Your body type: how it affects weight loss and weight gain

Find out how your body type affects weight loss and weight gain.

view from behind of different female body shapes

When it comes to losing weight, no single approach will work for everybody. This is because we all have different body shapes, so identifying your body type can be useful in helping you  understand how your body loses weight, gains muscle and burns calories. 

Which body type are you?

There are three basic human body types, categorised by how fat and muscle is grown and distributed on the body. Your level of calorie and nutrient intake, as well as the amount of exercise you do, depends on which body type you are.

Body type 1: Ectomorphs

Identifiable by their thinness and lankiness, ectomorphs typically have a narrow bone structure, with a small rib cage, narrow shoulders and long thin limbs.

You can identify an ectomorph as someone who is able to process food quickly because of a fast metabolism. Adding and maintaining body weight is a slow process for an ectomorph, as this body type can make it a struggle to gain muscle and fat.
 

Body type 2: Mesomorphs 

If you have a mesomorph body type, you’re generally considered to be lucky. Mesomorphs generally have wide shoulders and smaller waists. Even with little physical training, this body type is able to maintain weight and develop muscle quite easily.

Despite being considered to be genetically blessed, it’s not impossible for a mesomorph to get out of shape. It’s important to undertake a good amount of exercise and receive quality nutrition to maintain and improve your physique.
 

Body type 3: Endomorphs 

On the other end of the spectrum from ectomorphs, endomorphs are classified by having a bigger bone structure. In particular, the rib cage, shoulders and waist tend to be broader. An endomorph can find it a challenge to maintain a lean physique, since gaining both muscle and fat comes very easily.

Even though it can be a challenge for an endomorph to trim down fat, their ability to add and maintain muscle tissue means they are also more able to burn fat.

How to eat for your body type

Once you have identified your body type, you can go on to learn which foods are best for you. This will depend on whether you want to lose weight or add fat and muscle. It all comes down to calories.

Counting calories might be a bore, but the truth is that tracking your energy intake (and eating within your recommended limit) is the most efficient way to manage your weight.

Calories are a measure of how much energy is contained in foods. Your body needs energy to keep running during the day. If you eat more calories than you need in a day, your body stores this excess energy as fat. Likewise, if you don’t consume enough calories during the day, your body will burn more fat than you have. Speak to a dietician or nutritionist who will help to give you around advice for your body type.

How many calories do you need?

This depends on a few factors, including your gender, age, height, weight and daily activity level. You can calculate your recommended daily calorie intake with this online calculator or by using the below equation for your body type.

  • Ectomorph: your body weight in kg x 16 – 18 = daily caloric intake
  • Mesomorph: your body weight in kg x 14 – 17 = daily caloric intake
  • Endomorph: your body weight in kg x 12 – 15 = daily caloric intake

Both these calculations should be used for informational purposes only, as they won’t take into consideration any specific dietary requirements and health conditions you might have. Visit your doctor for more detailed guidance on how many calories are right for you.

Read more about calories and the kinds of nutrients your body needs at muscleandstrength.com

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