Endomorph is one of the three primary body types based on an individual’s muscle to fat ratio, initially determined by psychologist William H. Sheldon in the 1940s. Endomorph bodies are known to have a higher percentage of body fat as compared to muscles. They have the least amount of muscle out of all three body types, the others being Ectomorph and Mesomorph (1). It’s worth noting, however, that most people are unique combinations of the three main body types (2).
A typical endomorph body is composed of around 15% fat. That’s a whoopingly large amount! Most of this fat is deposited around the torso, abdomen, arms, and thighs. This physique is determined by an individual’s DNA and genetic pattern. Typically, it cannot be changed, but there are ways to control one’s body fat and become fit and healthy.
Other than fat, endomorphs have larger bones, which makes them taller than the average population. They have softer, rounder bodies than the other two types and are more prone to weight gain than any other body type. They also find it harder to shed fat deposits because of the way their metabolism functions. Since endomorphs have a slower metabolism, it means the body is more likely to convert excess calories into fat (3). Bearing in mind that endomorphs are prone to excess weight, slimming down requires a lot of effort. To help people overcome this obstacle, an endomorph diet was created. You’ll learn more about it throughout this article.
What Is the Endomorph Diet?
The term “endomorph diet” refers to diets and exercise plans that work against the unique traits associated with endomorphic bodies. The main premise of this diet is to allow endomorphs to lose weight and maintain it in a healthy range. In other words, an endomorph diet is not a specific diet program to which you can subscribe to follow the guidelines. These programs are so common today. Experts keep emerging to offer their foolproof ways toward successful weight loss, and the answer is always the same – fad diet that does more harm than good. Endomorph diet is dubbed as an eating pattern that supports the unique needs of people who have this body type.
Since the whole concept of the endomorph diet is rather vague, it leaves a lot of room for different dietitians, nutritionists, and fitness trainers to interpret and issue their advice to the public. While the advice is a good thing, it can also lead to a diet fad-like environment.
The “endomorph diet” can be cited either as a new fad that people only follow because of the market’s hype or as a genuine meal-plan that aids in weight loss and health promotion. It all depends on which nutritionist you’re following. Many restaurants and dieticians claim to have meals on their menu that will help endomorphs shed excessive fat. However, the people behind these meals are not always trained experts and may end up feeding you the wrong things or in the incorrect proportions.
Correct endomorph diets contain specific amounts of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fresh foods. These portions are presented in initial percentages and make up a whole plate. As the endomorph body begins to transform and burn fat, these portions are adjusted to suit the new body. Therefore, each body needs an individually tailored meal to help with weight control.
What Goes Into the Endomorph Diet?
Unlike other diets that have a fixed number of calories, a person should consume during the day endomorph diet does not. Instead, it splits macronutrients you eat.
An authentic endomorph diet contains the following:
- 30% carbohydrates
- 35% protein
- 35% fat
For the sake of comparison, the average American diet is almost entirely different and includes 50% carbohydrates,15% protein, and 35% fat. If you’re about to give endomorph diet a try, don’t let the lack of a set number of daily calories fool you. It doesn’t mean you can or should eat how much you want during the day. Keep in mind that weight loss still requires a calorie deficit. Since the endomorph diet is too vague in this aspect, many people decide to get much-needed help from an expert who explains to them what they can or can’t eat and how often.
The best sources of fat and protein are:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Egg yolk
- Fatty fish
These all-natural sources of fat are excellent because they fulfill your body’s natural requirement and burn off much faster than unhealthy fat sources, like hydrogenated vegetable oil or fast food.
Endomorphs shouldn’t avoid carbohydrates altogether, because it would ruin the body’s normal functioning. Instead, they should consume healthier options like starchy vegetables and legumes. Examples of carbohydrates that could be suitable for a person on an endomorph diet include dried beans and legumes (kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas), fruits (except pineapple and melons), non-starchy vegetables, some starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, yams, and corn), whole grain or whole wheat products. People who have an endomorph body type are more sensitive to carbs and insulin. That’s why they may want to limit or avoid carbohydrate-dense foods, especially refined carbs such as sugar and white flour.
