Most individuals can be grouped into one of three body types. Ectomorphs tend to be long and lean and may struggle to gain weight or muscle. Mesomorphs are naturally muscular and tend to gain or lose weight easily. Endomorphs are typically pear-shaped, store fat easily and may have a difficult time losing weight. While dieting with an endomorph body type may seem an impossible task, a balanced diet and proper exercise can help you lose weight safely.
Endomorphs tend to carry around excess body fat. Having too much fat, especially around your middle, increases your risk of developing certain cancers, gallbladder conditions, depression, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis, fatty liver disease and sexual dysfunction. In addition to the physiological risks, excess body fat can damage your self-esteem. It also makes everyday physical activities difficult to complete.
Weight Loss Basics
No matter what your body type may be, successful weight loss requires eating fewer calories than you burn each day. The American Council on Exercise recommends creating a deficit of 500 calories each day through diet and exercise to lose one pound of fat per week. According to the Harvard Health Letter, a 185 pound person burns approximately 356 calories per hour while walking at 3.5 mph. If you burn 350 calories daily while exercising, you should also reduce your food intake by 150 calories to successfully lose weight at a healthy rate of one to two pounds per week.
Cardiovascular exercise is one of the most effective methods of burning fat. The Centers for Disease Control recommend getting 30 to 60 minutes per day of moderately intense exercise if you have a significant amount of weight to lose. As your fitness level improves, try adding a few shorter sessions of high intensity cardio to elevate your metabolism for a period of time after you stop exercising. In addition to aerobic exercise, two to three resistance training sessions each week can help you add metabolism-boosting muscle to your body.
Endomorphs tend to have a slower metabolism than other body types. Changing the type and frequency of meals can help boost your weight loss. Instead of eating three large meals each day, eat five or six smaller meals spaced three to four hours apart. Frequent meals and healthy snacks keep your metabolism elevated throughout the day while preventing feelings of hunger. Eating an apple provides significantly fewer calories than a similar volume of chips or a candy bar. Eat plenty of lean protein and fiber-rich carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables, fruit and legumes instead of sugary or processed foods.
As an endomorph body type, your body already tends toward storing excess calories as fat. An extremely low-calorie diet reduces your ability to lose weight, because your body is thrown into starvation mode, making it hold onto its fat reserves. Crash diets that claim quick and easy weight loss may work in the short term, but you'll probably gain back the weight quickly as soon as you stop following the diet plan -- and you'll have more body fat and less muscle than when you started.
- Center for Wellness Without Borders: The 3 Somatotypes
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity
- American Council on Exercise: Trimming Off the Fat
- Harvard Health Publications: Harvard Health Letter -- Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- Center for Wellness Without Borders: Eat and Exercise Right for Your Type