Health Fitness

Ectomorph Diet – Gain Weight on an Ectomorph Diet

Finding the right diet for an ectomorph is very important, as trying to gain weight and muscle mass is the biggest hurdle an ectomorph faces. Known in the bodybuilding world as “hardgainers,” these are people who are not genetically gifted with big, muscular bodies, and really have to work hard to see results. However, when those results do come, they often result in the most sought after and aesthetically pleasing physiques, as the ectomorph has a naturally low percentage of body fat.

The problem is getting those results. Frustration usually appears in advance. Time and time again, the main reason ectomorphs aren’t as big as they’d like is simply because they don’t eat enough or eat the wrong things at the wrong times. What we will see here is how we can build the correct ectomorph diet.

The ectomorphic diet can be summed up in this maxim:

eat big to be big

Eating right and consuming the correct amount of calories is the most important part of the ectomorph diet and the biggest hurdle an ectomorph faces in their workouts and ability to gain mass. The recommended daily caloric intake for the average person is between 2,000 and 2,500. However, many ectomorphs see this and think this applies to them too. Big mistake! Weight gain and weight loss are all about caloric deficits: Simply put, to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume, and to gain weight you need to consume more calories than you burn. A 2500 calorie per day ectomorph diet is simply not enough to fuel your muscles and bulk up quickly. What’s worse is that the ectomorph’s metabolism is usually so fast that it works like an oven constantly burning calories; if there aren’t enough calories in your system, your body will start to break down your muscle tissue, basically undoing all your hard work. This is the main reason why ectomorphs struggle to gain muscle mass even when training hard.

Obviously, it depends on factors like height, current weight, training regimen, and body fat percentage, but the ectomorph diet should consist of 3000 calories per day and up.

People tend to be afraid of such a high caloric intake, but this shouldn’t be the case. You see, you have to realize that building muscle is all about gaining mass. You can’t gain mass if you’re on a strict low-calorie diet. What you need is to feed your muscles to gain muscle mass, and then, once you reach your desired size, you can change your ectomorphic diet to gradually reduce calorie intake and slowly shed excess body fat, a process known as cutting. This is where the hard work from your workouts really pays off as you get even more defined. The good thing about being an ectomorph is that you naturally have a low percentage of body fat and it is relatively easy for you to lose fat.

What’s in an ideal diet for ectomorphs?

While most people (non-ectomorphs) will do better on a diet of 40% carbs, 40% protein, and 20%, an ectomorph diet will be more like 50% carbs, 25% protein, and 25% of good fats.

This should be spread over 6 meals a day, ideally at 7am, 10am, 12noon, 3pm, 5:30pm and 8:30pm, or something similar.

As an estimate of calorie intake for muscle mass, take your current weight in pounds and multiply by 22. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, then your approximate calorie intake should be around 3,300. Note that this it is an approximate number and depends on many other factors such as the amount of activity, types of food, your resting metabolic rate, etc. Also, keep in mind that the quality of the calories is what we want. 3000 calories of Doritos is not enough for the ectomorph diet.

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