Did you know that there are three general categories of body types?
They are called Somatotypes and the three are i) ectomorph, ii) mesomorph, and iii) endomorph.
Most people will find their natural tendencies in one of these groups, however, it's highly likely that many people won't fit perfectly into just one of the somatotypes. Oftentimes, people will have characteristics from each type.
One's body type may also change over time due to lifestyle choices such as nutrition and fitness.
Body type is more than just about looks. Each body type has some key characteristics that determine what foods are best to eat for energy. In general, somatotypes can provide information about the response to food intake and metabolic differences between people.
Let's look at some highlights and differences between ecto, meso, and endomorphs.
- typically thin individuals with thinner bone structure (e.g. models, marathon runners, Gwyneth Paltrow)
- fast metabolism
- higher carbohydrate tolerance
- ectomorphs can tolerate (and need) more carbs than the other somatotypes;
- at each meal, ectomorph women should eat protein (1 palm), veggies (1 fist), carb dense foods (2 cupped handfuls), and healthy fats (1/2 thumb)
- typically medium bone structure (e.g. gymnasts, sprinters, Madonna)
- propensity to gain lean muscle mass and maintain low body fat if active
- a balanced diet of protein, carbs and healthy fats work best for mesomorphs;
- at each meal, mesomorph women should eat protein (1 palm), veggies (1 fist), carb dense foods (1 cupped handful), and healthy fats (1 thumb)
- typically larger bone structure and curvaceous (e.g. Beyonce, Ashley Graham, powerlifters)
- higher amounts of total body mass and fat mass
- generally not as efficient at burning off excess calories
- lower carbohydrate tolerance
- endomorphs have less tolerance for carbs (and needs) than other somatotypes;
- at each meal, endomorph women should eat protein (1 palm), veggies (1 fist), carb dense foods (1/2 cupped handful), and healthy fats (2 thumbs)
In general, physical activity will increase your tolerance for your macronutrient intake regardless of your somatotype.
As well, our bodies will (and have) changed as we move through life or with lifestyle changes. So the nutritional strategies we adopt may change over time.
In general, experiment with different approaches to find what works best for you. These are simply general guidelines for the various body types.