What Is Your Body Type?
By Sharon Irish
What is your body type? Are you wasting your workouts because you don’t know? Your body type could be the key to your success in your weight loss journey.
Body Types or as they are also known, ‘somatotypes’, are such an important part of weight loss and fitness and knowing yours could be the difference between success and failure.
Generally, most of us can can fit into one of the three main body types.
Read on and I will explain what they are and how to tell which one you fall into.
Eating and training according to your body type can be the boost you need to really explode your weight loss and turbo charge your fitness!
Each and every one of you was born with a specific bone structure a genetic makeup which dictates how your particular body deals with food and exercise. To put it bluntly, as I have said before, we are all different!
It is really important that you know which body type you have before you can understand how you need to eat and train to reach your weight loss and fitness goals. No matter where you are on your weight loss journey or fitness journey, knowing your somatotype is crucial for your success.
You may feel that you have tried everything and you have been on a lot of diets but they haven’t worked. You may have been eating healthily and have been using ‘correct’ portion sizes but you are still not seeing results.
You may have been eating as you should have but you may not be exercising enough.
It could be the other way around and you have taken on an amazing fitness program, but your diet is not right.
Any of these situations will have an effect on your results.
So what if you are exercising and you do have a good diet?
Don’t worry, all is not lost!
You may not be seeing those pounds drop off because of your body type. Each one deals with food and exercise differently.
So as I mentioned above, you should generally fit into one of the three main somatotypes which are:
The way in which you lose weight and the way in which you exercise will be different depending on which body type you are. The amount of food you need and how often you need to eat will also be dependent on this. So will the frequency and length of your exercise routines.
Remember when I said that there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to weight loss? Well, it is because of our different body types and that is why some people do really well following certain diets and others don’t. It is the same with exercise – some people don’t need to do much to see results and for others, it is more difficult.
If you look at this somatotype image, you will be able to see differences between the three body types already as some are quite obvious while some are more subtle.
I am going to break down each body type and give you enough information so that you can decide which one you (mainly) fall into. Don’t worry if you read through the descriptions and you feel you don’t really fit into just one. Many people (including myself) are a mixture of two body types, but we will talk more about that later!
Body Type 1 – Ectomorph:
- Ectomorphs are usually tall and slim without any noticeable curves.
- They have a small bone structure and narrow shoulders, waist, and hips.
- Their wrists and ankles are small, while their limbs and torso tend to be longer than other body types.
- Ectomorphs tend to be high energy people and can’t sit still for long.
- They usually eat smaller meals, have smaller appetites and have a high metabolism.
I’m sure you know an Ectomorph. They are usually the ones who seem as though they can eat anything and not put on a pound!
An Ectomorph’s energy from food is quickly burned so they tend to stay the same weight.
In fact, they usually have a lot of trouble gaining weight through diet and exercise. Building muscle is a real struggle for them.
Ectomorphs have usually been slim or thin since they were children and their weight does not tend to fluctuate much.
Some celebrity examples of Ectomorphs are Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt.
Body Type 2 – Mesomorph:
Someone with a Mesomorph body type;
- Has a medium sized bone structure and is naturally more muscular.
- Usually have shoulders which are broader than their hips.
- Tend to have flatter stomachs.
- Store fat evenly around their body.
- Gain muscle more evenly than other body types.
Whilst a Mesomorph will find it fairly easy to gain muscle, they will also gain fat easily if they do not have the correct diet and training.
Mesomorphs are able to lose weight quite easily with diet and exercise and it tends to happen quickly.
Some celebrity examples of Mesomorphs are Janet Jackson, Sylvester Stallone and Mark Wahlberg.
Body Type 3 – Endomorph:
- Tend to have a larger bone structure and shorter limbs.
- Their body fat seems to stay in certain areas such as the thighs, hips, buttocks and lower abdomen.
- Usually have small shoulders that are narrower than their hips.
- Tend to have wider hips and an hourglass figure when they keep to a good diet and fitness schedule.
If you are curvy then you are probably an endomorph (although this is not always the case).
Endomorphs need to be strict with their diet, especially when it comes to carbohydrates. Their bodies are more likely to store this food as fat than the other body types.
Endomorphs tend to put on weight much more easily than the other body types and a fitness routine is essential because diet alone will not get the desired results.
Whilst Endomorphs gain weight easily, they also gain muscle easily and so can really benefit from fitness programs.
Celebrity examples of Endomorphs are Kim Kardashian, Chris Pratt, and Zac Efron.
Now you should have a fairly good idea of which body type you fall into.
If you aren’t sure and you notice that you are similar to more than one body type that is okay.
I will use myself as an example: I always used to think that I was an ectomorph as I have always had very small wrists and ankles, have narrow hips and have been pretty slim for most of my life.
I was unsure though because I didn’t really fit in with the stereotype.
I am not tall in the slightest and my limbs are definitely not long – I am only 5ft!
It was only when I was looking into somatotypes that I realised I am part ectomorph and part mesomorph.
I know this because I took a picture of myself and saw that my shoulders are quite a bit broader than my hips, something I had never noticed before!
I also noticed that when I train I can put on muscle quite easily and so now I tend to label myself more as a mesomorph than an ectomorph.
If you aren’t sure it may help to take a full-length photograph of yourself in a bikini or swimsuit and compare it to the pictures in the image above.
How is your diet and exercise impacted by your body type?
So now that you know which body type you are (mostly) I am going to move on to explain how your body type impacts on your diet and your fitness. Again I will split this into the three main somatotypes.
Because of your fast metabolism, your food will be used for energy very efficiently and you need to ensure that you are eating enough.
Ectomorphs tend to have smaller appetites so aim to eat smaller meals frequently throughout the day, preferably five to six times per day.
Ensure that you are eating carbohydrates with each meal to keep your energy up.
When it comes to your exercise, as an ectomorph, you want to stay away from long cardio sessions which will further deplete your energy.
Heavy weighted exercises or gym workouts are good for ectomorphs, especially if you want to build shape to your body by adding muscle tone.
Your metabolism is not as fast as the ectomorph so you don’t need to have carbohydrates with every meal.
You can if you want to, just try to eat more slow release carbs (see my post on basics of nutrition for more information about carbohydrate types) and keep the quick release carbs for after your exercise.
There are no real difficulties when it comes to diet for the mesomorph, you can eat all food groups as long as you keep it healthy and keep your portion sizes in check.
Fitness wise the mesomorph is fortunate in that you can achieve your goals easily if you stick at it.
Using weights will help to add muscle definition and keeping your workouts varied will ensure you don’t bulk in a certain area.
If you are an Endomorph then your diet needs to be fairly strict.
Carbohydrates can be your downfall if you eat them at the wrong times.
Keep carbs for after you exercise to ensure they are used for energy and not stored as fat.
Keep portions smallish and eat healthily throughout the day.
When it comes to your training, endomorphs should use light weights and do longer workouts to keep the energy up and keep the fat burning.
It is best to keep your heart rate up during your workout and medium to high-intensity exercise is really good for endomorphs.
You should try to keep a workout schedule of at least four times per week for best results.
I hope this post helped you to answer the all important question – what is your body type?
Hopefully you can now use this knowledge to tailor your diet and exercise so that you see better results.
Don’t forget to leave any comments below this post and ask any questions, I am always happy to help explain anything you may be having trouble with.
See you next time!