The Best Diet for Ectomorphs

Are you an ectomorph struggling to put on weight? You’re not alone. This article describes the best diet for ectomorphs who are trying to gain muscle mass and improve their health. With science-backed tips and advice, you’ll finally be able to build the body of your dreams.

Quick facts: Best Diet For Ectomorph

  • ✅ Eating More Protein Can Help Ectomorphs Avoid Muscle Catabolism – Healthline
  • ✅ Eating More Frequently Can Help Ectomorphs Get Enough Calories – Healthline
  • ✅ Consume Foods Rich in Healthy Fats to Help Ectomorphs Feel Satiated – Healthline
  • ✅ Ectomorphs Should Practice Proper Hydration to Avoid Dehydration – Precision Nutrition
  • ✅ Eating a Balanced Diet With Plenty of Protein, Healthy Fats and Carbs is Beneficial for Ectomorphs – Precision Nutrition

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Ectomorphs, also known as “hardgainers,” typically have a slim, long frame and find it difficult to gain muscle mass. This type of body type often requires specific dietary and exercise habits in order to see results. The best diet for ectomorphs must include adequate food intake, the right macronutrient ratios, and proper timing.

Let’s investigate further and understand how to create the best diet for ectomorphs.

What is an ectomorph?

An ectomorph is a somatotype, or “body type” that is characterized by having a thin, linear figure with a light build and little body fat. People who are ectomorphic tend to have longer limbs, relatively small chests and shoulders and are naturally slender due to their naturally high basal metabolic rate.

Ectomorphs can have great difficulty increasing in weight, muscle size or body fat because of their natural body type. As such, it is important for ectomorphs to focus on the right combination of diet and exercise in order to reach their desired physique.

The best diet for an ectomorph combines proper nutrition from whole food sources with proper caloric intake. Eating the right foods will help supply the body with the necessary nutrients needed for growth while controlling one’s caloric intake will ensure that they don’t consume too many calories that may be converted into fat storage. Additionally, adding high quality supplements can help support a healthy diet by providing additional key nutrients as well as aiding in faster recovery times between workouts.

Benefits of an ectomorph diet

An ectomorph diet is a nutrition plan specifically designed to meet the needs of individuals with an ectomorphic body type. Ectomorphs tend to be tall and slender with long limbs, narrow chests, and lean muscle mass. They typically struggle to put on weight as they naturally possess fast metabolisms, which means they need to consume a greater overall quantity of food in order to gain muscle or bulk up.

The benefits of an ectomorph diet include providing your body with the increased caloric intake it needs in order to gain weight, as well as balancing macronutrients for optimal health and performance. Having an adequate caloric intake can help you achieve desirable results such as:

  • increased muscle mass and strength
  • improved energy levels
  • better concentration and mental clarity
  • improved physical performance during athletic activities

Additionally, a balanced diet high in protein is important for building healthy muscle tissue which is essential for gaining strength. Eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods such as lean proteins (like poultry or legumes), fresh fruits and vegetables will also ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs for optimal health.


Macronutrients refer to carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, which are the main sources of energy for the body. Each macronutrient plays an important role in the body, and having the right balance of macronutrients is essential for optimal health and performance. This is especially true for ectomorphs, who have special dietary needs.

Let’s look closer at the macronutrients and what types of food are best for ectomorphs:


Protein is an essential macronutrient that is important for building and repairing muscle tissue, responding to hormones, optimizing immunity, and providing a feeling of fullness. Protein has four calories per gram and can come from animal- or plant-based sources like eggs, cheese, milk, fish, chicken, beans, nuts, and tofu.

Ectomorphs should aim to eat 1.5–2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for optimal muscle growth and recovery. Adding more protein throughout the day can also help with satiety levels as well as muscle recovery after workouts. It is recommended that ectomorphs spread their protein intake across the day (at least 20g at each meal) rather than having one large serving at night.


Carbohydrates are an important macronutrient for ectomorphs to include in their daily diets, and they should account for approximately 50% or more of total caloric intake. Good sources of carbohydrates for ectomorphs include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and dairy products.

