Endomorph describes a body type that is characterized by a shorter stature with a wide frame and a higher composition of body fat.

Typically, endomorphs can easily put on muscle mass, but they also have a slower metabolism, higher body fat composition, and have a little more difficulty with weight loss.

Therefore, it's important for people with an endomorphic body type to consume meals that are higher in protein (to help with muscle gain), and to decrease intake of high calories from processed or fatty foods (to help with body toning).

Body type characteristics

Characteristics of an endomorph body type include:

  • Shorter stature or height
  • Wider or rounder frame
  • Higher percentage of body fat
  • Women tend to have a curvier, pear-shaped body

People with an endomorph body type can easily put on muscle mass, but have an overall slower metabolism, higher tendency for fat accumulation and more difficulty with weight loss. Read more about the different body types and how they differ.

Recommended endomorph diet

Endomorphs should adopt a balanced diet that contains low calories but has generous amounts of protein to help with weight loss and muscle gain. See this list of high protein foods that you can incorporate into your daily diet.

Diet plan for weight loss

A diet plan targeted for weight loss should contain less calories. A low-carb diet is a good option for endomorphs, as it helps to ward off hunger for longer periods (which will help with weight loss).

With a low-carb diet, it is important to prioritize foods with healthy fats, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and whole wheat grains. Thermogenic foods, like cacao and green tea, will also boost metabolism and help with weight loss.

The following table contains a 3-day plan of a low-carb diet for an endomorph body type:

Meal

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Breakfast

200g of natural yogurt with a tablespoon of honey + 1 slice of whole grain bread with a slice of mozzarella + 3 tablespoons of smashed avocado

1 cup of green tea + 2 scrambled eggs with one medium tomato and a teaspoon of dried basil leaves

1 cup of coffee with 200ml of skim milk + 50g of whole grain bread with 25g of mozzarella + 1/2 of a papaya (155g)

Morning snack

Coffee without sugar with 200ml of 2% milk + 10 almonds

200g of natural, non-fat yogurt with 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds + 1 medium tangerine

1 medium apple (150g) + 3 walnuts + 1 cup of green tea

Lunch

200g of spaghetti squash with 50g of homemade tomato sauce + 150g of ground meat + salad (lettuce, 50g of raw grated carrot, 20g of onion and 1 teaspoon of olive oil) + 1 medium orange

150g of grilled fish + 3 tablespoons of whole wheat rice + 1 cup of sauteed peppers, carrots, zucchini, eggplant and broccoli + 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 1 medium slice (90g) of melon

150g of of grilled chicken breast + 150g of cassava puree + salad (lettuce, arugula, 1 medium tomato, 20g of onion, 3 tablespoons of diced avocado) tossed in 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of vinegar)

Afternoon snack

One 30g serving of peanuts + 1 banana with ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon

Smoothie: 100g of avocado, 1 tablespoon of rolled oats, and 200ml of skim or rice milk + 10 hazelnuts

1 cup of green juice prepared with 1 leaf of collard greens, 1/2 a lemon, 50g of cucumber, 200ml of coconut water and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds

Dinner

2-egg omelet with 125g of spinach, 20g of onion, 50g of tomato, salt and pepper + salad prepared with 100f of lentils, 50g of broccoli and 50f of cauliflower + 1 medium pear (130g)

2 baked eggplants stuffed with 150g of tuna and 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese + 1 salad prepared with 100g of lentils, 30g of onions and 50g of tomato

2 baked, large bell peppers (190g) stuffed with stir-fried ground meat and one tablespoon of parmesan cheese + 1 salad prepared with 100g of red beans, 50f of tomato, 50g of broccoli and 50g of grated carrot + 1 large slice of pineapple (100g)

This plan is merely an example. The quantities of food presented can vary depending on personal preferences and individual health. Therefore, it is best to consult a dietitian to develop a diet plan that is personalized to you and your goals.

Diet for muscle gain

A diet that targets muscle gain for an endomorph body type should prioritize the consumption of natural foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You should consume about 1.6g of lean protein for every kilogram (or 2.2lb) of body weight. This protein should be evenly distributed at every meal. Learn more about diets for muscle gain.

