No matter what you do, you are still the heaviest one in the group photo.
Round seems to be your bodies favourite shape.
You seem to gain weight on mere air you breathe.
Does this ring a bell to you?
Doing the right thing and not getting the desired results can be quite frustrating.
You don’t feel like sweating in the gym any more and why on earth should you eat the crapy diet if there is no outcome? Right!
We all have been there.
But wait, have you ever considered that maybe you have a different body type? Yes, you are an Endomorph.
Some things that work for others might not work the same for you.
Here, we love your body type and help you consider that even you can shape up and kick that roundness in the butt (wherever it is!)
So, lets quickly jump on to it.
Endomorph is the body type classification that refers to bodies that tend towards a round shape.
With a bigger abdomen area, shorter limbs and narrow shoulders, people with this body type generally carry more fat in the abdomen, hips, shoulders, and thighs with slender wrists and ankles.
The fat percentage of such individuals is usually at the higher side. They tend to gain weight easily while losing it can be hard.
It is not necessary that an endomorph is all about fat and no muscle. Endomorphs sometimes tend to have more strength and muscle than other two body types (Mesomorph and Ectomorph) but it is generally accompanied by more fat.
Endomorph females tend to store more fat in the hips and thighs while the endomorph males have more belly fat.
Here are certain traits that tag on to the Endomorph body type
- High fat to muscle ratio
- Gain weight easily
- Difficulty in losing weight
- Do not look lean
- Short neck
- Wide bone structure
- Less defined muscles
Why do Endomorphs Gain Weight?
Endomorphs have a slow metabolism that holds them from burning calories as easily as other body types.
What is a slow metabolism?
It is measured by the rate at which your body would burn calories at rest to conduct the essential life activities like breathing.
It is also called as Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). The additional calorie burnt by the body depends on your daily routine and the type of exercise you do.
Endomorphs seems to have a lower basal metabolic rate than other body types. Hence they put on more fat and store it for a longer time because much of what they consume proves to be extra for the body.
This extra energy is usually stored as fat reserves leading to a gain in weight.
The metabolic rate can be changed by making changes in the diet and gaining more muscle mass. Muscle needs more energy to preserve than fat. Hence more muscle mass would imply a greater calorie burn to perform the daily activities for a person.
The challenge here is to mix and match your training and diet so as to turn the tables around for better body composition.
Bringing a change to the metabolism or the rate at which you burn calories requires keen efforts in the gym and in the kitchen. A balance needs to be achieved where you need to burn more calories than you consume.
This would enable an anabolic state where the body builds more muscles and loses fat.
Diet plays a major role when you are looking to lose fat and build muscle.
If you are looking to lose weight there must be a caloric deficit maintained such that the body spends more energy than consumed and compensate using the stored fat reserves.
But the idea here is not to starve yourself by skipping meals in order to create a huge caloric deficit altogether.
This, in turn, would further damage the already slower metabolic rate. You see a diet with much lesser calorie intake would lead the body to restrict more calorie burn so as to store more energy and a lesser fat loss.
This would lead to fatigue, headaches, nausea and muscle loss.
The deficit should be healthy and not drastic. A healthy estimate could be less of 500 calories from your daily total calorie burn including your BMR and activity.
Although, when the calories are gradually decreased, for example, 250 calories less for the first 3 weeks then further 250 from the next onwards, it would give you a conditioning period so that you do not feel the jolt of the deficit and reduce sudden fall in energy levels.
How do you calculate your Total Daily Calorie Expenditure / Total Daily Energy Expenditure?
Well, there are simple calculators available on the net which consider stats like your age, gender, weight, height, fat percentage, and activity level to give you a fairly accurate value.
You might want to first check your fat percentage to get an accurate measure of your body’s status quo. This will help you set a goal and give you a fairly accurate TDEE.
There are weighing scales available in the market that can also calculate your fat percentage depending on your statistics.
Here is something which I found on amazon. You can click the links below to check them out.
Find a TDEE Calculator for you here. These type TDEE calculators use a simple formula that you can apply by yourself if you know your body statistics accurately.
The diet for endomorphs must be structured around macronutrient proportion that can help cut fat and build muscle so as to support weight loss.
Let us look at the macros for Endomorph
Carbohydrates are the major source of energy for the body. The carbs are directly converted into glucose that is used to release energy in the cells.
While the endomorph body is slow in releasing energy most of the glucose gets stored as fat. Hence, an endomorph is said to be more sensitive to carbohydrates than other body types.
The carbohydrates consumption for endomorphs must be limited in an endomorph diet.
Especially, simple carbohydrates that spike the blood sugar instantly must be strictly avoided. These include processed food products, sweets, white bread, white rice, refined flour, baked food, energy drinks, etc.
The Glycemic Index (GI) is the measure of carbohydrates in terms of how fast they increase the blood sugar level. A lower GI rating is desirable for carbs.
