Endomorph Diet & Workout Guide

How to Eat & Train for Your Body Type According to Certified Nutrition Coach

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTPublished: May 13, 2022

You’ve probably noticed that people come in all different shapes and sizes. But, generally speaking, we can categorize people into a few different body types.

One of these body types is the endomorph. These people tend to be heavier and gain weight easier than the average person.

However, you are not destined to be overweight just because you’re an endomorph! Genetics are only part of the equation and endomorphs can reach their fitness goals if they eat and exercise properly for their body type.

That’s why I put together this definitive guide to the best endomorph diet. So you can dial in your nutrition and workouts to get in amazing shape.

endomorph diet

Different Body Types

Body types or somatotypes are a method for defining human bodies based on shape and composition. In other words, how naturally lean, fat, or muscular an individual is.

In the health and fitness community, we use endomorph, mesomorph, and ectomorph to describe the three major body types.

endomorph body type diet

What Is an Endomorph?

The endomorph body type refers to people who tend to be naturally heavy or overweight. In addition, an endomorph’s overall body shape is softer and rounder.

As a reference point, picture the athletes at a track and field event. You see distance runners, sprinters, and throwers. In this example, endomorphs are the shot-putters with a dense bone structure, more body fat, and the most muscle mass.

The main factor that causes these differences in body composition is metabolic rate. And endomorphs gain weight more easily because they tend to have a slower metabolism that burns fewer calories.

But endomorphs are not destined to be fat. On the contrary, they are fast responders to exercise and can burn off body fat with proper attention to calorie and carb intake.

mixed endomorph diet

It’s also vital to realize that there are not just three distinct body types. Instead, body types are more like a spectrum where you can have a mix of different traits. For example, endomorphs often overlap with the mesomorph body type.

Meso Endomorph

A meso endomorph or endo meso body type is a mix of mesomorph and endomorph. So they tend to be naturally muscular and gain body fat more quickly.

Some sports in which endo mesos excel are football, powerlifting, and bodybuilding because they possess great strength and muscularity. Again, an endo meso has a slightly slower metabolism than other body types, making it a little easier to gain weight and muscle.

Click here to take a simple body type quiz to see if you lean towards endomorph or endo meso.

Endomorph Body Type Pros & Cons

Being even part endomorph means you will gain weight easier and have a harder time getting lean. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t burn fat.

In fact, there are upsides to being an endomorph. Like the fact that it’s easy to gain muscle and strength. The key for endomorphs is mitigating fat gain and not using crash dieting techniques when losing weight.


  • Slower metabolic rate means your body gains muscle mass easier

  • Naturally muscular and respond well to resistance training

  • Above-average strength and power


  • It’s easier to gain weight and body fat

  • Have a harder time burning fat

  • Lack of progress can cause poor diet and exercise decisions

endomorph diet and workout

Best Diet for Endomorphs

Nutrition is the most significant factor in reaching your fitness goals, especially for endomorphs. But this is also an area where people often get confused and frustrated.

Fortunately, nutrition doesn’t have to be super complicated. With my simple framework, you can optimize your diet to make the results come easier.

Endomorph Diet Energy Balance

First and foremost, you must nail down your ideal calorie intake based on your fitness goals. While the concept of calories in vs calories out seems simple, you’d be surprised how many people fail on this step! So here’s a crash course on calorie balance.

First, you need to know how many calories you burn per day. Another name for this is your total daily energy expenditure or TDEE.

TDEE consists of calories burned through your resting metabolic rate, normal daily activities, and any additional exercise. Combined, that energy expenditure equals your calories out.

endomorph diet tdee

In the chart above, you can see that your base metabolic rate (BMR) accounts for most of the calories you burn each day. So it’s vital to accurately determine your BMR.

One factor that affects your BMR is your lean mass. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.

In addition, genetics and body type play a role in your metabolic rate. For endomorphs, your metabolism burns fewer calories than average and that’s why you need a calorie target adjusted to your body type.

Once you know your BMR and TDEE, you can easily figure out how many calories to eat. For endomorphs, I recommend a calorie surplus of 5-15% to gain muscle. Or a calorie deficit of 15-20% for burning fat.

