Things you’ll learn here:
Welcome to your weight loss journey.
It all starts right here, right now. This is the moment that things change, the moment where you start to say goodbye to excess weight, and say hello to a trimmer, leaner, more confident you.
We don’t just want to give you tips and tricks to drop the pounds quickly (although we’ll certainly be dishing out some of those). We also want to give you everything you need to understand exactly how your body works to burn fat, so you can keep it off for good.
During our weight loss journey, we’ll look at:
- How to calculate the amount of calories you should be eating each day to lose weight. Don’t worry, it’s probably more than you think, especially when you follow our guide to choosing your own nutritious meals and tasty snacks.
- The best foods to eat to optimize your fat-burning potential without having to resort to bland, tasteless foods that leave you feeling hungrier than before you ate.
- How to build an exercise plan that works for you. Getting active doesn’t have to be hard, it can be fun. And, we’ll show you how.
- Ways to get motivated and stick to your plans. We want to make weight loss as simple as possible for you, so we’ll give you the tools and mindset to do so, even when you feel like quitting.
But before we get into all of that, we need to start with something that you might have never considered to be such an important factor in losing weight: your body type.
While all bodies function in pretty much the same way when it comes to health and fitness, there are some factors that you can use to your advantage by approaching weight loss in a way that works for your specific body type.
We’d all love to believe that weight loss is an even playing field. But, the truth is that shedding the pounds is easier for some than it is for others.
So, what works for one person might not necessarily be the best tactic for another.
But that’s okay.
Once you have a better understanding of what your own body requires compared to other people, you’ll be far more likely to lose weight and keep it off. We just need to determine your physical traits and how you can make use of them.
That’s why the best starting point is to figure out your body type, then plan your diet and exercise routines around it.
So, without further ado, let’s look at how your body type will come into play and how easy it is for you to lose weight.
What is your body type?
Everyone’s body is clearly different (yours included). But, when it comes down to weight loss, we all tend to fall into one of these three, shall we say, broad categories:
These are known as somatotypes. The concept was developed back in the 1940s by Dr. William Herbert Sheldon. His original theory was that people’s personalities could be determined or measured by their anatomical characteristics.
While the good doctor’s personality theory has long been discredited by psychologists, there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that we should tweak our weight loss methods based on which of the somatotype classifications best matches our own physique.
Depending on the percentage of bone, fat, muscle, and water you have in your body, your shape and composition will differ. This is the reason why we experience results that others might not, and vice versa.
Somebody prone to storing more body fat will have to eat and exercise differently to a naturally muscular person to enjoy the same results— so we should take things like this into account when designing a fitness plan.
If any of this seems complicated, don’t panic. There’s nothing brain-busting here—it’s just a rough guideline that you can use to get started.
Figuring out which somatotype you are is actually pretty simple. In fact, you’ll probably be able to place yourself in one of the three categories pretty quickly once you find out a bit more about them.
Let’s go through them one by one.
Are you an ectomorph?
First up, we have ectomorphs.
Have you ever met somebody who just doesn’t seem to put on weight? The kind who can eat what they want without having to worry about it going straight to their stomach.
We all know someone like this. And, more often than not they’ll have an ectomorph body type.
It might seem like sorcery to the rest of us, but the simple explanation for their apparent resistance to weight gain is that they have such a fast metabolism.
Ectomorphs also tend to have smaller, more rectangular frames than average with little muscle mass or body fat. Think celebrities like Taylor Swift or Cameron Diaz.
People with this type of body shape will find it harder to naturally put on any form of weight, whether that be fat or muscle, as their metabolism burns calories so efficiently. But, they’ll find it easier to maintain definition and to drop excess weight if they do have any.
The typical ectomorph is likely to be well suited to endurance training. Marathon runners, for example, have slim and narrow bodies that don’t put on weight very easily, but have the capacity to exercise for long periods of time due to their superior ability to thermoregulate. Gymnastics is also a great pastime for ectomorphs as they are often light and agile with a low level of body fat.
