Determining whether one is an ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph can open doors to understanding how your body functions. Maybe you’ve already heard of these body types, but did you know how much they can tell you about your health? Here’s a breakdown of the main body types and the health implications of each:
The ectomorph is the notorious skinny person. Often despised for their ease at maintaining a slender profile, the ectomorph has a fast metabolism. This person often has a high functioning thyroid and handles carbohydrates very well for fuel. These folks often have difficulty gaining weight, especially if their goal is to build muscle. To gain and maintain they need high caloric intake. Their speedy metabolism can make them more prone to nutrient deficiencies without proper diet and supplementation.
The mesomorph walks the middle ground. This person does well building muscle and maintaining it if they eat well and train smart. If they choose to lounge upon their couch with more Ben and Jerry’s than kale, they gain fat. This person can achieve a decent physique by training hard and not eating too well so it is especially important that they focus upon nutrients and health as well as personal fitness goals.
The endomorph is often the zone of frustration. These folks have lower functioning thyroid hormones (not necessarily thyroid disease, but should be routinely checked by your physician). The endomorph tolerates carbohydrates poorly, gains weight easily, and has a very tough time getting lean. An endomorph can train for and run a marathon without shedding a pound. The endomorph functions best with a diet of high protein, produce, and fat.
These body types explanations have been simplified. Keep in mind that many people can be a blend between two categories. Nonetheless, it’s a great place to start in order to personalize your approach to both nutrition and fitness.
Dr. Gina Sirchio is a physician based in Chicago. Her practice focuses on ortho-molecular nutrition, biochemistry based evaluations to facilitate active, pain-free, high-energy lives. Read more from Dr. Sirchio in her book The Nourish Series.