Understanding Body Type to Lose Weight

Published: 04th November 2011
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When we set out to lose weight and improve our body shape, we often have a goal in mind – the ideal body to which we aspire. Unfortunately, for most of us this goal is not based on a better version of our own body, but the body of someone else. In essence we have mentally decapitated a rock star, actor or friend whose body we long for and placed our head on their body. Janet Jackson abs anyone? Or how about Gisele Bündchen, Brad Pitt or Schwarzenegger in his heyday? It sounds crazy, but that’s how most us of set our weight loss goals. We’re inspired to look like the models and actors in the magazines and on television, but forget to take into consideration what we’re starting with. It sure sounds like we set ourselves up to fail.

Everyone is different, not just in personality, talent and intellect, but also in body build. Therefore, just as you wouldn’t think about a career in NASA if your talent lies not in physics, but the arts, so surely you must adjust your weight loss goals to suit the body you have. While no two physiques are the same, body build can be divided into three general categories known as body types:


The ectomorph body type is characterized by their relatively linear body shape and lack of mass. That is, ectomorphs tend to have little body fat, little muscle mass and a rather small frame. In other words, ectomorphs are what you’d call naturally skinny. Supermodels and basketball players are good examples of ectomorphs.

The mesomorph body type is defined by their muscularity. They are naturally muscular and gain muscle mass easily. They also gain and lose body fat with relative ease. Mesomorphs are athletic and strong, and are represented in most sports.

The endomorph body type is distinguished by their propensity to carry higher levels of body fat and a medium to large frame. Endomorphs gain fat easily, but find it very difficult to lose fat. While it is the endomorph’s natural predisposition to gain fat easily, it does not mean that endomorphs are meant to be overweight, but simply that endomorphs have to work hard at maintaining a lower body fat percentage.

Most of us fall into a combination of categories. For example, you may be primarily an ectomorph, but also have a good amount of muscle mass, making you a mesomorphic ectomorph. The reason it is important to understand your body type, is that it allows you to set realistic goals. For example, if you are an endomorph, no amount of dieting and exercise will transform you into an ectomorph. Even if you decrease your body fat percentage, you will still naturally have more muscle mass than an ectomorph and a larger frame. If you are an endomorph and are worried that you’ve drawn the short straw, don’t be. Jennifer Lopez is an example of an endomorph who is in shape, so is Russell Crowe who, when fit, looks more like a mesomorph. Therefore, set yourself goals that are suited to your body type and you’ll be very pleasantly surprised at the outcome. Plan to make your body the best it can be.

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