Ectomorph, Mesomorph, & Endomorph: What's the Difference?

Ectomorph Mesomorph and Endomorph Body Types

Most of the details that affect our appearance are superficial and only change cosmetic details, but all of it is determined through biology. Genetic traits directly affect how we look and usually determine things like eye or hair color, which we inherit from our biological parents. These features are superficial and have a minor effect on the concept of modern beauty, but they are valued enough that people are often envious of those who have the physical traits they want for themselves (i.e., blue eyes or red hair). 

Ultimately, these traits are inconsequential to our development and only exist as minor identifying features. That said, certain genetic characteristics profoundly impact how our bodies look and function.

One of the main concerns in the health industry is maintaining a healthy body by avoiding excess fat. Some individuals take this further and focus on honing their bodies through exercise and diet to develop muscle and become fit. This arduous, time-consuming process requires major lifestyle changes and lifelong dedication to maintain. Most people find weight loss extremely difficult and exercise even more so (at least at first). 

Most do not know that our bodies are classified into 3 body types that affect our weight loss and muscle development: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. The question is: What do these body types mean?

What Are Somatotypes?

The terms "ectomorph," "mesomorph," and "endomorph" refer to the 3 somatotypes that were introduced in the 20th century. These somatotypes were originally coined in the 1940s by an American psychologist named William Sheldon Jr., who created a new type of somatotypology and classified individuals into one of the 3 categories above. Despite his profession, Sheldon was well-versed in human anatomy and medicine after a lengthy education at esteemed universities like Harvard University. 

One of Sheldon's most important positions was his enlistment in the United States Army Medical Corps during World War II, which granted him field experience treating the human body. After his service, Sheldon hypothesized that individuals with certain physical characteristics displayed certain temperaments. While his hypothesis was discredited, his studies determined that certain individuals had different athletic traits.

Examples of the Three Somatotypes

Sheldon wanted to use these somatotypes to predict whether an individual would become a violent criminal or could become an esteemed leader. Unfortunately, his studies have persisted and caused certain stereotypes to arise against individuals with certain body types. Nevertheless, his studies did benefit the health industry since he did identify the 3 somatotypes that help people determine their athletic capabilities. 

Ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs have special characteristics that affect how their bodies store fat and build muscle. Each somatotype determines whether your body will store more fat or build more muscle, with certain somatotypes providing fitness benefits that surpass anything we could naturally accumulate. Each somatotype is fairly complicated and warrants closer investigation to understand properly.

What is an Ectomorph?

Ectomorphs have a thin body type, typically having narrow waists and shoulders with an extremely powerful metabolism. The metabolic rate of ectomorphs is so powerful that it burns through nutrients before the body can redistribute fat. As a result, ectomorphs are usually very slender and lean and comprise the "skinny guy" stereotype. Ectomorphs have difficulty building fat or muscle because their metabolisms quickly burn through the former. 

Some people view the ectomorphic body type as a blessing because it reduces the number of things you cannot eat without putting on weight. Unfortunately, these individuals tend to have poorly defined bodies because of their overpowered metabolisms. As a result, an ectomorph must eat more frequently to maintain a more traditional body.

Furthermore, ectomorphs must still avoid foods that are primarily empty calories since this can overload their bodies with fat. Ectomorphs are less likely to be physically obese and retain fat that can harm their overall health. This is an oxymoronic scenario colloquialized as "skinny fat," in which someone who appears skinny has an unhealthy amount of fat for their body type. Therefore, the alleged "benefit" of being an ectomorph (eating whatever you want without getting fat) does not exist.

An Ectomorph Body Type

The biggest problem is that ectomorphs have difficulty converting their stored fat to muscle. This makes high-intensity exercise a major obstacle but not impossible. Ectomorphs are among the rarest body types, with only around 3% of people having this somatotype. Unfortunately, misconceptions about ectomorphs have fueled the desire to be one, even though it does not provide any health advantages.

The aforementioned "skinny fat" phenomenon is possible because weight gain does not necessarily correlate to the fat we store. Our bodies have physical characteristics like height that affect a healthy amount of fat. Ectomorphs are slightly more susceptible since their fat is not effectively redistributed. Fortunately, not many people have to worry about the pitfalls of being an ectomorph since the other somatotypes are more common.

What is a Mesomorph?

Mesomorphs are more common than ectomorphs and are the most desired somatotype for individuals who exercise regularly. Mesomorphs have a more balanced body type that is more conducive to muscle development. Mesomorphs are known for having a naturally high muscle-to-fat ratio, meaning they have an advantage when it comes to building more muscle from their fat reserves. As a result, individuals who perform intense exercises tend to have more promising results at a much faster rate than the other somatotypes. 

Mesomorphs still accumulate fat at a decent rate, meaning dietary management is still crucial to their efforts. Mesomorphs can also lose weight more effectively without losing the mass needed to maintain a well-formed body. These benefits make mesomorph body types highly desirable to athletes and health enthusiasts, but there are issues associated with this somatotype that make it less effective than people might initially assume. 

While mesomorphs have an easier time losing weight and a significantly easier time converting fat to muscle, there is a drawback. Mesomorphs are much more likely to gain weight despite their low body fat content. This means overindulging in certain foods or failing to track what you eat can cause a spike in your overall weight.

