Ectomorph Male
Ectomorph Female
Ectomorph Male
Ectomorph Female

The Slimmest Body Type

Ectomorphs are generally taller and slim looking, which sometimes makes them the envy of the other body types. However, all 3 body types have their own advantages and drawbacks, and the Ectomorph body type is no exception!

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Body Types

The body type classification system is used by most fitness instructors and dietitians to develop individualized plans for their clients. Created by a researcher named W.H. Sheldon, the system categorizes physiques into three categories; Ectomorphs (slim build), Mesomorphs (medium build), and Endomorphs (thicker build). These body types indicate an individual’s underlying bone structure, metabolism, and musculature. Once a clinician can categorize an individual into one of those three body types, then a diet and fitness plan can be created that caters to that person’s specific body type needs.

None of the body types are better or healthier than the others. An ectomorph can become overweight, or an endomorph can become dangerously thin. Each body type has its pros and cons. However, it’s good to learn about body types because it creates an awareness of the different struggles and concerns each body must contend with. For instance, the ectomorph body type has a quick metabolism, which requires a diet that is very different from the other two.

Life as an Ectomorph

Ectomorphs are easy to spot. Sometimes described as “lanky”, ectomorphs have narrow hips and shoulders. Most ectomorphs are tall, or at least look tall, because of their slim build and long legs and arms. Their muscles tend to be less defined, and their bone length is long. They tend to have longer torsos and an angular look to them.

A hyper-efficient and quick metabolism makes gaining weight difficult for ectomorphs. Food is often immediately burned off by their metabolism. When it comes to diet, ectomorphs who want to build mass have special considerations for the food they consume.

Most available information on ectomorphs will focus on weight gain and fitness training, with very little information geared towards weight loss for ectomorphs. This doesn’t mean that ectomorphs will never need to lose weight. It’s just that for ectomorphs, having to lose weight either doesn’t occur often or may only occur later in life. And also, compared to the other two body types, Ectomorphs have a very different relationship with fat.

Fat is also something ectomorphs have to consider. Because ectomorphs are naturally thin, they are perceived to be devoid of all fat. This is far from the truth! Though they may look lean and fat-free, ectomorphs may have higher body fat than expected. If ectomorphs don’t put in the extra effort to build and tone muscle, they can build up fat instead. Although ectomorphs appear thin, they may still need to lose weight for health reasons.

Ectomorphs are predisposed to be slender, but that doesn’t mean that an ectomorph can’t gain weight. All body types can gain weight at one time or another, especially when they get older. Ectomorphs are subject to the same temptations as everyone else.  Sweet treats and carbohydrates can build up and quickly turn into adipose tissue (fat). Just like the other body types, ectomorphs can find themselves needing to diet and exercise in order to maintain a healthy weight.

Exercise plans for ectomorphs have to take their quick metabolism into account. The ectomorph’s rapid-fire metabolism can be either an advantage or a disadvantage. When trying to gain weight and build muscle, a fast metabolism can get in the way. In these cases, ectomorphs have to keep cardio exercises to a minimum. When trying to lose weight, that metabolism becomes an advantage. Ectomorphs can rapidly lose weight by performing cardio exercises and putting their metabolism into hyper-drive. The following facts can show just how unique the ectomorph’s diet and fitness plans are.

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15 Facts to Help Ectomorphs Lose Weight the Healthy Way

1. Ectomorphs are great at endurance

Ectomorphs are built for agility, speed, and endurance. However, they do have to maintain their fat and energy stores if they want to stay at a healthy weight, and their body needs constant replenishment of calories. Athletic and active ectomorphs who participate in endurance sports need to be careful about maintaining a healthy weight.  They will find that much of their time is spent trying to replace the energy that they consistently burn off.

2. Ectomorphs need more high-quality carbohydrates

Not all carbohydrates are created equal. Ectomorphs require more carbohydrates in their diet than the other two body types. However, a high carb requirement doesn’t mean they can down all the donuts and cookies they want. Ectomorphs need to consume good quality carbohydrates. Some examples are whole grain products, sweet potatoes, quinoa, fibrous fruits, and oats. Ectomorphs who are trying to lose weight can incorporate high fiber carbohydrates into their diet to stave off hunger and maintain their energy.