Endomorph Macros

Every calorie you eat comes in the form of protein, carbs, fat, or some combination of these macronutrients. More importantly, macros can help you control your body’s hormone balance and metabolic state.

For this reason, endomorphs also need to pay special attention to their macronutrient intake.


A high protein diet is paramount for any endomorph looking to add muscle or reduce body fat. But “high” is a relative term and doesn’t quantify your target.

The golden rule in fitness is to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. In other words, a 180-pound person would eat 180 grams of protein per day.

The idea is that abundant protein in the diet provides the building blocks for lean muscle tissue. However, this formula is a vast oversimplification, especially for overweight endomorphs.

To illustrate, consider a 300-pound obese woman trying to lose as much fat as possible. If she follows the rule and eats 300 grams of protein per day, she will likely overshoot her calorie target and gain weight!

A better approach is to calculate your protein intake based on a percentage of your calorie target. In my experience, aiming for about 30% of your calories from protein is ideal.

Protein Intake Calculator: Find Your Protein Target In Grams


Next, carbohydrates are a little harder to nail down because the ideal carb intake depends on your activity level and fitness goals. Fortunately, I have a system that adjusts your carb intake to match your daily needs.

Carb cycling is simply alternating your daily carbohydrate intake based on your activity level. Usually, a “cycle” includes low, medium, and high carb days.

endomorph diet carb cycling

The general idea behind carb cycling is to give yourself more “fuel” when you need it and less when you don’t.

To find your daily carb intake, I use the same percentage-based approach for protein. However, your target changes depending on your exercise schedule.


Finally, your dietary fat intake should make up the balance of your calories. So you will have lower fat on high carb days and higher fat on low carb days.

Low fat on high carb days helps minimize the potential for dietary fat to be stored as body fat. While high fat on low carb days helps your body switch over to burning body fat for energy.

Furthermore, cycling your energy source in this way increases your metabolic flexibility. That is, how efficient your body is at burning carbs and fat for energy.

Endomorph Diet Grocery List

So far, we’ve touched on calories and macros. Next up, let’s tackle healthy food choices with an endomorph diet grocery list.

Really, every body type benefits from eating healthy whole foods and eliminating the highly processed foods as much as possible. But endomorphs, in particular, benefit from reducing added sugars.

Once you get rid of the junk, focus on lean protein, natural starches, and healthy fats. Then combine that with plenty of leafy greens and fibrous veggies.

Click here to see 16 foods I recommend adding to your Healthy Grocery List.

endomorph diet grocery list

Endomorph Diet Meal Planner

The last part of the endomorph diet is your meal schedule. Each meal you eat consists of a certain number of calories and macronutrients. And a meal’s composition has a direct effect on your metabolic state.

Therefore, eating specific amounts of protein, carbs, and fat at strategic times in your wake/sleep and workout schedule can produce the desired result in terms of muscle gain or fat loss.

While this nutrient timing won’t make or break your results, it can give you an added edge to reach your fitness goals faster.

metabolic confusion meal plan

Endomorph Diet Plan

Get a custom meal plan designed for your specific body type and fitness goals. Including a daily meal planner with 50+ recipes for just $17.99 per month.

Endomorph Diet Questions

We covered a lot of ground in that last section. But you may still have some questions about the ideal diet for endomorphs.

So now, I will answer the most common endomorph diet questions as concisely as possible.

What foods are best for endomorphs?

Endomorphs should focus on getting plenty of lean protein from poultry, eggs, and grass-fed beef. In addition, opt for healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, wild fish, and nuts/seeds.

While carbs have a bad reputation, endomorphs can benefit from eating high-fiber carbohydrates like vegetables, sweet potatoes, and moderate amounts of fruit.

fat to include and avoid

What foods should endomorphs avoid?

Endomorphs should limit processed or industrial farmed protein sources like deli meats and grain-fed beef. In addition, you should avoid trans fat and limit saturated fat found in foods like butter and dairy.

Finally, it would be best to steer clear of added sugars and highly processed carbohydrates. That includes fast food, sweets, soda, and pastries.

Is keto diet good for endomorphs?

Endomorphs can benefit from the reduction of carbs and sugar that ketogenic diets promote. However, keto is an unnecessary elimination diet, and giving up all carbohydrates is not sustainable for most people.

