The concept of tailoring your diet to fit your body type – whether it’s endomorph, mesomorph, or ectomorph – has been circulating in health circles for many years. Advocates believe that this body type-specific diet can help you to look and feel your best, and there is some evidence to support their claims.
In this topic, we will focus on the endomorph body type and how to lose weight effectively. Endomorphs are typically characterized by a soft, round body type with a higher body fat percentage. They tend to gain weight more easily than other body types, and they may also have difficulty losing weight.
However, with the right diet and exercise plan, endomorphs can lose weight and achieve their fitness goals. In the following sections, we will discuss the specific dietary and exercise recommendations for the endomorph body type.
Understanding the Endomorph
Endomorph is one of the three primary body types or somatotypes. Endomorph individuals typically possess a more substantial bone structure and curvier physique. Phil Catudal, an LA-based personal trainer and co-author of “Just Your Type: The Ultimate Guide to Eating and Training Right for Your Body Type,” explains that being an endomorph doesn’t label you as “fat.” The term “fat” can be neutral; it’s natural for some individuals to have larger frames. Catudal emphasizes the positive aspects of this body type, like pronounced curves and robust muscles.
A Glimpse at the Other Body Types
Ectomorphs are usually slender with long, lean limbs. In contrast, mesomorphs possess a muscular build with an hourglass figure.
Dietary Focus for Endomorphs
Endomorphs often have a predisposition to store fat, leading to a broader waistline and larger bone structure. Catudal notes that endomorphs are more prone to weight gain compared to the other two body types. When consuming similar diets, endomorphs tend to retain more fat.
Moreover, this accumulated fat is commonly found around the waist area, termed as visceral fat. This fat type, according to Marta Montenegro, PhD, a Miami-based fitness nutrition specialist, is associated with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance implies that cells struggle to respond to insulin, impacting blood sugar levels. Hence, this resistance affects carbohydrate metabolism. Montenegro advises endomorphs to be wary of especially refined carbs, which generally have fewer nutrients and lesser dietary fiber than whole grains. The body type’s higher fat percentage also means potentially burning fewer calories than a naturally muscular body, like mesomorphs.
Considering this, Catudal recommends a diet with higher protein (40% of daily caloric intake), substantial fat (40% of daily caloric intake), and fewer carbs (20% of daily caloric intake), targeting an intake of 1,300 to 1,500 calories daily. Focus on fiber-rich vegetables for satiety.
Always consult with a registered dietitian before adopting any new diet to ensure it aligns with your individual needs.
Hybrid Body Types
There’s also a possibility of a mixed body type. According to Catudal, hybrid body types emerge from a blend of genetics and long-term habits. Some might lean towards meso-endomorph, having larger yet strong bodies without defined muscles. If this describes you, Catudal suggests a balance of strength training and cardio exercises, combined with a fat loss-centric nutrition plan.
Others might be mesomorphs or ectomorphs but have a broader waist, resembling an apple shape. In such cases, similar carbohydrate considerations as those for endomorphs are recommended.
Dietary Recommendations for Endomorphs
Endomorph individuals often have a higher fat percentage and are prone to insulin resistance. Consequently, Catudal advocates for a balanced diet that prioritizes lower carbohydrate intake to facilitate fat loss.
Research has indicated that curbing carbohydrate consumption can enhance insulin functionality in a short span and may be an effective strategy against prediabetes. Moreover, due to the fact that fat expends fewer calories than muscle, endomorphs might have a comparatively slower metabolism than their mesomorph counterparts. This suggests a need for endomorphs to be more calorie-conscious when initiating a diet.
One of Catudal’s frequent recommendations is a diet reminiscent of the paleo approach, emphasizing fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, nuts, seeds, and oils. While the conventional paleo regimen excludes legumes, Catudal endorses beans and lentils for their beneficial fiber content, which supports weight management and digestion. Notably, grains can also be integrated into an endomorph diet.