On the downside, the characteristics that ectomorphs possess can potentially put them at a disadvantage in some ways. For example, their fast metabolisms make it harder for them to build muscle mass. Also, due to their light build, smaller joints, lack of protective body weight, and lower bone density, ectomorphs are more prone to injury if they overwork themselves or when taking part in strength-focused sports.
If you recognize any of these traits in yourself then you may well be an ectomorph (or part ectomorph). Should this be the case, bank this knowledge for later, as it will come into play when we look at diet and exercise. Make sure to read on about the remaining somatotypes though, as you might be a combination of two of them. Yes, that’s a thing.
Are you a mesomorph?
Next up, we have the mesomorph. People with this body type tend to be naturally athletic and can gain muscle while burning fat fairly easily.
With a high general percentage of muscle mass and low percentage of body fat, mesomorphs have more of a square-shaped frame—with a broad chest and shoulders, but a narrow waist.
The fat that mesomorphs do have is usually evenly stored across the body, not necessarily gathering in specific areas like the abdomen as it can in others. This leads to a balanced, medium-sized frame with a tapered figure.
Males with the classic V-shape torso are prime examples of mesomorphs who have used their genetics to their advantage in the gym, as are women with an hourglass-shaped figure like Halle Berry or Gal Gadot.
Weightlifters and bodybuilders are often mesomorphs as they find it easier to build muscle and change their body so drastically. Lots of sports stars also fit into this category because they can tolerate short, sharp bursts of speed while showcasing explosive strength and power. This makes team sports like soccer and individual pursuits like tennis a good outlet for their mighty physical abilities.
While this all sounds great for mesomorphs, it can often be jealousy-inducing for the rest of us—but it really needn’t be. We all have the ability to burn fat, build muscle, and make healthy changes to our bodies.
It’s all about what works for you and using your biology to your advantage. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the final somatotype.
Are you an endomorph?
Last but certainly not least, we have the endomorph—a breed with a slightly bigger, more solid frame.
People with this type of body are often rounder and stockier in shape as they have a higher proportion of body fat and often hold weight easily. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are overweight. Endomorphs are just naturally wider in the shoulders and the hips, with greater bone density and the slowest metabolism of the three somatotypes.
While endomorphs usually find it fairly simple to gain muscle or fat, they find it far more difficult to trim down and shed weight from their frame. This makes it particularly important that they burn any calories they consume than for people with other body types—otherwise the weight can pile up quickly.
Endomorphs will typically struggle with endurance activities like running or swimming, but may excel at exercises involving power and strength (like powerlifting).
Having a natural resistance to burning fat shouldn’t discourage endomorphs in any way. Classic examples from the celebrity world include Beyonce and Kim Kardashian—and think about how fantastic they look. A slight tweak or two in how you exercise will result in you the best weight loss outcome as an endomorph.
Over the next few days we will do just that: help you build a diet and exercise plan to suit your body type—a program that will lead to results that will have you grinning from ear to ear while fitting in with your lifestyle.
Using your somatotype to your advantage
Your somatotype comes down to genetics. We all have natural traits or predispositions that will place us in one of these categories (or maybe even a cross between two of them)—and they affect how the body reacts to food and exercise.
Fortunately, you can use this information to your advantage as you can determine exactly what your body needs to smash your fitness goals.
If any of these somatotypes resonate with you, you’ll hopefully now have a bit more of an understanding of why your body works the way it does when it comes to weight loss—and you can lean on your natural body traits to achieve the very best results.
Remember: discovering that you have a particular body type isn’t limiting—it’s liberating. Armed with the right knowledge, you can get to where you need to be faster and with more confidence.
As you start to recognize which of these somatotypes (or combination of somatotypes) you are, you can begin to plan your meals and your exercise sessions to complement it—and that’s exactly what we will look at over the next few guides.
Buckle up because it’s going to be an exciting ride.