Body Type Diet: The Ideal Way to Eat For Your Body Shape

Written by Cristina Powell, PN1, ME-3, CMS

Body Type Diet

Have you wondered why your best friend seems to be able to inhale an entire sleeve of thin mints and not gain an ounce, but if you even so much as open the door when the Girl Scouts come knocking, you gain ten pounds?

You are not alone.

It could be that they were blessed with great genes, or it could be that they are sneaking out in the wee hours of the morning and hitting the gym hard. Or maybe the rest of their diet is truly on point, and we only see these small indulgences. Or maybe…just maybe…life really isn’t fair, and you got the short end of the stick.

There are many diets that make lofty claims to help you shed unwanted pounds, but what works for your neighbor, best friend, or partner may or may not always work for you. So what gives?

Some would argue that the majority of the diets these days are just fads, and we need to focus more on creating a plan based on a body type diet.

The 3 Different Body Types

What determines your body type?

  • If you’re an ectomorph, you likely look long and lean and have a hard time building muscle.
  • If you’re an endomorph, you are likely larger with a higher body fat percentage. You are more likely to have a pear-shaped.
  • If you are a mesomorph, you typically are more muscular (or at least it’s easier to build muscle), and you enjoy a higher metabolism.

Not quite sure where you fit?

That’s not unusual. Many of us aren’t just one—we can have a combination build. Sometimes it seems like we’re a little endomorph mixed with mesomorph or ectomorph mixed with endomorph or another such combination. That’s not to say you may not be more predisposed to be one body type, but over time, your lifestyle choices may have gotten the better of you, and you slipped into another category altogether.

To help you break it down a bit more to see which category you are most likely to fit into, let’s take a look at some of the characteristics of each.

Ectomorphs

  • Shoulders are likely to be slimmer than hips
  • Jeans tend to be loose especially around the rear end
  • Forearms are smaller with slim wrists
  • You’re more likely to stay “skinny”
  • Even if you aren’t that tall, you look long and lean
  • If you wrap your fingers around your wrist, your thumb and middle finger don’t just touch, they overlap
  • It’s difficult for you to gain weight—both fat and lean mass

Mesomorphs

  • Shoulders are likely to remain about the same width as your hips
  • Jeans will generally fit snuggly, though not too tight, around your rear
  • Forearms are moderately muscular and thick
  • While you tend to stay leaner, you’ll also likely stay somewhat muscular
  • You may look more squarish in shape
  • When you wrap your fingers around your wrist, your thumb and middle finger will barely touch
  • Gaining and losing weight tends to be fairly easy for you

Endomorphs

  • Shoulders tend to be wider than the hips
  • Jeans are typically tighter around the rear
  • Wrists and forearms are wider
  • You tend to naturally carry extra body fat
  • Your body shape likely tends to look more rounded and soft
  • When you wrap your fingers around your wrist, your thumb and middle finger don’t touch
  • While weight gain is fairly easily, weight loss can be quite difficult

Body Type Diet Guide

While there is some debate over how effective eating for your body type is, there are some general recommendations that may at least be worth considering.

Ectomorph Body Type Diet

Ectomorphs are believed to generally be able to consume more carbohydrates, moderate proteins, and lower fat, such as around 55% carbs, 25% protein, and 20% fat.

For example, men who are ectomorphs may do well by eating three cupped handfuls of carb-dense foods, two fists of vegetables, two palms of protein-dense foods, and one thumb of fat-dense foods at each meal.

Women will eat a bit less but in a similar ratio with two cupped handfuls of carb-dense foods, one fist of vegetables, one palm of protein-dense foods, and a serving that measures out to just half a thumb of fat-dense foods at each meal.

Mesomorph Body Type Diet

Mesomorphs, in contrast, typically do best on a mixed diet with a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. A macronutrient split of 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 30% fat can work well.

For men, that can be visualized as two fists of vegetables, two cupped handfuls of carb-dense foods, two palms of protein-dense foods, and two thumbs of fat-dense foods at each meal.

For women, we again see smaller portions with one fist of vegetables, one cupped handful of carb-dense foods, one palm of protein-dense foods, and one thumb-sized serving of fat-dense foods at each meal.

Endomorph Body Type Diet

Finally, endomorphs typically do best on a higher fat and protein intake while controlling and properly timing carbohydrate intake (e.g., after exercise). The nutrient distribution for this body type might be around 25% carbs, 35% protein, and 40% fat.

For the men, this means two palms of protein-dense foods, two fistfuls of vegetables, one cupped handful of carb-dense foods, and three thumb-sized servings of fat-dense foods at each meal.

Endomorphic women would again eat smaller portions, beginning with one palm of protein dense foods, one fist of vegetables at each meal, just a half a cupped handful of carb-dense foods, and two thumbs of fat-dense foods at each meal.

Body Type Diet Plan: A Recap

Bottom line for all body types is simple: limit your sugar and simple carbohydrates, up your intake in fiber-rich foods, consume leafy green vegetables, and drink lots of water. I recommend consuming a glass of water whenever hunger strikes, as many people confuse hunger with thirst.

I have said it before, but it bears repeating—pretty much any “diet” will work provided you are mindful and consistent with the program. Constantly jumping from one thing to the next is not going to elicit the results you desire. Pick one thing and stay focused, making adjustments and tweaks as necessary.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating the perfect body type diet plan, so use this article as a guideline or a roadmap so to speak. You can tailor it for your own lifestyle and make it your own.

Ensure that whatever meal plan you decide on, you are also engaging in regular physical activity and keeping your mental game up. We often hear clichés thrown around such as you “can’t out exercise a bad diet,” which is true, but even if your diet and exercise are dialed in, when you experience a boatload of stress and your sleep hygiene is out of whack, these things will harm you just as much.

Nothing has to be perfect, and it probably never will, but it does have to be consistent.

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