The 3 Metabolic Body Types Explained

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

By: // April 5, 2021

People come in all shapes in sizes, depending on both your genetics and lifestyle choices. But did you know there are three main categories of body types people typically fall under? Let’s talk about the types of metabolism.

The three main metabolic body types are:

  • Ectomorph

  • Mesomorph

  • Endomorph

Learning about the types of metabolism can help you train and eat specifically for your body type—it essentially gives you inside knowledge on how to lose weight and stay healthy.

Just remember: Plenty of people are a combination of two body types as well, so don’t stress about completely fitting the bill of one specifically—go with the traits and the advice that resonate the most with your body.

Learning about the types of metabolism is fascinating. Read on to get the low-down on each of the three metabolic body types, plus fitness and diet tips to tailor your lifestyle to match your specific type.


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

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

If are an ectomorph metabolic type and are looking to maintain a healthy weight while getting stronger, it’s key to get enough protein and often recommended to eat smaller meals more often.

Also, if you’re not already, be sure you’re incorporating strength training into your weekly workouts.

Ectomorph characteristics

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

Ectomorph diet advice

  • Always eat breakfast!
  • Eat a greater amount of healthy, complex carbohydrates, especially post-workout
  • Eat more frequently; eating 6 smaller meals spread over the course of the day instead of 3 larger ones
  • Supplement with protein shakes before or after your workouts

Ectomorph workout advice

Prioritize strength training over cardio; focus on high-intensity strength workouts 3 days a week that hone in on all the major muscle groups and one to two days of cardio.

Often an ectomorph hasn’t given strength training a proper chance, but once they do they see the benefit and the muscles emerge.

Related: The Dangers of Being Skinny Fat


woman on mountain with hand up to the sky

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

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

(If you’re interested in cutting back on the carbs, try these delicious low-carb zucchini recipes.)

Mesomorph characteristics:

  • Athletic
  • Medium-sized body structure
  • Strong
  • Broad shoulders
  • Gains muscle easily
  • Responds well to exercise
  • If have extra body fat, tend to carry it in the lower body

Mesomorph diet advice

  • Focus on getting a healthy mix of complex carbs, proteins, and fats
  • Include a good source of protein with every meal
  • If weight loss is your goal, cut back on carbs. Many mesomorphs see quick weight loss results from switching to a higher protein, lower-carb diet

Mesomorph workout advice


Mesomorphs respond quickly to exercise, so your body will benefit from any activity. Combine an equal mix of cardio and strength training weekly for best results.

Incorporate power moves like plyometric exercises (think split jumps, squat jacks, or burpees) to take your fitness to the next level.

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


woman in black workout clothes

Endomorphs have a larger bone structure and more overall body fat—evolutionarily speaking, you’re better at storing nutrients than the other two types. Endomorphs generally have 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 + bones
  • Gain muscle and fat easily
  • Strong leg muscles
  • Find it hard to lose weight
  • Fatigues easily
  • Slow metabolism

Endomorph diet advice

  • Limit carbohydrates when possible—except for veggies, brown rice or oats
  • Make sure you’re eating enough fiber each day to keep you full without binging on unhealthy foods
  • Many endomorphs see great weight loss success from a Paleo-centric diet

Endomorph workout advice

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

Ditch the long, slow treadmill workouts in favor of a 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. 

Know that because 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. So aim to lose body fat all over to start.

Which Metabolic Body Type Are You?

Did you see yourself in one of these body types—or perhaps a combination of two? Knowing the types of metabolism can really help you understand your unique body type and how to really work with it, not against it.

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

We are all born beautiful in our individual shape and size; listen to your body and use only the advice that resonates with you.

Using this Information to Lose Weight

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

  1. For example, if you’re a mesomorph you are lucky to gain 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.
  2. As another example, if you’re an endomorph your body converts carbohydrates with some trouble. 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 finally!
  3. For the ectomorph, people may think you are the skinny friend that has it easy because you can stay slender no matter what. But maintaining both strength and curves takes work. Knowing your metabolic type helps you prioritize protein and make meal timing more consistent.

Remember Every Body is Beautiful

Ectomorph mesomorph and endomorph are just categories – every body 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 for you.

READ THIS NEXT: 21 Metabolism-Boosting Foods To Add To Your Diet

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on April 19, 2021 at 1:43 AM Reply

Very informative post. Thanks for sharing.

    on April 20, 2021 at 8:28 PM Reply

    Glad you found it helpful!

on January 30, 2020 at 5:58 PM Reply

I am so Mesomorph. Gain weight easily .. :D haha. Love it. Will share with friends in the gym.

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