A Mesomorph Body Type

The biggest issue is that mesomorphs take longer to show signs of weight gain since they can easily maintain a general shape. As a result, many mesomorphs gain weight before their bodies begin reflecting it through larger stomachs and other body parts. Mesomorphs have a nasty habit of assuming they are healthy because they look healthy, despite the opposite being true.

Mesomorphs must maintain a balanced diet and stick to their exercise regimen, or any progress they make will fade. Most mesomorphs subscribe to a diet that is equal parts carbohydrates, vegetables, and protein. The recommended carbohydrates for this body type include oatmeal, quinoa, nuts, and other low-impact carbs. 

Insofar as protein is concerned, red meat is the only thing to limit while focusing on poultry, fish, and legumes. Mesomorphs are among the more common somatotypes, with an average of 17% of people having this particular body type. Unfortunately, there is another somatotype that is far less forgiving and far more common than either mesomorphs or ectomorphs.

What is an Endomorph?

The endomorph somatotype accounts for most of the population and is the one least desired by the average person. While ectomorphs are the "skinny" somatotype and mesomorphs are the "muscular" somatotype, endomorphs could be considered the "large" somatotype. Endomorphs have softer, rounder bodies by default and are more conducive to wider skeletons that cause them to appear obese even if their fat content is low. However, it is more common for endomorphs to gain weight and store larger quantities of fat than the other 2 somatotypes. 

Therefore, they are more likely to be genuinely obese rather than big-boned. Endomorphs are further disadvantaged by their metabolisms, which are significantly slower than those in ectomorphs and mesomorphs. Endomorphs take longer to burn through fat and calories, contributing to their weight gain. Like all body types, endomorphs can build muscle, which is extremely difficult for them.

Because of the nature of endomorphs, they have the most restrictive dietary habits since the foods commonly consumed by modern society increase fat content.

An Endomorph Body Type

An endomorph should avoid the following foods as best they can:

  • Starches: White bread, white rice, pasta, and bagels.
  • Sweets: Chocolate, candy, and other sweets.
  • Baked Goods: Cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and pastries.
  • Soft Drinks: Soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, and juice.
  • Refined Cereals: Any commercially available cereals (i.e., Fruity Pebbles, Lucky Charms, etc.)
  • Processed/Fried Foods: Fast food and processed snacks like chips.
  • Red Meat: Steak, lamb, and pork.
  • Rich Dairy: Cream, ice cream, whipped cream.

Endomorphs should also avoid alcohol and foods with high sodium concentrations. Consuming these foods will only exacerbate the endomorphic properties of your body and lead to accelerated weight gain. While endomorphs can gain weight easily, they must work much harder to lose or convert it to muscle. Endomorphs must commit to regular exercise if they want to see results; otherwise, they will plateau before they reach their goal. 

Building muscle requires intense workouts since endomorphs are not naturally prone to muscle development. One of the main issues with endomorphic bodies is that they are the most common, with over 50% of people falling into this classification. Endomorphs are also the most frequently ostracized due to Sheldon's work, which makes their efforts more difficult.

Endomorphs will face the most hardship on their journey to a healthier body and might not have the time or resources to ensure they work out every day. Fortunately, it might be possible to supplement your diet and exercise regimen using the natural compounds found in a certain drink.

Using Coffee to Enhance Weight Loss

While ectomorphs and mesomorphs do not need much help to lose weight, endomorphs usually need an extra hand to kickstart the process. Depending on how overweight an endomorph is, they will have to exercise longer and harder while managing their diet more effectively. Fortunately, there are resources they can use to enhance their metabolisms and jumpstart the weight loss process temporarily.

A Woman Drinking Coffee

Coffee contains a powerful stimulant called caffeine, making it so popular among modern consumers. Caffeine allows us to shake off any remaining lethargy from the previous night to stay energized for the tasks ahead. The truly fascinating thing is that caffeine has been linked to short-term metabolic enhancement, allowing people to lose weight a little more easily.

The metabolic effects of caffeine are limited and have diminishing returns, meaning it cannot be relied upon as a long-term solution. Nevertheless, research shows that caffeine enhances our body's ability to burn fat and calories to help us lose a little extra weight. This effect is sadly more pronounced in individuals who already have a lean build, but endomorphs stand to benefit greatly from the effects. The trick is getting ahold of a coffee grind that is best suited to weight loss.

Keep it All Natural!

Your somatotype does not mean you cannot take control of your physique, and countless options are available to help you lose weight and build muscle. Somatotypes only determine how difficult it will be for you to reach your goal. Endomorphs have the most disadvantages out of the 3 somatotypes, but they can reach their ideal physique with hard work and dedication. That said, they can use natural substances like caffeine to enhance their early results and jumpstart the process. Most coffee will accomplish this, but sometimes, a specialized grind is the most effective resource, even if finding one can be challenging.

Cups of Iced Coffee

We at Bella All Natural have always maintained that the best solutions in life are natural, especially regarding weight loss. That is why we have dedicated ourselves to producing a catalog of natural resources designed to enhance health and appearance. One of our top products is our Skinny Iced Coffee, which enables individuals with any body type to take advantage of caffeine's weight loss benefits. We encourage you to visit our website and try our product directly, but regardless of your decision, remember to always keep it All Natural!

Have you ever tried our Skinny Iced Coffee before? If so, what did you think about it? Be sure to tell us all your thoughts in the comments section, down below!

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