3 Metabolic Body Types Explained (Find Yours!)

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // April 12, 2024

Understanding the three metabolic body types is an important step in learning exactly what your body needs when it comes to nutrition and exercise. Do you know yours?

People come in all shapes in sizes, depending on genetics and lifestyle choices. Maybe you’re one of those people who stays slim no matter what you eat, or maybe you struggle a little more with weight loss. Either way, it all comes down to your metabolic type—or the way your body processes and utilizes nutrients.

There are three main metabolic body types: mesomorph, ectomorph, and endomorph. Learning about the different types of metabolism can help you train and eat specifically for your body type, and I’ll cover them all here!


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    Metabolism Basics

    Before discussing the different metabolic types, it’s helpful to understand how, exactly, your metabolism works. In short, metabolism is the process by which your body changes calories from food and drink into energy.

    Even at rest, your body needs energy for everything it does, including breathing, sending blood through the body, maintaining hormone levels, and growing and repairing cells. The number of calories your body uses to do all of these things is known as basal metabolic rate.

    Your basal metabolic rate is determined mainly by muscle mass, but also relies on your body composition, sex, and age. Metabolism works at different intensities in different people (i.e., a “fast” or “slow” metabolism), and is mostly determined by your genes.

    The Different Metabolic Body Types

    Now that you understand the general metabolism process, here is a breakdown of each of the different metabolic body types:

    EctomorphEctomorphs are naturally slim individuals with a fast metabolism. They typically have a lean body frame, long limbs, and a hard time gaining weight. Ectomorphs tend to burn calories quickly and may need to increase their calorie intake to support their energy needs.
    MesomorphMesomorphs have a naturally athletic build with well-defined muscles and a medium frame. They are the lucky ones who can easily gain muscle and lose fat. Mesomorphs usually have a balanced metabolism and can focus on maintaining their physique through a combination of exercise and proper nutrition.
    EndomorphEndomorphs tend to store more body fat and have a slower metabolism. They often have a softer, curvier body shape and may find it challenging to lose weight. Endomorphs benefit from a balanced approach to nutrition and exercise, focusing on diet plans and maintaining a calorie deficit to support weight loss goals.

    Understanding the different metabolic body types can help you determine the best ways to lose weight and stay healthy. For example, following a metabolic diet based on your body shape can be a game changer! 

    The reason? People have different macronutrient needs based on their metabolic types.

    Knowing the types of metabolism can really help you understand your unique body type and how to work with it, not against it.

    How Do I Know My Metabolism Type?

    Below, I’ve outlined the characteristics of each metabolic body type so you can assess which category you might fall into. Keep in mind that many people are a combination of two body types, so don’t stress about completely fitting the bill of one specifically!

    Read on to get the low-down on each of the three metabolic body types, plus fitness and diet tips to tailor your, energy and life to match your specific type.

    Use these tips as a way to maximize your weight loss potential and help you make the most of your genetic makeup.

    Remember, we are all born beautiful in our individual shapes and sizes. Listen to your body and follow only the advice that resonates with you!

    Metabolic Body Type #1: Ectomorph

    Ectomorphs are typically slender, with small joints and a light build. Think of that slim friend who tends to eat whatever she wants without gaining a pound.

    Ectomorphs have a narrow frame and fast metabolism, meaning they’re often able to overeat without gaining much weight.

    Ectomorph Characteristics

    • Thin, lean body
    • Flat chest
    • Small shoulders
    • Not muscular
    • Fast metabolism
    • Prone to periods of hyperactivity
    • Hard to gain weight

    Nutrition Advice For The Ectomorph Body Type

    If are an ectomorph and looking to maintain a healthy weight while getting stronger, it’s essential to get enough protein and incorporate strength training into your workout routine. 

    Here are more nutrition tips for the ectomorph body type:

    • Always eat breakfast as a part of your diet! Try one of my favorite, easy healthy breakfast recipes.
    • Your body tends to use all three macronutrients equally, also known as a Triple Macro Burner.
    • Eat a greater amount of healthy whole grains and complex carbohydrates, especially post-workout.
    • Eat more frequently; for example, eating 6 smaller meals spread over the course of the day instead of 3 larger ones.
    • Supplement with protein shakes like this Peanut Butter Cup Protein Smoothie
      before or after your workouts.

    Fitness Advice For The Ectomorph Body Type

    If you’re not already, be sure you’re incorporating strength training into your weekly workouts and prioritize that over cardio. Focus on simple strength workouts three days a week that hone in on all the major muscle groups.

    Try some compound moves and work towards heavier weights to see some changes.   

    Here are some great strength workouts for Ectomorphs:

    Too often, ectomorphs haven’t given strength training a proper chance because it feels hard to put on the muscle.  Stay consistent, go heavier, and you may see muscles emerge!

    Metabolic Body Type #2: Mesomorph

    Mesomorphs typically have an athletic, medium build and can gain muscle easily. Unfortunately, they also gain fat easily, so they need to be careful not to overeat—which many tend to do because they take their naturally athletic body for granted.

