You must have come across some surprising people whose eating habits do not match their size. For e.g. a friend of yours could be a foodie, eats a lot, but is inherently slim looking; then there must be a colleague who is obese but actually eats less; even after eating some amounts of food, he tends to put on weight. And you must be left scratching your heads, as to how exactly this happens.
All of this is because of different somatotypes of the human physique. An American psychologist, William Herbert Sheldon developed it in the 1940s. He also formed ‘Constitutional Psychology,’ which correlated human temperament types with his somatotypes classification.
In the book of ‘Atlas of Men’ in 1954, Sheldon classified all the possible human body types into three main categories, namely: Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and the Endomorph. It is not compulsory for everyone to fit only into any one of these three categories. Usually, most of the human beings are a mixture of these three body types in various degrees. They can also fluctuate or change in a few years depending on lifestyle, genetics, history, training style, eating habits, etc.
People of this kind are usually skinny with a light build, small frame, lean muscle, and less weight. They have thin legs and arms, flat abs, narrow and thin face, and very little body fat. The Professional marathon runners are a good example of this type. They find it very hard to gain fat, muscles and weight itself, that’s because they have a fast metabolism. Most of what they eat get converted to energy; hence, they have high stamina and they don’t get tired easily.
Most of the ectomorphs have a BMI (Body Mass Index) below 18.5. They can eat a lot and not put on any weight at all. But for those wanting to bulk up, life is difficult, as there is a lot of hard work required in terms of workouts; and regards to eating, it should be more than double of their current intake.
This is a perfect middle-ground and balanced body type as compared to the ectomorphs and the endomorphs. Hence, most of the other two types of people aspire to become the mesomorphs. They have an athletic body with broad shoulders, strong arms and thighs, narrow waist, little body fat but a good amount of muscles which are distributed evenly.
They have a BMI in the range of 18.5 to 25. They are the best body type for Bodybuilding. With a moderate level of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), they can gain or lose muscle mass easily as they have a high amount of fast-twitch fibers.
You can recognize people of this type easily as they are round in structure with a wide body and stocky build. They can also be pear-shaped with narrow shoulders and wide hips. They tend to store more fats and muscles in the lower half of their bodies. They can also have fats in their upper arms and thighs. They have a slower metabolism because of which they gain weight easily even if they are physically active. On the contrary, they find it difficult to lose weight.
Most of what the endomorphs eat gets converted to mass, primarily fat; hence, they have very low stamina and get tired easily. Generally, they have a BMI beyond 25. Those having a BMI of more than 30 are considered to be extremely obese. Although it is possible, it is very difficult and involves a lot of hard work to lose weight.
Why know our Body Type?
It is essential to achieve our health goals. For those looking to gain or lose weight, fats, muscles, etc. it is not as easy as clapping hands. People of different body types respond differently to food intake, diet, training, hormonal and Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) characteristics. They have metabolic differences.
Thus, knowing all this about you will greatly help in formulating a customized diet, nutrient intake, and training regimen because of which you will quickly be able to achieve your health aims than before.