There are 3 main body types. While anyone can get good results with any workout and healthy eating plan, following a plan specific to your body type will get you better results and quicker.
Nutrition really is key when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off.
These are the recommended macronutrients for each body type. You don’t necessarily need to stick to these exactly as sometimes it is hard to hit macros; 5% above or below is also fine.
Endomorphs have a larger, solid frame and are generally curvy with a high level of body fat. These body types gain muscle and fat very easily and find it difficult to lose weight, especially through diet alone. They have strong muscles (especially their legs). Losing body fat for the endomorph will take longer compared to the other body types.
Because the endomorph body type cannot tolerate high carbs very well, a lower carbohydrate and higher fat and protein diet is recommended. Recommended macronutrients for this body type would be:
- 25% carbs
- 45% fat
- 30% protein
Mesomorphs are somewhat in the middle. They can have an athletic body, respond quickly to exercise and can have great muscle definition. They find it easy to lose and gain weight and their weight can fluctuate. If you’re a mesomorph and have ever dreamed of being a fitness model, then lucky you, you’ve got the genetics!
Mesomorphs suit a balanced diet best, with a moderate amount of carbs. Recommended macronutrients for this body type would be:
- 40% carbs
- 30% fat
- 30% protein
Ectomorphs are those lucky people who are naturally thin, have a low body fat without needing to exercise or diet and find it difficult to gain weight and muscle. Think of those people who have natural “model type” bodies. Typically they have fast metabolisms, but they lack shape and can sometimes be skinny fat. Skinny fat is a term used to describe people who appear skinny when wearing clothes, but actually have a higher body fat percentage for their bodies.
Ectomorphs are naturally thin and can usually eat higher amounts of carbs without any effect on the body (lucky them!). Recommended macronutrients for this body type would be:
- 50% carbs
- 25% fat
- 25% protein
Fiber is extremely important, especially for those who require a low carb diet, as carbs are the main foods that contain fiber.
Once I followed a low carb diet and didn’t bother about fiber. I was only eating around 11g of fiber per day and I was always hungry. I thought that was normal because I was “on a diet.” However, when I increased my fiber intake just by changing my foods (still eating the same amount of calories and carbs), I was much less hungry!
You need to make sure your carbohydrates are coming from healthy sources such as fruit, vegetables, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Foods such as crackers / cruskits, cereals, sweets, white bread, etc do not contain much fiber, so I would avoid these.
The recommended fiber intake is 15g of fiber per 1000 calories, with the absolute minimum fiber intake being 22g per day (for a female). So if someone is eating 1800 calories per day, their recommended fiber intake is 27g.
How To Calculate Your Macros In Grams
This can get a little bit tricky and requires some maths. I will give you an example on how to calculate 25% carbs for the endomorph body type.
The calculations also depend on your calorie intake.
Let’s just say that for this example, the person is eating 1800 calories per day.
1800 calories x 0.25 (25%) = 450 calories
Therefore, you need 450 calories of carbohydrates per day.
To calculate how many grams you will need of each macronutrient, you will need to know the following information:
- 1 gram of carbohydrate is 4 calories
- 1 gram of protein is 4 calories
- 1 gram of fat is 9 calories
- Just for your interest, alcohol is 7 calories for each gram
If there are 4 calories in 1 gram of carbohydrate and you need to consume 459 calories of carbohydrate:
450 calories / 4 calories = 112.5 grams
You can in fact be a combination of two body types. If you are an ectomorph / mesomorph, it is best for you to follow the mesomorph guidelines. If you are a mesomorph / endomorph, it is best for you to follow the endomorph guidelines.
No matter what your body type, you CAN lose body fat, gain muscle and make improvement to your legs. But you CAN’T change your body type. If for example you are an endomorph, you will never have the same thin body of an ectomorph and this should not be your goal. Your goal should be something that is attainable for your body type and that will make you look and feel your absolute best!