk
- 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup basil, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a glass pie plate with olive oil cooking spray. Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl and pour into a pie plate.
Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the eggs are set. Remove from the oven and let cool five minutes before slicing into wedges.
Salmon & Asparagus (1 Serving)
Cut a foil and lay the asparagus spears in the centre of the foil. Mix together minced garlic and olive oil and drizzle over the asparagus. Season each salmon fillet with balsamic vinegar and lay over the asparagus. Wrap sides of foil inward over salmon then fold in top and bottom of foil to enclose. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees & its ready to serve.
Other Vegetables You Could Bake With Salmon:
- Bell Peppers
Tempeh Salad Bowl
- Spice mix: Onions, Shallot, Garlic, Ginger (minced)
- Half red bell pepper diced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 7 oz tempeh (7oz = 200g)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup green beans (or peas) OR kale, baby spinach, collard greens or lamb’s lettuce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce OR maple syrup
- 3 tbspn lime/ lemon Juice
- 1 tsp paprika
Lightly sautée the spice mix until soft, add diced red peppers & tempeh with salt. Remove into a bowl & allow to cool. Add greens into the bowl with olive oil, lime juice & soy sauce/ maple syrup (depending on your taste buds, if you prefer salty or sweet) & mix well. Optional: add paprika for added taste.
If you are looking for a protein-packed salad (almost 30g per serving!), this salad is for you! It’s easy to prepare and keeps very well in the fridge for up to 4 days, perfect for meal planning.
Additional Nutritional Tips for Endomorphs:
- white bread, white rice, traditional pasta, and bagels
- candies, chocolates, and other sweets
- baked goods and cakes
- soft drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks
- refined cereals, such as bran flakes, instant oatmeal, and puffed rice
- heavily processed or fried foods
- rich dairy products, such as cream, whipped cream, and ice cream
- red meats
- foods rich in sodium
- cooking oils with a lot of saturated fat, such as palm or coconut oil
EAT FOODS RICH IN PROTEIN & MONOUNSATURATED & POLYUNSATURATED FATS
- low fat dairy products, such as low fat milk, yogurt, and cheeses
- poultry, such as chicken and turkey
- most types of fish, especially fatty fish
- most nontropical vegetable cooking oils, especially olive, canola, and avocado oil
- eggs and egg whites
- most nontropical nuts, including almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts
EAT CARBOHYDRATES FROM VEGETABLES
- dried beans and legumes, such as kidney beans, lentils, and chickpeas
- fruits, except melons and pineapple
- non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and celery
- whole-grain or whole-wheat products, such as all-bran cereal and 100% stone-ground whole-wheat bread
- some starchy vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, yams, corn, and carrots
- some unrefined starchy vegetables, such as quinoa and amaranth
More often than not, Endomorphs difficulty losing fat with diet alone, so a well-rounded fitness program is a must. Exercise is essential to boosting metabolism and must include both weight and cardio training. In general, endomorphs must commit to a lifelong program without overtraining. The common misconception is that Endomorphs do not need weight training as building muscle comes easily for endomorphs. However, weight training should not be skipped as a slower metabolism and extra body fat make it much harder for endomorphs to stay lean; Developing more active muscle tissue will help increase resting metabolic rate and encourage the body to burn more fat for fuel.
First and foremost, cardio exercises is important for this body type. Run twice per week for 30minutes to 1 hour. Aim to incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) two to three days a week for no more than 30 minutes per workout. Try this HIIT workout on the elliptical. Also check out this HIIT tutorial home workout video below:
Mix cardio with LIGHT weight training; light weights & HIGH repetitions. Focus on large muscle groups – do compound exercises & Circuit training with very little rest time between sets.
Sample Circuit Training:
|Squat with overhead press||50 sec – work|
|Rest||10 sec – rest|
|Stationary lunge with lateral raise (right leg front)||50 sec – work|
|Rest||10 sec – rest|
|Stationary lunge with lateral raise (left leg front holding dumbbells)||50 sec – work|
|Rest||10 sec – rest|
|Plié squat/upright row (dumbbells or kettlebell)||50 sec – work|
|Rest||10 sec – rest|
|Push-ups with single leg knee drives||50 sec – work|
|Rest||10 sec – rest|
|Plank with triceps extension (dumbbells)||50 sec – work|
|Rest||10 sec – rest|
|Alternate step-ups with hammer curls (dumbbells)||50 sec – work|
|Repeat three times|
Easiest to add new muscle and they don’t tend to store much body fat.
Male and female mesomorphs looking to build muscle have a genetic jump-start in reaching their goals. They have a natural athletic build, because they gain muscle and lose fat with ease.
Well-balanced proportions, broad shoulders, and chest, and a narrow waistline are among the main characteristics of this body type.
