Your body type reflects how you burn and store calories. The three body types — ectomorph (tall and lean), mesomorph (medium or stocky), and endomorph (short and round) – can be remembered by relating them to fruit. An ectomorph is like a banana; a mesomorph like a pear; and an endomorph like an apple. Some people are big and tall; we’ll call them zucchinis. Ectomorph (bananas) are the envy of the bunch. Bananas can eat more food, but put on less fat. They also seem to have more reliable appetite controls. They are more likely to refuse the extra piece of cake if they’re full than an apple or pear who are more likely to give into an extra piece. While the ectomorph is likely to leave a few bites on the plate, mesomorphs and endomorphs clean their plates. Genetically lean persons tend to be fat burners. Other body types tend to be fat storers. The ectomorph, or genetically lean person, tends to burn more calories during digestion and metabolism than other body types, so a greater percentage of calories from food are burned before they ever have a chance of becoming body fat. A lean ectomorph mom in our practice described her fat-burning metabolism as, “I eat once, my body eats twice.”
There are gender differences in how people carry around excess fat. Men tend to be apples, being wider and rounder around the chest and belly; whereas women tend to be pears, wider around the hips and thighs. It’s easier to lose weight from the upper body, so apples on the LEAN program may have quicker results than pears.
You can’t change the body type you are born with any more than an apple or pear can become a banana. Even tall and lanky people can become more pear- or apple-like if they don’t purposely try to stay lean as they age.
No matter how religiously you follow the LEAN program, most often an apple will remain an apple and a pear will remain a pear. The good news, though, is that you can become a leaner apple or pear.