Ectomorph. Endomorph. Mesopmorph.
No, they aren’t super villians in the newest Power Rangers movie or Matrix Reboot. They describe body types.
Have you ever noticed that people with certain physical traits tend to group together for sports or eat a certain way? That can be because of your body type. Knowing whether you’re an ecto, meso, or endomorph can not only help you determine what sports suit you best, but also what you should be eating to fuel your activities. And unfortunately, it’s true — those annoying ectos are those friends that always seem to be able to eat more pasta than you.
So, what is eating for your body type?
The term “body type” goes far past just the way someone looks. In fact, (nerd alert) your body type can also tell us information about how you respond to food and about your hormonal and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) characteristics. Differences in physique, physical appearance, can be linked to metabolic differences between people. Once you are able to figure out your body type, you can adjust your nutrition to help you reach your goals in terms of fitness and body composition!
Like I said before, there are three general categories of body types (somatotypes is the technical term): ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.
Now I’m going to throw a monkey wrench in the system and tell you that people very rarely fall perfectly into one of these categories. We are often a mix. And years of training and good nutrition can change the outward appearance of your body.
Huh? For instance, a bodybuilder might be labeled a “natural” mesomorph when really they are an endomorph who’s trained and dieted hard; or an ectomorph who’s spent years guzzling protein shakes and doing the power lifts. An ectomorph who’s gained a little weight around the middle from a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition might assume they’re more endomorphic. But most people can find their general tendencies lie in one of the 3 groups.
Let’s break down each group so you can start to make sense of that last paragraph. Shall we? Too late, you’ve already read this much, this means you’re in for the long haul.
Ectomorphs are thin people usually with smaller bone structures and thinner limbs. Think of a typical endurance athlete. For you nerds, this means that they tend to be thyroid and SNS dominant with either a higher output or higher sensitivity to catecholamines like epinephrine and norepinephrine. This is linked to a fast metabolic rate and a high carb tolerance.
These people generally do best with more carbohydrates in the diet, a moderate protein, and lower fat. A nutrient breakdown for this body type might be around 55% carbs, 25% protein, and 20% fat. (Or instead of overthinking it, just think “higher carbs and lower fat.”)
Mesomorphs have a medium sized bone structure and athletic body, and if they’re active, they usually have a lot of lean mass. Many explosive athletes like wrestlers and gymnasts fit the bill. Mesomorphs tend to be testosterone and growth hormone dominant. This leads to the ability to gain muscle easily and maintain a lower body fat percentage. Mesomorphs typically do best on a diet consisting of balanced carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. A macro split of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat usually works well.
Endomorphs have a larger bone structure with a higher total body mass and fat mass. Think football lineman or powerlifter. They tend to be naturally less active. Usually excess calories are stored as fat. This leads to energy storage, including both lean mass and fat mass. But for the average person reading this, if this is you, it can mean a lower carbohydrate tolerance.
Endomorphs typically do best on a higher fat and protein diet. Carbohydrates need to be controlled and properly timed (e.g., after exercise). So that’s what we recommend: more fat and protein, less carbohydrates. A macro breakdown for this body type might be around 25% carbs, 35% protein, and 40% fat. Again, don’t get caught up in the numbers. Just think higher fats and protein, lower carbs.
In general, we don’t want you to get TOO caught up in this.
We mostly encourage that you start with trying to eat as many whole, real,minimally processed, nutrient dense foods as possible. But if you are looking to get more honed in with your nutrition, then identifying your body type and eating accordingly might be a smart place to begin.
Just remember that no changes happen overnight! Set up a plan, stick to it, measure results, and make decisions based on the outcome. And if you decide you need a hand, we got you. You can set up a time to meet with one of our Nutrition Coaches for a consultation HERE.
Whether you are just starting your fitness journey or a seasoned pro looking for something new, we’d love to meet you! And guess what? Your first class is on us. Click HERE to schedule your FREE Jumpstart Class and let us show you what makes Roux Fitness different!