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What Is Body-Type Eating?

The Body-Type "Diet" May Be the Easiest and Best Diet For You to Follow — Here's Why


You may think you've heard about every diet out there — Atkins, ketogenic, Whole30 — but have you ever heard of body-type eating? If not, don't worry; you're not alone. The first time I came across body-type eating was when I was studying to become a Precision Nutrition nutrition coach. I liked the concept of eating for your body type and found that when it came to my personal-training clients, this was a lot easier for them to follow than traditional dieting, and because of that, I knew I had to share this concept with all of you.

What Is Body Type Eating?

Typical body type is used to classify the way someone looks, but your body type can provide information about how you respond to food intake and provide more insight into your hormonal and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) characteristics. By understanding your physical characteristics, you'll be able to understand metabolic differences between you and your peers and then adjust your nutrient intake "to maximize body composition and health-related goals," according to Precision Nutrition. Before determining your body type, it's important to note that very few people fit one of the three categories perfectly; most people are often a combination of body types. Let the following information be a starting point to eating for your body type, and make adjustments as you see fit.

Ectomorph

Ectomorphs are generally characterized as thin individuals with smaller bone structures and thinner limbs, like endurance athletes. These people are usually thyroid and SNS dominant. Ectomorphs have a fast metabolic rate and a high carbohydrate tolerance. These people fare the best with more carbohydrates in their diet along with moderate protein and a low fat intake. A sample nutrient breakdown for an ectomorph is 55 percent carbohydrates, 25 percent protein, and 20 percent fat. If math isn't your thing, simply go for more carbs and less fat. Following the Precision Nutrition portion control guide, an ectomorph woman's meal should look like the following:

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  • One palm of protein-dense foods at each meal.
  • One fist of vegetables at each meal.
  • Two cupped handfuls of carb-dense foods at each meal.
  • One-half thumb of fat-dense foods at each meal.

Mesomorph

Mesomorphs typically have a medium-size bone structure and an athletic body, and if they're active, they also have a higher percentage of lean muscle mass. Explosive athletes like sprinters and gymnasts tend to fall into this category. Mesomorphs are typically testosterone and growth-hormone dominant, which means they're at a predisposition for gaining muscle and maintaining a lower body-fat percentage. If you identify as a mesomorph, a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats is best for you. A sample nutrient breakdown for a mesomorph is 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat. Following the Precision Nutrition portion control guide, a mesomorph woman's meal should look like the following:

  • One palm of protein-dense foods at each meal.
  • One fist of vegetables at each meal.
  • One cupped handful of carb-dense foods at each meal.
  • One thumb of fat-dense foods at each meal.

Endomorph

Endomorphs tend to have a larger bone structure and higher amounts of total body mass and fat mass. Football linemen and powerlifters are typically endomorphs. For endomorphs, excess calories are likely to be stored as fat, and they tend to have a greater energy storage that includes both lean muscle mass and fat mass. As a result, endomorphs also tend to have a lower carbohydrate tolerance. Precision Nutrition suggests that endomorphs follow a diet consisting of a higher fat and protein intake, with their carbohydrate intake being controlled and properly timed. A sample nutrient breakdown for an endomorph is 25 percent carbohydrates, 35 percent protein, and 40 percent fat. More fats/proteins and fewer carbs is the name of the game. Following the Precision Nutrition portion control guide, an endomorph woman's meal should look like the following:

  • One palm of protein-dense foods at each meal.
  • One fist of vegetables at each meal.
  • One-half cupped handful of carb-dense foods at each meal.
  • Two thumbs of fat-dense foods at each meal.

Final Verdict

This is a great place to start if you're looking to optimize your nutrition. You won't get caught up in counting calories or restricting foods and will be eating a diet that works the best for your body. Although I'm a nutrition coach, I'm not a doctor, so before you make any changes to your diet, be sure to consult your physician. To find out the best portion sizes for men, click here.

Image Source: Burst / Matthew Henry
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