Selecting diet and exercise routines based upon your body type can result in greater success in maintaining or losing weight. Endomorphs are identified by short and stocky body frames. Of the three body types, endomorphs, ectomorphs and mesomorphs, endomorphs are more likely to have a pear shape, reports health writer Kimberly Wong. Endomorphs have a tendency to battle weight gain because their muscles are an “even mix of slow- and fast-twitch,” says Wong. This muscle formation and shorter heights requires special attention be paid to diet and exercise for optimum health.
Since endomorphs carry extra weight in their lower bodies, the best and most natural exercises for them involve using the large muscle groups in the lower body. Wong writes that these muscles can help endomorphs power “through activities such as in-line skating, swimming, dancing, and snow skiing.” Walking is also a good choice as long as you don’t go for too long, writes Wong. Swimming is an excellent activity because endomorphs “tend to be more buoyant because of their padding,” claims Wong. “Your goal,” Wong says, “is to do long-distance, low-impact exercise to burn off extra fat and slim your hips. Adding a little upper-body strength training can help balance out a bottom-heavy endomorph. Cycling and skating are also good activities for endomorphs. Activities that involve jumping or running might prove frustrating. The idea is to create an exercise plan that keeps the area most prone to weight gain, the lower body, engaged and active.
Endomorphs tend to hoard calories, making them more susceptible to weight gain even if they exercise and eat a diet that will help ward off extra pounds. Former Chair to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Arnold Schwarzenegger, writing in “Joe Weider’s Muscle and Fitness,” explains the best endomorph diet keeps fat to less than 20 percent of your daily caloric amount. Twenty-five percent of your daily calories should come from protein with 55 percent coming from carbohydrates. Because weight tends to stack up quickly and easily on endomorphs, it is best to eat the leanest meat possible and always choose low-fat dairy products. Read labels for hidden fat. It is important to choose complex carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables) over simple carbohydrates (most processed foods). Complex carbohydrates sustain energy without “causing great fluctuations in blood sugar,” writes Schwarzenegger. Your body releases insulin in response to high sugar levels, which can result in storing extra calories as fat, so it’s best to avoid simple carbohydrates when possible.
- Kimberly Wong. Health Magazine.. April 2001.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger. Joe Weider’s Muscle and Fitness. 1998.