Carbs fuel the body with glucose, and provide quick energy when needed. Complex carbohydrates take longer for the body to digest than simple carbohydrates like white bread or candy; examples of healthy complex carbs are oats, quinoa, brown rice and whole wheat bread.

Additionally, consuming carbs before or after a workout is essential for promoting muscle growth and maintaining adequate energy levels.


Fats have gotten a bad rap over the years, but they are an extremely important macronutrient—especially for the ectomorph body type. Fats provide energy, help absorb vitamins and minerals from food, and keep you feeling full for longer.

Ectomorphs should aim to consume 20-30% of their total caloric intake from healthy fats such as:

  • Nuts
  • Nut butter
  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Fish oils

In addition to providing essential fatty acids your body needs and uses daily, healthy fats also help you feel satiated after a meal. Eating enough fat each day is essential to properly maintaining your energy levels throughout the day.

Meal Planning

Meal planning is essential for ectomorphs who are looking to improve their eating habits and reach their fitness goals. A well-planned diet can help to ensure that you are getting the right types and amounts of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to perform optimally. By having an idea of what you will be eating in advance, you can also avoid unhealthy cravings, save time, and stay on track with your diet.

Let’s explore meal planning for ectomorphs in more detail:

Meal frequency

When planning a diet for an ectomorph, it is important to consider the meal frequency. Meal frequency involves how often and how much a person should eat in order to achieve their desired body composition. Ectomorphs are usually blessed with high metabolism, which allows them to consume more food while still maintaining a lean physique.

To best take advantage of this fast metabolism, ectomorphs should aim to eat smaller meals every three hours or so; this helps maintain even energy levels, and prevents over-eating. Eating frequent meals also increases metabolic rate due to the energy needed for digestion. Lastly, eating more frequently gives the body more time to absorb all of the essential nutrients and vitamins that it needs for optimal physical performance.

Meal composition

Meal composition is an important part of meal planning for ectomorphs, as they need more energy in order to grow muscles. A typical meal plan for an ectomorph should consist of whole-grain carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. The proportion should be approximately 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% healthy fats. However, this proportion can be adjusted according to individual preferences and needs.

It is also important for ectomorphs to eat protein-rich foods at every meal or snack as protein helps with muscle growth by providing the necessary amino acids for muscle synthesis. Examples of such foods are:

  • lean meats such as chicken or turkey breasts;
  • fish like salmon;
  • eggs;
  • low-fat dairy products;
  • legumes (e.g., lentils);
  • nuts and nut butters; and
  • quinoa.

Healthy fats can come from sources like avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds, coconut oil or cream, cheese, etc., while healthy carbohydrates include whole grain cereals or breads, oats or rye cereals, brown rice and other complex grains like quinoa or buckwheat.


For ectomorphs, proper supplementation is essential in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Supplements provide your body with extra proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to help you better achieve your fitness goals. There are many different types of supplements available, so it can be difficult to choose the right ones for you. Let’s take a look at some of the best supplements for ectomorphs:


Creatine is an amino acid that serves numerous functions in the human body, most notably as an energy source for intense bouts of exercise. Creatine supplementation has been known to increase muscle growth, strength, and power output when combined with resistance training. For ectomorphs or those who have difficulty gaining weight, this is especially beneficial due to the fact that taking creatine increases the rate of protein synthesis and therefore muscle growth.

It can help enhance endurance and work capacity during exercises such as sprinting or bodybuilding. Creatine also helps to reduce fatigue and can improve short-term recovery after intense exercise bouts. Therefore, it is essential for ectomorphs who are looking to build muscle mass.


Caffeine is a popular supplement and stimulant that is often used to enhance physical performance, increase alertness and concentration, and improve energy levels. For ectomorphs specifically, Caffeine could be an effective tool in helping reduce fatigue, improve mental focus and alertness, support muscle strength & power output during exercise, as well as provide additional metabolic support.