Bread Loaves

3. Ectomorphs need high-quality fat

Just like all carbohydrates are not created equal, not all fats are created equal. Even healthy foods have fat— good fat. Ectomorphs can find good fats in fatty fish, nuts, dairy, and eggs. High-quality fats will also help an ectomorph feel more satisfied after meals.

4. HIIT training revs an ectomorph's metabolism

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can help to create the washboard abs everyone desires, and for ectomorphs, it’s easier to do than others because of their physique and metabolism. HIIT training is also excellent for toning an ectomorph’s arms and legs! HIIT training is perfect for ectomorphs who tend to get bored during long workouts.

5. Ectomorphs can lose muscle quickly

Sometimes, the ectomorph’s metabolism can work too well. An ectomorph who loses calories too quickly may lose muscle instead. In order to keep muscle, ectomorphs need a steady weight loss plan.

6. Ectomorphs need calories, lots of them

When working out ectomorphs need to add 500 calories to their daily diet to gain weight or mass. An ectomorph’s metabolism is like a furnace, and that furnace needs constant fuel to work efficiently.

7. Eating warm food can help an ectomorph to manage weight

Warm foods aid ectomorphs in digestion.

Woman Eating with Fork and Knife

8. Ectomorphs may need to gain muscle to lose fat

Ectomorphs who incorporate strength training into a weight loss regimen will gain muscle, which is beneficial. Muscle fires up the ectomorph’s metabolism even higher. However, the scale may not reflect any weight loss at first because muscle weighs more than fat.

9. Ectomorphs need to keep strength training and cardio separate

A workout combination of 3:2:2 days (strength: cardio: rest) works well for ectomorphs. Because of the ectomorph’s fast metabolism, cardio and strength training should occur on different days, and their bodies require rest on the other days.

Woman on Bleachers

10. Ectomorphs need rest

Not only do ectomorphs require rest days, but they also require rest times in between strength training sets. When strength training, a recovery time of about 30-60 seconds between sets prevents the workout from becoming aerobic.

11. Save time by doing compound movements

Combinations like lunges with bicep curls can maximize a workout and use all of an ectomorph’s muscles. Although isolation exercises are necessary for muscle growth, an emphasis on compound movements will provide quicker and more powerful results.

12. Keep cardio to a minimum

Ectomorphs should try keeping cardio down to 2-3 days a week. It seems counterintuitive to want to lose weight and not encourage cardio, but the ectomorph’s metabolism always has to be considered. Burning away too much energy could delay muscle building, and muscle building needs to occur if an ectomorph wants to lose weight healthily.

13. Don’t miss meals

When trying to lose weight, missing a meal can be even worse than having a bad meal. The ectomorph’s metabolism requires consistency. Ectomorphs need to maintain an influx of calories to counteract their rapid metabolism when trying to lose weight.

Russian Twists

14. Eat healthy calories

The key, for all body types, is to make all calories count by making them nutritious calories. Ectomorphs may feel the need to eat junk food to refuel after a workout or gain weight for muscle, but choosing nutritious food rather than an abundance of empty calories is a better choice. The ectomorph body does burn calories efficiently, but it’s better not to take it for granted. Eating healthy calories will help an ectomorph lose weight and create healthy habits.

15. Refuel after a workout

Post-meal workouts are a must to replace lost energy and repair muscle. Ectomorphs should consume a meal of 3:1 or 4:1 carbs to protein about 30-60 minutes after a workout.


Ectomorphs have a unique set of dietary concerns when compared to mesomorphs and endomorphs. Gaining or maintaining weight is their primary issue, though losing weight may also be necessary at times. Blessed with a fast metabolism and thin physique, they may be the envy of the other two body types. However, ask any ectomorph, and they may tell you that they long for an endomorph’s curves or a mesomorph’s muscles. That goes to show that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. No matter what body type you are, make the most of what you have. Water the grass that you’re on and make it green!

The Slimmest Body Type

Ectomorphs are generally taller and slim looking, which sometimes makes them the envy of the other body types. However, all 3 body types have their own advantages and drawbacks, and the Ectomorph body type is no exception!

The body type classification system is used by most fitness instructors and dietitians to develop individualized plans for their clients. Created by a researcher named W.H. Sheldon, the system categorizes physiques into three categories; Ectomorphs (slim build), Mesomorphs (medium build), and Endomorphs (thicker build). These 


All content on InGoodHealth.co is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Consult your healthcare provider for medical advice, diagnosis and treatment.

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