The 3 Metabolic Body Types Explained

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // June 3, 2022

People come in all shapes in sizes, depending on both your genetics and lifestyle choices. But did you know there are three main categories of body types people typically fall under?

Or maybe you’ve even wondered – what is my metabolic type?

In this guide, we break down the different types of metabolism in detail and what adjustments you can make to your diet and fitness routine based on this information.

There are three metabolism types: mesomorph, ectomorph, and endomorph. Learning about the types of metabolism can help you train and eat specifically for your body type. 

Related: 21 Top Foods That Increase Metabolism And Burn Fat


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    Benefits of Understanding the Different Types of Metabolism

    Awareness of these metabolism categories essentially gives you better knowledge on how to lose weight and stay healthy. 

    Following a metabolic diet based on your body shape may be helpful.  The idea is that people have different macronutrient needs based on their metabolic types.

    Just remember: Plenty of people are a mixed type and therefore a combination of two body types as well, so don’t stress about completely fitting the bill of one specifically.

    Direct your energy toward the traits and the advice that resonate the most with your body.

    How Do I Know My Metabolism Type?

    Learning about the types of metabolism is fascinating. Below we outline the characteristics of each so you can start to assess which category you might fall into.

    Read on to get the low-down on each of the three metabolic body types, plus fitness and diet tips to tailor your, energy and life to match your specific type.

    The Ectomorph Metabolic Body Type

    Photo of woman outdoors crossed legs
    Ectomorphs are typically slender with small joints and a light build. Think that slim friend who tends to eat whatever she wants without putting on a pound.

    Ectomorphs have a narrow frame and fast metabolism, meaning they’re often able to overeat without gaining much weight.

    Ectomorph Characteristics

    • Thin, lean body
    • Flat chest
    • Small shoulders
    • Not muscular
    • Fast metabolism
    • Prone to periods of hyperactivity
    • Hard to gain weight

    Nutrition Advice For The Ectomorph Body Type

    • Always eat breakfast as a part of your diet! Try one of my favorite, easy healthy breakfast recipes
    • Your body tends to use all three macronutrients equally.  Also known as a Triple Macro Burner. 
    • Eat a greater amount of healthy whole grains, complex carbohydrates, especially post-workout. 
    • Eat more frequently; eating 6 smaller meals spread over the course of the day instead of 3 larger ones
    • Supplement with protein shakes like this Peanut Butter Cup Protein Smoothie
      before or after your workouts

    Fitness Advice For the Ectomorph Body Type

    If you’re not already, be sure you’re incorporating strength training into your weekly workouts and prioritize strength training over cardio; focus on simple strength workouts 3 days a week that hone in on all the major muscle groups. 

    Try some compound moves and work towards heavier weights to see some changes.   

    Here are some great strength workouts for Ectomorphs:

    Often an ectomorph hasn’t given strength training a proper chance, because it feels hard to put on the muscle.  Stay consistent, go heavier and you may see muscles emerge.


    If are an ectomorph metabolic type and are looking to maintain a healthy weight while getting stronger, it’s key to get enough protein and incorporate strength training into your workout routine. 

    Related: The Dangers of Being Skinny Fat

    The Mesomorph Metabolic Body Type

    woman on mountain with hand up to the sky
    Mesomorphs typically have an athletic, medium build and can gain muscle easily. Unfortunately, they also gain fat easily, so they need to be careful not to overeat—which they many tend to do because they take their naturally athletic body for granted.

    Mesomorph Characteristics

    • Athletic
    • Medium-sized body structure
    • Strong
    • Broad shoulders
    • Gains muscle easily
    • Responds well to exercise
    • If have extra body fat, tend to carry it in the lower body

    Nutrition Advice For The Mesomorph Body Type

    • Focus on getting a healthy mix of complex carbs, proteins, and fats -making sure your carb intake is heavy on plants and high fiber. Try these delicious low-carb zucchini recipes.
    • Your body tends to like sugar. Avoid white flour and sugar. As a Dual Macro Burner, (DMB metabolic type) your carb and protein intake may be higher. 
    • Include a good source of protein with every meal. Focus on lower-fat foods.  
    • If weight loss is your goal, cut back on processed foods. Many mesomorphs see quick weight loss results from switching to a higher protein, healthy carb diet.

