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Intermittent Fasting by Body Type Explained

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three women of different body types are standing together, smiling, intermittent fasting by body type
Melissa Mitri post Reviewer Melissa Mitri post Reviewer
Verified by Melissa Mitri
MS, Registered Dietitian, Former President of CT Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

Table of Contents

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a dietary strategy that has gained popularity due to its weight loss benefits. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. 

There are different IF regimens—categorized based on the length of the fasting and eating windows—and you can choose the one that suits you best based on your preference, resilience, and lifestyle. 

But is that all you should consider when selecting an IF routine? What about your body type?

After all, your body type determines, to some extent, how easily you can lose or gain weight. Thus, tailoring your intermittent fasting schedule to your body type may help you achieve your weight loss goals faster. 

In today’s article, we will explain everything you need to know about choosing the perfect regimen for intermittent fasting by your body type. We will also offer tips to fast-track your results by improving your dietary and exercise habits. 

Does Your Body Type Matter When Choosing Your Regimen?

There are various IF regimens, such as 16:8, 18:6, and alternate-day fasting. While the underlying principle of these plans is the same, they differ in the duration of the fasting and eating phases.

Should you consider your body type when selecting which IF plan to follow? 

While there are no hard and fast rules, some IF regimens might be better suited to certain body types than others. 

By customizing your intermittent fasting according to your body type, you can reach your health and fitness goals faster and more effectively. 

Body Type 101

So, what exactly are these body types, and how can you identify which type you are? 

The concept behind body types, also called somatotypes, is that each individual falls into a category determined based on physical and metabolic characteristics. 

There are three somatotypes—ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph [1]. Each group is defined by its characteristics, such as bone structure, body composition, and metabolic rate [2]

Earlier, it was believed that these body types were pre-determined and remained constant throughout a person’s lifespan [1]. It was also theorized that these somatotypes influenced the physiological characteristics of an individual. 

However, this notion has changed now, and the current understanding is that your body type can change over time, depending on several aspects such as consistent diet and exercise habits as well as environmental factors [1].

The following are the basic characteristics of each body type. Keep in mind that in real life, these definitions are not clear-cut, and more often than not, people fall into a spectrum somewhere in between these three types [1].

Ectomorphs: Lean and narrow build

Ectomorph body type, male and female body examples with a list of the Ectomorph body type characteristics_intermittent fasting by body type

Ectomorphs are those who have slim bodies with narrow shoulders and hips. They have a low body fat percentage and might have trouble building muscle. Ectomorphs generally have a faster metabolism, which makes it hard for them to gain weight. 

Mesomorphs: Athletic build 

Mesomorph body type, male and female body examples with a list of the mesomorph body type characteristics_intermittent fasting by body type

Mesomorphs are of a medium build, often with athletic bodies. They have muscular bodies with an efficient metabolism, which makes them effortlessly gain and lose weight. They usually respond well to exercise and diet changes. Mesomorphs typically have broad shoulders and a V-shaped torso. 

Endomorph: Soft and round build

Endomorph body type, male and female body examples with a list of the Endomorph body type characteristics_intermittent fasting by body type

Endomorphs have wider hips and shoulders than the other two body types and have a higher fat content. They tend to have a slower metabolic rate, which makes them easily gain weight but lose weight with difficulty. 

Your Perfect Intermittent Fasting Schedule by Body Type

Now that you have a basic idea about figuring out your body type based on certain characteristics, let’s see how you can customize your intermittent fasting based on your body type.  

First of all, know that there is no scientific evidence that supports the idea that you should choose your intermittent fasting plan based on your body type. 

However, given that these different body types have distinctive caloric requirements and exercise needs, you can achieve better results by aligning your fasting regimen with your body type.

Here, we explain how to choose your intermittent fasting by body type regimen. 

Ectomorph: 12:12 or 14:10 fasting

With ectomorphs, it’s more about gaining weight than losing it. If you are an ectomorph, you have a fast metabolism, which makes it harder for you to gain weight and build muscles.

So, should you even follow an IF regimen as an ectomorph? 

Well, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. However, you need to make sure you allow yourself a long eating window to consume enough calories to prevent weight loss. 

More relaxed IF approaches, such as 12:12 or 14:10, will give you plenty of time to fit in 3 or more meals so you can eat enough food.

Mesomorph: 16:8 fasting

If you’re a mesomorph, it doesn’t matter which plan you choose as long as you are consistent with it. Since you will gain weight as easily as you lose it, your challenge is maintaining it by sticking to a reliable plan. 

16:8 is the most popular and basic type of facing. It’s effective but not as strict as 18 or 20-jour fasts, so may want to start with it.

Endomorph: 18:6 or 24-hour fasting

As an endomorph, you will probably have a hard time losing weight. Intermittent fasting will benefit you because it will help boost your metabolism, thus helping you lose weight [3]

You can follow a more restrictive plan such as 18:6 or 24-hour fasting once or twice a week. However, make sure that you don’t drastically cut down your caloric intake, as it can slow down your metabolism [4]

Tips to Achieve Your Goals Faster

Along with choosing the best IF regimen, here are some tips that will help you reach your weight goals faster:

Tips for Ectomorphs

Here are some tips ectomorphs may benefit from:

  • Eat in a slight caloric surplus.
  • Add plenty of proteins to your diet.
  • Make sure you don’t skip meals
  • Start a strength training routine to help build muscle.

Tips for Mesomorphs

  • Keep your IF routine consistent.
  • Eat healthy and balanced meals.
  • Incorporate a moderate-intensity workout program into your routine.

Tips for Endomorphs

  • Eat in a slight caloric deficit, but don’t go overboard. A 500-calorie deficit is generally enough for healthy weight loss [5].
  • Increase your protein intake.
  • Follow a resistant training workout schedule to reduce fat and increase muscle mass. 

Bottom Line

Understanding your body structure and aligning your intermittent fasting by body type will help you reach your weight goals more effectively. With that said, you will need to experiment with different methods and listen to your body before committing to one IF approach that suits you. 

Also, remember that consistency is critical to achieving success, so choose your regimen and stick with it for a considerable amount of time for the best results.

Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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