Somatotype and Diet


Now that we see the value of realistic expectations when it comes to athletic performance, let’s look at what somatotype can mean in the area of weight reduction.  Where muscle is an expression of mesomorphy, fat is the material of endomorphy.  Muscle burns energy. Fat is stored energy.  Autopsies have found a wide variance of intestinal length between the “gutless” ectomorph (15 feet) and the endomorph (45 feet). Endomorphs with such a long food processing tube are able to squeeze a huge amount of nutrients from the foods they eat.  Add to this the fact that they tend to choose the most concentrated and cheapest carbohydrates, and it is no wonder that weight becomes such a problem.


One of the most important steps in starting a weight reducing diet is a realistic target weight.  It must be decided that a particular weight goal is accurate.  Having a realistic view of your weight helps you to get on with the work of losing it.  Without having accurate information, there is the possibility of giving up because of setting a very difficult, or even IMPOSSIBLE goal to achieve.

Lack of accurate information is filled in by the imagination.  You might err on either the side of thinking you are too fat, or that your weight is acceptable.  If you are overweight, you need to get into your “knowledge” zone, as well as your “comfort” zone.  Comfort with how you look in your mirror can be deceiving, especially if you are born into a family that tends to be predominantly endomorphic.  If you are surrounded by older relatives who are all overweight, it can desensitize you to your own body when you are somewhat thinner, because you are young and haven’t had time to pack it on.


So do you just look up your height and weight in one of those tables that appear in diet books and pop up on web-sites?  The tables that appear most often are compiled by and based on data collected by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.  These tables are adequate for the general use of the casual dieter.  Typically, this would be someone in their thirties, concerned over their clothes not fitting them quite right. At least the tables acknowledge variation in weight due to whether a person has a small, medium, or large frame.  Depending on how you rate your frame the variation can be as much as 30%.  This is a significant amount and comes close to the point where a person could cross over from just being “overweight”,  to where they might be “obese”.  So, if you have been through several diets where you had to lose twenty or more pounds, you may benefit from an accurate determination of your somatotype.

It is also important to remember that there are a significant number of perfectly normal and healthy “heavy” people  that don’t fit neatly into the tables.  The Metropolitan Insurance weight chart has a maximum healthy weight of 176 pounds for a 6 foot tall large frame woman.  Now, look at the weight of some body types that are outside the boundaries of the normal charts.

Chart of Some Heavy Female Somatotypes



For example if you were a 7-4½-1½ wouldn’t you feel better if you knew that it is normal for a 20 year old 7-4½-1½ woman to weigh 221 pounds? How would you like to be a normal 20 year old 5½-6½-2 weighing 211 pounds and then have someone tell you that based on the widely published insurance charts you had to get your weight down to no more than 173 pounds? Recently, Queen Latifah (rap/R&B singer and actress) proudly got the weight on her 5’10” frame down to 200 pounds.  Now, how would she feel if she looked at the charts and saw that a large frame (whatever that may be) 5 foot 11 inch woman (1 inch heels) shouldn’t weigh more than 176 pounds? Fortunately, she can afford to get the best advice and can be assured that the tables don’t apply to her.  She can escape from unwarranted guilt. However, hundreds of thousands of men and women feel guilty for not reaching an idealized weight goal.  After struggling to get your weight down to 200 pounds and then being told that you have 25 more pounds to go, can be a convenient excuse to start back eating that big bowl of ice cream every night before bed time.

This is where can be useful.  We can provide an accurate, objective, and inexpensive assessment of your body type. Knowing the ideal weight for YOUR body type can send you off in the right direction with realistic expectations.  You will be able to avoid those nagging doubts about whether you could lose a few more pounds.

Since the last few pounds are the hardest to lose, it is critical to have good information, so you can avoid the discouragement and guilt that can creep in as you struggle to reach the finish line.  And it’s possible you have ALREADY reached your finish line. Wouldn’t that be a relief to know?

Think of the finish line not as an end of your diet, but the beginning of the next stage of maintaining your weight loss.  Maintenance will require the continued help of your physician and other professional counselors and support groups. will eventually facilitate a community of people who can compare notes with similar body types. And here is the amazing opportunity.

Dealing with specific physical aspects of somatotype whether in regard to athletic development or weight loss also opens the door to the mental implications of somatotype.  Imagine what it would be like if you discovered your body-type twin.  The possibilities for mutual encouragement and sharing of feelings and self-management techniques will be invaluable.



Are you going to ignore your body while trying to lose weight?  Or are you going to find out your somatotype and make your body your ally?

Are you going to aim for some unsustainable weight goal?  Or are you going to target the weight that is HEALTHY for your particular body-type?

Most likely you need to loose weight.  But you need to find out your somatotype  so,  click on  HOW TO DISCOVER YOUR SOMATOTYPE so you will know how much you really need to lose?



Are you a bariatric physician, or a weight and nutrition counselor? You could greatly enhance the value you provide to your clients, and the effectiveness of your existing programs with an accurate assessment of your clients body-type.  Please contact me to discuss the possibilities. Email me at:

NEXT: Somatotype and Personality




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>