If you've ever described yourself as apple- or pear-shaped, you're borrowing the idea of somatotypes, first described by William H. Sheldon Jr., a physician and psychologist. Sheldon grouped people into three categories: Ectomorphs are naturally thin and long; endomorphs are round and tend to gain weight easily; and mesomorphs are sturdily built and gain and lose weight quickly.
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Endomorphs tend to be lovers of food who don't deal well with restrictive diets. Nutrition therapist Annette Colby recommends that endomorphs eat four to six small meals per day with a mix of proteins and carbohydrates to maintain energy. Focus on enjoying each meal slowly, and if you decide to eat a treat, make your next meal extra healthful.
Mesomorphs tend to be high-energy, athletic individuals who get in the habit of eating a lot when they are young. As they age, mesomorphs often gain weight because they fail to adjust their eating habits for a slower metabolism. Mesomorphs should be mindful of portion sizes and save desserts and high-fat foods for the occasional treat.