A low GI implies that the particular carb food item is slow in digestion and does not release glucose instantaneously leading to a spike in blood sugar.
Complex carbs like vegetables, fruits, whole grains etc must be the major source of energy in the diet as they have a lower GI.
The complex carbohydrates contain fiber and starch that do not overwhelm the body with calories and keep you satiated.
Fibrous carbohydrates like green vegetables and fruits are a must in the Endomorph Diet plan. Fiber helps is the digestion process and allows a slow release of glucose in the blood.
Some of the complex natural carbohydrates that must be included in the Endomorph Diet are – bananas, barley, beans, brown rice, chickpeas, lentils, nuts, oats, root vegetables, wholegrain cereals, wholemeal bread, wholemeal flour.
While including food items high in carbohydrates by weight can be helpful for energy replenishment, an endomorph should try to include more
Proteins are the building blocks of the body that are vital for the growth and repair of muscles.
To improve the body composition, the fat to muscle ratio must be kept low which is the major challenge of the endomorph body type.
Eating more protein not only provides the body with valuable amino acids but also keep the hunger in check.
As the digestion of protein needs more time as compared to carbohydrates you feel full and avoid crossing the calorie threshold for your body.
This protein can be distributed throughout your meals or can come from a single or a couple of meals in a day.
The protein sources to be included in an endomorph diet are – nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy, meat, seafood, legumes, and beans.
Adding protein supplements such as Whey Protein Powder to your diet can help you reach your daily protein goals.
Eating more fats would not make you fat and gain weight unless you do not adhere to including only good fats in the prescribed macro range.
Having a diet rich in fats helps the body to regulate the insulin levels thus achieving a better fat loss as the body readily taps into the fat reserves for energy.
When the bloodstream has more glucose the insulin level increases. The fat-burning mechanism of the body takes a back seat as the cells utilize the glucose for energy and store it for future use as glycogen and more fat.
When you eat lesser carbohydrates the body switches to other macronutrients for energy. Here the fats come into play. In this way, eating fats can actually help you reduce fat stored in the body.
Also, fats help you stay satiated for longer periods and avoids the unchecked binge on simple carbohydrates.
A fat rich diet does not mean that you can binge over all the fatty and fried food out there. The calories must come from healthy fats that do not increase the bad cholesterol and heart risk.
Make sure to include naturally occurring fats and oils that contain more unsaturated fats and some saturated fats. Some good examples are nuts, olive oil, seeds, dairy products, etc.
The bottom line here is to maintain a calorie deficit that facilitates weight loss by ingesting food that is void of simple carbohydrates, and rich in complex carbs that too in limited amounts, with abundant fats and proteins.
There is a need to shift to a calorie deficit diet in order for the body to engage the already stored fat for energy. This is applied when you maintain an exercise routine and stick to the macronutrient proportions.
Keep in mind that the calorie cut must not make you feel fatigued and incapacitated. If it does then probably the body needs more food to function in a healthy way.
A good example of macronutrient proportion can be 30% carbs, 35% proteins, and 35% fats.
Let us calculate the macros for this breakdown –
Calories from 1 gm of Carb = 4 ; Protein = 4 ; Fat = 9
1) For an Endomorph Male of age 30 years, height 183 cms and weight 90 kgs (200 lbs approx) with light daily activity :
TDEE = 2752 Calories/day
For a Weight loss with calorie deficit of 500 calories
the new TDEE = 2752 – 500 = 2252 Calories/day
Calories from Carbohydrates = 30% of 2252 ~ 676 (approx)
Carbohydrates by weight = 676/4 ~ 169 gms
Calories from Proteins = 35% of 2252 ~ 788 (approx)
Protein by weight = 788/4 ~ 197 gms
Calories from Fats= 35% of 2252 ~ 788 (approx)
Fat by weight = 788/9 ~ 86 gms
MACROS – 169/197/86(C/P/F) gms per day
2) For an Endomorph Female of age 30 years, height 167 cms and weight 80 kgs (176 lbs approx) with light daily activity :
TDEE = 2203 Calories/day
For a Weight loss with calorie deficit of 500 calories
the new TDEE = 2203 – 500 = 1703 Calories/day
Calories from Carbohydrates = 30% of 1703 ~ 511 (approx)
Carbohydrates by weight = 511/4 ~ 128 gms
Calories from Proteins = 35% of 1703 ~ 596 (approx)
Protein by weight = 596/4 ~ 149 gms
Calories from Fats= 35% of 1703 ~ 596 (approx)
Fat by weight = 596/9 ~ 66 gms
MACROS – 128/149/66 (C/P/F) gms per day
These are only the approximate values of the macronutrients in grams per day.
Paleo Diet for Endomorphs
A Paleo Diet is a type of diet in which you eat almost like the Paleolithic man or a Caveman.