    Mesomorph Characteristics

    • Athletic
    • Medium-sized body structure
    • Strong
    • Broad shoulders
    • Gains muscle easily
    • Responds well to exercise
    • Extra body fat tends to be in the lower body

    Nutrition Advice For The Mesomorph Body Type

    People with a mesomorph metabolic body type should get a proper mix of strength training and cardio, and try to cut back on their carb intake if they want to lose weight.

    Here are more nutrition tips for the mesomorph body type:

    • Focus on getting a healthy mix of complex carbs, proteins, and fats -making sure your carb intake is heavy on plants and high fiber.
    • Your body tends to like sugar. Avoid white flour and sugar. As a Dual Macro Burner, (DMB metabolic type) your carb and protein intake may be higher. 
    • Include a good source of protein with every meal. Focus on lower-fat foods.  
    • If weight loss is your goal, cut back on processed foods. Many mesomorphs see quick weight loss results from switching to a higher protein, healthy carb diet.

    Fitness Advice For the Mesomorph Body Type

    Mesomorphs respond quickly to exercise, so your body will benefit from any activity. For the best results, combine an equal mix of cardio and strength training weekly. Incorporating plyometric exercises will take your fitness routine to the next level, including:

    Don’t coast on your naturally athletic frame—take advantage of it by challenging yourself and reaping the rewards!

    Metabolic Body Type #3: Endomorph

    Endomorphs have a larger bone structure and more overall body fat—evolutionarily speaking, they are better at storing nutrients than the other two types.

    This metabolic category generally has thicker arms and legs with a round body. It can be hard for an endomorph to lose weight, but not impossible! They typically have strong leg muscles and weaker upper body muscles.

    Endomorph Characteristics

    • Round body
    • Medium to large joints and bones
    • Gain muscle
    • Gain weight and fat easily
    • Strong leg muscles
    • Find it hard to lose weight
    • Fatigues easily
    • Slow metabolism

    Nutrition Advice For Endomorph Body Type

    Endomorphs should try to limit carbohydrate foods when possible—except for veggies, fruit, and whole grains. The endomorph body type is also known as a protein-dominant burner (PDB), so it’s important to focus on high-quality protein and low-carb options.

    Other nutrition tips for the endomorph body type include:

    • Make sure you’re eating enough fiber each day to keep you full without giving in to unhealthy food cravings.
    • Many endomorphs see great weight loss success from a Paleo-centric diet, which can have a positive impact on blood sugar.
    • For PDB metabolic types, healthy fats are fuel and keep you satiated longer.
    • In a PDB metabolic type diet, be aware of how many fat grams you eat because they are higher in calories per gram.  
    • Calorie intake is key, so make sure to keep track with a food journal or a tracking app!

    Workout Advice For Endomorph Body Type

    Focus on losing weight through cardio and strength combo workouts. Interval-style routines may be your best friend.

    For weight loss, ditch the long, slow treadmill workouts in favor of high-intensity interval training, such as this 30-minute HIIT class. You’ll be dripping sweat and burning fat, and it’s better cardio for your heart and your body than a slow, steady-state jog. 

    Since you can’t spot-reduce body fat, all the crunches in the world won’t give you six-pack abs if you have fat covering the muscle! Before you can work on toning, start by aiming to lose body fat all over. (Nutrition is just as important as physical activity!)

    How to Use Your Metabolic Type for Weightloss

    If you would like to lose weight, using the metabolic body types can be an advantage. Now that you have an awareness of the mesomorph, endomorph, and ectomorph types, you can understand which foods and activities are best for your health and fitness goals.

    Here’s a helpful breakdown of using each metabolic type for weight loss:

    • If you’re a mesomorph, you are lucky to build muscle easily, so strength training will be a welcome addition to your workout routine. However, you will need to be vigilant about your diet, as your metabolic profile also gains fat quickly. That awareness will help you make more informed food choices on a daily basis.
    • If you’re an endomorph, your body has trouble converting carbohydrates to energy. This could be a major insight you’ve been missing for years! Trying a paleo or low-carb eating plan for a few weeks could help you shed those hard-to-lose pounds.
    • If you’re an ectomorph, people may think you are the skinny friend who has it easy because you can stay slender no matter what. But maintaining strength takes work! Knowing your metabolic type helps you prioritize protein and make meal timing more consistent.

    The Takeaway

    If you choose to alter your diet and workouts based on your body type, By understanding your unique body type, you can make informed decisions about your diet, exercise routine, and overall lifestyle.

    That said, ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph are just categories—every body type is beautifully unique! At the end of the day, a metabolic type is just a small part of who we are. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy the journey of health and fitness and be proud of what your body can do.

    Fitness, Healthy Living, Lifestyle, Training Advice, Training Tips

    Printed from GetHealthyU.com


    on Reply

    Consistency matters! Aim for 3-5 days weekly for general health, adjust based on goals and fitness level. Quality over quantity, listen to your body, and find activities you love

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