Therefore, the keto diet probably isn’t ideal for endomorphs unless you have a specific medical need to eliminate carbs from your diet.

Should endomorphs fast?

Fasting and intermittent fasting have pros and cons for endomorphs. On the plus side, periods of fasting promote insulin sensitivity and fat burning.

However, fasting too much leads to hormone imbalances and metabolic damage that work against weight loss. By comparison, eating frequent small meals promotes a healthy metabolism while keeping hunger hormones in check.

should endomorphs fast

How should endomorphs exercise?

Often, endomorphs are compelled to do lots of cardio to lose weight. While cardio exercise is great for burning calories from fat, too much is not a good thing.

Instead, endomorphs should focus on a mix of resistance training and cardio to build lean muscle, burn calories, and lose fat.

Endomorph Workout Guide

As I just mentioned, endomorphs need resistance training and cardio workouts to build lean muscle while burning fat. This section will explain how to tailor your workouts to your body type and goals.

Endomorph Resistance Training Workouts

Endomorphs are fast responders to resistance training. And you generally gain muscle faster than other people.

However, that muscle gain often comes with excess fat gain. So I recommend a workout routine where you burn more calories while building and maintaining lean muscle.

Exercise Selection

As an endomorph, you will see the most significant gains in muscle and strength from compound exercises. This type of exercise includes multijoint movements like the squat, bench press, and deadlift.

21 Benefits of Squats for Men & Women

In addition, these exercises increase your heart rate rapidly. So compound exercises are great for burning more calories in less time.

But you should also include a variety of isolation exercises to target specific muscles. For example, bicep curls, leg extensions, and flyes help shape your body in specific areas.

Sets & Reps

Often, endomorphs are tempted to perform sets with lighter weight and higher reps to burn fat and “tone” muscles. But doing more than 15 reps only trains your endurance and doesn’t actually increase definition.

Instead, focus on using heavier weights you can handle for 6-12 reps. Also, you should aim for 4-6 sets per exercise. And each workout should include from 5 to 8 exercises. So that’s around 24-32 sets per workout.

Rest Periods

Generally, endomorphs should rest for 60-90 seconds between sets. This shorter break allows you to keep your heart rate elevated, so you burn more calories and fat.

Endomorph Cardio Workouts

Cardiovascular exercise is the best way to burn fat while improving overall fitness. However, there are ways to optimize your cardio workouts to burn the most fat without losing lean muscle.

Duration & Frequency

When your goal is fat loss, you should try to do at least 150 minutes of cardio per week. And you should split that up across 3 to 6 sessions lasting 30 to 60 minutes each.

The best time to do cardio for fat loss is before breakfast, also called fasted cardio. But if you can’t do cardio in the morning, try to do it after your weightlifting workout.


Focus on low-intensity steady state (LISS) exercise like walking, jogging, or cycling. Try to maintain 60-70% of your max heart rate or a perceived exertion of 6-7 out of 10.

While low-intensity cardio burns fewer calories per minute, more of the calories burned come from stored body fat. So less is more when it comes to intensity and fat loss. 

Still, there are times when you can push harder in the form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). But you should limit HIIT to 0-2 sessions per week, especially when using resistance training so you don’t overtax your nervous system.

During HIIT workouts, target >90% of your max heart rate during intervals or a perceived exertion of 9 to 10. Then recovery periods should be 30 seconds to 3 minutes or until your heart rate comes back to 60-70%.

While these endomorph diet and workout tips aren’t groundbreaking new discoveries, that’s kind of the point. Fad diets and secret hacks don’t work in the long run.

Instead, the key is getting back to the basics and being consistent in your diet and exercise routine. With a little hard work and enough time, you can transform your body and reach your fitness goals as an endomorph.

Endomorph Meal Plan

With the information you just learned, you’re well on your way to reaching your fitness goals. But a diet is just a guide, what you need is a plan!

Fortunately, I provide custom meal plans that are much more than a generic diet. And I’ve created a meal plan system that gives you a personal roadmap for reaching your best body!

So click here to learn more about the benefits of a Custom Meal Plan. Including a more detailed look at how it works and screenshots of the actual plans. Or click below to start customizing your plan right now!

If you’re not interested in a meal plan right now, that’s cool too. For more helpful diet and workout tips, check out my other great free content below!

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