Even if all of us were to follow the exact same fitness regime and diet, the way our bodies would respond to it would still be different. It is simply because all bodies are built differently, and therefore there exists no single ‘one size, fit all’ approach.
For the sake of convenience, however, we can narrow down these bodily differences, when it comes to your fitness journey, into three metabolic types, categories that can help determine which is the most efficient approach for you.
Understanding the Big 3
Deepti Khatuja, Head Clinical Nutritionist, Fortis memorial research Institute, Gurgaon elaborates, “People are born with an inherited body type based on skeletal frame and body composition. Most people are unique combinations of the three metabolic body types - ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.”
Dietitian, nutritionist, diabetes educator, and founder of a wellness platform, Shivani Kandwal, defines these metabolic types in the following manner:
Endomorphs: Those with a softer, rounder body type or what can be defined as a short, stocky shape. Consider yourself an endomorph if you build muscle and/or fat readily yet struggle to remove fat. Endomorphs have a slow metabolism, therefore gaining weight is simple for them (most of which is fat, not muscle).
Ectomorphs: Those with a smaller frame and have a more compact bone structure. They're naturally slim and lean, and it's difficult for them to put on weight. They have a fast metabolism, allowing them to burn calories more quickly than people with slower metabolisms. Ectomorphs require a high calorie intake to gain weight.
Mesomorphs: Also known as the athlete's body, this refers to those with a rectangular-shaped body with a muscular build. This body type is more prone to gaining weight than the ectomorph, so keep your caloric intake under check. In comparison to endomorphs, they also have an easier time reducing weight.
How to Choose the Most Efficient Workout and Diet?
Once you have figured out your metabolic type with the help of a medical expert (no solo driving and deducting answers for your body based solely on information on the internet!), here are some more tips that can help you achieve optimum results when it comes to your workouts and diet.
Endomorphs: Ms Kandwal suggests that a combination of cardio and strength training can help prevent fat growth when it comes to fitness and training for endomorphs.
“You should reduce your carb intake while increasing your protein and fat intake, along with enough protein in your diet. Supplements are mostly unnecessary for endomorphs. HIIT workouts are beneficial for all body types, but endomorphs especially benefit from them.”Ms Shivani Kandwal
Ms Khatuja also suggests cardio as well as weights to be made part of your routine. A high protein diet with inclusion of complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are most suitable, suggests the expr
Ectomorph: For this metabolic type, Ms Khatuja suggests heavy weight training that will help stimulate muscle growth, along with taking longer rest periods between different sets of the workout. It is also important to focus on big muscle groups. She further adds that short and intense workout with minimum cardio would be helpful for ectomorphs.
Ms Kandwal explains it in the following manner:
“Workouts for ectomorphs should concentrate on the large muscular groups. Make sure to do a mix of cardio and strength training, with strength training taking precedence over cardio. The best workouts are those that target individual muscle groups rather than full-body exercises. You don't need as much aerobic exercise as other body types to stay slim if you're an ectomorph.”
Mesomorphs: Low-Intensity, steady-state cardio is most important for mesomorphs, says Ms Kandwal.
"As a mesomorph, your best bet is to focus the majority of your exercises on low to moderate-intensity cardio if you’re not specifically looking to change the shape or size of your body. It can be as easy as brisk walking while maintaining 65 to 75 percent of maximum heart rate.”Ms Shivani Kandwal
When it comes to diet, Ms Khatuja says that it would be beneficial to watch your calories if weight gain is a concern since this metabolic type is easy to put on weight. Other than that, they can simply stick to a regular, balanced diet of complex carbs.