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Individualizing Your Exercise and Nutrients Based On Your Body Type

Body Types in Review

There are three Somatotypes or categories of body structure that can be useful in determining one’s ideal macro-nutrient intake as well as exercise goals.

 

Ectomorph- Long and thin muscles and limbs. Generally lower fat storage

Mesomorph- Larger bone, solid torso, wide shoulders, trim waist and controlled body fat levels

Endomorph- Increased fat storage, wider waist, larger bone structure

 

There are also combination or hybrid types, such as ecto-mesomorph and endo-mesomorph.

Using the above classification system can serve as a template to individualize your exercise and macro nutrients recommendations.

In addition, this system can be useful for achieving goals such as muscle gain, fat loss, endurance performance or strength/power performance.

 

Somatotype and Activity preference Characteristics Typical Goals *Suggested

Protein % in diet

*Suggested

Carbohydrate %

in diet

*Suggested

Fat % in diet

Ectomorph
Endurance Exercise
Thyroid dominant
Fast metabolism
Sympathetic dominant
High carbohydrate

tolerance

Gain muscle strength and size
Maintain body weight and strength during high volume endurance exercise
25 55 20
Mesomorph
Typical bodybuilder
Testosterone and growth hormone dominant
Moderate-

High sympathetic dominant
Moderate carbohydrate tolerance

Build muscle and maintain low body fat %
Support athletic performance
30 40 30
Endomorph
Absolute strength exercise
Insulin dominant
Slow metabolism
Low sympathetic nervous system activity
Low carbohydrate tolerance
Lose body fat especially, especially in abdomen and lower back 35 25 40

 

*Use calorie chart to determine calories (see below)

 

Practical Application

  1. Determine Somatotype and goals
  2. Calculate macronutrient dietary needs using chart below
  3. Identify macronutrient ratio recommendations to find calories and convert to grams, using the chart above
  4. Start achieving your goals!

Calorie Estimator

 

Activity Level *Weight Loss

Goal

*Weight Maintenance

Goal

*Weight Gain

Goal

Sedentary 10-12 12-14 16-18
Moderately Active

(3-4x/week)

12-14 14-16 18-20
Very Active

(5-7x/week)

14-16 16-18 20-22

 

*Multiply Body Weight in pounds by this number

Example: 140 LB Moderately active endomorphic woman who wants to lose fat

  • Based on her needs and goals (using the charts) she should be eating 1680-1960 calories/day
  • Based on the macro-nutrient chart- 35% protein, 25% carbohydrates, 40% fat
  • Based on  1750 calories:

-612  calories from protein

-437 calories from carbohydrates

-700 calories from fat

 

Use this tool to help determine food sources:  http://www.calorieking.com/foods/

References

Berardi, J., & Andrews, R. (2015). The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Precision Nutrition Inc.

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About the Author

Dr. Geoff LecovinNaturopathic Physician/Chiropractor/Acupuncturist/Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist/Corrective Exercise Specialist/Performance Enhancement Specialist/Certified Sports Nutritionist/View all posts by Dr. Geoff Lecovin

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