However, portion control is essential, and unhealthy carbs like processed sugary food should be cut off entirely. The endomorph body is not very good at burning off carbs and instead stores them as adipose tissue, which is primarily stored fat under the skin. The paleo diet is a brilliant example of what an ideal endomorph diet plan should look like.
Proteins should also be regulated. While protein is the best way to suppress your hunger, reducing your protein intake can help the endomorph body drop pounds.
However, despite these guidelines, there is a significant lack of scientific research to support that consuming an endomorph-tailored diet will actually aid in weight loss. Not to mention the body-type categorization system was developed almost eight decades ago when technology was far less superior, and medicinal mistakes were more common than today.
Now that we went through simple guidelines on what to include in your endomorph diet or not, you’re probably wondering what exactly is a no-no for you.
Foods to limit or avoid the endomorph diet include:
- Sodium-rich foods
- Chocolates, candies, and other sweets
- White bread, white rice, traditional pasta, and bagels
- Cakes and baked goods
- Red meats
- Cooking oils rich in saturated fat i.e., palm oil
- Rich dairy products such as whipped cream, cream
- Fried foods
- Heavily processed foods
- Refined cereals
- Energy drinks, soft drinks, and sports beverages
Endomorph diet is not just about the foods you eat or avoid, but also about the exercises you do. And yes, exercises are important if you want to lose weight successfully. After all, the endomorph body is prone to storing fat. The fat is stubborn and not that easy to get rid of, which is why you need to exercise.
Ideal physical activities for people who are on the endomorph diet include:
- HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) – requires alternating between periods of high-intensity exercise and low-intensity exercise. Try doing HIIT two to three times a week. Each session should be 30 minutes long
- SST (Steady State Training) – longer sessions of regular moderate-to-low intensity exercise, includes jogging, walking, and swimming. Do SST two to three times a week, with each session lasting between 30 and 60 minutes.
- Strength training – helps you define and build muscles while you’re burning weight and slimming down.
Pros of the Endomorph Diet
There are a number of advantages associated with the endomorph diet, including potential for weight loss and improvement in overall health.
- Weight Loss
The market of diet fads insists that endomorph diets can actively improve weight loss, and it’s mostly true! The vast majority of body-conscious individuals have started to consume foods specialized for their body types, with multiple reports saying it helped. It does make sense, ultimately, because the body is consuming lesser calories than before.
As seen above in this post, the endomorph diet prioritizes the intake of healthy fats and proteins. The word “fat” has been demonized lately as people generally assume all fat is bad. Not all fat is the same, some are healthy for you, and other kinds are not. You see, balanced healthy fat intake can improve body composition and tackle inflammation (4). A pro-inflammatory diet is strongly associated with weight gain (5). Therefore, a diet with anti-inflammatory foods and ingredients could help promote weight loss and weight management. Endomorph diet promotes the intake of anti-inflammatory foods.
People who adhere to the endomorph diet should make sure to consume enough protein. This is particularly important if you’ve never paid attention to how much protein you eat on a daily basis. Not only is protein vital for muscle building, definition, and maintenance, but it can also promote weight loss. Protein keeps you feeling full for longer and prevents overeating by elevating the levels of satiety hormones, thereby helping you lose more weight (6, 7, 8).
The Endomorph diet also encourages people to consume fiber-rich foods. Your body needs fiber for proper digestion (9). Healthy digestion is necessary for successful weight loss and weight management. Fiber supports weight loss by suppressing the appetite to make you eat less and making it easier to adhere to your diet (10, 11, 12). If you struggle with overeating, consumption of fiber-rich foods can help take care of this problem. This is also important for people who deal with cravings, especially at night.
- Various Health Benefits
Eating healthy means you switch out harmful fat sources for healthier ones, eat less processed carbs like white bread, and opt for organic options, like high-fiber bread and brown rice. This can automatically improve your health by reducing the chances of heart-related diseases and, for those with type 2 diabetes, reducing excessive insulin levels.