Fat is stored evenly across the body, which is why mesomorphic women often look great even when they don’t pursue a more active lifestyle.
With a balanced diet, Mesomorphic males bulk on muscle mass a lot quicker at the gym as compared to the other 2 body types.
Constant weight fluctuations; a blessing & a curse of losing weight easily, is that Mesomorphs can also gain weight easily.
The naturally ‘fit’ body type looks good on the outside, however, many Mesomorphs neglect the importance of a balanced diet or a good workout. Fitness is not just about the aesthetics but also about the internal health of the individual.
Women who are aiming to look more feminine & lean & slim (less muscle-y) with Mesomorph body type can struggle with gaining their desired body goals.
Mesomorphs do tend to have a naturally athletic body type. But if the proper nutritional diet is neglected, they may not look very fat, but their body can resemble a retired athlete that’s gained some weight over their muscles.
Mesomorph Diet & Nutrition
Mesomorphs tend to take their naturally athletic builds for granted, which can result in diluted workouts and poor diets. Keeping in peak physical condition is often tempered by a scattered approach to eating and training.
The calorie-intake needs of Mesomorphs are slightly higher than the Ectomorph and Endomorph, due to their higher ratio of muscle mass. With larger muscle mass, it means that your body burns through calories quicker than other body types; Muscle weighs more than fat and requires more calories to maintain. Rather than a fad diet approach, you might want to adopt the popular eating pattern of smaller, more frequent meals.
While all body types need carbohydrates, protein and fat, Mesomorph body types respond better to higher-protein diets.
The Fit Loco have found that the diet for Mesomorphs have a balanced meal every few hours. Their meal plates are divided into 3 parts: one-third protein, one-third vegetable (or fruit) and one-third whole grain (or healthy fats).
Snack / post work-out: Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or rice milk
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp. chia seed
- 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
- 4-5 ice cubes
Place all ingredients, except ice, into a blender and blend until smooth. Add ice cubes, one at a time, and continue to blend until shake reaches a desired consistency.
Greek yogurt parfait (2 Servings)
- 12 large strawberries, cored and quartered
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1 pinch lemon zest (optional)
- 2tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
- 1 1/2cups plain 2-percent-fat Greek yogurt
- Mix it up and replace Strawberries with Blackberries, Blueberries, Raspberries.
Heat oven to 350° and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. In a bowl, stir together strawberries, oats, coconut, honey, cinnamon, zest, and salt. Spread mixture on lined sheet pan. Bake 15 minutes, Toss sunflower seeds into strawberry mixture and bake 15 minutes more, until strawberries are soft and shriveled. Spoon yogurt into bowls and top with strawberry mixture.
Try this recipe also by replacing berries with pumpkin, cinnamon, pecans, and raisins.
Protein-packed Quinoa Salad
- 2 cups white quinoa, rinsed well
- 1/2 cup red lentils, sorted and rinsed
- Kosher salt, for seasoning throughout
- 1 cup kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
- 2 teaspoons mint salt or crushed dried mint
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Big handful fresh mint, cilantro, and/or basil, finely chopped
Boil & simmer quinoa with 2 1/2 cups water and a teaspoon of kosher salt for 10 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked. Cool the quinoa completely.
Boil & simmer lentils with 1/2 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt for 7 minutes. Rinse the lentils with cold water and drain.
Make the vinaigrette in a small bowl by slowly whisking the olive oil into the lemon juice, rice vinegar, and garlic. Season with dried mint, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper.
In a large serving dish, combine the quinoa, lentils, kidney beans, edamame, yellow pepper, and red onion. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and mix well to coat everything. Taste and adjust seasonings. Stir in half of the chopped herbs, then garnish the top of the salad with more chopped herbs. Serve immediately, or chill in the refrigerator for up to four days before serving.
Turkey Chilli Smothered Potatoes (1 Serving)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lb. ground turkey
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
- 3 oz. tomato paste (1/2 of a 6oz. can)
- 1 15oz. can black beans
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 4 small sweet potatoes (3/4 lb. each)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Cilantro or green onions for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash the sweet potatoes well, then prick the skins several times with a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet or in a baking dish and bake for 60 minutes, or until soft and oozing from the fork holes.
While the sweet potatoes are baking, prepare the small batch of chili. Add the ground turkey and olive oil to a large pot. Sauté the turkey over medium heat. While the turkey is cooking, dice the yellow onion and mince the garlic. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and continue to sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.
Drain the beans and add them to the pot along with the diced tomatoes (with juices), tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and water. Stir to combine. Allow the chili to come up to a simmer, then reduce the heat and let simmer until the sweet potatoes have finished baking, stirring occasionally. Taste and add salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp).
Once the sweet potatoes are finished baking, carefully slice each one open lengthwise and slightly mash the insides. Spoon about 3/4 cup chili over each potato, then top with 2 Tbsp shredded cheddar. Return the potatoes to the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Top with cilantro or sliced green onions just before serving.