This means including mostly raw vegetables and fruits for Carbohydrates with meat, seafood, nuts, and seeds for proteins and fats. This basically boils down to a high protein and fats diet with low carbs from high fiber sources.
You have to avoid dairy, cereals, legumes and refined vegetable oils which are considered to be of the age later to the caveman.
While this diet is mostly said to be accurate for the endomorph body type as it gets into the flow of having marginal carbohydrates with generous amounts of fats and proteins, but it also has a downside to it.
For vegetarians or vegan endomorphs out there this diet might be a big no as it stresses having ample quantities of animal protein and fat. The best source of vegetarian protein like legumes and beans are restricted here.
Also, a person following the Paleo Diet has to detest from having cereals like wheat, rice, rye, sorghum, barley, millets etc which are a good source of minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fiber.
Sticking to a Paleo diet for long might prove to be an issue for many endomorphs but if you want to give it a try then it might prove to be quiet beneficial for losing weight.
Exercising is a must when it comes to weight loss and muscle gain. To kick start the slow metabolism a calorie burnout is required.
A workout routine is going to supply you with just that. Also, it is of utmost importance not to lose muscle during the weight loss journey.
Weight Training/Resistance Training for Endomorphs
While losing weight, a weight training workout plan would ensure that the body maintains the required muscles to cope with the routine.
For endomorphs, the weight training must be intense with low resting periods between the sets. This would translate to a higher requirement of energy for the repair of muscle and restoration normalcy for the body.
Incorporate more exercises that engage the whole of the body muscles rather than concentrating on the isolated body movements.
The compound exercises demand a greater push from the muscles involving your whole body and will make your routine more intense.
Try and work around the major compound exercises like – Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press, Shoulder Press, Pull-ups, Chin-ups, Push-ups, Rows, etc
Progressive overload is most important when it comes to muscle building. This means that you need to push yourself through the repetitions while increasing the weights you lift periodically.
If you are not training hard enough that is stressing more on progression you will not see an increase in muscle mass and thus your body composition will remain unaltered.
If you do not have excess to the gym or prefer a home workout you can opt for a home gym kit or simply a pair of dumbells to do a variety of exercises. You may check the links below for dumbells on Amazon. They are available in different price ranges.
A simple home workout guide can help you start with muscle building at home. Here is a guide where I have a detailed listing of the number of exercises that you can do at your own home.
Try to work around sets with a low repetition range of 6 to 8 and heavy load with a combination of 11 to 15 repetition range sets with a moderately heavy load.
Aim to workout atleast 4 to 5 days a week.
Endomorphs need to work harder to burn more calories during the workout. Incorporating a 20 – 30 minutes cardio session after a weight training workout can be quiet beneficial in that respect.
Incorporating moderate intensity cardio like jogging on the treadmill or cycling after an intense weight training session can help in shedding the extra fat and grow lean muscle.
A high intensity cardio session coupled with a moderate to lightweight training on some days can also prove to be a good calorie burner and add to the variety.
If you find yourself in a dilemma; Steady State Cardio or High Intensity Cardio (HIIT). You might want to check out the post on Steady State Cardio vs HIIT where I have put together the key difference between the two workouts along with the pros and cons to find the one best suited to you.
Remember for endomorphs the key here is to couple the weight training schedule with a cardio session more often than that required for other body types. This means that the cardio must be included for 2-3 days in the workout per week.
If you are just starting out begin by taking time out for a walk in the evening after work or in the early morning. Then slowly build your way to more intense cardio like jogging or running for 15 to 20 mins.
Also, try doing some simple home workout sessions with weights or simply use your body weight for exercises like push-ups and squats. You will find that sticking to your new workouts will show changes in your body.
Here are some key points that highlight the weight loss strategy for endomorphs
- Just by having a tendency to store more fat naturally does not mean that endomorphs cannot achieve a leaner and fitter body.
- There is a need to make some lifestyle changes when it comes to losing weight for any type of body.
- For endomorphs, it is essential to follow a diet that has fewer carbohydrates as their bodies are sensitive to extra carbs and prone to store more fat. The diet must be coupled with rich fat and protein food sources to compensate for the fewer carbohydrates as per the body requirements.
- There needs to be maintained a calorie deficit of around 500 calories from the total calories required to maintain the current weight of the endomorph body.
- The diet should contain fibrous carbohydrates sources that do not raise the insulin level in the body as much as the simpler carbs.
- To maintain the muscle mass of the body it is required to perform a regular exercise schedule that pushes the muscles to grow. This may include compound exercises that involve the whole of the body using free weights or body weight.
- The intensity of the workout is the key with low resting periods that increase the energy demands of the body.
- A cardio session after the workout will push the body into a calorie burning mode for quite some time even after the workout.
- A high intensity cardio session 2-3 times a week can accelerate fat loss for endomorphs.
- Sticking to a diet and workout regime for at least 3 months would help you see changes in the body. If not then tweak the diet and workout schedule accordingly.