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Last updated February 2, 2020. 3 minute read

What is an endomorph diet? Who is an endomorph?

An endomorph tends to have more body fat and less muscle and has an easier time gaining weight than losing it. For weight loss, a diet high in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs (and low in simple carbs) may be a good idea for an endomorph.

Self Written by Michael Martin
Reviewed by Dr. Mike Bohl, MD, MPH

An endomorph is one of three body types, also called somatotypes. These types were defined by psychologist William Sheldon in the 1940s. Sheldon theorized that a person’s body type was associated with a personality type. That isn’t widely accepted today, but the notion of three distinct physical body types endures in certain circles.

A mesomorph is considered the “ideal” body type—someone who is solid and muscular, with a medium frame and more muscle than fat. Mesomorphs can put on muscle fairly easily by working out, but they can also add body fat if they don’t watch what they eat. 

An ectomorph has a naturally lean build with less natural muscle than a mesomorph, but also a lower tendency to put on weight. Ectomorphs may have a hard time putting on fat or muscle, no matter how hard they work out. 

An endomorph has a higher percentage of body fat and less muscle mass than a mesomorph. Endomorphs tend to have a rounder body shape and are more sensitive to calorie consumption. They can gain weight easily, have a tendency to store fat, and may have a more difficult time losing weight.

Vitals

  • Being an endomorph means you have one of three main human body types, the others being mesomorphs and ectomorphs.
  • An endomorph tends to have more body fat and less muscle and has an easier time gaining weight than losing it.
  • For weight loss, a diet high in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs (and low in simple carbs) may be a good idea for an endomorph.
  • Cardio exercise, such as HIIT and strength training can also help with weight loss.

What should an endomorph eat for weight loss?

If you have the endomorph body type, it might be more of a challenge for you to lose weight than your mesomorphic brother. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

No matter what body type you are, there is truly only one way to lose weight: burn more calories than you consume. As long as you are doing this, no matter what types of foods you are eating, you will lose weight.

That being said, some people have specific recommendations for endomorphs:

One suggested endomorph diet emphasizes lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs (as in the Mediterranean, paleo, and keto diets) and limits simple carbs like white bread, added sugars, and processed foods. This recommendation is generally good for everybody, not just endomorphs.

The benefit to this type of diet is that healthy fats—such as olive oils, avocados, and fatty fish like salmon—are satiating while complex carbs like whole grains and veggies are slow-burning sources of energy. Simple carbs like sweets and starchy foods burn quickly, encouraging a higher calorie intake, which can lead to weight gain.

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What exercises are best for endomorphs?

Every successful weight loss plan should incorporate physical activity such as cardio and strength training, regardless of your body type.

One type of exercise that an endomorph (or anybody else) may consider is HIIT, which stands for high-intensity interval training. Instead of just getting on a treadmill and jogging for as long as possible (also known as low-intensity steady-state cardio, or LISS), HIIT involves pushing your heart rate up with intense activity such as sprinting, interspersed with lower-intensity recovery periods of jogging or walking. In a typical HIIT session, you might sprint for a minute and slow to a jog or walk for another minute, before sprinting again, for a maximum of 20 minutes overall.

Strength training, such as weightlifting, is also important for weight loss. Lean muscle burns body fat, so the more lean muscle you have, the more successful you may be at losing weight.

But no matter your body type or fitness goals, it’s important to talk with your healthcare provider before starting any new eating plan or fitness routine.