The following table shows a 3-day plan for endomorph body types looking to increase muscle mass:

Meal

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Breakfast

1 cup of coffee without sugar + tapioca crepe (made with 4 tablespoons of tapioca flour, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed and 2 medium slices of goat cheese) + 1 tangerine

1 cup of mint tea + 1 egg omelet + 50g of whole wheat bun + 1 medium pear

1 cup of coffee without sugar + 2 egg omelet + ½ a papaya

Morning snack

1 medium kiwi + 3 walnuts

2 tablespoons of peanuts + 1 banana

1 banana + 1 tablespoon of rolled oats

Lunch

4 tablespoons of boiled sweet potato + 120g of grilled salmon + 2 tablespoons of boiled squash + 1 side plate of salad (prepared with lettuce, cilantro leaves and arugula) tossed in 1 tablespoon of olive oil + strawberries

4 tablespoons of whole wheat rice + 1 side plate of boiled broccoli + 1 medium tomato season with 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 120g of grilled meat + 1 kiwi

1 side plate of whole wheat pasta with homemade tomato sauce + 4 tablespoons of bean salad with cabbage and raw carrots seasoned with 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 120g of grilled chicken

Afternoon snack

3 tablespoons of smashed avocado seasoned with salt and pepper + 2 corn crackers

1 tangerine + 2 walnuts

200g of no-fat natural yogurt + 2 brazilian nuts + 1 tablespoon of honey

Dinner

3 tablespoons of whole wheat rice + 120g of grilled lean beef + 4 tablespoons of boiled eggplant + 1 side plate of salad (prepared with spinach, lettuce and mung bean sprouts) seasoned with 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 1 guava

1.5 boiled potatoes + 2 boiled chicken legs + 1 side plate of salad prepared with lettuce, arugula and tomato, seasoned with 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 8 grapes  

2 tablespoons of couscous + 1 side plate of salad prepared with lettuce, chickpeas, tomato, cucumber and onion, seasoned with 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 1 small slice of melon

This plan is merely an example. The quantities of food presented can vary depending on personal preferences and individual health. Therefore, it is best to consult a dietitian to develop a diet plan that is personalized to you and your goals.

It's important to note that factors like healthy sleep habits, regular physical activity and adequate hydration (e.g. 1.5 L or about 6 cups of water per day) also play a role in gaining muscle.

Foods that an endomorph should avoid

Whether your objective is to lose weight or to gain muscle mass, endomorph body types should avoid the consumption of some foods that will prevent them from reaching their goals. Foods to avoid include:

  • Foods with high sugar content, like candy, ice cream, cookies or cake
  • Processed foods, like ready-made sauces, fast food, or instant noodles
  • Refined grains, like white bread, white pasta or white rice
  • Foods with high fat content, like fried fat content, pizza, chips, bacon or salami

It is also important to avoid alcohol (e.g. beer, sparkling drinks, wine), especially at meals, as these drinks contain high calories. You should also avoid high calorie snacks.  

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Atualizado por Tua Saude editing team, em July de 2022. Clinical review por Tatiana Zanin - Registered Dietitian, em July de 2022.

References

  • MENON, Daiane; SHCAURICH ,S , Jacqueline. Consumo de proteína por praticantes de musculação que objetivam hipertrofia muscular. Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte. Vol.18. 1.ed; 8-12, 2012
  • WYLIE-ROSETT Judith et al. Health Effects of Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Where Should New Research Go?. Current Diabetes Reports. 13. 2; 271-278, 2013
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  • COMPOSIÇÃO DE ALIMENTOS. Plataforma Portuguesa de Informação Alimentar. Available on: <http://portfir.insa.pt/>. Access in 17 Sep 2021
  • A, H, S, Almeida et al. Somatotype analysis of physically active individuals. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. Vol.53. 3.ed; 268-273, 2013
  • UNIVERSIDADE ESTADUAL DE CAMPINAS. Tabela Brasileira de Composição de Alimentos - TACO. 2011. Available on: <http://www.nepa.unicamp.br/taco/contar/taco_4_edicao_ampliada_e_revisada.pdf?arquivo=taco_4_versao_ampliada_e_revisada.pdf>. Access in 17 Sep 2021
Clinical review:
Tatiana Zanin
Registered Dietitian
Graduated in Clinical Nutrition in 2001 and has a Master’s in Clinical Nutrition. Licensed to practice under the CRN-3 in Brazil and the ON in Portugal