Women naturally have more fat than men, which can make fat loss a bit harder but it shouldn’t stop them from striving to achieve a great level of fitness. On the other hand, losing too much fat can be detrimental to the normal functioning of the body – the body-fat ranges for optimal health are 14-30% for women and 6-25% for men, so getting too obsessed with dieting can make you sick instead of fit.

In addition, every body type comes with its own stubborn weight loss problems that can be very frustrating. Knowing your body composition means knowing exactly what your strengths and weaknesses are, which in turn allows you to create the most efficient strategy in the battle against those extra pounds. Since this is very important when it comes to reaching your weight loss goals, the best way to begin your fitness journey is by identifying your body type. Start here.

#1. Ectomorph

Ectomorphs essentially have a lean and delicate supermodel build. They have small joints, narrow hips and shoulders and long limbs. Partly due to their fast metabolism, they have a hard time gaining weight or adding muscle to their tiny frame.

In fact, most of them can overeat as often as they want without having to worry about the number on the scale. Although they seem genetically disadvantaged in terms of muscle building, they can significantly increase their size and strength with the help of resistance training comprised of short and intense workouts focused on large muscle groups and an extravagantly rich diet. More specifically, in order to gain more lean mass ectomorphs need to increase the frequency of their meals and consume enough high quality fats and protein and plenty of carbs. Because their metabolism burns up calories very quickly, they have to consume a relatively huge amount of calories to gain weight. Also, eating a meal right before going to bed can help ectomorphs prevent muscle catabolism during the night.

#2. Mesomorph

Mesomorphs are natural bodybuilders. Being strong and athletic almost from birth, their genetics make it very easy for them to build lean muscle mass and they’re usually proportionally built with well-defined musculature. On the other hand, they can also lose weight rather quickly and rarely experience difficulties when trimming their body fat.

Since they have a higher percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers when compared to other body types, these people are at their best in sports that rely on power and speed. Based on that, they can benefit the most from HIIT, endurance training and plyometrics. In addition, this body type responds the best to weight training. On the negative side, mesomorphs gain fat more easily than ectomorphs, which means that they should always monitor their calorie intake. The optimal diet for mesomorphs includes an abundance of high quality fats, protein and BCAAs, and a moderate amount of carbs.

#3. Endomorph

More often than not, endomorphs feel disadvantaged when it comes to their fitness and bodybuilding aspirations. The reason for this is the soft, full and curvy shape of their bodies which are usually shorter with thick arms and legs, as well as their tendency to store fat easily, supported by a sluggish metabolism. Maintaining a healthy weight can be very challenging for those of them who don’t exercise regularly.

However, these folks have to realize that they’re not destined to be chubby or overweight – with a good amount of effort and determination, they can transform their bad luck into unforeseeable progress. For example, endomorphs have very strong muscles, especially in the lower body, which makes them great at leg exercises. Weight training and exercises designed to improve endurance can help bring out their best physical features, while high-intensity workouts can help keep their levels of fat in check. Additionally, they should limit their carbs intake and place natural, good quality metabolism-boosting foods at the center of their diet.