    Fitness Advice For the Mesomorph Body Type

    Mesomorphs respond quickly to exercise, so your body will benefit from any activity. Combine an equal mix of cardio and strength training weekly for best results.

    Incorporating plyometric exercises will take your fitness routine to the next level. Try these power moves:

    Don’t coast on your naturally athletic frame—take advantage of it by challenging yourself and reaping the rewards!


    People with a mesomorph metabolic body type should get a proper mix of strength training and cardio, and try to cut back on their carb intake if they want to lose weight.

    The Endomorph Metabolic Body Type

    woman in black workout clothes representing an endomorph metabolism
    Endomorphs have a larger bone structure and more overall body fat—evolutionarily speaking, you’re better at storing nutrients than the other two types.

    This metabolic category generally has thicker arms and legs with a round body.

    It can be hard for an endomorph to lose weight, but not impossible! They typically have strong leg muscles and weaker upper body muscles.

    Endomorph Characteristics

    • Round body
    • Medium to large joints + bones
    • Gain muscle
    • Gain weight and fat easily
    • Strong leg muscles
    • Find it hard to lose weight
    • Fatigues easily
    • Slow metabolism

    Nutrition Advice For Endomorph Body Type

    • Limit carbohydrate foods when possible—except for veggies, fruit, and whole grains.
    • Make sure you’re eating enough fiber each day to keep you full without binging on unhealthy foods.
    • Many endomorphs see great weight loss success from a Paleo-centric dietA paleo diet can have a positive impact on blood sugar.
    • Your type is also known as a Protein Dominant Burner and you should focus on high-quality protein and low carbs.
    • For PDB metabolic types healthy fats are fuel and they keep you satiated longer.
    • In a PDB metabolic type diet be aware of how many fat grams you eat because they are higher in calories per gram.  
    • Calorie intake is key, so make sure to keep track with a food journal or a tracking app!

    Workout Advice For Endomorph Body Type

    Focus on losing weight through cardio and strength combo workouts. Interval-style routines maybe your best friend.

    For weight loss, Ditch the long, slow treadmill workouts in favor of a 30-minute HIIT class. You’ll be dripping sweat and burning fat and it’s better cardio for your heart and your body than a slow, steady-state jog. 

    Know that because you can’t spot-reduce body fat, all the crunches in the world won’t give you six-pack abs if you have fat covering the muscle. So aim to lose body fat all over to start.

    Deciding Which Metabolic Body Type You Are

    Did you see yourself in one of these body types—or perhaps a combination of two? Knowing the types of metabolism can really help you understand your unique body type and how to really work with it, not against it.

    Using these tips is a way to maximize your weight loss potential and help you make the most of your genetic makeup.

    We are all born beautiful in our individual shape and size; listen to your body and use only the advice that resonates with you.

    How to Use Your Metabolic Type for Weightloss

    If you would like to lose weight, using the metabolic body types can be an advantage. Now that you have an awareness of whether you’re a mesomorph, endomorph, or ectomorph, you can understand which foods and activities are best for your health and fitness goals.

    1. If you’re a mesomorph you are lucky to gain muscle easily, so strength training will be a welcome addition to your workout routine. However, you will need to be vigilant about your diet, as your metabolic profile also gains fat quickly. That awareness will help you make more informed food choices on a daily basis.
    2. If you’re an endomorph your body converts carbohydrates with some trouble. This could be a major insight you’ve been missing for years. Trying a paleo or low-carb eating plan for a few weeks could help you shed those hard-to-lose pounds – finally!
    3. If you’re an ectomorph, people may think you are the skinny friend that has it easy because you can stay slender no matter what. But maintaining strength takes work. Knowing your metabolic type helps you prioritize protein and make meal timing more consistent.

    Remember Every Body is Beautiful

    Ectomorph mesomorph and endomorph are just categories – every body is beautifully unique.

    At the end of the day, a metabolic type is just a small part of who we are. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy the journey of health and fitness and be proud of what your body can do for you.

    READ THIS NEXT: How to Increase Your Metabolism After 50


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      on Reply

      Consistency matters! Aim for 3-5 days weekly for general health, adjust based on goals and fitness level. Quality over quantity, listen to your body, and find activities you love

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