Not only this, eating a strict endomorph-tailored diet might be the key to help you stop overeating and snacking when you’re bored because of how well the diet can keep you on your toes. Snacking frequency equals higher energy intake, and if you’re not an active person, you end up gaining weight (13). Although the relationship between snacking and weight needs further exploration, you need to keep in mind snacks are laden in salt, sugar, trans fats, and other unhealthy ingredients that get stored as fat.
- Better Skin and Teeth
People eating endomorph-tailored diets can improve the quality of their skin and teeth over time. This is large because of the improvement in nutrient quality the body is consuming. Consumption of a well-balanced diet abundant in antioxidants can keep youthful and radiant (14).
- Stable Blood Sugar
Eating a healthy diet with portion control can reduce excessive blood glucose and stabilize your blood sugar, which is a huge benefit for people with diabetes or high blood pressure. Studies show that reduced intake of carbohydrates improves the ability of people with type 2 diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels (15). Blood sugar management and weight management often go hand in hand.
- Improved Immunity
Healthy eating always has a significant impact on immunity. The more healthy foods you eat, the better your immunity becomes. The cut-down in sugary foods also helps, because unnatural sugars can help infections and diseases thrive in the body by feeding off the sugar. Once the sugar supply is gone, so is the infection or disease.
Chronic diseases may not vanish as fast, but patients do show an impressive improvement in overtime when on an endomorph diet. Inflammation also fades away, thanks to the reduction in sugar, salt, and other unhealthy food elements. Autoimmune diseases are also repressed by eating better, which is an added bonus of the endomorph diet aside from potential weight loss.
- Improved Sleep Patterns
A vital part of dieting is eating meals at the right time. This will help stabilize blood sugar levels, which, in turn, improves sleep patterns and provides a healthy source of balanced energy throughout your day.
Cons of the Endomorph Diet
The endomorph diet has its fair share of cons as well, including constant hunger and the potential to ruin your health if abused.
- Constant Hunger
When on a strict diet, people are made to eat fewer calories than what their body’s natural demand is. Doing this continuously over a large period can have an adverse, unwanted effect. Crash dieting or forcing the body to eat significantly lesser than what it deserves can cause hair loss, water retention, and hunger pangs. Not only this but headaches and mood swings, including irritability, are also common.
Endomorph bodies mostly store fat because their metabolism is slower than the other two body types, but this doesn’t mean that all their fat goes to waste. The amount needed by an endomorph body heavily depends upon physical gender. Males require about 4% of their total body mass to be fat, whereas women need 12%. So, if women end up losing too much fat, or cutting back on nutrients more than they need to, they may face weakness, including irregular menses, period cramps, and muscle fatigue.
Pregnant women are bound to face deficiencies because most of their body’s food and nutrient supply is going straight to the fetus. Women need fat naturally, so the endomorph diet may not work best for them but cause unwanted health issues instead.
Men, on the other hand, are less likely to experience muscle fatigue, but still bear the chance to, given that their diet provides them with lesser vitamins and minerals than they need. Large, endomorph bodies have bigger bones and more blood in them, which is why they require higher amounts of iron, calcium, and vitamins than the other two body types. Hence, a rigorous diet can cause weakness.
- Inability to Maintain Diet
Endomorphs are more likely to have diseases like type 2 diabetes because of their body type and lifestyle, making it harder for them to commit to a low-carb diet. There are many cases of individuals with an endomorph body type who have trouble maintaining their new diet, primarily because of the body’s nutrient demand that comes with diseases like diabetes. Hence, it is excessively common for endomorphs to bounce-back to their old eating and lifestyle habits because their bodies just can’t’ adjust to the new one.
So, is it true that special endomorph diets can help with weight loss, and how good are they for the body? In all honesty, the answer depends on the consumer. If the person practicing the diet sticks to a healthy eating schedule and doesn’t eat too much or too little, chances are they will reduce the desired amount of weight. However, such diets are hard to stick to and require serious effort, dedication, time, and money. Still, if done the right way, weakness can be avoided, and the target weight can be achieved. All it takes is a little bit of faith and dedication.