Endomorph Diet Food List
The belief is that endomorphs can thrive by lowering their calorie consumption and emphasizing protein, healthy fats, and low-carb foods. Catudal believes this method can assist in fat reduction, waistline trimming, and enhancement of insulin resistance. Below is a list of foods suitable for the endomorph diet:
Meat and Fish
Fruits and Vegetables
- Berries (e.g., strawberries, blueberries)
- Leafy greens (such as spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce)
Nuts and Seeds
- Nut and seed butters
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
Grains and Starchy Vegetables
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
7-Day Diet Plan for the Endomorph Body Type
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with spinach (2 whole eggs and 1 egg white)
Snack: Sunflower seeds with a fruit
Lunch: Kale salad with cucumbers, bell peppers, salmon, and olive oil
Snack: Asparagus spears wrapped in deli meat
Dinner: Grilled chicken breast with zucchini noodles and tomato sauce
Breakfast: Cottage cheese sprinkled with almonds and cinnamon
Snack: Hummus with sliced vegetables
Lunch: Chicken and pepper stir-fry over brown rice
Snack: Apple slices with peanut butter
Dinner: Lettuce-wrapped turkey tacos with avocado slices
Breakfast: Frittata with tomatoes, onions, and spinach
Snack: Protein shake
Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce
Snack: Hummus with sliced vegetables like bell peppers and celery
Dinner: Olive oil-drizzled white fish with roasted broccoli and cauliflower
Breakfast: Berry smoothie with Greek yogurt and almond milk
Snack: Hummus with sliced vegetables
Lunch: Open-faced sandwich with turkey, vegetables, avocado on whole-wheat toast
Snack: Pistachios paired with cubed cantaloupe
Dinner: Steak stir-fry with cauliflower rice
Breakfast: Spinach and pepper omelet topped with avocado slices
Snack: Protein bar
Lunch: Vinaigrette-tossed quinoa with vegetables and chicken breast cubes
Snack: Carrots with peanut butter
Dinner: Salmon with steamed broccoli and sautéed mushrooms
Breakfast: Two hard-boiled eggs accompanied by blueberries
Snack: Greek yogurt with sliced almonds
Lunch: Mediterranean lentil salad with sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and chopped veggies
Snack: Protein shake
Dinner: Vegetable and bean soup served with grilled chicken breast
Breakfast: Greek yogurt layered with apples, walnuts, and a sprinkle of cinnamon
Snack: A hard-boiled egg with sliced avocado
Lunch: Sweet potato filled with shredded chicken and low-sugar barbecue sauce
Snack: Hummus paired with veggies
Dinner: Shrimp and vegetable kabobs with cauliflower rice
Benefits of the Endomorph Diet
Endomorph diets have been hailed by many for their potential benefits not only for weight loss but also for overall health, especially for people with this specific body type. Dr. Melina Jampolis, an internist and board-certified physician nutrition specialist in Los Angeles, points out the inherent genetic predisposition of endomorphs to be slightly heavier. There is a notable correlation between endomorphs and individuals with type 2 diabetes.
However, body fat distribution plays a crucial role. Those with excess fat around the hips, thighs, and buttocks (typically known as a pear shape) might have a reduced risk of metabolic disease compared to those who accumulate fat around their abdomen (often referred to as an apple shape).
Metabolic syndrome, encompassing a range of risk factors like a prominent waistline, physical inactivity, and insulin resistance, amplifies the risk of heart disease and stroke. Insulin resistance is commonly observed in individuals with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, leading to marginally increased blood glucose levels. Dr. Jampolis mentions that those with abdominal weight are usually less receptive to insulin than those who distribute weight more uniformly.
Researchers have identified a significant correlation between waist circumference and type 2 diabetes risk in overweight and obese individuals, especially women.
By following a diet tailored for the endomorph body type, individuals might adopt healthier eating and exercise habits, potentially enhancing insulin sensitivity and losing harmful visceral fat.
However, it’s essential to mention Dr. Jampolis’s skepticism about dieting based on somatotypes. A broader focus should be on adopting healthier eating patterns. For those with excessive abdominal fat, cutting down on carbohydrate intake might be beneficial. Emphasis should be on monitoring waist circumference rather than achieving a precise weight goal. For women, a waist under 35 inches is desirable, while for men, it should be under 40 inches.
Endomorph Workout Recommendations
Diet is one side of the coin, with physical activity being equally crucial. Montenegro advises individuals facing challenges with weight management and abdominal fat accumulation to engage in more cardio exercises for effective calorie burning. As with any fitness regimen, consulting a doctor before commencement is vital.
For beginners, engaging in low to moderate-intensity cardio workouts between three to five times weekly, lasting 30 to 45 minutes, is recommended by Catudal. This helps burn fat, enhances cardiorespiratory fitness, and builds endurance. Complement this with bodyweight exercises like push-ups and planks to boost muscle mass and metabolism. As one progresses, incorporating strength training or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be beneficial. Numerous studies have highlighted the effectiveness of interval workouts in reducing body and abdominal fat in overweight and obese individuals.
A 2018 study published in the journal Nutrients found that a low-carbohydrate diet was more effective than a low-fat diet in promoting weight loss and improving insulin sensitivity in individuals with obesity.
Study: Effects of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet on Weight Loss and Insulin Sensitivity in Obesity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/10/8/1007
A 2019 study published in the journal Obesity found that a high-protein diet was more effective than a low-protein diet in promoting weight loss and preserving muscle mass in individuals with obesity.
Study: The Effects of High-Protein Versus Low-Protein Diets on Weight Loss, Body Composition, and Health Parameters in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31481191/
A 2020 study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that a Mediterranean-style diet was more effective than a low-fat diet in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease in individuals with prediabetes.
Study: Mediterranean Diet and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in People with Prediabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32315284/
A 2021 study published in the journal Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders found that a high-fiber diet was more effective than a low-fiber diet in reducing waist circumference and improving insulin sensitivity in individuals with metabolic syndrome.
Study: The Effect of High-Fiber Diet on Waist Circumference and Insulin Sensitivity in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34222199/
A 2022 study published in the journal Obesity Research found that a combination of diet and exercise was more effective than diet or exercise alone in promoting weight loss and improving metabolic health in individuals with obesity.
Study: The Effect of Combined Diet and Exercise Intervention on Weight Loss and Metabolic Health in Individuals with Obesity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35343311/