For the ectomorph aiming for a leaner body composition, Caffeine can help spur fat loss by increasing thermogenesis (the rate of calorie burning) and providing a boost in energy to help maintain a strenuous diet & exercise regimen.

It’s important to note that caffeine should always be taken with caution as it can lead to increased anxiety, heart palpitations and insomnia if overdone.

Protein powder

Protein powder is a great supplement for ectomorphs, as it helps them to build and repair muscle tissue. Protein powder can also increase their energy levels before workouts, by providing a quick source of energy when carbohydrates are not available. Protein powder can be either animal-based (from whey, casein, or egg whites) or plant-based (e.g. pea protein). Ectomorphs typically require more protein than the average person, so it is important for ectomorphs to supplement with a high quality source of protein.

The best time to take protein powder supplements is usually immediately after your workout, as well as in the morning on non-workout days. Additionally, you may also consider adding some form of carbohydrates (such as dextrose or maltodextrin) to help boost your energy levels during workouts and support quickly digested replenishment of muscle glycogen stores post-workout.


Exercise is an important part of an ectomorph’s lifestyle, as it helps to increase strength and muscle mass. Working out should be tailored to the individual, as ectomorphs respond differently to different types of exercise. Generally, it’s best to focus on weight training, as this can help to increase muscle mass and strength. With the right exercise routine, ectomorphs can benefit from increased physical performance and improved muscle tone. Let’s explore this further.

Strength training

Strength training is a critical part of an ectomorph’s workout routine. By performing movements that challenge the body and increase muscle mass, ectomorphs can better shape their bodies and make the most of their naturally slim figures.

When strength training, it is important that ectomorphs focus on both compound and isolation exercises for maximum results. Compound exercises such as squats, lunges, and deadlifts are multi-joint movements that recruit multiple muscles at the same time. Isolation exercises focus on one particular muscle group or area of the body and can include bicep curls, lateral raises, and shoulder presses.

Ectomorphs should focus on short to moderate duration sets with relatively heavy weights to get the most out of strength training. Rest periods should be kept shorter—around 30 to 60 seconds—so that maximal intensity can be maintained throughout workouts. It is also important not to overwork muscles by doing too many sets or too many repetitions in each set as this could cause injury or chronic fatigue.


Cardio is a form of exercise that elevates the heart rate and increases oxygen consumption. For ectomorphs, cardio can help with increased calorie expenditure, which is essential to gaining weight. When beginning an exercise program, it is important to start out slowly and consistently build up your duration and intensity. Doing too much cardiovascular activity can actually be counterproductive when trying to gain weight.

For ectomorphs, a healthy balance of cardio exercise should involve:

  • Three days each week of moderate intensity, 30-minutes aerobic activity such as walking, jogging or light swimming.
  • Two days each week of high-intensity interval training like Tabata or circuits for 15-20 minutes.
  • One or two days each week of low-intensity steady state (LISS) like hiking or biking for 30 minutes or more.

Rest days

Rest days are an essential part of any training plan and diet for ectomorphs. A rest day is a day set aside for recovery and allows the body to repair itself, as well as giving the muscles time to rest and rebuild stronger. Rest days are also important in order to help prevent injury; when both the mind and body become too “burnt out” from constant exercise, it can lead to a lack of motivation, decreased performance, mental exhaustion, muscle fatigue and injury.

On rest days it’s important not to stay inactive; low-intensity workouts such as stretching or light cardio can be beneficial while still being easy on the body. It’s also important to make sure that your diet on rest days isn’t compromised; staying consistent with meals will ensure you receive proper nutrition needed for recovery and growth.

FAQs about: Best Diet For Ectomorph


Q1: What is an ectomorph?

A1: An ectomorph is a body type characterized by a slender build, small bones, and a fast metabolism.

Q2: What is the best diet for an ectomorph?

A2: The best diet for an ectomorph is a diet rich in lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day can help fuel the metabolism.

Q3: What supplements are recommended for ectomorphs?

A3: Supplements that can be beneficial for ectomorphs include whey protein, BCAAs, creatine, and omega-3s.

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