One of the three body types, or somatotypes, endomorphs tend to have a shapely physique. People with an endomorph body type often struggle with their weight, gaining weight more easily and losing weight with greater difficulty.
However, endomorph doesn’t mean overweight. Think of it as describing propensity for weight gain, not just physique or how you look per se.
Some people are naturally more inclined towards weight gain than others and have to fight harder to prevent it. For example, numerous studies have demonstrated that there is considerable variation in weight gain when people overeat by the exact same number of calories and great variability in weight lost.12 Research also shows that people with a slower metabolism are at increased risk of developing obesity and related health conditions.3
In other words, contrary to conventional thinking that weight is simply a matter of superior self-control and willpower, science reveals that things are far more complex and that propensity for weight gain has strong biological roots.4567
But, there are plenty of advantages to the endomorph body type too. Endomorphs are incredibly shapely. They are curvaceous and have powerful muscles. Think Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, or Superman’s Henry Cavill.
What is an Endomorph?
Most people do not fit perfectly within one body type, but instead have qualities of at least two body types.
Below are some of the characteristics common in the endomorph body type:
- Slower metabolism
- Gain weight easily
- Have to work hard to lose weight
- Can gain muscle easily
- Medium to large bone structure (see body type calculator)
- Narrow shoulders
- Soft, shapely physique
- Often pear-shaped, as body fat tends to settle in lower regions of body, mainly lower abdomen, butt, hips, and thighs
Female examples of famous endomorphs include Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Shakira, Sofia Vergara, Salma Hayek, Christina Hendricks, and Kate Winslet. While male examples of famous endomorphs include Chris Pratt, Russell Crowe, Henry Cavill, and James Corden.
Athletic performance. Endomorphs are naturally strong and have good endurance and movement, and tend to do well in middle-distance activities. Endomorphs also excel in sports requiring power and body weight force. Endomorphs are represented at an elite level, in sports such as badminton, netball, martial arts, judo, and tennis.8
These examples of sporting strengths simply illustrate the natural advantage of the endomorph body type in certain sports – at world class level. It should in no way limit which activities you engage in. Do what you love.
Knowing your body type is helpful, because it allows you to understand what you can achieve with diet and exercise healthily. For example, if you are an endomorph avoid setting goals to look like an ectomorph, a body type that possesses little fat, little muscle and a small frame.
Avoid just setting goals based on weight. Body mass index (BMI) and weight do not distinguish between bone, muscle, and body fat. People with a larger frame will weigh more than those with a smaller frame, even if they have the same body fat percentage. Instead, if you can, get your body fat percentage measured.
Read more: How much should I weigh?
It can also help to direct your diet and the type of workouts you do, if you’ve been struggling to lose weight despite your best efforts. Instead of following a generic approach, a strategy that considers body type can help optimize your eating habits and training plan:
Therefore, it’s not so much about a specific diet and certainly not about an extreme one, but more about understanding how your body reacts to certain foods and fine-tuning your diet (and workouts) until you get the results you want.