Chilli Lime Steak Fajitas
- 3 bell peppers (capsicums) of different colours: red, yellow and green, deseeded and sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 avocado sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic , crushed
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon red chilli flakes (adjust to your preference of spice)
- ½ teaspoon ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound (500 g) steak (rump, skirt or flank steak)
Optional serving suggestion:
- flour tortillas (optional)
- Lettuce leaves for low carb option
- Extra cilantro leaves to garnish
- Sour cream (optional) to serve
Whisk marinade ingredients together. Pour half of it into a shallow dish to marinade the steak for 30 minutes, if time allows. Alternatively, refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minute prior to cooking. *Refrigerate the reserved untouched marinade to use later*
Heat about one teaspoon of oil in a grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and grill steak on each side until desired doneness (about 4 minutes each side for medium-rare, depending on thickness). Set aside and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Heat barbecue (or grill) on high heat. Remove steak from the marinade. Grill for 5-7 minutes per side, or until desired doneness is reached. Transfer to a plate and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Wipe pan or grill plates over with paper towel; drizzle (or brush) with another teaspoon of oil and fry peppers (capsicums) and onion strips. Add half of the reserved marinade, salt and pepper; continue cooking until done.
To serve steak, slice against the grain into thin strips. Pack into warmed tortillas, extra cilantro leaves, sour cream, sliced avocado (or your desired fillings), and drizzle over the remaining reserved untouched marinade.
Notes: Don’t have time to marinade? Don’t worry! The marinade has so much flavour in it already, you can let it sit for 5-10 minutes at room temperature while preparing all of your other ingredients!
Additional Nutritional Tips for Mesomorphs:
A high-protein diet is a must for a mesomorph, especially those who are working out more; drink protein shakes in addition to meals. A higher muscle mass means that they require more protein & nutrients for muscle repair, growth and even maintenance.
Focus on whole grains and starchy carbohydrates; they are a great source of energy and can provide you with enough power to maintain an active lifestyle without over burning the calories needed to support Mesomorph body types. In additional, healthy fats are also an essential for Mesomorphs to maintain a healthy body function; Try incorporating the below list of foods into meals:
FOODS GOOD FOR MESOMORPH BODY TYPE
NUTS & SEEDS
Nut or seed butter
To achieve a lean physique for a Mesomorph, incorporate 30 to 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three to five times a week. And for Mesomorphs who have less body fat, aim for cardio sessions only twice a week.
Since Mesomorphs are naturally strong due to thick muscles density, it is recommended to lift moderate-to-heavy weights, with limited rest in between sets, five days a week is ideal to stimulate muscle growth.
For optimal results in lowering body fat, cardio interval training or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is recommended two to three times a week, along with one to two sessions of steady-state cardio. Interval training involves alternating bursts of intense activity followed by intervals of lighter activity.
Watch the Video below for a brief workout routine for Mesomorphs:
Or try this sample Mesomorph Workout Plan:
- Squats: 5 x 5
- Deadlifts: 5, 5, 3, 2
- Walking lunges: 3 x 12
- Sled pushes: 4 x 50 yards
- Tabata: Versa climber or similar cardio
- Pull-ups: 100 total in sets of 5
- Bent over rows: 3 x 12
- Ball slams: 3 x 10
- Rower sprints: 30s sprint/30s rest x 10
- Flat bench presses: 10 x 10
- Dumbbell incline presses: 3 x 10
- Dumbbell flyes: 3 x 15
- Dips: 3 x failure
- Thrusters: 3 x 12
- Single arm shoulder presses: 5 x 5
- Lateral raises: 4 x 12
- Hammer curls: 3 x 10
- Straight bar curls: close, reg + wide grip x 10 each
Saturday (circuit style)
- Rowing machine
- (Or your choice of cardio)
See more on Get Lean…
As we all already know, for the past couple of months, we have all been advised to stay home and practice social distancing to combat the spread of Covid-19. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared this as a pandemic, and we need to reduce contact between people in public places; a #Stayhome lockdown isContinue reading “#Stayhome and grab a family member for this fun workout”
The extra confidence in having a flat belly is in most people’s wishlist. Why not make this dream come true? The Fit Loco is here to share with you some work out for abs & complementing meal diets specifically for belly-fat reduction! Belly-fat can become an issue not only because it does not look pleasingContinue reading “Time for Belly-fat Reduction!”
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching! Chocolates, flowers & date nights may seem like the conventional must-dos! But if you’re feeling a little adventurous, The Fit Loco recommends an inexpensive get-together activity for couples to try out this Valentine’s! Couple workouts are beneficial as it is a good bonding session that allows the building of trustContinue reading “Valentine’s Special: Grab your partner & try these #fitcouple workouts”