What is an Endomorph body type?

This post describes the endomorph body type and the best eating and exercise habits for this type.

You can also read more about the ectomorph and mesomorph body types, and the history of body type classification system.

How to spot an Endomorph body type

Endomorph Body Type | Downsize Me

The two defining features of the endomorph are:

  1. their muscular calves and
  2. their thick waistline – in both men AND women.

When you see an endomorph, you think “I’d better not mess with him/her!”


The saying ‘built like a brick sh*thouse’ epitomizes the Amazonian qualities of the endomorph.

The endomorph body type is uniquely powerful, having:

  1. A large-sized skeleton (frame)
  2. A strong, heavy-looking physique – with a mostly strength/power muscle type, (Type II fibres – aka ‘fast twitch’)
  3. Above average body fat and a thick waist.


Women with an endomorph body type are stocky, strong and warrior-like.

Think Samoans, Hawaiians and other Pacific Island nations.

Men with an endomorph body type are heavily built; very strong and powerful.

A classic example is Lou Ferrigno, aka The Incredible Hulk.

Check out his bulging calf muscle and thick legs, below.

Endomorph Body Type | Downsize Me

The stereotypical Amazonian tribes are also classic examples of the endomorph body type.

At the gym, you can spot an endomorph a mile away.

They huff and puff, red-faced, on the treadmill, but they excel at heavy weights and power-lifting.


Endomorph body type personality traits

In his body typing system, psychologist William Sheldon describes endomorphs as:

  • having a love of food
  • tolerant
  • having even emotions
  • loving comfort
  • sociable
  • good-natured
  • relaxed, and
  • needing affection.

If you have an Endomorph body type, you tend to have a strong constitution (like the Kapha type in Ayurveda) and are the most calm and placid of the three body types.

The endomorph body type and personality traits are linked with your focus on digestive system and stomach.

You tend to love feeding people and cooking (or eating) may be a favourite hobby.


Common Endomorph body type health issues

Endomorphs are usually pretty healthy and have strong immune systems. However, they are prone to:

  • blood sugar imbalances
  • elevated insulin
  • leptin resistance
  • insulin resistance, metabolic disorders, Type II diabetes
  • high triglycerides
  • fatty liver
  • always hunger, OR never hungry
  • excess weight gain.

The endomorphs who get stuck into social eating and drinking, or comfort eating, can quickly create hormonal imbalances like those listed above, which cause them to gain weight and accumulate fat around their liver.

Their biggest challenge is to find moderation in eating, to manage social eating, and to get enough exercise.

Best eating plan for Endomorph body types

Endomorph body types typically do best on an eating plan that contains:

  • lower carbohydrate
  • higher fibre
  • higher protein
  • higher fat.

Check out this sample Endomorph breakfast plate, which contains:

  • greens, green beans and sweet potato (carbs)
  • eggs (protein and fat)
  • smoked salmon (protein and fat)
  • 1/2 an avocado (fat)


Endomorph body type plate

The Endomorph body type is generally healthiest and leanest when they follow a ketogenic approach.


Challenges of the Endomorph body type

Like the ectomorphs, the most important nutrient for endomorphs is carbohydrates – but for a different reason.

Too many carbohydrates and/or the wrong type of carbohydrates will cause you to gain weight quickly, develop fatty liver and become sluggish and tired.

One of your bigger challenges is comfort eating, usually involving sweet, starchy, cake or chocolatey foods.

You are often also tricked by the scale.

Your weight tends to be higher than other body types because you have a heavy skeleton and heavy muscles, but you often feel disheartened because you’re only thinking of weight, instead of how valuable your metabolically-active muscle tissue really is.

To lose weight, you generally do best with a short period of ketosis, using an eating plan that targets insulin and fatty liver, like the Downsize Me program.

A plan like this ALSO helps you understand and rewire your eating triggers, get rid of cravings and food fixations, overcome stress eating, set better food boundaries and develop practical strategies for healthy eating.

All important things for an endomorph.


Best exercise for Endomorphs

Endomorph Body Type | Downsize Me

Endomorph body types are built for power, speed and strength.

You actually have a high metabolic rate compared to other types, due to your above-average muscle mass (which is metabolically active tissue).

To be fit and healthy, endomorph body types need to maintain their muscle mass and get it working for them, so they can burn calories at rest.

Endomorphs tend to naturally gravitate toward exercise that plays to their strengths – shot-put, discus, power-lifting, bodybuilding, curling, boxing and high intensity interval training (HIIT).

Overweight endomorphs need to include HIIT or weights to reach their weight loss goals, because HIIT or weights are the best way for this body type to maintain muscle and burn fat. 

Cardio training can be useful to burn more calories, but it is best done AFTER weight training (to maximise fat loss) or on a separate day to weight training (so as not to exhaust your body).

Endomorphs in Peak State

In your peak state, you are relaxed, energized and active.

You feel calm, social and your food fixations and cravings disappear.

Since your type is prone to gaining weight inside (fatty liver) and out, your priorities to achieve peak state are:

  • learning to manage your stress and/or emotions and avoid slipping into emotional eating or comfort eating
  • getting enough protein and fat, lots of green vegetables and a little low GI, fibre-rich carb
  • high intensity interval workouts mixed with lower intensity cardio to fire up your muscles and burn excess calories.

With this combination and you can be fit, healthy and powerful.

Now that you know all this, where are you at right now?

Do you need help to lose weight, feel better in yourself and become stronger, happier and healthier?

If you want to get into the best shape of your life, get in touch to book a free 15-minute session. 

We’ll help you make a plan.

Melanie White

Melanie White

Chief Inspiration Coach

I’m a quirky scientist and a Health and Wellness Coach who helps 35+ women to understand and eat right for their body type.